Monday, 20 May 2019

TLFG: 20-27 May 2019

Greetings one and all and welcome to the final edition of TLFG for the 2018/19 season.

I had intended to finish it off with a trip to Wembley for Non-League Finals Day but my wife got admitted to hospital on Thursday, came out on Saturday afternoon and I've been looking after her and the kids since.

The day itself sounded pretty great as always with over 42,000 enjoying Chertsey Town's win over Cray Valley PM in the FA Vase and Leyton Orient narrowly losing 1-0 to AFC Fylde as they missed out on the non-league double.

All in all, it's been quite a year for London football with many of our local clubs achieving great things.

I thought, for a change, I'd try and list all those honours so here goes.

Leagues
Premier League: Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal - third, fourth and fifth
FA Women's Super League: Arsenal - champions
FA Women's Championship: Tottenham Hotspur - runners-up
League One: Charlton Athletic - play-off finalists (final on 26 May)
National League: Leyton Orient - champions
National League South: Welling United - play-off finalists
Evo-Stik League South Premier Division: Metropolitan Police - play-off winners
Bostik League South Central: Hayes & Yeading United - champions
Bostik League South East: Cray Wanderers - champions
Combined Counties League Premier Division: Chertsey Town - champions
Southern Counties East League: Cray Valley PM - champions
Southern Counties East League Division 1: Welling Town - champions, Erith & Belvedere - runners-up
Thurlow Nunn League Division 1 South: Hashtag United - champions
Spartan South Midlands League Division 1: Harefield United - champions, Broadfields United - runners-up


Cups
Champions League: Tottenham Hotspur - finalists (final on 1 June)
Europa League: Arsenal and Chelsea - finalists (final on 29 May)
FA Cup: Watford - runners-up
Women's FA Cup: West Ham United - runners-up
FA Community Shield: Chelsea - runners-up
FA TrophyLeyton Orient - runners-up
FA VaseChertsey Town - winners, Cray Valley PM - runners-up
Bostik League Cup: Enfield Town - winners, AFC Hornchurch - runners-up
Combined Counties League Cup: Sutton Common Rovers - winners, CB Hounslow United - runners-up
Essex Senior League Cup: West Essex - runners-up
Spartan South Midlands League Division 1 Cup: London Lions - runners-up
London Senior Cup: Welling United - winners, Brentford B - runners-up
London Senior Trophy: Erith & Belvedere - winners, Bridon Ropes - runners-up
Middlesex Senior Cup: Brentford B - winners, Harrow Borough  - runners-up
Middlesex Charity Cup: Uxbridge - winners, Ashford Town - runners-up
Middlesex Premier Cup: Harefield United - winners
Hertfordshire Senior Cup: Boreham Wood - winners
Hertfordshire Senior Centenary Trophy: London Lions - winners
Kent Senior Cup: Bromley - runners-up
Kent Senior Trophy: Beckenham Town - runners-up
Hospitals Charity Cup: Erith & Belvedere - winners, Sutton Athletic - runners-up
Surrey Senior Cup: Metropolitan Police - winners, Tooting & Mitcham United - runners-up
Southern Combination Cup Final: Walton Casuals - winners, Sutton Common Rovers - runners-up

I think I'm right in saying that in total, TLFG clubs won an impressive 23 titles between them this season and Tottenham could make that 24 if they beat Liverpool in the Champions League Final on 1 June.

On a personal note, my top five highlights of the season were:

1. Winning an unsung hero award from QPR and getting to walk out onto the pitch at half-time during the Bolton game with my eldest daughter to receive it
2. Putting on the ninth Non-League Day and raising over £150,000 for Prostate Cancer UK
3. Watching Harrow Borough take on Brentford B in the Middlesex Senior Cup Final at Griffin Park
4. Attending the grand opening of Tottenham's new stadium and their match against Crystal Palace
5. QPR finally breaking their hoodoo and winning away at Nottingham Forest

What were yours? I'd be interested to know.


Get your tickets now - 20% off with discount code 'tlfg''

As mentioned previously, this week sees the return of the excellent London Festival of Football Writing.

It takes place between 21-25 May and features some great speakers and events - what's more you can get 20% off your ticket or festival pass price by quoting the discount code 'tlfg' when booking online.

Looking ahead to the Champions League Final next month - Tottenham have announced they will be screening the game live at their new stadium. Tickets will be £10 adults and £5 juniors but you'll probably need to be a friend of a season-ticket holder or member to be able to get one - full details.

Also next month, this year's Soccer Aid match is being played at Stamford Bridge on Sunday 16 June. With funds raised going to UNICEF, a stellar cast of celebrities and ex-pros will do battle. For the first time the teams will be mixed and include a number of top female players like Katie Chapman and Rachel Yankey. The likes of Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Roberto Carlos, Didier Drogba and Eric Cantona are all set to take part so it should be a fun evening.

Looking well ahead into the summer - several clubs have announced pre-season games with the following on general sale now:

28 July: Arsenal v Lyon - tickets
3 August: Crystal Palace v Hertha Berlin - tickets
4 August: Tottenham Hotspur v Inter Milan - tickets

Lastly this week, many thanks to John B and all those who have donated to TLFG's lung cancer fighting fund over the last few months. I really really appreciate it and thanks for all your kind words.

To recap, I recently received the news that my Dad has lung cancer. This condition also claimed the lives of my Mum and grandfather so with me powerless to do anything medically to help him, I've decided to ask for all donations to this blog to go to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation which you can contribute to through the fundraising page I've set up. 

As always - enjoy your football and see you in a few weeks time. I aim to be back on 30 June when pre-season starts to get underway.


THE WEEK AHEAD
The next few days are set to be very quiet indeed with only four matches taking place - half of which will be very hard to get tickets for. If you know of any other fixtures I may have missed, please let me know.

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.

MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin
Monday fixtures - yellow 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.

