Sunday, 10 November 2019

TLFG: 11-17 November 2019

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

I've just enjoyed a week a off work. It was my birthday on Tuesday but aside from that, it wasn't a hugely eventful time.

I had a couple of health tests as I'm getting on a bit - one came back all normal but the other result is still pending but hopefully I'll be ok.

It was also my eldest daughter's school play which saw actor Bill Nighy take a seat on the front row as a surprise special guest and I made a first visit to the Design Museum on the edge of Holland Park.

I also began negotiations with a potential sponsor for next year's Non-League Day.

It's Spurs v Arsenal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday
But you don't really want to hear about any of that. What football did you see? I hear you ask.

Aside from watching Dulwich Hamlet do themselves proud in the FA Cup on Friday (on TV like most others I hasten to add), I ended the week by going to Wembley to watch England's women take on Germany in a friendly.

As I expected, it was a great experience.

The atmosphere is totally different from big men's games - there's no lack of passion in the crowd but it's totally devoid of all the negativity and aggression.

When you come out for refreshments at half-time, there isn't spilt beer all over the floor and goodness knows what else and there was no drunken behaviour at all.

Call me too middle aged, too middle class or whatever - but I've had enough of all the aggro at football.

With monkey chanting at all levels of the men's game in the last month or so, the 'f' and 'c' words used as a matter of course in the earshot of whoever because 'we're not in a church' and all other kinds of anti-social behaviour creeping back into our grounds, I found my trip to Wembley really refreshing.

Everyone I know who attended enjoyed themselves despite the terrible weather and disappointing last-minute defeat. It only cost me a total of £11 for an adult and junior ticket. Everyone just wanted to have a good time and I'd go back in a heartbeat.

I love football but I haven't taken my wife to a men's game for years - she's not 'white English' and got assaulted on her first visit to QPR in 2005 and given verbal abuse on Uxbridge Road before a game whilst she was shopping by R's 'fans' on the way to a game about 18 months ago. 

There wasn't a hint of that kind of behaviour from a crowd of nearly 80,000 on Saturday and I can't wait for the women's Euros here in 2021. 

Which brings me nicely to the subject of 'Women's Football Weekend' which takes place this weekend.

With it being an international break, the FA have decided to try and promote women's football in a similar way I do semi-pro football with Non-League Day.

In fact, I've directly told the relevant people at the FA that they should be doing this for several years now and have offered to help them out.

I never got a reply but lo and behold, we now have such an event which is great to see.

If you want to take in a match, the north London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal is the main event. Not only is it a big derby but it's being played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and tickets are only £6.50 so don't miss out.

I've got another couple of days off in the coming week so hope to get to a game on Tuesday but who knows what will happen.

Lastly from me, many many thanks to readers Bruce G from Massachusetts, USA and Cameron H from Australia who donated to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund - it's been made good use of this week, I assure you!

Have a great week and enjoy your football.

THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include a Euro 2020 qualifier, action in the EFL, National League, FA Trophy, 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 - 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.

Monday 11 November

FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round Replay
Aveley v Taunton Town @745pm - the Millers were just five minutes away from recording a notable cupset on Saturday but ultimately had to settle for a 3-3 draw, a result they would no doubt have taken before kick-off. After a long journey down to Somerset to play one of the best sides at the level above them, Aveley had their work cut out but acquitted themselves well. Now it's the west country team who have to make that journey but on a Monday night - it could be another close one

FA Youth Cup Second Round
If the the journey to Essex is too much for you, there are a couple of U18 games in west London that could be more convenient with Uxbridge hosting Newport County and Hanworth Villa taking on AFC Wimbledon in a couple of pretty prestigious ties for the non-league clubs.
Update - the Hanworth game is now taking place next week

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Tuesday 12 November

National League South
Welling United v Dulwich Hamlet @745pm - after impressing a live TV audience with a spirited display in the FA Cup on Friday night, Dulwich return to league action with this derby against the Wings. Both sides are perched a little too close to the relegation zone than they'd like to be so a win would do wonders for either

FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round
Carshalton Athletic v Frome Town @745pm - the Robins also saw their fine FA Cup run come to an end on Saturday at the hands of Boston United. However, they go straight back into cup action with this match against Frome. The Somerset club suffered relegation last season but are top of the Southern League Division 1 South as they look to make an instant return to the seventh tier. Given their current form, they could be trickier opponents than their ranking might suggest

FA Trophy First Qualifying Round Replay
Bedfont Sports v Hitchin Town @745pm - after fielding an ineligible player in the Preliminary Round, Bedfont are a round behind everyone else because they had to re-play their tie against Grays which they won. On Saturday they travelled to Hitchin, and like Aveley, they did well to earn a replay against higher level opposition. Hitchin aren't having a great season and could vulnerable

