Incredible comeback sees Stansted defeat Clapton

Local football coverage from the Hunts Post.

Local football coverage from the Hunts Post. - Credit: Archant

Stansted turned around a 3-0 half-time deficit to defeat Clapton 4-3 on Saturday in the Essex Senior League.

The Airportmen’s tremendous second half performance earned the hosts all three points in a thoroughly entertaining game in front of Stansted’s biggest home crowd of the season, thanks to travelling Clapton fans.

The visitors first goal came after four minutes from Shomari Barnwell.

Stansted should have equalised a minute later, but a Dave Ratcliffe header went just wide when it was easier to score.

Clapton at this point were having most of the possession.

After an effort was cleared off the line they struck again on 12 minutes as the impressive Barnwell hit his second of the match.

For the next 20 minutes the game swung from end-to-end with opportunities for both sides especially Stansted’s Tom Hollamby with a couple of glorious chances that were not taken.

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The visitors scored their third goal on 36 minutes with a long ball caught in a strong trail wind which confused all except Clapton’s Nathan Cook who flicked it into the net to give his side a 3-0 lead at the break.

The second half saw Stansted forced into two early substitutions with George Clarke coming on for Jack Hayes, who was feeling an ankle strain, and debutant Tom Lakin replacing injured Connor Peters.

It was Lakin who got the hosts back into the game on 65 minutes.

He got in at the far post, after a terrific Joe Rudkin long-throw, and side-footed it into the net.

Three minutes later Tom Holamby finished after Mark Roach’s header from a Sam Ashford free-kick set him up for 3-2.

From this point on it was mostly the home side searching for an equaliser.

Lakin was causing the Clapton defence a few problems and had a great effort on 75 minutes which went just over the bar as did influential skipper Tom Le Masurier, but again just wide.

A final substitution saw Matt Ashwell on for Hollamby and on 80 minutes Ashwell’s powerful cross found its way into the roof of the visitors net albeit with a slight deflection.

It was looking like a point a piece, but then Ratcliffe got onto a through ball and calmly slipped it past the out-coming Clapton keeper to make it 4-3 on 89 minutes to take all three points for Stansted.