Saturday 25 May

League Two Play-Off Final
Newport County v Tranmere Rovers @3pm - the EFL play-off weekend gets underway at Wembley on Saturday with this clash between sides from Wales and England. Newport made headlines this season for their fine run in the FA Cup which saw them beat Leicester City and Middlesbrough before finally succumbing 4-1 to eventual winners Manchester City (no shame in that). In the league they finished seventh, just pipping Colchester United to the last play-off spot. Tranmere finished just above them in sixth so they've both done well to get this far. Rovers only returned to the EFL last season after winning the National League play-offs so quite a few of the squad should be used to the pressure associated with an occasion like this. The two league games between them this season were very tight with one ending 0-0 and the other producing a 1-0 away win for Newport so this could go all the way to penalties. Of the three play-off games taking place this weekend, this is the only one you'll have a good chance of getting tickets for. If you want one, they're available from each of the clubs' websites - see the match map for links

Friendly
Cascadia v Chagos Islands @3pm - apart from the play-offs, the only other match I'm aware of this week takes place at Bostik League club Whyteleafe's ground. This friendly between two CONIFA members sees the sides play each other for the first time. Cascadia represent an area of North America around Seattle and did well to finish sixth at last year's World Football Cup here in London. Chagos Islands didn't qualify for that tournament but ended up filling in for Ellan Vannin who dropped out in protest after the group stages. Their last match came against the recently formed Surrey international side at the end of April which they won 3-2. Tickets for this match are available in advance or on the gate for £8
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Sunday 26 May

League One Play-Off Final
Charlton Athletic v Sunderland @3pm - two former Premier League clubs meet at Wembley on Sunday for the chance to get back into the second tier. After winning the away leg of their play-off semi-final against Doncaster, the Addicks made heavy weather of the second leg and just scraped through on penalties. In the other semi-final, Sunderland won an attritional contest aganst Portsmouth with a solitary goal in the first leg being enough. Charlton came into the play-offs as one of the form teams of the division, no mean feat considering all the disharmony and unrest off the field. Sunderland, a far bigger club, were winless in their final four games and were far from convincing against Pompey. Despite this, the bookies can't choose between them so again it should be close. Given the size of both clubs, getting tickets without membership or a previous booking history is likely to be tough but keep checking the clubs' websites for the latest availability

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Monday 27 May

Championship Play-Off Final

Aston Villa v Derby County @3pm - the 'richest game in world football' is back and this year it will be contested by two big rivals from the Midlands. Again these clubs are far more famous for being top flight sides who have an impressive nine league titles between them. Like Newport and Tranmere above, these two grabbed the last two play-off places so can feel a little fortunate to be only 90 minutes from the £200m+ windfall that goes with promotion to the Premier League. For many, this is all about John Terry and Frank Lampard as the old Chelsea team-mates find themselves in opposite dugouts as assistant head coach and manager respectively. If results from earlier in the season are anything to go by then put your money on Villa who scored seven goals without reply over the two league games between the sides. Tickets will be really hard to get without membership but keep checking the clubs' websites for availability


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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, 13 May 2019

TLFG: 13-19 May 2019

Greetings one and all and welcome to one of the last editions of TLFG this season.

I'm not sure how many more I'll do before taking a few weeks off but next week will probably be the last before I come back for pre-season in July.

First up, what a week it's been for our local teams! With three of the four Champions League/Europa League finalists coming from this fair city.

London can surely argue it's now Europe's top footballing town.

With the Premier League concluding on Sunday - Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur claimed top-four finishes whilst Arsenal finished closely behind in fifth.

Tickets are now on sale for Non-League Finals Day

The other events of note over the last weekend were the Super Play-Off Final in the seventh tier which saw unlikely finalists Metropolitan Police almost do the unthinkable and beat Tonbridge Angels for a place in the National League South. They had the lead twice and were 2-1 up with five minutes to go but eventually lost 3-2 in extra-time. For a club that didn't want to be in the Evo-Stik League at the start of the season, they gave it a right good go.

Elsewhere, way down in the 12th tier, Clapton CFC got the final-day win they needed over FC Roast to give them the Middlesex County League Division 1 Central & East title. The match at the Stray Dog in Walthamstow was watched by a staggering 1,267 people which surely bodes well for future years.

Promotion will now see them enjoy mouthwatering contests against the likes of PFC Victoria London and Pitshanger Dynamo which should be well worth a watch.

As for what you can enjoy this week - well there really isn't very much at all.

Top of the bill we have the FA Cup Final but unless you're a member, well connected or have a lot of money to spend, you won't get a ticket. It's very much on my bucket list to go one day but it doesn't look it's going to happen this time.

I will, however, be at Wembley the day after for the annual feast of football that is Non-League Finals Day. This will be the fourth year that the FA have combined the Vase and Trophy finals into one event and it does seem to work pretty well.

The main gripe for me and many others is that re-admission is not allowed which given how long a day it is can be quite off-putting. If the Trophy goes to extra-time and penalties like last year, then you could be in Wembley for the best part of eight hours - smokers find it a real struggle!

Overall though it is a good day out and there could be a record crowd this year given that Leyton Orient have made it.

Get your tickets now - 20% off with discount code 'tlfg''

The only other match of note sees Charlton Athletic take on Doncaster Rovers in the League One play-offs. It appears there are some tickets available in the away end but more on that below.

Looking ahead to the Champions League Final next month - Tottenham have announced they will be screening the game live at their new stadium. Tickets will be £10 adults and £5 juniors. Details of how to get them are set to be released in the next few days so keep checking their website for details.

As mentioned last week, later this month sees the return of the London Festival of Football Writing.

It takes place between 21-25 May and features some great speakers and events - what's more you can get 20% off your ticket or festival pass price by quoting the discount code 'tlfg' when booking online.

Lastly this week, many thanks again to all those who have donated to TLFG's lung cancer fighting fund. I really really appreciate it and thanks for all your kind words.

To recap, I recently received the news that my Dad has lung cancer. This condition also claimed the lives of my Mum and grandfather so with me powerless to do anything medically to help him, I've decided to ask for all donations to this blog to go to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation which you can contribute to through the fundraising page I've set up. 

As always - enjoy your football and have a great week.


THE WEEK AHEAD

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.

MATCH MAP
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Friday fixtures - black pin
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.

Tuesday 14 May

A bit further afield
The best thing taking place on Tuesday would appear to be the Essex Olympian League Cup Final. Being played near Stansted airport at the ground of Bostik League club Bishop's Stortford, locals Bishop's Stortford Swifts take on Catholic United who will be looking for some more silverware after beating Clapton CFC in the Anagram Records Trophy Final last week.