London Senior Cup Second Round
Hendon v Leyton Orient @745pm - as regular readers know, I'm a huge advocate of London's pro clubs entering development sides in local county cup competitions. It used to be a common occurrence when I was growing up but it barely happens these days. However, Leyton Orient are one of the sides who do and every credit to them. After winning at Tower Hamlets in the First Round, the O's next play a side from two levels higher up who should present them with a decent challenge

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Wednesday 13 November

FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round

Hayes & Yeading United v Soham Town Rangers @745pm - at the time of writing, the hosts are about to take on Oxford United in an FA Cup tie which will be arguably the biggest match in the club's history. Whatever happens in that match, they'll have to go straight into this delayed FA Trophy game three days later. Soham play a level below Hayes so Paul Hughes' side should start as favourites

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Thursday 14 November

Euro 2020 qualifier

England v Montenegro @745pm - the biggest match of the week takes place at Wembley where the Three Lions could clinch top spot in Group A with a win here. Their Balkan opponents have been very poor with no wins from their seven group games so far and they lost 5-1 at home to Gareth Southgate's side in the reciprocal fixture back in March. The most notable thing about this match is that it's England's 1,000th men's international and tickets are available

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Friday 15 November

Professional Development League
Queens Park Rangers v Coventry City @2pm - if you're free at lunchtime on Friday, there's an U23 game at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. These games are usually free entry but check with the club on the day

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Saturday 16 November

League Two
Leyton Orient v Scunthorpe United @3pm - with it being an international break, the highest level match you'll be able to see will be this fourth tier one at Brisbane Road. On paper, it's not hugely mouthwatering as it features two of the bottom nine. Neither are in great form and unsurprisingly, tickets are available

National League
Bromley v Harrogate Town @3pm - the Ravens are currently top of the National League and are therefore the best non-league side in the country. On Saturday they welcome Harrogate who are up in the play-off places and should provide stiff opposition. Both sides will be coming into this off the back of huge FA Cup games against Bristol Rovers and Portsmouth respectively, which will no doubt have some bearing on their performances. Tickets for Bromley games are always cheaper if booked online in advance

National League South
Wealdstone v Hampton & Richmond Borough @3pm - the Stones saw their match against Eastbourne Borough postponed on Saturday but they still ended the day seven points clear at the top. On Saturday they face Middlesex rivals Hampton & Richmond for what is often an entertaining game. After a bit of a revival to lift themselves out of the relegation zone and up into midtable, Gary McCann's side have now lost two in a row and will have to do something special to get something here

Isthmian League Premier Division
Enfield Town v Folkestone Invicta @3pm - when it comes to non-league football, England's seventh tier is probably my favourite. The standard is good, the grounds are decent and the admission fee is on or around a tenner (£11 in this case). The match of the day at this level takes place at Donkey Lane where two of the Isthmian League's top four do battle. Enfield have several games in hand on all of the teams above them and they'd be top if they won them

Isthmian League South Central
Tooting & Mitcham United v Hanwell Town @3pm - there's also a huge game in the eighth tier at Imperial Fields where fourth placed Tooting host the leaders. This might as well be a top-two clash as both sides have games in hand on the teams in second and third so it's pretty huge. Both sides also normally wear black and white stripes so it's a 'kit derby' too

CCL Premier Division
Spelthorne Sports v Colliers Wood United @3pm - there's another top-four clash in the Combined Counties League too. Again both sides have games in hand on the leading pair so a win here for either could be crucial

MCFL Premier Division
Clapton CFC v Pitshanger Dynamo @2pm - nothing really takes my fancy in the 10th tier but this 11th tier match at Wadham Lodge should be well worth a watch. Although both sides are outside the top four, the Tons have the games in hand to move up alongside the frontrunners and they have a good chance of winning here. Pitshanger are usually among the title challengers so it's a bit of a surprise to seem in sixth with more games played than most others. As regular readers know, you're guaranteed a great match experience at Clapton CFC games - the fans are among the liveliest, most creative and inclusive of any around and could easily get 400-500 for this match which is the same as some of the bigger teams in the seventh tier get. Entry is by donation so you could technically get in for free too

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Sunday 17 November

FA Women's Super League
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal @3pm - this weekend sees the first 'Women's Football Weekend' where the FA try to promote football at this level during an international break (a bit like Non-League Day). The standout game in the capital on Sunday is this north London derby which is being played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Tickets are still available and are only £7 for adults including a booking fee. If you've not been to Spurs' fantastic new stadium, this is your chance
Chelsea v Manchester United @2pm - if that's not for you, then you might prefer this other blockbuster clash in south-west London. Sadly this isn't being played at Stamford Bridge but at Kingsmeadow which Chelsea Women share with AFC Wimbledon. Adult tickets for this are also available but come in at a slightly more expensive £9


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, 4 November 2019

TLFG: 4-10 November 2019

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

Apologies for the late publication this week - I was simply too tired to finish it off last night.

The irony of writing this blog is it takes so much time that you end up having to make the decision whether to go to a live game or put together the latest piece.

