Monday, 17 February 2020

TLFG: 17-23 February 2020

Greetings one and all and apologies for the slightly delayed publication of this week's blog as we go into half term.

As I told one reader last week, it's becoming more and more time consuming to try and keep across everything and keep producing something meaningful every week.

I'm now compiling and researching it during breaks at work and writing long into the night (it's currently 0131 on Monday morning) when everyone has gone to bed so as not to be thoroughly useless around the house while I'm here.

Consequently I haven't managed any live football this week but I'm off for nine days now and will hope to see something, with a very ambitious trip currently planned for Saturday but we'll see what happens.


Cheap tickets are on offer at Dagenham & Redbridge but only if purchased in advance
The Premier League makes a full return from its brief winter break this weekend and there's some Champions League action too.

Many games were postponed over the weekend and one or two might fall by the wayside at the beginning of the week so confirm all details before you travel.

On Saturday, there are a couple of ticket offers in place at some of our local clubs with seemingly the best deals in place at Dagenham & Redbridge where adult tickets are available from £2.50 if bought in advance as part of their diversity day - more details in the daily digest below.

Anyway, I think that's it from me. Enjoy your week. Hopefully the weather won't ruin things too much.

Lastly, many thanks to all those who have donated to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund. It makes writing this even more worthwhile so many, many thanks.

THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include games in the Premier League, EFL, National League, Women's FA Cup and loads of other matches in our local non-league competitions. 

As always, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or the venue or kick-off time has changed - this is highly possible for some of the lower non-league clubs. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found on the following match maps. If you've never used them before, please note that when there is more than one match at a specific ground you'll only be able to see individual match pins if you zoom right in. If you don't, the pins obscure each other and you might miss them. To avoid this, you can also scroll down the list of games on the drop down menu at the top of the map page to make sure you get all the information. Games are listed from top to bottom in date order so Monday's games (yellow pin) will appear first and Sunday's (orange pin) last. Games are also ranked in terms of status so the higher the division, the higher up the list they will appear on each day.

Also if you're unfamiliar with the English league structure I indicate the level at which an individual league sits in the national 'pyramid' with the Premier League at the top (Level 1) and various minor leagues at the bottom (Level 10). Typically a top level game will see crowds of anywhere between 20,000-60,000. These figures will gradually decline as you go down the leagues until you get to Levels 8-10 where attendances of 150 or less are most common.

It should also be noted that the top four levels are for fully professional teams. Level 5 has a mixture of professional and semi-professional teams, while Levels 6-10 will see most players paid but it will vary from no more than travel expenses at the bottom, right up to several hundred pounds a week at the top.

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - blue pin
Friday fixtures - black pin



WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin




TLFG DAILY DIGEST
In the following section I list, by day, what are in my opinion the most notable games of the week and give some brief reasons for my choice. Check the maps above for kick-off times, ticket info and directions.

Monday 17 February

Premier League
Chelsea v Manchester United @8pm - the week begins with arguably its biggest game as two of the country's biggest teams do battle at Stamford Bridge. Unusually, this year neither of them are in the title race with the Blues 35 points behind leaders Liverpool and United a whopping 41 points off the pace. Chelsea are still in the top four but only just so badly need to win to keep themselves ahead of the chasing clubs. United still have an outside chance of claiming a European spot but defeat here will be pretty much terminal to their Champions League hopes. Tickets are not available

Premier League 2 & Professional Development League
There is a great selection of U23 games on Monday with the match between West Ham and Stoke City topping the bill purely because it's being played at the London Stadium so you've got a great chance to watch a match there on the cheap - tickets are £5. Elsewhere, Arsenal play Chelsea at Boreham Wood and if you're prepared to travel outside London to St Albans then you've got a derby between Watford and QPR to enjoy

Women's FA Cup Fifth Round
Chelsea v Liverpool @7pm - moved at short notice to avoid Storm Dennis, these two sides will have another go at making the quarter-finals. The Blues are in great form and should win comfortably

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Tuesday 18 February

National League
Barnet v Harrogate Town @745pm - this should have been played on Saturday but Storm Dennis intervened and it got shifted at short notice to Tuesday. With Barnet having several games in hand and still eyeing a play-off spot and Harrogate very much in the hunt for the title, this is an important game for both teams

Essex Senior Cup Semi-Final
Dagenham & Redbridge v Concord Rangers @745pm - some of the biggest games of the night would appear to be in our local county cups. Despite being one of the biggest clubs in Essex, the Daggers haven't made the final since 2002. Concord, who hail from Canvey Island, play in the division below and aren't in great form so should start as second favourites if the hosts play a strong team. The winners will face Billericay Town in the final. Tickets prices have been reduced to £6

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Wednesday 19 February

Champions League
Tottenham Hotspur v RB Leipzig @8pm - the competition's first knockout round gets underway this week with Spurs among the last 16. The north London club sensationally made the final last season but a repeat of that seems highly unlikely given their wavering form this season. That said, they're unbeaten in seven matches so should approach this with some confidence. Leipzig are currently second in Germany and ended an iffy run of form with a 3-0 win over a struggling Werder Bremen side on Saturday. Tickets are not available to non-members

Isthmian League Premier Division
Kingstonian v Wingate & Finchley @745pm - the best non-league option takes place in Tolworth where the K's will hope to close the gap on the play-off places by winning this game in hand. W&F are joint bottom but still in touch with the other strugglers so every point will be crucial for them between now and the end of the season

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Thursday 20 February

SSML Premier Division
Broadfields United v Oxhey Jets @8pm - originally scheduled for Tuesday, this ninth-tier match is now being played at Rayners Lane's ground and should provide some decent Thursday night entertainment for a fiver

London Underground League
This competition sees teams from each of the network's lines and associated TfL teams fight for glory at the 4G facility on Market Road near Caledonian Road station. Matches take place at 4pm and spectators are very welcome. There are usually a couple of fixtures a week - check the league's Twitter feed for all the latest. On Thursday, the Hammersmith & City Line take on the Metropolitan Line

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Friday 21 February

ECL Division 1 South
Hackney Wick v May & Baker @745pm - the only option in London on Friday night is this 10th-tier contest at Haringey Borough's ground. Neither side are pulling up any trees but the Wickers have a great kit

A bit further afield
Just to the north of London in St Albans, Watford take on Everton in an U23 game at Clarence Park at 7pm

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Saturday 22 February

Premier League
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur @1230pm - after a short winter break, the Premier League returns with a bang as this big derby takes centre stage. Both have midweek Champions League engagements before this big battle for fourth place gets underway at lunchtime. At the time of writing, Spurs are in better form but lost to Chelsea in the reverse fixture just before Christmas. The other rather important thing to note is that this will be Jose Mourinho's first visit to Stamford Bridge with his new team so he should be extremely motivated to do well. Tickets are not available
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United @3pm - with only one win between them from their last five league games, this doesn't appear to be the most mouthwatering of fixtures. Both sides should avoid relegation but both could do with another three wins to make sure of it. The hosts are unbeaten in four at Selhurst Park against the Toon but three of those were draws. Tickets are not available