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Friday 17 May

League One Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg
Charlton Athletic v Doncaster Rovers @745pm - after winning the first leg 2-1 up in Yorkshire, the Addicks look all set to book a trip to Wembley for a shot at returning to the Championship. Tickets for home areas of the stadium are scarce and will be hard to get without membership but there are still a few left in the away end on general sale

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Saturday 18 May

FA Cup Final

Manchester City v Watford @5pm - after winning the title on Sunday, City will be looking to complete the treble with what should be a fairly straightforward win over Watford. On paper the Hornets are significant underdogs but they are capable of pulling a big performance out of the bag. Don't forget City lost here to Wigan in 2013 who were a far weaker side than Watford so anything's possible - except perhaps getting a ticket. These are sold directly by the clubs and membership is a necessity

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Sunday 19 May

Non-League Finals Day:

FA Vase Final
Chertsey Town v Cray Valley PM @1215pm - the festival of football which is Non-League Finals Day kicks off shortly after noon with this intriguing contest between two TLFG  sides from the south-west and south-east of town. Both clubs won their parallel ninth tier leagues so should be well matched for this huge Wembley occasion. If you don't know, the Vase is a national knockout competition for clubs who play in the ninth to eleventh tiers. In recent years it has been dominated by clubs from Newcastle and the north east so for two London clubs to make the final is quite a surprise

FA Trophy Final
AFC Fylde v Leyton Orient @415pm - the day concludes with the Trophy, which is a competition for clubs in the fifth to eighth tiers. The O's will start as favourites and come into this going for the non-league double having already won the National League title. AFC Fylde also got to Wembley on Saturday where they lost to Salford City in the National League play-off final. It will be interesting to see how motivated they are and how many fans can be bothered to make the trip again after that big disappointment. Either way it's usually a great day with adult tickets £25 (one ticket gets you in for both games), concessions £10 and U16s £1. Tickets can be bought online in advance or at the ticket office at Wembley on the day

Friendly
South Western Railway v District Line @2pm - if you fancy a bit of groundhopping you could tick Fisher's St Paul's Sports Ground off your list as it plays host to this friendly between two railway teams. SWR are a newly formed club who play in the GTR Railway Friendly Flexi League whilst District Line are the most successful club in the history of the much longer established London Underground League. History and form suggests the visitors should win. The match is free entry although donations will be gratefully received and non-league dogs will be very welcome! Check with SWR on the day if any details have changed

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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.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

TLFG: 7-12 May 2019

We're now into the second week of May and the season is well and truly winding down.

There's very little on over the next few days but what is taking place is highly important with many title deciders, play-off games and cup finals.

I've had to cast around a bit to fill up the map with a few 11th and 12th tier games and several matches from beyond the M25.

The week gets underway with a pretty decent friendly which is offering free entry but more on that below.

Get your tickets now - 20% off with discount code 'tlfg''
Many congratulations this week to AFC Wimbledon who seemed to do the almost impossible and keep themselves in League One - a fantastic achievement but boy was it close!

There was also play-off success for Welling United and Metropolitan Police with both now going into big finals next weekend - give them your support if you can.

My football watching took me to Wembley for the Women's FA Cup Final between Manchester City and West Ham United.

Last week I predicted a poor attendance because of unfortunate scheduling of a West Ham men's game and engineering work on the railways but I was pleasantly surprised to see a very healthy crowd of over 43,000 turn out - it makes you wonder what would've happened if things had been different.

The game itself was also a lot closer than I thought it would be. City did eventually win 3-0 but two goals came very late on and it had been goalless at half-time.

Tickets are now on sale for Non-League Finals Day
Overall it was a great family day out with the excellent ticket prices almost certainly proving to be a big draw for many.

I'll be heading back to Wembley again in a couple of weeks for Non-League Finals Day to see the FA Vase and FA Trophy Finals played back-to-back but more on that soon.

As mentioned last week, later this month sees the return of the London Festival of Football Writing.

It takes place between 21-25 May and features some great speakers and events - what's more you can get 20% off your ticket or festival pass price by quoting the discount code 'tlfg' when booking online.

Lastly this week, many thanks to Robert J and all those who have donated to TLFG's lung cancer fighting fund this week. I really really appreciate it and thanks for all your kind words.

To recap, I recently received the news that my Dad has lung cancer. This condition also claimed the lives of my Mum and grandfather so with me powerless to do anything medically to help him, I've decided to ask for all donations to this blog to go to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation which you can contribute to through the fundraising page I've set up. 

As always - enjoy your football and have a great week.


THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include some crucial games in the Europa League, Premier League and a number of play-off games in many of our local non-league competitions too.

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
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - magenta pin
Thursday fixtures - purple 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.

Tuesday 7 May

Friendly
Brentford B v Manchester City U18 @730pm - it might all be over for the Bees' first team but not so their development side who will be hosting City's youngsters at Griffin Park on Tuesday night where it will be free entry for everyone

A bit further afield
There are several county cup finals being played beyond TLFG's M25 border with the nearest being the Surrey Senior Cup Final between Metropolitan Police and Tooting & Mitcham United at Dorking Wanderers' ground. The Met would normally start as favourites but with this game coming just a day after their tense play-off win over Poole Town and with the resulting Super Play-Off Final on Saturday, they're likely to field a much weakened side. Elsewhere, Bognor Regis Town take on Burgess Hill Town in the Sussex Senior Cup Final which is worth going to as it's being played at Brighton & Hove Albion's Amex Community Stadium

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Wednesday 8 May

A bit further afield
A bit of a random one this but I'm not aware of anything taking place in London. The main reason to head to the Suffolk Premier Cup Final between Felixstowe & Walton United and Leiston is that it's being played at Ipswich Town's Portman Road ground which is within a 90-minute train ride of London

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Thursday 9 May

Europa League semi-final second leg

Chelsea v Eintracht Frankfurt @8pm - the Blues drew last week's first leg in Germany 1-1 which, in theory, means they should come into this as favourites. Both in the top four of their respective leagues, the sides should still be well matched with Eintracht bringing a large contingent of travelling fans many of whom probably won't have tickets - I'm told they received 28,000 applications for their much smaller allocation. Only hospitality tickets and packages are available at this stage if you do want to go

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Saturday 11 May

National League Promotion Final
AFC Fylde v Salford City @3pm - a few short years ago both these sides were pootling around in the lower divisions of the non-league pyramid making few headlines. Now both backed by wealthy owners the clubs have undergone radical transformations and sit on the brink of a place in the EFL. AFC Fylde finished fifth but managed to get the better of Harrogate Town and Solihull Moors to make it to Wembley. Salford, driven on by Man Utd's class of '92, finished second and scraped past Eastleigh on penalties in Sunday's semi-final. The pressure is all on them but it would seem the form is with Fylde - it should be an intriguing contest. Tickets are available