On Saturday I had planned to go to a game but the weather was so bad that many matches got called off and having got really wet and cold doing St Albans parkrun in the morning, I didn't fancy getting wet and miserable again.

So instead I made a short notice decision to go to the FA Vase tie between Southall and Seaford Town on Sunday instead.

Sandro Fernandes scores Southall's third as they beat Seaford Town in the FA Vase

The 'All groundshare at Ashford Town (Middlesex) whose Short Lane ground has always seemed to be a bit of a mission to get to on public transport but I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go.

The stadium is near Heathrow Airport so I got the Piccadilly Line to Terminal 4 and then caught the 482 bus to Long Lane and walked down. I opted for Heathrow rather than Hatton Cross because this bus and the 490 are both totally free to use around the airport perimeter which is a bit of a bargain.

The ground itself is famous for having what I presume are fuel silos/tanks for Heathrow's airliners at one end, giving it a really industrial feel.

Southall play in the ninth tier Combined Counties League and have made good progress during the time I've been writing this blog, earning two promotions despite playing at three different grounds.

Seaford play in the 10th tier but put themselves about robustly throughout the game, picking up several bookings.

The hosts were definitely the better side, with two or three really talented players and eventually played out a 3-1 win to move into the Third Round.

The west London club have a decent record in this competition, making the quarter-finals in 2017 and the final way back in 1986 so maybe this could be their year again.

In other news, my club Harrow Borough travelled down to Dorset on Saturday to play Dorchester Town in a Southern League game.

They nicked a 2-1 win with a last-minute goal but it later emerged that Boro's black players had been subjected to monkey chants during the game. To their credit, Dorchester reported the incident to Kick It Out and the police promptly after the game.

After the much publicised trouble at Haringey Borough the other week, it was really disheartening to hear about more problems in the non-league game.

Right, I think that's about it from me.

As always, have a great week and enjoy your football watching. I'm off to see the Lionesses play Germany at Wembley on Saturday and might squeeze in another game if I can.


THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include action in the Champions League, Premier League, EFL and the First Round of the FA Cup plus loads of action 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 - 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.

Monday 4 November

Professional Development League
As usual, the week gets underway with some U23 football. However, the pick of the games between Millwall and Charlton is taking place at the Lions' training ground which isn't open to the public. TLFG reader Chris H did manage to get in last week because he knew one of the players and got on the guest list but he did advise that one of the goals is just a few feet from the perimeter fence of the ground and you can stand outside and look in. Alternatively, if you're prepared to make a short journey outside London then Watford are playing Ipswich at St Albans City where I believe it is £3 to get in

Essex Senior Cup Third Round
Redbridge v Barking @745pm - if the pitch is up to it, the best non-league option of the day is this east London derby in the Essex Senior Cup. The visitors play a level above the hosts so should start as favourites. Oakside is one of the easiest stadiums in London to get to by public transport as it's right next to Barkingside Tube station on the Central Line

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Tuesday 5 November

Champions League
Chelsea v Ajax @8pm - the game of the day sees the Blues look to take a big step towards qualification for the knockout phase. Having beaten the Dutch giants in Amsterdam two weeks ago, the west London club should fancy their chances of picking up another three points. I had my reservations about Frank Lampard's appointment but he seems to be getting quite a lot right with this Chelsea side at the moment, winning eight of the last 10 games in all competitions. This match is not sold out but you will need to be a member or know one who can buy for you

National League South
Hampton & Richmond Borough v Dartford @745pm - after decidedly dodgy starts both of these TLFG clubs are now on the rise. With eight defeats from their first 11 games, Hampton manager Gary McCann must have been feeling the pressure. However, they've now won four on the bounce to become the form team of the division and the Darts will have to be at their best. With new boss Steve King in charge their fortunes are starting to turn around too and they enjoyed a solid 2-0 win at Eastbourne Borough on Saturday

FA Vase Second Round
Abbey Rangers v Ascot United @745pm - this tie between two of the top clubs in the Combined Counties League got postponed on Saturday so you've got another chance to catch what should be a fine game. Abbey play about halfway between Chertsey and Addlestone stations in Surrey

Middlesex County League Premier Division
Clapton CFC v NW London @745pm - there's a rare chance to see a bit of 11th tier action on Tuesday as the Tons play their rearranged game against NW London. With a crowd of 909 on Non-League Day and over a thousand for their title decider last season, Clapton CFC must be the biggest or at least the best supported club at this level anywhere in the country. Although midweek attendances are usually well down on this, they could still get 200 which would be way more than many of the other far more senior non-league teams playing on Tuesday

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Wednesday 6 November

EFL Trophy

Leyton Orient v Brighton & Hove Albion U21 @745pm - in theory this match should see the O's first XI take on a development side from Brighton. In reality, the hosts may well field quite a few of their own youngsters in what has become a very devalued competition. Accordingly, adult tickets are available from just £7

FA Trophy Preliminary Round
Grays Athletic v Bedfont Sports @745pm - the hosts have had a really tough time in FA competitions this season. After being thrown out of the FA Cup for accidentally fielding an ineligible player who hadn't given them all his personal info, they are now having to re-play this tie because their opponents had a similar, although not identical, thing happen but they didn't get thrown out. At this stage, the competition is now two rounds further down the line so this tie is holding everything up. As a result, the winners will travel to Hitchin on Saturday and then the winners of that will play in the next round on Monday, a week today. What a mess!