Championship
Brentford v Blackburn Rovers @1230pm - the Bees missed the chance to go third by only drawing at Birmingham on Saturday and by all accounts they should have won. Lancashire club Blackburn are on a good run and could potentially break into the top six with a win on their last ever visit to Griffin Park before it shuts at the end of the season. Tickets are not available
Charlton Athletic v Luton Town @3pm - with the three matches above all unavailable, this is your next best option and it could be interesting as two sides fighting the drop look to clinch a valuable three points. The Hatters hail from just outside London so should bring a sizeable following to enhance the atmosphere. Tickets are available

League One
AFC Wimbledon v Blackpool @3pm - the Dons nicked a precious point off leaders Rotherham with a very late penalty on Saturday. The result kept them just above the relegation zone in 20th but they maintained the seven-point cushion over Tranmere just below them. Rovers have a game in hand so the south London club can't relax just yet. Blackpool are 16th so present a decent chance to pick up a few more precious points. Tickets are available

League Two
Leyton Orient v Oldham Athletic @3pm - these two are neck-and-neck in lower midtable so it's anyone's to win. The O's narrowly lost at promotion chasing Cheltenham on Saturday whilst Oldham drew with Forest Green. The sides drew the reverse fixture back in December so another draw looks likely. Tickets are available

National League
Boreham Wood v Yeovil Town @3pm - two of the division's top five meet for a David and Goliath contest at Meadow Park. With average crowds of only 691, the Wood are the smallest club in the division whereas former Championship side Yeovil are more used to playing in front of attendances nearer 3,000. Despite this, only two points separate them with the hosts able to climb above them into third with a win here. The club have designated this as a 'Community Day' with a number of discounts available if you buy tickets in advance
Bromley v Wrexham @3pm - after topping the league for sometime, Bromley's season seems to be tailing off pretty dramatically with Saturday's loss at Stockport seeing them fall to eighth and out of the play-off spots. Next up they face one of the biggest clubs in the division who are having a stinker of a season. The Welsh club are just above the relegation zone and could end the day back in it if results don't go their way
Dagenham & Redbridge v Solihull Moors @3pm - the deal of the day would appear to be available in east London where it's 'Daggers Celebrate Diversity Day'. In order to get as many local people into the ground as possible, adult tickets are available from just £2.50 which is quite a bargain. In order to get these prices, you must book in advance. On the pitch, the hosts are having a poor season and badly need to win to keep themselves out of the bottom four. Solihull, on the other hand, are pushing for promotion again so will start as strong favourites
Sutton United v Barrow @520pm - a fine day of fifth tier action is completed by the U's game against leaders Barrow. It's been a season of consolidation for Sutton under new boss Matt Gray and he's done well to lift them into midtable after a poor start. The visitors, managed by former QPR defender Ian Evatt, have been a revelation this term and currently sit four points clear at the top with a game in hand

National League South
Wealdstone v Dorking Wanderers @3pm - the match of the day in the sixth tier takes place at Grosvenor Vale where leaders Wealdstone entertain sixth placed Wanderers. The reverse fixture in November produced an entertaining 2-2 draw so hopefully we'll get some more of the same

Southern League Premier Division South
Hayes & Yeading United v Taunton Town @3pm - there's not a huge amount on in the seventh tier but this game at the SkyEx Stadium should be good as the sides in sixth and fifth do battle. Hayes started the season pretty poorly but have been climbing the table rapidly in recent weeks and a win here will put them in the play-off places for the first time

Isthmian League South Central
Hanwell Town v Waltham Abbey @3pm -  the hosts saw their match get postponed on Saturday, allowing second place Ware to cut the gap to a point by beating Tooting & Mitcham. Visitors Waltham Abbey climbed to seventh by thrashing Chalfont St Peter 7-3 to keep themselves firmly in play-off contention

CCL Premier Division
Southall v Sutton Common Rovers @3pm - the hosts haven't played since the 8 February when they lost at Frimley Green but they've remained in the top three nonetheless. On Saturday they welcome SCR who because of their great run in the FA Vase have games in hand on all of those above them. On Saturday they beat another top five side Molesey so should be able to give the 'All a pretty tough afternoon

SCEFL Division 1
FC Elmstead v Holmesdale @3pm - in the 10th tier two of the division's top five meet for a game on the south-eastern fringe of TLFG's catchment area. A win for Holmesdale could see them go second

MCFL Premier Division
Clapton CFC v Brentham - a sizeable attendance should be expected at Wadham Lodge where leaders Brentham pay a visit to E17. The Tons have drawn several crowds in excess of 500 this season which is quite remarkable for a side in the 11th tier. With four games in hand on the top club, the hosts could stake a real claim for the title with a win here. Admission is by donation. UPDATE - this match will now be played at the Mabley Green 3G facility in Hackney Wick

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Sunday 23 February


Premier League
Arsenal v Everton @430pm - the Gunners fill the 430pm Sunday slot for the second weekend running as a much improved Everton side head to the Emirates for what could be a tricky game for the hosts. Despite thrashing Newcastle this weekend, Arsenal are still two points behind the Toffees but should fancy their chances as the Liverpudlian side haven't won a league game at the Emirates or Highbury since 1996. Tickets are not available

Women's FA Cup Fifth Round
Arsenal v Lewes @1pm - if you've got a ticket for the match above then you should have time to do a Gunners double on Sunday with this match at Boreham Wood scheduled to finish at least 90 minutes before the men's game. On paper, this rescheduled cup game, should be won comfortably by the hosts who play a level above the Rooks. The Sussex club are also in pretty poor form so it doesn't look too promising for them

FA Women's Super League
West Ham United v Liverpool @3pm - if you fancy a game that's likely to be a little more balanced then this match at Rush Green could well be it. Both sides are in pretty poor form with only goal difference keeping the Reds out of the relegation zone


GET INVOLVED
If you're going to see a game, whether you're a local or a visitor, please let me know what you've been up to. If you're interested in reviewing a ground in the London area for this blog then get in touch. I also very much welcome photos of your football travels.

NEED HELP?
Got any questions about visiting London? Don't hesitate to ask - be they football or more general travel/touristy queries. I do not charge for this advice like some other sites so don't hold back!

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

TLFG: 10-16 February 2020

Greetings one and all and welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

Once again I aim to keep this brief as I've had a sick child on my hands for the last 24 hours and whilst they're getting some rest I'll get this finally published.

For the second week running I managed to get to a game as I got out of work unexpectedly early on Saturday. This meant I could get out to my old home town to watch the Southern League clash between Harrow Borough and Poole Town.

I went to the same game last February during a very unseasonal heatwave in which I nearly got sunburned and Harrow surprisingly won 4-0!

Only a few tickets remain!
This time round, we were lucky enough to have clear blue skies again but the temperatures were much lower and it was pretty nippy by the end.

The game was also pretty drab and ended 0-0 thanks mainly to some stirling work by Boro goalkeeper Luca Ashby-Hammond who is on loan from Fulham.

It was good to also make contact again with TLFG reader John B who was at the game but I missed him as I received the call to dash home and get my daughter to hospital - she should be fine.

Anyway, I think that's it from me. Enjoy your week. Hopefully the weather won't ruin things too much as it did on Sunday and look out for a couple of quirky options at the weekend in the Daily Digest below.

Lastly, many thanks to all those who have donated to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund. It makes writing this even more worthwhile so many, many thanks.

THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include games in the Premier League, EFL, National League, Women's FA Cup and loads of other matches in our local non-league competitions. 