Super Play-Off Final
Metropolitan Police v Tonbridge Angels @3pm - for those not in the know, the FA restructured a number of divisions at non-league level prior to the start of this season. Not everything was as even as they'd have liked it and as a result the play-offs have been a bit of a muddle in the seventh and eighth tiers. For the first time, play-off winning teams would not be guaranteed promotion as there aren't enough places to go around. This means that in the seventh tier, only two of the four play-off winners will be able to go up and we now have two 'Super' Play-Off Finals to decide who goes up. The one taking place in London sees the Evo-Stik Premier Division South and Bostik Premier play-off winners go head-to-head for that one place. To get here, The Met have had to beat Salisbury and Poole Town while Tonbridge have beaten Haringey Borough and Merstham. For me, the momentum seems to be with Metropolitan Police who defied all the odds to get this far and beat far bigger clubs. They have nothing to fear and have home advantage. With average crowds of just 156, it would be quite a story if they made it to the National League South. Tickets should be available on the gate

Middlesex County Football League Division 1 Central & East
FC Roast v Clapton CFC @3pm - although way down in the 12th tier, this match could well draw a crowd of 800+ as it will decide if the Tons win the title. Although listed as an away game, the match has been switched to the Stray Dog so they'll have home advantage for this all-important game. On paper they should come out on top but with only a win good enough, pressure may take its toll

FA Women's Super League
Arsenal v Manchester City @1230pm - it's the final day of the women's season and the standout fixture is this match between the top two. Sadly there's nothing riding on it as Arsenal have already won the title whilst City picked up the FA Cup on Saturday

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Sunday 12 May

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Everton @3pm - it's the final day of the season in the top flight and although there are several matches in the capital, this is the only one of any significance as it will decide whether or not Spurs finish in the top four and get a Champions League place. With three defeats from four in the league and a loss to Ajax in Europe, their form is decidedly dodgy. Everton are in better shape coming into this but have little to play for other than the eighth place they already occupy. Tickets are only available to members

Elsewhere in the Premier League you can still get tickets for the final day game between Fulham and Newcastle United whilst the matches at Crystal Palace and Watford are on sale to members only.

A bit further afield
After their dramatic comeback against Wealdstone on Sunday, Woking will now host Welling United in the National League South Play-Off Final. The sides finished second and third respectively so it should be close. However, the smart money should still be on the Cards as they were unbeaten in the three league and cup games against the Wings earlier in the season. The winners will get to take their place in the fifth tier alongside the likes of Notts County and Yeovil Town so there's plenty at stake

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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, 28 April 2019

TLFG: 29 April - 6 May 2019

Greetings and welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

This week saw the conclusion of the regular season of most of our local non-league competitions.

As a result, the amount of games taking place this week has fallen dramatically. As a result I've included a few games below the 10th tier and a few from just outside London. I've also extended this week's guide to include the Bank Holiday on Monday.

It's also worth noting that given it's now play-off season in many leagues, the fixtures will be decided as the week progresses so check towards the end to see what games have been added for the weekend.

Aside from the big games in the Premier League and concluding fixtures in the EFL, it's also the Women's FA Cup Final at Wembley.

Manchester City and West Ham United will do battle for the honours this year and I'll be there again as I look to get my daughter hooked on the beautiful game - I fear she's humouring me at the moment but I'm not giving up yet.

West Ham United are going to Wembley - get your tickets now
Tickets are only £15 for adults and free for kids so it's a good day out. You get the pick of the seats too, we're going in Club Wembley for that price - you don't get the food but you get the plush seats and good view.

Elsewhere, QPR continued their limp to the end of the season with another defeat - this time at home to Nottingham Forest. It's been a very disappointing year but we've survived. With much greater financial restrictions next season, it could be really tough.

Harrow Borough surpassed all my expectations to end their debut season in the Southern League in seventh place. This was secured with a stunning 6-0 win at Salisbury on the final day - a result which no-one saw coming and cost the hosts home advantage in the play-offs. Combined with their 9-1 win over Staines on Monday, it was quite an end to the campaign for Boro.

Whether Steve Baker's side will stay in that division or get moved back to the Bostik League is unclear but if they do stay where they are, there could be even more travel than this year with Truro City almost certainly joining the division after relegation.

Get your tickets now - 20% off with discount code 'tlfg''
Many congratulations to Leyton Orient who clinched the National League title with a draw against Braintree on Saturday. The east London club now have their eyes on completing a rare non-league double as they prepare for the FA Trophy Final at Wembley on 19 May - tickets are available now if you want to be there (I'm going to that one too, albeit in the Chertsey end).

Also to mark your card for later in the month - I'm pleased to report the return of the London Festival of Football Writing.

It takes place between 21-25 May and features some great speakers and events - what's more you can get 20% off your ticket or festival pass price by quoting the discount code 'tlfg' when booking online.

Lastly this week, many thanks to all those who have donated to TLFG's lung cancer fighting fund this week. I really really appreciate it and thanks for all your kind words.

To recap, I recently received the news that my Dad has lung cancer. This condition also claimed the lives of my Mum and grandfather so with me powerless to do anything medically to help him, I've decided to ask for all donations to this blog to go to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation which you can contribute to through the fundraising page I've set up. 

As always - enjoy your football and have a great week.


THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include some crucial games in the Champions League, Europa League, Premier League, EFL, the Women's FA Cup and there are play-off games in many of our local non-league competitions too.

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 - magenta pin
Thursday fixtures - purple pin
Friday fixtures - black pin



WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin
Monday fixtures - yellow 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 29 April

Premier League 2
There are a couple of U23 games at the start of the week with the evening game between West Ham United and Everton at the London Stadium being the standout fixture as it gives you the chance to see a game at the ground for only £5. I'm not certain if tickets will be available on arrival or when the cut off time for buying online is so buy one ASAP if you do want to go

A bit further afield
If you head north into Hertfordshire you'll come to Top Field the home of Hitchin Town who are hosting Hemel Hempstead Town in this year's Herts Charity Cup Final at 745pm

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Tuesday 30 April

Champions League Semi-Final First Leg
Tottenham Hotspur v Ajax @8pm - arguably the match of the week takes place on Tuesday at the recently opened Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. It will provide a fitting venue for this hugely important game. Spurs have won European silverware on three occasions but never the Champions League and this marks a huge moment in their history. Dutch club Ajax have a far more illustrious record, being crowned champions of Europe on four occasions but it's been 24 years since they last did it. In theory Spurs should win but with victories over Real Madrid and Juventus in previous rounds, Ajax won't fear them - tickets are sold out