SCEFL Challenge Cup
Lewisham Borough v Forest Hill Park @745pm - I don't usually highlight league and county cup games at this stage but this is a groundshare derby and as such, it's always worth a mention

SSML Division 1 Cup
New Salamis v St Panteleimon @745pm - likewise this game also grabbed my attention as it features two clubs with their roots in the Greek/Cypriot community. Both are new to 10th level football but both are in the SSML Division 1's top three and doing really well. I really fancy this one - it's being played at Enfield Town's ground if you're interested in going

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Friday 8 November

FA Cup First Round

Dulwich Hamlet v Carlisle United @755pm - with all six preliminary and qualifying rounds out of the way, the remaining non-league teams get to join all those from League One and League Two in the so-called First Round proper. For a club of Dulwich's size, their FA Cup record is pretty rubbish - this will be the first time they've made this stage since 1998. To get this far they've had to beat Bognor Regis, Eastbourne Borough and Havant & Waterlooville so it hasn't been an easy ride by any means. On Friday they welcome Carlisle who are in the lower reaches of League Two so the cupset potential is there for all to see, not least the good people at BBC Sport who have selected it as their live TV game. The money they get for being televised and all the prize money received up to this point should run well into six figures which shows just how important this competition is for non-league clubs. Tickets go on general sale from 6pm today but you will need to buy them in person from the club and there are only 157 left! It will almost certainly sell out so don't bother going to the match without one

Essex Senior League
Redbridge v Woodford Town @745pm - in the highly likely event you miss out on a ticket for the above, this is your next best option. It's only a midtable clash but it is a derby and, as we mentioned earlier, the ground is easily accessible by public transport unlike the other two games taking place on Friday

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Saturday 9 November

Women's International Friendly
England v Germany @530pm - the biggest crowd of the day will be at Wembley where it's a sell out for this women's game which I think is unprecedented - it's a pretty big deal whatever. With adult tickets at £10 and U16s getting in for a quid I decided to grab a couple so my daughter and I will be heading to the national stadium for a combined price of £11. The Lionesses did really well to make it to the World Cup semi-finals in the summer but Germany who didn't get that far are still, according to the Fifa rankings, Europe's top side. Phil Neville's team are also in rather mediocre form at the moment so it's going to be tough

Premier League
Chelsea v Crystal Palace @1230pm - before all that, we have the small matter of a London derby. As I mentioned above, the Blues are in pretty decent form at the moment and under normal circumstances would start as strong favourites. However, Roy Hodgson has got his Palace side playing with some belief and although winless in three, they have been capable of taking points off the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United so far this season. They have also won on two of their last five visits to Stamford Bridge which is more than most teams can boast. Tickets have sold out
Tottenham Hotspur v Sheffield United @3pm - when this fixture was announced back in the summer, you'd have been hard pushed to predict anything other than a home win. Three months into the new season and it is the newly promoted Blades who are a top-six club and Spurs who are midtable also-rans. Among the title challengers in recent years, Tottenham are currently winless in four and 18 points behind league leaders Liverpool after only 11 games. They're also 10 points off the top four and only five points above the relegation zone - in short it's been a bit of a disaster by their high standards. Tickets are not available to non-members

Championship
Millwall v Charlton Athletic @3pm - we've reached the fourth match on our list for Saturday and this is sold out too. It's a big local derby so that's no surprise but it was on general sale until quite recently. Charlton have had much the better season so far but both clubs' form is fairly similar so it should be a closely fought cracker of a game
Queens Park Rangers v Middlesbrough @3pm - which all means that if you haven't got a ticket yet, your best option is this match at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. If you're visiting London, QPR will rarely let you down when it comes to ticket availability. Even the big derby against Brentford last week didn't sell out, despite the fact Mark Warburton's side have been playing some really good stuff. Boro have had a shocking season and are down in the bottom three

FA Cup First Round
AFC Wimbledon v Doncaster Rovers @3pm - there's all-League One affair at Kingsmeadow where the Dons will look to keep the positive vibes going under new boss Glyn Hodges who has now taken them out of the relegation zone after their very poor start. Doncaster had a reasonable run in the competition last season and should start as favourites. Tickets are available
Carshalton Athletic v Boston United @3pm - the Robins' FA Cup record is even worse than Dulwich's with this being their first time at this stage since 1997. With wins over Bracknell, Harrow, Lowestoft and Dagenham & Redbridge, the south London club have had to work hard to get this far and they should feel confident of giving sixth-tier club Boston an uncomfortable afternoon. Tickets are £10 and available on arrival