As always, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or the venue or kick-off time has changed - this is highly possible for some of the lower non-league clubs. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found on the following match maps. If you've never used them before, please note that when there is more than one match at a specific ground you'll only be able to see individual match pins if you zoom right in. If you don't, the pins obscure each other and you might miss them. To avoid this, you can also scroll down the list of games on the drop down menu at the top of the map page to make sure you get all the information. Games are listed from top to bottom in date order so Monday's games (yellow pin) will appear first and Sunday's (orange pin) last. Games are also ranked in terms of status so the higher the division, the higher up the list they will appear on each day.

Also if you're unfamiliar with the English league structure I indicate the level at which an individual league sits in the national 'pyramid' with the Premier League at the top (Level 1) and various minor leagues at the bottom (Level 10). Typically a top level game will see crowds of anywhere between 20,000-60,000. These figures will gradually decline as you go down the leagues until you get to Levels 8-10 where attendances of 150 or less are most common.

It should also be noted that the top four levels are for fully professional teams. Level 5 has a mixture of professional and semi-professional teams, while Levels 6-10 will see most players paid but it will vary from no more than travel expenses at the bottom, right up to several hundred pounds a week at the top.

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - blue pin
Friday fixtures - black pin



WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin




TLFG DAILY DIGEST
In the following section I list, by day, what are in my opinion the most notable games of the week and give some brief reasons for my choice. Check the maps above for kick-off times, ticket info and directions.

Monday 10 February

Professional Development League
There are two U23 games at lunchtime with Crystal Palace and Charlton Athletic both hosting games albeit not at their main stadiums. Check all the final details with the clubs on the day as they can change at short notice

Isthmian League North
Aveley v AFC Sudbury @745pm - one of the stories of the weekend was the Millers' stunning victory over Chelmsford which saw them progress into the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy - a competition meant to be won by far bigger clubs. They're also doing rather nicely in the league and will find themselves just two points off top spot if they beat lower midtable Sudbury

A bit further afield
If you're prepared to travel beyond London's south-western edge then you can watch Chelsea play Wolves in the FA Youth Cup Fifth Round at Aldershot Town's ground. The Blues have dominated this U18 competition in recent years and should win here
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Tuesday 11 February

Championship
Brentford v Leeds United @745pm - one of the games of the week takes place in west London where the mighty Leeds will make their last ever visit to Griffin Park. Saturday's results left the clubs in second to fifth place separated by just two points which means the battle for automatic promotion is now really hotting up. If you haven't already guessed, both these sides are in the top five. Despite being a tiny club compared to Leeds, it is the Bees who are in better form and they could well win. Tickets are not available to non-members

League One
AFC Wimbledon v Ipswich Town @745pm - a game of huge significance at either end of the table as the Dons look to pull well clear of the relegation zone and Ipswich look to get back into the play-off places. Both sides are in poor form at the moment so it will probably come down to who wants it more. Tickets are not available to non-members

League Two
Leyton Orient v Mansfield Town @745pm - with tickets difficult to get for both of the matches above, the O's game against Mansfield becomes your best option. Both sides are in the bottom six but given only one team are going down this season and bottom club Stevenage are so bad, they've probably got little to fear. Tickets are available to non-members

Middlesex Charity Cup Second Round
Wealdstone v Harrow Borough @745pm - if this was a league game then I'd have no hesitation recommending this but this Harrow derby is a but a mere county cup match. Given the Stones are top of the division above their opponents and are going for the title, they may well rest quite a few players. As a Harrow fan, I really hope Steve Baker and his team really go for this. Sadly, Wealdstone are a far bigger and more successful club whose shadow we've had to live in for years and this season could be a huge one for them. If the Boro can nick a win, even in this relatively minor competition, it will be hugely satisfying

Isthmian League South East
Cray Valley PM v Whyteleafe @745pm - two of the division's top six meet at the Badgers as the clubs look to strengthen their chances of making the play-offs

Combined Counties Premier Division
Molesey v Knaphill @745pm - the game of the night in the ninth tier would appear to be this clash between two of the top five at Walton Road

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Wednesday 12 February

Championship
Millwall v Fulham @745pm - the Championship is serving up some good games with this London derby dominating proceedings on Wednesday. Just as it looked as if the Lions might crack into the top six, their good run of results has dried up and they've slipped to 10th. The same can't be said of the Cottagers who are on cracking form with only goal difference keeping them out of the top two. Tickets are on sale to non-members

Combined Counties League Premier Division
Sutton Common Rovers v Spelthorne Sports @745pm - with SCR seeing their great run in the FA Vase come to an end on Saturday, the south London club now have quite a few league games to make up. If they win them, they'll find themselves in the top three, just behind Spelthorne who are going for the title

FA Women's Super League
Chelsea v Birmingham City @7pm - the hosts have leaders Manchester City in their sights and could go top if they beat struggling Birmingham which they should do

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Friday 14 February

Premier League 2
Fulham v Aston Villa @7pm - got a hot date for Valentine's night but aren't sure where to take them? The show pitch at Fulham's Motspur Park training ground isn't an obvious choice but they certainly won't forget it. Tickets are £3 on the gate

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Saturday 15 February

Championship
Charlton Athletic v Blackburn Rovers @3pm - with the Premier League still on its staggered winter break, it's the second tier that will take centre stage on Saturday and there are three rather uninspiring games to choose from. First up, in alphabetical order, is this match at The Valley where the struggling Addicks welcome midtable Blackburn. The best thing about this is that Charlton are running their annual 'Football For A Fiver' promotion so tickets are only £5 which is very good value. The last time I checked, it was approaching a sell out so be quick if you want to go
Fulham v Barnsley @3pm - the Cottagers could be in the top two by the time this comes around and they'll expect to beat the Tykes who are in the bottom three and having a poor season. Again, tickets are very reasonably priced with most between £20-25 and U18s getting in for just £1
Queens Park Rangers v Stoke City @3pm - possibly the most 'meh' game of the lot is taking place at the KPF Stadium where two lower midtable sides will hope to grind out a good result. Both sides need a win to push them away from the bottom three and it is the visitors who are in better form. Tickets are available to non-members

National League
Barnet v Harrogate Town @3pm - the Bees caused a considerable upset on Saturday by beating NL leaders Barrow to make the FA Trophy quarter-finals. They'll be joined in the draw by Harrogate who are currently second in the table and looking for their first promotion to the EFL

National League South
Dulwich Hamlet v Welling United @3pm - only six points separate the teams between 14th and 21st which means the battle to avoid the drop still includes a significant number of clubs. Both these sides are in that group and both hail from the south-east side of town. The Hamlet are averaging crowds of well over 2,000 this season and you're advised to book in advance and get there early if you want to get a decent view of the action

Southern League Premier Division South
Hendon v Hayes & Yeading United @3pm - two old rivals (or three as Hayes and Yeading were separate clubs) formerly of the Isthmian League meet at Silver Jubilee Park for what should be a decent contest. Although neither are in the leading group, they are probably the division's top two on form with Hendon winning six on the trot and H&YU five of their last six

Isthmian League South Central
Hanwell Town v Bracknell Town @3pm - the hosts have been top for a large part of this season but are struggling to shake off Ware who are just behind them. Bracknell are an ambitious club and are in the top six at the time of writing

Essex Senior League
Hadley v Walthamstow @3pm - the match of the day in the ninth tier is at Brickfield Lane where two of the top four meet. Both have games in hand on leaders Saffron Walden and the Stow could go top with a win