Championship
Millwall v Bristol City @745pm - your next best option is this second tier match which is of huge importance to the visitors. The Lions drew with Stoke on Saturday to secure their place in the Championship for another season whilst City lost a crucial game against play-off rivals Derby. This means the Robins are four points adrift of sixth with two games to play - a win is therefore essential for them as their goal difference is the weakest of those around them. Tickets are available

Combined Counties League Premier Division
Chertsey Town v Abbey Rangers @745pm - the hosts won the league a while back but because of their sensational run to next month's FA Vase final at Wembley, they've still got one final league game to play. Although nothing hinges on it, it's against their very local rivals Abbey (from Addlestone) who have already secured a third-place finish so it should be a decent night

A bit further afield
It's Bostik League South Central play-off semi-final night on Tuesday with both games taking place just outside TLFG's catchment area. Bracknell Town and Cheshunt host games with both grounds easy to get to by car and train
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Wednesday 1 May

Evo-Stik League Premier Division South play-off semi-final

Metropolitan Police v Salisbury @745pm - the Met have been one of the surprise packages of the season. One of a handful of clubs shunted unceremoniously from the Bostik League to Evo-Stik League in the FA's restructure last summer, many at Imber Court were left very unhappy and long-serving manager Jim Cooper left the club. Despite the lengthy journeys to Dorset, Devon, Somerset and even Wales, the tiny club have had a superb season and finished third to set up this huge play-off game against one of the giants of the division. If all had gone according to plan, Steve Claridge's Salisbury side would've have been hosting this match but a shock 6-0 home defeat by Harrow Borough in their final match saw them slip down the table, surrendering home advantage in the process. Both league matches between the two ended in draws so it couldn't be much closer

Bostik League North Division play-off semi-final
Aveley v Heybridge Swifts @745pm - the Millers' fine Parkside ground hosts another important game on Wednesday night between these two Essex clubs. Aveley finished as runners-up and won both regular season games against Heybridge but the matches were close and produced eight goals so let's hope for another competitive game here

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Thursday 2 May

Europa League semi-final first leg
Arsenal v Valencia @8pm - if anyone knows how to win the Europa League it's Arsenal boss Unai Emery who won it three years running while at Sevilla. Their run to the semi-finals has been pretty smooth but the quality of oppositon, bar Napoli, hasn't been that challenging. Valencia are currently sixth in the Spanish league and should be no pushovers but the Gunners will still be expected to progress. Tickets are only available to members

Bostik League Premier Division play-off semi-finals
Carshalton Athletic v Merstham @745pm - a crucial final day win over Bishop's Stortford not only booked Carshalton's place in the play-offs, it also saw them grab a second-place finish - no mean feat for a club who got promoted last season. Back-to-back promotions are now on the cards but because of last summer's FA restructure they still need to win three more games to go up (this semi-final, the final and a 'Super Play-Off Final' against one of the other play-off winners in the seventh tier). Merstham have been hanging around the top five for a while so it was no surprise they made it but it is still a great achievement for a club who only draw average crowds of 188. Looking at the league table, the visitors should be the underdogs but they won both matches against Carshalton during the season so shouldn't be too worried
Haringey Borough v Tonbridge Angels @745pm - north London club Haringey have been another one of the surprise teams of the season. Also promoted to the seventh tier at the beginning of the season, they established a lead at the top for some time and grabbed headlines by making the first round of the FA Cup and hosting AFC Wimbledon in a live game on TV (they lost 1-0). A few bad results saw them slip to second where they remained until the final day - sadly a loss at champions Dorking Wanderers saw them have to settle for third but I'm sure anyone involved with the club would have happily taken that at the start of the season. With only one win from their final five games, Tonbridge have limped into the play-offs and that doesn't usually bode well

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Friday 3 May

Spartan South Midlands League Division 1
Enfield Borough v Winslow United @745pm - at the time of writing, the only match I know of on Friday is this dead rubber in the SSML. Winslow have already finished third while the Panthers can move up one place to ninth if they win

A bit further afield
If you're up for a Friday night trip to the seaside then head down to Lancing (near Brighton) where Horsham take on Ashford United in the Bostik League South East Division play-off final

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Saturday 4 May

Premier League
West Ham United v Southampton @3pm - the Hammers welcome the Saints for their final home game. The match is all about pride and finishing position as neither are in any danger of winning anything or getting relegated. The hosts can still manage a top 10 finish but probably only if they win here. Southampton will just be out to enjoy themselves now that their top-flight status has been secured. Tickets are available

League One
Charlton Athletic v Rochdale @530pm - the Addicks have already booked their place in the play-offs but a win here could see them gain home advantage for the all-important second leg of their semi-final. The two teams above them both have a midweek game in hand which if won will make this match a bit of a non-event as Charlton will stay in fifth whatever and Rochdale have nothing to play for. Tickets are available

Women's FA Cup Final
Manchester City v West Ham United @530pm - last year's final between Arsenal and Chelsea drew a record crowd of over 40,000 to Wembley but I think these two will struggle to match that. Firstly, the railway between Manchester and London is undergoing engineering work and West Ham's men are playing at home at 3pm. On paper it should be Manchester City's to lose - although not as dominant as their male counterparts, they are 24 points ahead of the Hammers in the league and scored 10 against them over their two league games. Tickets are only £15 for adults and free for kids - I'm going and thoroughly recommend you do too especially if you have any daughters who you want to inspire to get into football

Anagram Records Trophy Final
Catholic United v Clapton CFC @1pm - there are a number of minor cup finals on Saturday but I've highlighted this one as it's likely to get the biggest and liveliest crowd. The match is being played at Redbridge FC right next to Barkingside Tube station so it should be easy to get to. Catholic United are currently fifth in the Essex Olympian League so should start as favourites as they play a level above Middlesex County League side Clapton CFC. However, the Tons have hundreds of fans (they had 804 at their 12th-tier match on Saturday) who generate a fantastic atmosphere which could be to their advantage. Also, given the early kick-off, this can easily be combined with the Women's Cup Final at Wembley later in the afternoon

Friendly
Tooting & Mitcham United v Tooting Bec @3pm - if you fancy some free football then head down to Imperial Fields for this derby. The clubs will be groundsharing next season but I believe the main reason this is being played is as a warm up for Tooting & Mitcham's Surrey Senior Cup Final appearance on Tuesday

A bit further afield
It's the final day of the season in League One and League Two and a number of games are taking place within a 90-minute train ride of London. I've included all of the ones which have ticket availability to non-members on the match maps. There are quite a few with a lot riding on them with the matches at Southend, Wycombe, MK Dons and Swindon all catching the eye.