National League South
Wealdstone v Eastbourne Borough @3pm - if they win this and results go their way, the Stones could end the day 10 points clear at the top. Eastbourne are fighting the drop so a home win looks highly likely

Isthmian League South Central
Hanwell Town v Ware @3pm - this eighth-tier division is incredibly tight at the top with three points separating the top five. These clubs are two of the contenders so a win for either could be crucial

CCL Premier Division
Colliers Wood United v Ascot United @3pm - there's an even bigger game in the CCL where two of the top three meet in SW20

Essex Senior League
Walthamstow v Saffron Walden Town @3pm - it's third versus second at Wadham Lodge as the big games continue in the ninth tier

CCL Division 1
Bedfont & Feltham v Jersey Bulls @1pm - in the 10th tier, the newly formed Jersey side have been unstoppable since entering English football at the start of the season and have won all 13 of their league games so far. It doesn't look good for the hosts but who knows? Could they be the first team to beat them???

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Sunday 10 November

FA Cup First Round
Leyton Orient v Maldon & Tiptree @1245pm - Essex minnows M&T are having a great season in the Isthmian North but they've never made it this far in the FA Cup so it's a huge day for the club. The O's play four levels above their opponents so anything less than a win will be quite an upset. Tickets are available from £10 and it's unlikely to sell out
Barnet v Fleetwood Town @1245pm - the Bees made it to the Fourth Round last year beating Bristol Rovers and Sheffield United in the process. Doing well enough in the National League this season, they should have a decent chance against Joey Barton's Fleetwood side. Tickets are available
Hayes & Yeading United v Oxford United @215pm - following on from these two we have a real David and Goliath clash at the SkyEx Stadium in west London. After overcoming Poole Town in the last round, H&YU have landed a juicy home tie against a former top-flight side who are among the frontrunners in League One. This is also being televised but tickets have sold out


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, 27 October 2019

TLFG: 28 October - 3 November 2019

Greetings one and all and welcome to this week's TLFG.

I'm going to keep it brief as I'm fast running out of time after a hectic weekend at work (20+ hours) and another 4am alarm call on Monday morning.

First and foremost congratulations to Hayes & Yeading United who I visited last week.

They defied the odds to beat Poole Town in their FA Cup replay on Tuesday and will now host League One promotion contenders Oxford United for what should be a very tough but prestigious game in a couple of weeks time.

Elsewhere, Barnet also made it through and will also host League One opposition in the form of Fleetwood Town. 

'Two Men In Search...' pay a visit to London Lions

The other most notable tie of the round from a London non-league perspective is Dulwich Hamlet v Carlisle United and consequently the BBC will show this live on Friday 8 November to kick-off the weekend's action. Tickets for this should sell out very quickly and I expect the club to announce the details early this week so keep an eye on their website if you want to go.

After all the terrible headlines about racism at Haringey Borough v Yeovil Town - the two sides will re-play their abandoned tie on Tuesday in one of the more high profile game of the week. It will be all-ticket so you will need to buy in advance from the club.

I don't have a huge amount further to add other than the crowdfunder to try and recover the costs of this year's Non-League Day has got off to a good start. We only need another £360 so if you would like to help us please donate via the following link.

On Monday night I've got a ticket for the big derby between QPR and Brentford which should be pretty lively and with the whole of next week off, I hope to see at least a couple more matches then.

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


THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include a full programme of Premier League and EFL games, the next round of the EFL Cup and FA Vase and some FA Cup and FA Trophy replays too. We also have plenty of games in all our local non-league competitions - there are over 90 matches in total so there's plenty to choose from. 

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



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 28 October

Championship
Queens Park Rangers v Brentford @745pm - the week gets underway with this televised London derby at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. QPR have made a much better start to the season than anticipated and come into this game in seventh place. If they win this game in hand, they will end the day in second. Brentford had made an underwhelming start but three wins from their last five games have pushed them up the table. Despite being local rivals, there have been long spells when the clubs have been in different divisions and haven't played each other but since getting back together in 2015 the Bees have dominated, winning six of the last nine meetings in all competitions. To add extra spice to the occasion, Mark Warburton, one of Brentford's most successful managers of recent years, is now in charge at QPR so it will be interesting to see what kind of reception he receives. The good news for the neutral is that a few tickets are available and are on sale to non-members

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Tuesday 29 October

National League
Bromley v Stockport County @745pm - after demolishing title rivals Halifax 5-0 on Saturday, the Ravens host another one of the big names in this division. Stockport were a second tier team until 2002 but lost their way in the intervening period, falling all the way down to the sixth tier at their lowest. Now back at this level, they're still finding their feet and will probably be happy enough with a midtable finish and a draw here
Dagenham & Redbridge v Barrow @745pm - with only eight points separating the play-off and relegation zones, this division is incredibly tight. Although down in 10th, the Daggers could jump to fourth with victory here. However, the visitors have had a fine season and are currently fifth so should be tough opponents - if the long journey down from Cumbria doesn't get to them

FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round
Haringey Borough v Yeovil Town @745pm - probably the most high profile game of the day will be at Coles Park where the tie which was originally abandoned for alleged acts of racism will get re-played. On paper this should be a comfortable win for the visitors - hailing from two divisions above Haringey and a Championship side until 2014, Yeovil will take some beating. Tickets are £10 and are on general sale but you have to buy them from the club in advance - no tickets will be on sale on the night

FA Trophy First Qualifying Round Replays
Enfield Town v Bishop's Stortford @745pm - if it's cup football you're after but you can't get a ticket for Haringey then a short journey north on London Overground will get you to the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium for this FA Trophy tie. The Towners are right up in contention for the Isthmian League title this season so should fancy their chances against Jamie Cureton's Stortford side who are down in midtable
Hayes & Yeading United v Wingate & Finchley @745pm - after their heroic FA Cup replay win over Poole Town last Tuesday, H&YU find themselves in another replay in a different cup competition. This time it's against another London club and one who haven't been doing that well. After reaching the FA Cup First Round, a win here for the hosts would see their cumulative prize money rise to well over £40,000

SSML Premier Division
Oxhey Jets v Colney Heath @745pm - after a few seasons of fairly mediocre stuff, it's good to see Oxhey back up among the leading clubs in this league. Currently sixth, they could move up a place with a win here. The visitors, however, look like champions in waiting. Although third at the time of writing, they've got four games in hand on the leaders and could go second with a hefty win here

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Wednesday 30 October

Carabao Cup Fourth Round
Chelsea v Manchester United @745pm - this knockout competition is now down to its last 16 so is starting to get serious. With Liverpool also playing Arsenal, at least two of the main contenders will bow out at this stage. These two have both won the cup five times each with the Blues also losing in last year's final. On form you'd have to fancy Chelsea but on recent head-to-head records, United are unbeaten in four against the west London club. Tickets have sold out

Premier League International Cup
Your next best option might well be this U23 competition which sees two games in the south-east on Wednesday night. West Ham United entertain Wolfsburg at the Hammers' Rush Green training complex near Romford, whilst Athletic Bilbao take on Paris Saint-Germain at Aldershot Town's ground. Both matches kick-off at 7pm. Entry is usually no more than £5 but check on the day

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Thursday 31 October

Women's Champions League

Arsenal v Slavia Prague @730pm - after winning the away leg 5-2, a place in the quarter-finals is looking very likely indeed for the Gunners. Considering they also beat title rivals Manchester City in Sunday's big Super League game, the north London club should come into this match full of confidence. The game is being played at Boreham Wood's ground - tickets are cheaper if bought online in advance

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Friday 1 November

Premier League 2
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal @7pm - get November underway with a bang by going to watch the North London Derby at U23 level. Sadly the match is being played outside London at Stevenage's ground but it's easy enough to get to so don't let that put you off. Tickets are £5 and can be bought in advance or on the gate

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Saturday 2 November

Premier League
Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers @3pm - after the disappointment of throwing away a two-goal lead against Crystal Palace on Sunday, the Gunners will hope to take all three points here. Wolves aren't quite the side they were last season but are building a decent unbeaten run after a slow start. Another draw looks quite likely. Tickets are not on sale to non-members
West Ham United v Newcastle United @3pm - the Hammers drew on Saturday to move above Spurs into the top half. Given some of the scrapes they've had with the bottom three in recent seasons, their fans should be reasonably content with how it's going at the moment. Newcastle kept themselves out of the bottom three with a battling draw against Wolves and I'm sure they'll be more than happy with a point here. Tickets do appear to be available to non-members
Watford v Chelsea @530pm - the day concludes with this derby at Vicarage Road. Since losing at Wolves at the end of September, bottom club Watford have been unbeaten throughout October but are still yet to win after a string of draws. Chelsea notched their fourth league win on the bounce at Burnley on Saturday to remain firmly in the top four and it will take some performance from the hosts to stop them getting a fifth. Tickets are not on sale to non-members

Championship
Brentford v Huddersfield Town @3pm - as the months tick by, the closure of Griffin Park is getting ever closer and the chance to see a game there is diminishing. Most of Brentford's home games have seen tickets restricted to members and people with a purchasing history as demand has been so high but that's not the case this week - yet. As long as Huddersfield don't sell out their end, tickets for the rest of the ground will be available to non-members so act fast if you want one. As for the game itself, the Bees could come into this on the back of three wins if they succeed at QPR on Monday. Huddersfield were really struggling after their relegation from the Premier League but under new boss Danny Cowley they're now unbeaten in five and climbing the table
Fulham v Hull City @3pm - the Cottagers are one of a handful of clubs sitting just outside the play-off places. They should fancy their chances against Hull but back-to-back wins for them over Forest and Derby in the last few days means the west London side won't be able to take anything for granted. Tickets are available to non-members