Spartan South Midlands League Division 1
St Panteleimon v New Salamis @3pm - there's a big game to look out for in the 10th tier where the top two in the division do battle. Both clubs have their roots in the Greek Cypriot community which adds a little more spice to the occasion. With the Saints nine points clear at the top, this is pretty much a title decider. For some reason, St Panteleimon have moved most of their home games to the Middlesex FA's HQ at Rectory Park which means it's being played at a glorified 'Goals' facility, albeit with 11-a-side pitches, which is slightly disappointing

Arthur Dunn Cup Quarter-Final
Old Alleynians v Old Carthusians @11am -  if you fancy something a little different but incredibly historic then you might want to check this out on Saturday morning. Whatever you think about the class system and English public schools, they and some of they're pupils have been absolutely fundamental to the foundation of the game in this country and hence around the world. This cup is named after the Old Etonian FA Cup winner who proposed it back at the very start of the 20th century. The match is being played in the grounds of Dulwich College, one of the country's top public schools and visitors Old Carthusians are the most successful club in its history wining it 28 times, including five of the last six. Entry is free and can easily be combined with the Dulwich Hamlet game or several others in south London later in the afternoon

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Sunday 16 February


Premier League
Arsenal v Newcastle United @430pm - winless in four and down to 10th, the Gunners are now closer to the relegation zone than they are to the top four as what looks like being their worst season since 1994-95 grinds on. I have to admit that by the tone of the pundits when I've had Football Focus/MOTD on in the background in recent weeks, I thought Newcastle were in much more trouble than they are but they're on level points with Arsenal which says it all! Tickets are not available to non-members

Women's FA Cup Fifth Round
Chelsea v Liverpool @1230pm - there are several ties in London on Sunday but this would appear to be the biggest. Sadly for the Reds, their women's team are not dominating in the way their men's team are and anything other than a home win would be quite an upset. Elsewhere, Arsenal entertain Lewes and Crystal Palace host Brighton. UPDATE - THIS MATCH HAS BEEN MOVED TO MONDAY NIGHT TO AVOID STORM DENNIS

The wildcard
For something completely different I give you a charity match put on by the London Middle Eastern Project between London Lebanon and London Iraq at the New River Stadium in Haringey at 2pm. Tickets are £5 in advance and £10 on the door which includes food and drink and other Middle Eastern entertainment - it could get lively!


GET INVOLVED
If you're going to see a game, whether you're a local or a visitor, please let me know what you've been up to. If you're interested in reviewing a ground in the London area for this blog then get in touch. I also very much welcome photos of your football travels.

NEED HELP?
Got any questions about visiting London? Don't hesitate to ask - be they football or more general travel/touristy queries. I do not charge for this advice like some other sites so don't hold back!

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

TLFG: 3-9 February 2020

Greetings one and all and welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

I'm writing this during my break in a cafe at Waterloo station so I'm going to keep this bit brief.

I don't have much to report since last week although I did have productive sponsorship discussions with a company in regards to Non-League Day.

On Saturday I also went to watch QPR take on Bristol City - only the second time I've watched the Hoops this season and it was pretty underwhelming stuff at times.

However, they were unlucky to lose and had enough chances to get a point as they laid siege to the Robins' goal in the closing stages.

Anyway, I think that's it from me. Enjoy your week.

Lastly, many thanks to all those who have donated to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund. It makes writing this even more worthwhile so many, many thanks.

THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include games in the FA Cup, EFL, FA Trophy, National League, Women's Super League and loads of other matches in our local non-league competitions. 

As always, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or the venue or kick-off time has changed - this is highly possible for some of the lower non-league clubs. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found on the following match maps. If you've never used them before, please note that when there is more than one match at a specific ground you'll only be able to see individual match pins if you zoom right in. If you don't, the pins obscure each other and you might miss them. To avoid this, you can also scroll down the list of games on the drop down menu at the top of the map page to make sure you get all the information. Games are listed from top to bottom in date order so Monday's games (yellow pin) will appear first and Sunday's (orange pin) last. Games are also ranked in terms of status so the higher the division, the higher up the list they will appear on each day.

Also if you're unfamiliar with the English league structure I indicate the level at which an individual league sits in the national 'pyramid' with the Premier League at the top (Level 1) and various minor leagues at the bottom (Level 10). Typically a top level game will see crowds of anywhere between 20,000-60,000. These figures will gradually decline as you go down the leagues until you get to Levels 8-10 where attendances of 150 or less are most common.

It should also be noted that the top four levels are for fully professional teams. Level 5 has a mixture of professional and semi-professional teams, while Levels 6-10 will see most players paid but it will vary from no more than travel expenses at the bottom, right up to several hundred pounds a week at the top.

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - blue pin
Thursday fixtures - purple pin
Friday fixtures - black pin



WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin




TLFG DAILY DIGEST
In the following section I list, by day, what are in my opinion the most notable games of the week and give some brief reasons for my choice. Check the maps above for kick-off times, ticket info and directions.

Monday 3 February

Premier League 2 & Professional Development League
It's a slightly odd day in the U23 world in that there are three games but two are just outside London and the one that's more local (Millwall) probably won't let you in. If you are prepared to travel, Watford play Charlton at St Albans City in the afternoon and Spurs take on Brighton at Stevenage's ground in the evening. The most you should pay at either game is £5

Essex Senior Cup Quarter-Final
Billericay Town v Grays Athletic @745pm - not normally on our patch, Billericay have moved this game to Aveley which is becoming the go-to ground for clubs in Essex with games to make up - four different sides are hosting matches there this week
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Tuesday 4 February

Isthmian League Premier Division
Hornchurch v Cheshunt @745pm - the biggest game of the day sees the promotion chasing Urchins host a side scrapping to avoid the drop. The hosts are title contenders as they have games in hand on all around them and have the tightest defence in the division

Isthmian League South Central
Staines Town v Northwood @745pm - if relegation six-pointers are your thing then this match at Wheatsheaf Lane could be the one for you. Three teams are currently locked on 13 points at the bottom of the table and these are two of them

SSML Premier Division
Wembley v Tring Athletic @745pm - the SSML hasn't featured that much in TLFG this season as our local sides aren't doing that well. That's not the case for Tring who are fighting Colney Heath hard for the title and clearly still benefiting from the pre-season coaching they received from Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson

CCL Division 1
Bedfont & Feltham v Westside @745pm - with Jersey Bulls way out in front, it's all about the battle for second in this division and the hosts are still in with a very strong shout. If you're new to London, B&F's ground is famous for being next to the runway at Heathrow Airport so if planes and football are your things, you won't want to miss out on a visit

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Wednesday 5 February

FA Cup Fourth Round Replay
Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton @745pm - with the Premier League beginning its new staggered winter break both these sides are probably a bit annoyed that they've got to lose some of that rest time by playing this replay. It should be a pretty even game again given the sides' form - a home tie against Norwich awaits the winners. Tickets are on sale to non-members for £25

Isthmian League Premier Division

Kingstonian v Horsham @745pm - as a result of their runs in the FA Cup and FA Trophy, the K's have quite a few games to make up. If they win them, they'll be back in the hunt for a play-off spot. Horsham have been part of the leading pack for a while but with only one win in five are starting to lose their way