Also, to the west of London on the way to Reading, Bracknell Town host Cheshunt in the Bostik League South Central play-off final.

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Sunday 5 May

Premier League
Chelsea v Watford @2pm - the day's top flight action gets underway at Stamford Bridge where the Blues will still be looking to make sure of a top-four finish. Watford are still mathematically in the hunt for seventh but it looks unlikely after their loss to Wolves - their attention is now likely to be focused on the FA Cup final two weeks later so this could be an easier game for Chelsea than it might have been. Only hospitality tickets are now available
Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion @430pm - this match, of huge significance at either end of the table, looks more interesting. The Gunners, like Chelsea, will still be trying to get the last few points they need for a Champions League place whilst Brighton are still looking to get one or two points to avoid the drop. Currently four points clear of Cardiff with two games to go, it's looking promising but they won't be expecting to get anything here. Tickets are only on sale to members

Championship
Brentford v Preston North End @1230pm - the Bees bring their season to a close with this game against PNE. With both teams sitting snugly in midtable, there's nothing to play for so we could get an enjoyable and open game - although this Preston side don't have a great reputation for that kind of football. Their solid placings are a credit to all involved at both clubs who have some of the smallest budgets in the division. If you're only in London for a short time or will be leaving soon, the 2019/20 season will be Brentford's last at their very popular Griffin Park ground so visit it while you've still got the chance. Tickets are available

National League South play-off semi-final
Welling United v Chelmsford City @3pm - after an impressive third-place finish The Wings have made it straight into play-off semi-finals. Chelmsford were supposed to have contested a play-off 'quarter-final' to get this far but received a bye after Concord Rangers were excluded from the post-season for having a grandstand that was too small to be able to be promoted. Welling last played Chelmsford less than two weeks ago and beat them 2-0 so they should fancy their chances in this one-legged semi-final

A bit further afield
Just beyond London's south-western border you come to the commuter town of Woking. The Cards finished as runners-up to Torquay United and qualified directly for the National League South play-off semi-finals. On Sunday they take on Wealdstone who surged into the play-offs on the final day and then cruised past Bath City in the quarter-finals on Wednesday. The form is definitely with the Stones but it would still be quite an upset if they won. On the other side of London in deepest Essex there's a mouthwatering derby in the Bostik League North play-off final. Maldon & Tiptree host Heybridge Swifts whose ground is just 1.5 miles away across the River Chelmer. For the record, there's also a pretty meaningless Championship game in Berkshire where Reading host Birmingham City at 1230pm

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Monday 6 May

Evo-Stik League Premier Division South Play-Off Final
Metropolitan Police v Poole Town @3pm - the Met won a thrilling play-off semi on Wednesday against Salisbury. The 3-2 victory put the Surrey club into Monday's final against Poole who caused an upset by beating runners-up Taunton in their semi-final. Whoever wins goes into a Super Play-Off Final against the winner of the Bostik League Premier Division play-offs and then promotion to the National League South will be achieved if they win that

A bit further afield
Thursday night was a bit of a disaster for London sides in the Bostik League as both Haringey and Carshalton lost which means this year's Premier Division play-off final will be between Tonbridge Angels and Merstham. The winners will meet Met Police or Poole in the Super Play-Off mentioned above

Play-off games which are still to be decided could also be added on this day - there are also several minor cup finals just outside London and the details of these are on the match map

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, 22 April 2019

TLFG: 23-28 April 2019

After three weeks where I've been incredibly pushed for time, this week has been a little quieter and TLFG is back to normal service with all its normal features restored.

The next few days will be amongst the most crucial of the season with Premier League and EFL teams preparing for their last two or three matches.

Below them, all leagues from the fifth to the 10th tiers will end on Saturday with the play-offs getting underway early next week.

There are also a few minor cup finals over the next few days to keep you going before a huge Sunday of women's football ends the week - Chelsea entertain Lyon in the Champions League semi-finals whilst Arsenal have the chance to win the FA Women's Super League at Brighton.

Over the last few weeks, I've been so pushed for time that I've had to delay mentioning a few things that readers have sent in.

One of the most important came from Nick S who made me aware of a charity sleep out taking place at Leyton Orient in aid of World Child Cancer. If you'd like to take part then follow this link for more details.

We're also lucky enough to have a video from our old friends at 'Two Men In Search Of The Beautiful Game' who recently paid a visit to Clapton CFC - probably the biggest club anywhere in the English 12th tier.


On a personal note, my football week saw me take in two games.

First up on Tuesday I headed to Griffin Park to watch Brentford B take on Harrow Borough in the Middlesex Senior Cup Final. Boro acquitted themselves pretty well and at 1-0 down with eight minutes to go they still had a chance. Sadly those remaining minutes saw a collapse which resulted in them ultimately losing 4-0.

Despite the scoreline, it still provided a memorable night for the fans and players of the Evo-Stik League side. Once again I'd like to put on record how much I'd like to see other top London clubs put development sides into their local county cup competitions as they used to do in the past and how many northern clubs have always done. It gives the youngsters some competitive football against clubs who actually want to play them - unlike the Checkatrade Trophy.

On Friday I took my daughter to Loftus Road to see QPR play Blackburn Rovers, hoping that her status as good-luck charm would continue but it was not to be. The side that played were nowhere near as committed or as good as the one which thrashed Swansea last Saturday and they duly lost 2-1 - it could've been much more.

Harrow Borough's Joshua Andrew gets the chance to impress at Griffin Park
QPR suffered another defeat at Derby on Monday but thankfully, Rotherham lost again meaning Rangers are now mathematically safe from relegation with two games to go - phew!

Meanwhile, Harrow Borough bounced back from their cup final disappointment with a 9-1 thrashing of a hapless Staines Town side who were relegated weeks ago. With one final match at Salisbury on Saturday, the Boro could still finish as high as seventh which is way beyond what I was expecting at the start of the campaign so congratulations to everyone involved.

In other personal news I completed my 50th different parkrun at Valentines park in Ilford on Saturday but earlier in the week I missed out on a promotion at work so it's been a bit of a rollercoaster few days.

Lastly this week, many thanks to Peter S from the Netherlands who donated to TLFG's lung cancer fighting fund this week. I really really appreciate it and thanks also for your kind words.

To recap, I recently received the news that my Dad has lung cancer. This condition also claimed the lives of my Mum and grandfather so with me powerless to do anything medically to help him, I've decided to ask for all donations to this blog to go to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation which you can contribute to through the fundraising page I've set up. 

As always - enjoy your football and have a great week.


THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include some crucial games in the Premier League and EFL and the final games in many of our local non-league competitions too.

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 - magenta 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.

Tuesday 23 April

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion @745pm - with their new stadium now well and truly broken in Spurs play host to a game of huge significance at either end of the table. With their title challenge well and truly over, it's now all about securing a top-four finish and a place in the Champions League. With Liverpool and Manchester City having secured their places already, only two more remain and four of the country's biggest teams are fighting hard to get them. If Tottenham slip up here, then Arsenal and Manchester United both have the chance to capitalise on Wednesday. Brighton are in desperate need of the points to avoid the drop. It will be incredibly tough for them to get anything here but they picked up a point at Wolves on Saturday so can't be written off. Tickets are only available to members
Watford v Southampton @745pm - the Hornets have had a fantastic season and will move up to seventh if they beat the struggling Saints. Although Southampton will start as underdogs, they are a bit of a bogey side for Watford and have only lost one of their last 11 games against them. The sides produced a 1-1 draw when they last met in November. Tickets are available to non-members

Combined Counties League Division 1
Tooting Bec v Frimley Green @745pm - there's a huge game in the 10th tier where a win for the visitors will see them claim the CCL Division 1 title. Anything less will see them finish as runners-up. The hosts could finish as high as third but that won't be enough to get them promoted

Middlesex County League Premier Division
St Panteleimon v CB Hounslow United Reserves @745pm - despite being an 11th-tier side, the hosts drew some attention from this blog earlier in this season after some fine performances in the FA Vase. With the cup run over, St Panteleimon continued to impress in the league and now only need to draw this match to claim the MCFL title. Most of their home games have been at North Greenford United this season but this one is being played at Hendon's ground

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Wednesday 24 April

Hertfordshire Senior Cup Final
Boreham Wood v St Albans City @745pm - the Wood host Wednesday's final against their local rivals and will start as strong favourites. They are the reigning champions and have made four of the last five finals so it would appear to be a big priority for them. With Boreham Wood having already secured their National League status, St Albans are still involved in a tight promotion race leading me to think City might have their eye on bigger things. Tickets are £12 and unusually for a county cup final, rival supporters will be segregated which tells you something about the rivalry between the two clubs (this match has been added since the blog's publication on Sunday)

London Senior Trophy Final
Bridon Ropes v Erith & Belvedere @745pm - two of the top teams in the SCEFL Division 1 meet for a juicy bit of county silverware at Champion Hill, home of Dulwich Hamlet (not Fisher's ground as originally advertised). With Bridon Ropes now out of the title race and E&B still firmly in it, the former may well be more focused on winning this

Middlesex Intermediate Cup Final
PFC Victoria London v Pitshanger Dynamo @745pm - the sides who are likely to finish second and third behind St Panteleimon in the MCFL meet at Hendon for the chance to win a nice bit of consolation silverware
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Friday 26 April

Premier League 2
Arsenal v Leicester City @7pm - the Gunners' U23 side bring their season to a close with a match against the Foxes at the Emirates Stadium. On paper they should win and could finish as high as second in the PL2 table if results go their way. Tickets are only £4 and will be on sale to non-members from 11am on Wednesday until 3pm on matchday - you must purchase in advance and no tickets will be on sale on the night
Fulham v Norwich City @7pm - if the high society of Islington isn't for you, then you could head to leafy south-west London where the Cottagers take on their Canaries counterparts at the club's Motspur Park training ground. Tickets are £3 and are available on the gate
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Saturday 27 April

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United @1230pm - a packed day of top-flight action gets underway in the capital with this derby game up in N17. With the Hammers' season effectively over, it's all about whether or not Spurs can hold on to their place in the top four. Their old rivals from the east side of town will no doubt be more than happy to trip them up. Tickets are only available to members
Fulham v Cardiff City @3pm - in terms of importance, this match at the bottom could decide whether or not the Bluebirds join the Cottagers back in the Championship next season. With the hosts already down, Cardiff are three points adrift of safety with three games to go so defeat and positive results for Brighton and Southampton could all but finish them off. Tickets are available to non-members
Watford v Wolverhampton Wanderers @3pm - below the battle for European places there's also quite an intense fight to see who will finish seventh. These two are among a group of four who are all well capable of doing it. Apart from anything else, this will also be a chance for Wolves to avenge their recent painful FA Cup semi-final defeat where the Hornets came from nowhere to win in extra-time. At the time of writing, tickets appear to be sold out
Crystal Palace v Everton @3pm - in the day's other game, Palace entertain another side who are going for seventh. With their fantastic win at Arsenal securing their place in the top flight for another season, the pressure is well and truly off for Roy Hodgson's side. Not so the Toffees who will be aiming to follow their 4-0 crushing of Manchester United with another three points here. Tickets are only available to members

Championship
Millwall v Stoke City @130pm - Monday's results mean it's now a straight fight between Millwall and Rotherham for the last relegation place. The Lions are currently three points ahead with a game in hand so if they can win here against a midtable Stoke side going nowhere then they'll be pretty much home and dry as their goal difference is way better. Of their three remaining fixtures, this would appear to be the easiest so they've got to go for it. Tickets are available to non-members
Queens Park Rangers v Nottingham Forest @3pm - with the Easter weekend now out of the way, both these clubs' seasons are now over. QPR lost at Derby but the teams below them all lost too meaning relegation is now impossible whilst Forest are now seven points adrift of the play-offs with two games to go. With nothing at stake, the sides could really go for it and put on a bit of a show. With many players out of contract at the end of the season, QPR could well field a load of youngsters but you never know. Historically, Forest usually do pretty well in W12 and have won on two of their last three visits. Tickets are available to non-members

League One
AFC Wimbledon v Wycombe Wanderers @3pm - the Dons have been in the relegation zone pretty much all season and looked finished a while back. However, they've kept fighting and have stayed in touch with the rest of the pack. With the end of the season in sight they're just two points adrift with a game in hand on all of those around them. The three fixtures they have are not easy though - on Tuesday they travel to a sold out Kenilworth Road to play leaders Luton Town who still need points to win the title and then they welcome Wycombe for this one. Gareth Ainsworth's side aren't out of the relegation woods themselves yet so there's plenty at stake for what is also effectively a derby with Wycombe located just outside London. A few tickets are still available to non-members