League One
AFC Wimbledon v Lincoln City @3pm - the Dons' recent revival under Glyn Hodges came to an end with a narrow loss at Burton Albion on Saturday. The result kept them in the bottom three but only a point from safety. Lincoln are now winless in three and starting to slide towards the relegation zone - this is exactly the kind of game Wimbledon need to win. Tickets are not available to non-members

Isthmian League Premier Division
There are a few games in the National League on Saturday but none of them grab me. However, it's a different story in the seventh tier ILPD where a number of matches look very decent indeed. Carshalton Athletic have made it through to the FA Cup First Round and as a result they've played far fewer games than most of their nearest rivals including leaders Folkestone Invicta who they entertain on Saturday. Like Carshalton, Haringey Borough also have several games in hand because of their cup run which means they could be right up there with second placed Horsham who visit Coles Park. Hornchurch are currently fourth and could push into the top two if results go their way but they'll need to get the better of Potters Bar Town who also impressed in the FA Cup against Barnet last week. Finally, London's oldest club Cray Wanderers have a top-seven clash against Worthing. All in all, there's a lot to look forward in this division on Saturday - all kick-offs at 3pm

FA Vase Second Round
The FA Vase is a national knockout competition for clubs in the ninth to 11th tiers with its final at Wembley in May. There are five ties taking place in London on Saturday

Abbey Rangers v Ascot United @3pm - the hosts made it all the way to the Fifth Round last season which was quite something for a club who've only been playing at this level for a short time. The Addlestone based club are doing well in the Combined Counties League this season, currently sitting in fifth place with games in hand on all of those above them. One of those sides are Ascot, who are top of the CCL. If Abbey won their games in hand, they would go top so this should be close
Fisher v Glebe @3pm - there's an all SCEFL Premier Division tie at Salter Road in Rotherhithe where the Fish have landed a familiar opponent for the second round running. On paper, Glebe should start as favourites
Raynes Park Vale v Sutton Common Rovers @3pm - like the first game above, this is another all CCL game with even more of a derby feel to it. Playing only a few miles apart in south London, neither side has been in stunning form so far this season and as a result this should be pretty competitive
Walthamstow v AFC Uckfield Town @3pm - the Stow are among the frontrunners in the Essex Senior League and should have too much for their Sussex opponents who are midtable in the parallel SCFL
Welling Town v Bedfont & Feltham @3pm - visitors B&F are one of the lowest ranked clubs left in the competition so they've done really well to get this far. The Boots, who host, have come a long way in a very short time and are way up in the SCEFL's top four. The smart money is on a home win

Friendly
Rayners Lane v Brentford XI @12pm - after seeing their opponents for a scheduled league game fold two weeks ago, Rayners Lane have managed to arrange this friendly against a Bees reserve and youth side instead. As I understand it's free entry. The club have only just finished a multi-million pound renovation of their clubhouse and ground so this will give you a fantastic opportunity to check it out. The early kick-off also means you'll be able to combine it with a good selection of nearby games which kick-off at 3pm (e.g. North Greenford United or Wembley). Many thanks to TLFG reader Rob M for the tip-off


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Sunday 3 November

Premier League
Crystal Palace v Leicester City @2pm - the Eagles end the week with another tough Sunday encounter against one of the current top four. Brendan Rogers has done an impressive job since arriving at Leicester over the summer. Their 9-0 thrashing of Southampton briefly lifted them to second on Friday night and they should arrive at Selhurst Park in good spirits. Roy Hodgson, another manager like Rogers to disappoint in the Liverpool hotseat, has also done a fine job with Palace this season and they too are among the contenders for a European place. Tickets are only available to members

Championship
Charlton Athletic v Preston North End @12pm - elsewhere in south-east London, there should be no difficulty getting tickets for this second tier game. Although the Addicks have had a solid start to life back at this level and PNE are second just behind West Brom, there seems to be availability around the ground - prices start at £20

FA Vase Second Round
Southall v Seaford Town @3pm - if you're looking for a non-league option then this Vase tie is the best on offer. This CCL v SCFL tie is being played at Ashford Town's ground near Heathrow

Continental Tyres Cup
Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur @2pm - there are several women's games on in London on Sunday with this derby at Bromley's ground being the best on offer


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, 20 October 2019

TLFG: 21-27 October 2019

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

For the second Saturday running, not only have I found myself off work but I made it to a game.

I had initially planned to take my daughter out of London to watch either QPR play up at Hull or Harrow Borough at Salisbury.

In the end she got invited to a party and I had to stay in town to drop her off and pick up.