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Thursday 6 February

Premier League Cup
Crystal Palace v Burnley @2pm - while away a couple of hours on Thursday afternoon with this U23 match at Champion Hill, the home of Dulwich Hamlet. Admission should be no more than £5

FA Youth Cup Fifth Round
Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion @7pm - there will then be plenty of time for you to wend your way north to Boreham Wood for this U18 game in the evening

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Friday 7 February

ECL Division 1 South
May & Baker v Barkingside @745pm - Aveley plays host again as two east London clubs lay on a bit of 10th tier Friday night football

A bit further afield
If you're prepared to travel a short distance outside London then the U23 match between Watford and Fulham might appeal. It's being played at St Albans City at 7pm and tickets are no more than £5

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Saturday 8 February


Championship
Brentford v Middlesbrough @3pm - with the Premier League on its new staggered winter break, it's all about the EFL in London on Saturday. After going a couple of games without a win, the Bees stormed back with a 5-1 win at Hull City which made everyone sit up and take notice. Still fifth and five points behind Leeds, who lost again, automatic promotion is still very much in their sights. Down in 18th, avoiding relegation is still Boro's main priority but they are a lot tougher to beat than they were and should stay up. Tickets are only on sale to people with a booking history

League One

AFC Wimbledon v Fleetwood Town @3pm - the Dons narrowly lost at Accrington on Saturday to leave them one place above the relegation zone but still with a crucial six-point cushion. Joey Barton's Fleetwood side are five points off the play-offs after a win over Doncaster so should start as favourites on paper. Tickets are available to non-members

League Two
Leyton Orient v Macclesfield Town @3pm - a solid 3-0 win at bottom club Stevenage made it two wins from three for the O's and probably ended any fears of relegation. Macclesfield are 22nd and in a far more perilous position. It's a credit to them that they're not rock bottom given all the problems they've had away from the field this season. Tickets are on sale to non-members

FA Trophy Third Round
This national knockout competition is for clubs in the fifth to eighth tiers with its final at Wembley in May. At this stage we're down to the last 16 so things are starting to get serious

Barnet v Barrow @3pm - after finally managing to play and win their replay against Farsley Celtic, the Bees have made it through to the last 16. Next up they face National League leaders, and therefore the top non-league club in the land, who are well on course for a rarely achieved double so it's going to be tough.
Aveley v Chelmsford City @3pm - the eighth tier Millers are the lowest ranked side left in the competition and they've beaten four seventh tier sides to get this far. In Chelmsford they've managed to land themselves a great draw - they hail from the same county so it's a derby and the sixth tier side are going through a dodgy patch which they could exploit to pull off another cupset

National League South
Wealdstone v Billericay Town @3pm - if Glenn Tamplin was still pumping his money into Billericay then they would probably be right up there with leaders Wealdstone. However, he left for Romford and now the Essex club are trying to avoid relegation. After an iffy spell, the Stones have now won three in a row to re-establish a seven-point lead at the top

Isthmian League Premier Division
Enfield Town v Bognor Regis Town @3pm - there isn't really a standout fixture in the seventh tier but this one between two sides just outside the top five should be competitive enough

Isthmian League South Central
Tooting & Mitcham United v Chertsey Town @3pm - the Terrors have been there or thereabouts all season and a top-three finish is well within their grasp. On Saturday they welcome last season's FA Vase winners who are also in contention for a play-off place

CCL Premier Division
Spelthorne Sports v Ascot United @3pm - at the time of writing these two are both in the top three so it would appear to be far and away the most interesting looking fixture in the ninth tier

CCL Division 1
Walton & Hersham v Jersey Bulls @1pm - if you didn't already know, Jersey Bulls entered the English league system for the first time this season and they've taken it by storm. Having won all 23 of their league games, they're currently 21 points clear with a goal difference of +80. Will seventh placed W&H be the first to stop them in this early kick-off?


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Sunday 9 February

Championship

Millwall v West Bromwich Albion @130pm - there's a decent game on Sunday lunchtime between sides with aspirations to go up. The Baggies are top and have been for a while but their form isn't great and they could easily miss out on an automatic promotion place. Millwall were right on the cusp of breaking into the play-off places a couple of weeks ago but two games without a win in this crazy division has left them five points adrift in ninth. Nonetheless, they should still fancy their chances here. Tickets are available to non-members from £25

FA Women's Super League
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur @2pm - there is a packed programme of women's football on Sunday but this London derby comfortably tops the bill. Reigning champions Arsenal lost the top of the table clash to Manchester City on Sunday to slip to third as Chelsea crushed West Ham 8-0 to go second. Spurs are still finding their way at this level but are more than holding their own in midtable. The reverse fixture, won by the Gunners, was played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but sadly this isn't being played at the Emirates. Boreham Wood, Arsenal Women's normal home, will host the game with tickets only £7 if bought in advance or £10 on the gate

London & South East Women's Regional League
Dulwich Hamlet v Fulham @2pm - the deal of the day would appear to be on offer at Champion Hill where the Hamlet have made it 'Pay What You Want' as they try to grow their women's fanbase


GET INVOLVED
If you're going to see a game, whether you're a local or a visitor, please let me know what you've been up to. If you're interested in reviewing a ground in the London area for this blog then get in touch. I also very much welcome photos of your football travels.

NEED HELP?
Got any questions about visiting London? Don't hesitate to ask - be they football or more general travel/touristy queries. I do not charge for this advice like some other sites so don't hold back!

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.

Monday, 27 January 2020

TLFG: 27 January - 2 February 2020

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

As I mentioned last time, it was going to be quite a big week for me and so it proved as I headed off to Paris for a meeting about expanding Non-League Day across Europe.

I travelled with my friend Mike who's looking to join the NLD team for this year and we were met at Gare du Nord by Maxime Marchon, a top man at So Foot - one of the top football magazines in France.

He played the perfect host, getting us across the city during the strikes, taking us to lunch, giving us a thorough tour of the So Press offices (they have several other titles) before hosting a brainstorming session with several of the title's other journalists and Franziska Schmidt from 11 Freunde who Skyped in from Berlin.

My haul of goodies from a very productive day in Paris
One plan we came up with was to try and help arrange friendlies between non-league sides from participating countries as some French teams had expressed an interest. I put out a tweet asking for expressions of initial interest on the Non-League Day account on Sunday afternoon and got lots of positive responses from English clubs so we'll see what happens.

After the meeting, Maxime arranged for us to get press passes for the French third-tier game between Red Star and Bourg-en-Bresse.

The hosts are the second oldest club in France, were founded by Jules Rimet and play in a crumbling old stadium in the north of the city not far from the Stade de France.

To draw a very lazy parallel, they're quite a similar club to Dulwich Hamlet being very community focused and with a really mixed and friendly fan base.

The ultras sang all game and to stand with them only cost eight euros. The food and drink on offer was pretty good value and the merchandise was good albeit a bit pricey for my liking - 80 euros for a replica shirt!

The game itself was pretty poor. Played on a 4G pitch, not a lot happened as the fog came down and the temperature dropped but with time running out both sides scored in the space of a minute as it finished 1-1.

The teams take to the field at a chilly Stade Bauer
The result left Red Star in second ahead of their trip to leaders Dunkirk next Friday. If you fancy a quick jaunt across the channel, it should be a pretty big game.