National League
Leyton Orient v Braintree Town @1230pm - with all the relegation places filled and no-one from outside capable of breaking into the top seven, the final day of the National League is really all about deciding who will win the title. Currently three points clear and with a better, but overturnable, goal difference than Salford City and Solihull Moors - it's Leyton Orient's for the taking. They're also playing Braintree who are one of the four relegated sides whilst the other two have tricky away games to negotiate. After being in the depths of despair under very poor ownership only a couple of years ago, the O's have made a real go of it in non-league and are still on for the double as they are also in the FA Trophy Final at Wembley in May. Unsurprisingly tickets are sold out
Dagenham & Redbridge v Solihull Moors @1230pm - ironically local rivals Dagenham could play a part in deciding whether or not the O's win the title as they host one of their challengers at Victoria Road. The Daggers have avoided relegation so have little to play for but know that if they take anything off Solihull it will knock them out of the title race. Realistically only a major capitulation by themselves and Orient will make much difference but you never know. Tickets are available to non-members

National League South
Wealdstone v Hemel Hempstead Town @3pm - in the sixth tier we could be in for a real ding-dong at Grosvenor Vale where the Stones go into their final game knowing a win could squeeze them into the play-offs. Currently two points adrift, they need to take maximum points from this one and hope Billericay, St Albans and Dartford all slip up which is possible as they all have tough games. Hemel are usually among the promotion contenders themselves but have had a pretty mediocre season and should be beaten - they're also likely to bring quite a few with them as this is in derby territory too. Tickets are usually easy to get but with so much riding on this I could see it becoming all-ticket at some point in the next few days so buy online to avoid disappointment

Evo-Stik League Premier Division South
Hendon v Swindon Supermarine @3pm - after finding themselves just a penalty shoot-out away from a place in the National League South at the end of last season, it's been quite a comedown for fans of the Greens who approach their final game knowing that only a win will guarantee their place in the seventh tier for another year. With long-serving manager Gary McCann departing after that play-off defeat and taking several star players with him to Hampton & Richmond, it's become a season of struggle for Hendon and this match against midtable opposition is now arguably more important than that huge match against Dulwich Hamlet last May. If they do stay up, it's likely that fellow TLFG side Walton Casuals will go down instead as they face a tough trip to Wales to play Merthyr Town

Bostik League Premier Division
Carshalton Athletic v Bishop's Stortford @3pm - with Dorking Wanderers having already claimed the one automatic promotion spot and second placed Haringey Borough one of the four play-off spots, it's all about who will finish in the top five and claim the other three. Carshalton and Bishop's Stortford will come into this in fourth and fifth respectively but teams all the way down to eighth are still in with a chance so there's loads at stake. Also of note, if selected by Stortford, veteran striker Jamie Cureton (formerly of many EFL clubs) will make the 1,001st appearance of his career. Despite being 43 he's still the top scorer in the Bostik Premier this season

Bostik League South Central
Molesey v Northwood @3pm - in the eighth tier all the title winners and play-off contenders have been confirmed - it's just a case of deciding who will get home advantage in the post-season games. However, at the other end, Molesey have a chance to avoid the drop if they beat midtable Northwood here. They will also need Hertford Town and/or South Park to lose to be certain of staying up

Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
London Tigers v Cockfosters @3pm - most of the promotion issues have also been settled throughout the ninth tier but there are still some relegation battles taking place. Arguably the biggest is this match - only two go down in this division and these are the current bottom two. If one of them wins they'll probably catch Stotfold who sit just above the drop zone and have a tough away game at Hadley. A draw will sink both of them so neither can afford to sit back 

Thurlow Nunn League Division 1 South
Hashtag United v Coggeshall United @3pm - the hosts have already wrapped up the league title and it's now up to them who finishes second. Coggeshall are currently second and to remain there and be in with a chance of promotion they have to match or better Halstead Town's result against Wormley Rovers

Surrey Elite Intermediate League Challenge Cup Final
Battersea Ironsides v NPL @3pm - two of the best named teams in the south-east do battle at Abbey Rangers' ground for a bit of 11th-tier silverware. Battersea narrowly missed out on the league title so will start as favourites against National Physical Laboratories (NPL) who finished down in tenth

Middlesex County League Division 1 Central & East
Clapton CFC v London Samurai @3pm - a highly dramatic 6-5 win over The Curve at the Stray Dog on Saturday kept the Tons in title contention. With two games to go, three teams can still win the division and two of them meet here. If leaders Stonewall win their game at Eastfield then the loser of this one will see their season effectively end. Although only a 12th-tier match, Clapton CFC regularly draw lively crowds of 500+ which some sixth-tier sides would be more than happy with. If you want entertainment then head to Wadham Lodge

Arthur Dunn Cup Final
Old Etonians v Old Carthusians @315pm - for those who are interested in football history and the roots of the game then this is definitely the match for you. Two of the oldest clubs, representing two of England's most famous public schools meet for the final of what is effectively the old boys cup. Both sides won the FA Cup back in the 19th century with Old Etonians making the final six times. When the professional clubs began to edge the amateur teams out of the competition, this cup was set up instead in 1903 in memory of the former England captain and Old Etonian Arthur Dunn. Since then, this competition has been dominated by Carthusians who have won it 28 times as opposed to Etonians who have won it just twice. The two are also currently second and first in the Arthurian League so Carthusians are very much on for the double. The match is being played at Merchant Taylors' School a short walk from Moor Park Tube station on the Metropolitan Line, admission is only a few quid and it all goes to charity and I'm told there are a couple of other games earlier in the day beginning at 10am

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Sunday 28 April

Women's Champions League Semi-Final Second Leg
Chelsea v Lyon @2pm - the Blues women find themselves just 90 minutes away from the most prestigious match in women's club football. To get there they will have to overturn a 2-1 deficit against the most successful club in the competition's history. Lyon have made seven of the last nine finals and won five of them. It looks like a tall order but they've got a chance and hopefully a decent crowd will turn out to watch them at the compact ground they share with AFC Wimbledon. Tickets are only £6 and there aren't a huge amount left so buy in advance if you do want to go

FA Women's Championship
Crystal Palace v Charlton Athletic @2pm - neither of these sides have anything left to play for so it's all about local bragging rights in this south-east London derby. I've included it here primarily because it's being played at Selhurst Park - men's games are usually very hard to get tickets for without membership but not so this match which is open to all. Tickets are £5 if bought in advance or £7.50 on the day

A bit further afield
Just beyond the edge of London in Merstham, you've got a chance to see the recently formed Surrey international side take on the Chagos Islands in a CONIFA-inspired friendly at 3pm. Whilst a few miles further south of that, Brighton & Hove Albion Women take on Arsenal at the Amex in a match which could see the Gunners clinch the FA Women's Super League title



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