Overall, I loved my visit to the Stade Bauer. Although the sightlines weren't great and they still have cages to keep you off the pitch, I'd highly recommend you check it out soon.

It's way cheaper and more authentic an experience than PSG and I believe it's closing for redevelopment soon so you might not get another chance.

Back in London, there are plenty of games to choose from this week. I'll almost certainly be at QPR v Bristol City on Saturday - my daughter's seventh birthday treat (she does want to go I promise) and maybe another game before that as I'm off all week.

Lastly, many thanks to Gareth B and all those who have donated to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund. It makes writing this even more worthwhile so many, many thanks.

THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include games in the Premier League, EFL, National League, Women's Super League and loads of other matches in our local non-league competitions. 

As always, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or the venue or kick-off time has changed - this is highly possible for some of the lower non-league clubs. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

There's a London derby to look forward to in the Women's Super League
Details on all of this week's games can be found on the following match maps. If you've never used them before, please note that when there is more than one match at a specific ground you'll only be able to see individual match pins if you zoom right in. If you don't, the pins obscure each other and you might miss them. To avoid this, you can also scroll down the list of games on the drop down menu at the top of the map page to make sure you get all the information. Games are listed from top to bottom in date order so Monday's games (yellow pin) will appear first and Sunday's (orange pin) last. Games are also ranked in terms of status so the higher the division, the higher up the list they will appear on each day.

Also if you're unfamiliar with the English league structure I indicate the level at which an individual league sits in the national 'pyramid' with the Premier League at the top (Level 1) and various minor leagues at the bottom (Level 10). Typically a top level game will see crowds of anywhere between 20,000-60,000. These figures will gradually decline as you go down the leagues until you get to Levels 8-10 where attendances of 150 or less are most common.

It should also be noted that the top four levels are for fully professional teams. Level 5 has a mixture of professional and semi-professional teams, while Levels 6-10 will see most players paid but it will vary from no more than travel expenses at the bottom, right up to several hundred pounds a week at the top.

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - blue pin
Thursday fixtures - purple pin
Friday fixtures - black pin



WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin




TLFG DAILY DIGEST
In the following section I list, by day, what are in my opinion the most notable games of the week and give some brief reasons for my choice. Check the maps above for kick-off times, ticket info and directions.

Monday 27 January

Professional Development League
Queens Park Rangers v Millwall @1pm - the week begins with some U23 action at QPR's training ground near Heathrow. It's usually free entry but check all the details with the club before you travel

Isthmian League Premier Division
Haringey Borough v Carshalton Athletic @745pm - given that the hosts still have a few games in hand on those above them, they still have a chance of making the play-offs. The Robins are very much part of the battle for a place in the top five so this could be close

Isthmian League North Division
Romford v Hullbridge Sports @745pm - on Monday we get the rare chance to see Glenn Tamplin's new side in action within the M25. Romford usually groundshare at Brentwood Town but have moved this one to the artificial pitch at Aveley to make sure it goes ahead. The Essex club are having a lot spent on them in an effort to get them off the bottom
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Tuesday 28 January

Championship
Brentford v Nottingham Forest @745pm - two of the top five meet for what could be one of the games of the week. Not only should it have a big bearing on the race for promotion to the Premier League but it's one of the last games to be played at Griffin Park AND it's on sale to non-members so don't miss out

League One
AFC Wimbledon v Burton Albion @745pm - a game of some significance at either end of the table with the Dons pushing to get clear of the relegation zone and Burton trying to break into the top six. Tickets are on sale to non-members

FA Trophy Second Round Replay
Barnet v Farsley Celtic @745pm - after drawing in Yorkshire just over two weeks ago and then seeing the replay postponed twice, the Bees will have another go at beating the side from the National League North. The winners will host Barrow in the next round

National League South
Hampton & Richmond Borough v Slough Town @745pm - back-to-back wins and a number of games in hand have renewed hopes of Hampton making it to the play-offs. A win over the team currently in third will see people have to take them seriously

Isthmian League South Central
Uxbridge v Hanwell Town @745pm - a west London derby between two of the division's top four, this has the potential to be a bit of a cracker

CCL Premier Division
Molesey v Knaphill @745pm - two of the top five meet for a match in what has become a very congested title race as only four points separate the top six teams

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Wednesday 29 January

Premier League
West Ham United v Liverpool @745pm - originally scheduled for when the Reds were on World Club Cup duty, this match is now taking place on Wednesday. After consecutive wins over Bournemouth and Gillingham, it's gone a bit pear shaped for David Moyes' side. Now winless in four and out of the FA Cup to lower division opposition, West Ham need to start picking up points or they could easily go down. Sadly it's not about to get any easier as leaders Liverpool are 16 points clear at the top and are unbeaten. The good news for you is that a few tickets do seem to be available to non-members

FA Women's League Cup Semi-Final

Arsenal v Manchester City @730pm - if you fancy an arguably better value night out then this important women's match at Boreham Wood could be for you. The Super League's current top two should put on a good show with a place in next month's final at the City Ground up for grabs. Tickets are £7 if bought in advance or £10 on the gate

Essex Senior League
Ilford v Walthamstow @745pm - the Stow kept their title bid on track last week with a 6-2 win at Clapton. Without a game on Saturday, they fell six points behind leaders Saffron Walden but they have three games in hand so they're still very much in it. Ilford's season would already seem to be about playing for position with bottom club Sawbridgeworth miles behind everyone else

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Thursday 30 January

London Underground League
This competition sees teams from each of the network's lines and associated TfL teams fight for glory at the 4G facility on Market Road near Caledonian Road station. Matches take place at 4pm and spectators are very welcome. There are usually a couple of fixtures a week - check the league's Twitter feed for all the latest. On Thursday, the Waterloo & City Line take on the District Line in a league cup match

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Friday 31 January

Essex Senior League
Redbridge v Clapton @745pm - as it stands this match between eighth and 11th is pretty much a dead rubber given how far ahead the leading group are but it's an easy one to get to

Friendly
South Western Railway v Southern Engineers @730pm - there's a bit more railway football on Friday night but it should be of more interest to groundhoppers as it's being played at Fisher's ground. It's free entry and pin badges are available

A bit further afield
If you're prepared to travel a short distance outside London then the U23 match between Chelsea and Leicester City might appeal. It's being played at Aldershot Town and tickets are no more than £5

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Saturday 1 February


Premier League
Crystal Palace v Sheffield United @3pm - among the division's more unfashionable clubs, both have had praise heaped upon them as they've achieved some great results. Despite this, they're both in pretty ropey form with only one win between them from their last five league games as draws have largely prevailed. With the historical record between them exactly even with 21 wins each, a draw looks likely again. Tickets are not on sale to non-members
Watford v Everton @3pm - Nigel Pearson has done a superb job since taking over as Hornets manager but the last week has been disappointing with defeats in the league and cup to Aston Villa and Tranmere Rovers squeezed into the space of three days. With a weekend off to recover, they'll be hoping for an improved display against the midtable Toffees. A few tickets are on sale to non-members
West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion @3pm - this game against fellow strugglers Brighton is absolutely huge for the Hammers. Defeat will almost certainly leave them in the bottom three and do untold damage to morale. Worryingly for West Ham, they haven't won any of the five games against the Seagulls since the Sussex club joined the Premier League in 2017. Tickets are on sale to non-members

Championship

Charlton Athletic v Barnsley @3pm - the Addicks picked up a very creditable draw against Fulham in midweek but their long winless run continued. Now down in 20th, this match against fellow strugglers Barnsley could decide whether or not they get properly sucked into the relegation dog fight. Tickets are on sale to non-members
Fulham v Huddersfield Town @3pm - after getting thrashed at Manchester City in the FA Cup, the Cottagers get to turn their minds back to securing promotion. Currently third they next play a side who have really struggled to adapt to life following relegation from the Premier League. Despite the highly rated Cowley brothers coming in from Lincoln, the Terriers are still in the bottom four and in real danger of going down again. Tickets are on sale to non-members
Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City @3pm - QPR complete the bill of what is a pretty underwhelming day in the Championship. Rangers are London's lowest ranked second tier side but are arguably its most entertaining with their 28 games yielding a whopping 97 goals so far this season, more than anyone else in the division. City seem to be in play-off contention every season but always end up blowing it. After a slightly dodgy run, a couple of wins have put them right back in it. Tickets are on sale to non-members

National League
Barnet v Hartlepool United @3pm - the Bees are putting a useful unbeaten run together which combined with some games in hand has left them in a position where they can challenge for a place in the top seven. Hartlepool are just above them so would be a useful scalp in a push for the play-offs

National League South
Dulwich Hamlet v Chelmsford City @3pm - after a couple of good results moved the Hamlet away from the relegation zone, they've now gone four without a win and are only four points clear of the bottom two. Chelmsford are another club to always be there or thereabouts but who ultimately fail to go up. Although not in the top seven at present, they're not out of it yet

Isthmian League Premier Division
Carshalton Athletic v Worthing @3pm - it was really hard to choose the top game in the seventh tier on Saturday as there are some really good ones. I've gone for this as Worthing are top and Carshalton could be third if they win in midweek and results go their way

Isthmian League South East
Whyteleafe v Cray Valley PM @3pm - it was another close call when it came to deciding the best game in the eighth tier but this one between the sides in fourth and fifth looks like the one

Essex Senior League
Tower Hamlets v Sporting Bengal United @3pm - in the ninth tier, head east for the Mile End Derby which is always one of the highlights of my season - but that's just me. Both clubs have their roots in the local Bengali community although the sides are made up of all kinds of people. Neither club have much to play for this season so it's all about bragging rights

London Senior Trophy Semi-Final
Forest Hill Park v Peckham Town @3pm - there's a place in a cup final up for grabs at the Ladywell Arena where the 10th tier FHP should start as favourites against a side struggling at a level below
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Sunday 2 February

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City @430pm - the week ends with its biggest game as two of the country's biggest teams meet at the THS. With Liverpool 16 points clear at the top, the title race would seem to be over so it's all about the scrap for places below them. City are second but could lose out to Leicester in that battle if they're not careful. Spurs are back in sixth and if they are to bridge the six-point gap to Chelsea in fourth then they'll have to win games like this. Tickets are not available to non-members

FA Women's Super League
Chelsea v West Ham United @2pm - there is a packed programme of women's football on Sunday with this London derby topping the bill. Although only third, the Blues are the form team of the women's game following their thrashing of champions Arsenal last weekend and their hefty FA Cup victory at Charlton on Sunday. Finalists last year, the Hammers went out of the cup on Sunday and will probably be disappointed with their current eighth place. A home win looks highly likely


GET INVOLVED
If you're going to see a game, whether you're a local or a visitor, please let me know what you've been up to. If you're interested in reviewing a ground in the London area for this blog then get in touch. I also very much welcome photos of your football travels.

NEED HELP?
Got any questions about visiting London? Don't hesitate to ask - be they football or more general travel/touristy queries. I do not charge for this advice like some other sites so don't hold back!

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

TLFG: 20-26 January 2020

Greetings and welcome to this week's TLFG.

If you're in London over the next few days and looking for a bargain then you've picked a pretty good time as it's FA Cup Fourth Round weekend and most clubs are selling tickets at much cheaper prices than normal.

You should be able to get in for a cockle at West Ham, a commodore at QPR and a pony at Millwall. If your slang's not up to scratch, do a bit of research and find out what I'm on about here.

Although not as cheap, there are also opportunities to watch Premier League games at Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday with both matches on sale to non-members, something which doesn't happen very often.

It's also Women's FA Cup weekend with this tie topping the bill - tickets
It's also the Women's FA Cup Fourth Round this weekend with a number of ties taking place around the capital.

Earlier today I took up the FA's offer and bought a couple of tickets for the final at Wembley in May for the princely sum of £7.50 - you read that right, £7.50 for two tickets to a Wembley cup final!

I've been to the last two and really enjoyed the experience so give it some consideration, especially if you've never been to the national stadium.

The week ahead sees me head to Paris for what can best be described as a pan-European 'Non-League Day' planning meeting with the team at So Foot magazine and representatives from a few other other nations dialling in.

It's then off to watch Red Star play Bourg-en-Bresse in the French third tier - not the way I usually spend a Friday night.

Hopefully I'll be able to report back this time next week.

Lastly, many thanks as always to those who have donated to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund. It makes writing this even more worthwhile so many, many thanks.

THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include games in the Premier League, men's and women's FA Cup, EFL and loads of other matches in our local non-league competitions. 

As always, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or the venue or kick-off time has changed - this is highly possible for some of the lower non-league clubs. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Cheap tickets are on offer at Boreham Wood this Saturday
Details on all of this week's games can be found on the following match maps. If you've never used them before, please note that when there is more than one match at a specific ground you'll only be able to see individual match pins if you zoom right in. If you don't, the pins obscure each other and you might miss them. To avoid this, you can also scroll down the list of games on the drop down menu at the top of the map page to make sure you get all the information. Games are listed from top to bottom in date order so Monday's games (yellow pin) will appear first and Sunday's (orange pin) last. Games are also ranked in terms of status so the higher the division, the higher up the list they will appear on each day.
Also if you're unfamiliar with the English league structure I indicate the level at which an individual league sits in the national 'pyramid' with the Premier League at the top (Level 1) and various minor leagues at the bottom (Level 10). Typically a top level game will see crowds of anywhere between 20,000-60,000. These figures will gradually decline as you go down the leagues until you get to Levels 8-10 where attendances of 150 or less are most common.

It should also be noted that the top four levels are for fully professional teams. Level 5 has a mixture of professional and semi-professional teams, while Levels 6-10 will see most players paid but it will vary from no more than travel expenses at the bottom, right up to several hundred pounds a week at the top.

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - blue pin
Thursday fixtures - purple pin
Friday fixtures - black pin



WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin




TLFG DAILY DIGEST
In the following section I list, by day, what are in my opinion the most notable games of the week and give some brief reasons for my choice. Check the maps above for kick-off times, ticket info and directions.

Monday 20 January

Isthmian League North
Aveley v Felixstowe & Walton United @745pm - the Millers' fine run in the FA Trophy means they have some games in hand. If they win this one by three goals or more then they'll go top

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Tuesday 21 January

Premier League
Chelsea v Arsenal @815pm - we've got a midweek round of top-flight action to look forward to with this big London derby topping the bill. Both suffered disappointing results at the weekend but with the Blues 10 points and six places ahead of Arsenal, they must start as strong favourites. Tickets are not available to non-members
Crystal Palace v Southampton @730pm - the Eagles nicked a late equaliser to earn a 2-2 draw at Manchester City on Saturday as they avoided defeat at the Etihad again. That should give them confidence going into this match against a much-improved Saints side who have only lost one of their last five. Unusually for a Palace home game, tickets are on sale to non-members

League Two
Leyton Orient v Northampton Town @745pm - the O's lost at Port Vale on Saturday to remain in the bottom five and now find themselves just five points above the bottom club who will go down. It's going to get even tougher on Tuesday when the promotion chasing Cobblers pay them a visit. Tickets are available

FA Trophy Second Round Replay
Barnet v Farsley Celtic @745pm - after drawing in Yorkshire just over a week ago and then seeing the replay postponed, the Bees will have another go at beating the side from the National League North. The winners will host Barrow in the next round

National League South
Dulwich Hamlet v Havant & Waterlooville @745pm - the Hamlet have strung together a nice little four-game unbeaten run but they're not out of the woods yet as just five points separates them from the relegation zone. Havant have been up among the play-off places for a while and will be tough to beat - however, Dulwich did beat them in the FA Cup back in the autumn

Southern League Premier Division South
Hayes & Yeading United v Poole Town @745pm - after a slow start H&YU have got things together and are now starting to catch the leading pack. Saturday's results saw them end the day six points adrift of the play-off places so there is hope. Poole lost to Hayes in the FA Cup earlier in the season and are just behind them in the table but have several games in hand on all of those above them so they're real contenders

Isthmian League South Central
Barking v Uxbridge @745pm - sitting just outside the play-off places, both sides have games in hand on fifth placed Waltham Abbey who they need to catch. A big game for each team

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Wednesday 22 January

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City @730pm - after a pretty positive start to his time in N17, Jose Mourinho has now seen his side win only one of their last five league games and they could slide into the bottom half with a loss here. However, the chances of bottom club Norwich picking up any points are pretty remote although they did win their crucial game against fellow strugglers Bournemouth on Saturday. Tickets are on sale to non-members


Championship

Charlton Athletic v Fulham @745pm - in the second tier we have this crosstown London derby between sides seemingly going in opposite directions. Not much was expected of the Addicks when they came up so it raised quite a few eyebrows when they started so well. Sadly they've been going backwards since the autumn and Saturday's loss to Preston left them in the bottom six. Fulham, on the other hand, are third and closing in on the automatic promotion places. Tickets are available

Professional Development League
Charlton Athletic v Crystal Palace @1pm - you can get a double helping of Addicks action on Wednesday as their U23 team are playing their counterparts from local rivals Palace at Dartford's ground

London Senior Cup Quarter-Final
Erith Town v Tooting & Mitcham United @745pm - the Dockers last made the final of this competition in 2000 but got thrashed by the now defunct Bedfont. Tooting & Mitcham are the second most successful club in LSC history with seven titles but it's been four years since their last one

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Thursday 23 January

London Underground League
This competition sees teams from each of the network's lines and associated TfL teams fight for glory at the 4G facility on Market Road near Caledonian Road station. Matches take place at 4pm and spectators are very welcome. There are usually a couple of fixtures a week - check the league's Twitter feed for all the latest. On Thursday, the Elizabeth Line take on the Piccadilly Line who are top of the league

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Friday 24 January

FA Cup Fourth Round
Queens Park Rangers v Sheffield Wednesday @8pm - the next round of the FA Cup gets underway in London on Friday at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. QPR have been notoriously bad in this competition over the last 20 years but made it to the Fifth Round last year and demolished Swansea 5-1 to make the Fourth Round this year. After beating title chasing Leeds 1-0 on Saturday to extend their fine recent home record, they next face Wednesday who are in poor form and lost 5-0 at home to Blackburn this weekend. Tickets are available for £15

Essex Senior League
Tower Hamlets v Southend Manor @745pm - if you'd prefer some non-league action then make your way to Mile End where you'll find this ninth-tier contest taking place

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Saturday 25 January

FA Cup Fourth Round
West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion @3pm - the FA Cup often throws up some good ticket bargains and that's certainly the case here as the Hammers welcome the Baggies who currently top the Championship. Tickets are available from £10
Brentford v Leicester City @1245pm - arguably the tie of the day in the capital could end up being the last ever FA Cup match to be played at Griffin Park. The Bees are one of the Championship's top clubs and play some really decent football so Premier League high-flyers Leicester will have to be very careful. Tickets are not available
Millwall v Sheffield United @3pm - there's also a very decent looking game at The Den where we have a pretty similar match-up. The Lions kept themselves firmly in the hunt for a play-off place with a win over Reading on Saturday. The Blades, although newly promoted to the Premier League, are taking it by storm and should start as favourites. Tickets are available for £25

League Two

Leyton Orient v Newport County @3pm - the O's FA Cup run ended early at the hands of non-league Maldon & Tiptree who went on to lose to Newport in the next round. County are starting to generate a bit of form so should get something here. Tickets are available

National League
Boreham Wood v Barrow @3pm - in terms of attendance, the Wood are the smallest club in the NL by some distance. With average crowds of just 664 it's quite some achievement to find themselves in the top five after 30 games and firmly in contention for a play-off place. On Saturday they welcome the leaders for what should be an intriguing game. It's also the club's community day and there are special ticket deals on offer
Bromley v Barnet @3pm - the hosts have been London's top non-league club for most of this season but have lost form of late and could slip below Boreham Wood if results go against them. The Bees are on a decent unbeaten run but haven't played a league game for over two weeks because of bad weather
Dagenham & Redbridge v Notts County @3pm - the big games continue as the Daggers welcome the division's biggest club to Victoria Road. County suffered a surprise relegation from the EFL at the end of last season and have adjusted well after a disappointing start

National League South
Wealdstone v Bath City @3pm - the division's top two do battle at Grosvenor Vale in one of the biggest games of the weekend at any level. The reverse fixture, last month, ended in a 0-0 draw

Isthmian League Premier Division
Enfield Town v Cray Wanderers @3pm - the top 10 in this division is getting pretty congested with a number of teams having games in hand which could make a big difference on the final table. The Towners are seventh and Cray fifth but it's the hosts who have two of those games in hand so a win would be very handy for either

Isthmian League South East
Cray Valley PM v Ashford United @3pm - fifh placed CVPM welcome second placed Ashford in the game of the day in the eighth tier. A win for the hosts could end up giving leaders Hastings a seven-point lead whilst strengthening their hold on a play-off place

CCL Premier Division
Spelthorne Sports v Molesey @3pm - in the ninth tier, get yourself to Sunbury for this top four clash which could have a significant impact on a very competitive title race

SSML Division 1
St Panteleimon v Winslow United @3pm - there's another top-two clash over in west London. If the Wealdstone game doesn't take your fancy then this hugely important game in the 10th tier might. The hosts have only lost one league game this season but are only three points ahead
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Sunday 26 January

Women's FA Cup Fourth Round
West Ham United v Arsenal @1pm - it's not all about the men's FA Cup this weekend as the women's version is also taking place. The tie of the round is to be found in Rush Green out near Romford where the Hammers, last season's beaten finalists, do battle with the reigning league champions. On paper the Gunners should win but they got stuffed 4-1 at home by title rivals Chelsea on Sunday so maybe this is a good time to play them. Tickets are £8 

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