'Two Men In Search...' pay a visit to Corinthian Casuals on Non-League Day

As a result I only had time to stay local so it didn't take much time to decide to go to an FA Cup match, with the most local being the one at Hayes & Yeading United.

The west London club were only formed in 2007 when Hayes and neighbouring side Yeading merged.

Initially playing in the fifth tier at Hayes' old Church Road ground, the club have now moved to the site of Yeading's old stadium which although impressive on the face of things, is still very much a work in progress.

The draw had pitted H&YU against fellow Southern League club and title contenders Poole Town so it was always going to be tough.

Things got much tougher when the hosts had defender Keano Robinson sent off for a professional foul in only the fourth minute but they held on relatively comfortably until half time.

At the interval I caught up with Non-League Show presenter Tim Fuell who is also a senior official at H&YU. As we were talking I was also lucky enough to meet TLFG reader Jonathan B who introduced himself and we also had a quick chat. 

The second half saw Hayes create far more chances but they fell behind with just over 20 minutes to go.

There was plenty of huff and puff from the hosts but they never really looked like scoring until the 94th minute when James Clark found an equaliser with virtually the last kick of the game to set up a replay in Dorset on Tuesday night. 

Hayes & Yeading celebrate their late equaliser
As this was all going on, news was coming in from Haringey Borough where their FA Cup tie against Yeovil Town had been abandoned because of alleged racist abuse of their players.

Last week, I said this would be the tie to watch but never had I thought it would make the headlines for these unsavoury reasons.

I have to admit that there was an uncomfortable air at Hayes too where some QPR fans like me with nothing much else to do had gone to this game.

Unlike me, they were coming out with loud and abusive comments from the off and had stewards on them within minutes warning them of their behaviour.

Although there wasn't anything racist said, they were soon moaning about how much focus there had been on the 'racialism' in England's midweek game in Bulgaria and how you 'couldn't call a blackboard a blackboard any more'. 

Later in the game I heard a Hayes supporter comment how impressed he'd been by the black referee because he hadn't given the team with black players preferential treatment! 

Although not grossly offensive, I left the ground feeling uneasy.

If you do hear or see anything that crosses the line at a match, whatever the level, report it to anti-discrimination charity 'Kick It Out' through one of the various ways listed on their website.

On checking the results from elsewhere, I discovered Harrow had lost at Salisbury but that QPR had won on their travels again to move up to fifth - Premier League here we come!

THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include the return of the Champions League and Europa League, a full programme of Premier League and EFL games, some FA Cup replays and the next round of the FA Trophy. We also have plenty of games in all our local non-league competitions - there are over 90 matches in total so there's plenty to choose from. 

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



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 21 October

Professional Development League
Crystal Palace v Charlton Athletic @1pm - once again the week begins with a bit of U23 action. There are three games on but this derby is far and away the best on offer because it's being played at Selhurst Park. Tickets are £5 for adults and you can buy in advance

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Tuesday 22 October

Champions League
Tottenham Hotspur v Red Star Belgrade @745pm - after the humiliating defeat to Bayern Munich in their last group game, Spurs will be looking to get their European campaign back on track against the Serbian league champions. Despite being way stronger on paper, the north London club are going through a rough patch and will have to avoid complacency at all costs. Away fans have been banned by Uefa from attending this game, increasing the allocation available to Tottenham fans but you'll still need to be a member to buy one

Uefa Youth League
Tottenham Hotspur v Red Star Belgrade @3pm - earlier in the day, the clubs' U19 sides meet at Spurs' training ground in Enfield. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance by calling 0344 844 0102 and selecting Option 2

Championship
Millwall v Cardiff City @745pm - the Lions started the season brightly but results dropped off and club legend Neil Harris stepped down as manager at the beginning of this month. Days later they beat Leeds but surrendered a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 at Brentford in the derby on Saturday. Cardiff haven't really got going since their relegation from the Premier League but have only lost one of their last five to keep themselves in contention for a play-off spot. Tickets are on sale to non-members
Queens Park Rangers v Reading @745pm - with the Royals playing just over 30 miles west of Shepherd's Bush, this is effectively a derby so should be worth a watch. QPR picked up their seventh win of the season as they won 3-2 at Hull on Saturday. The result moved Mark Warburton's side into the top five. Reading, on the other hand, are having another season of struggle and sacked boss Jose Gomes nearly two weeks ago. However, new manager Mark Bowen (formerly on QPR's coaching staff) presided over a 1-0 victory over Preston on Saturday so they could be a trickier opponent than they could have been. Tickets are on sale to non-members

FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round Replays
Winners of each tie receive £18,750 prize money and qualify for the First Round where League One and League Two clubs enter the draw. The draw takes place on Monday so all the sides below should have a good idea of who they will be playing if they win

Barnet v Potters Bar Town @745pm - if you'd prefer a bit of cup drama the two replays on offer shouldn't disappoint. First up is this local derby. After years of living in Barnet's shadow, Potters Bar have moved up the pyramid in recent years and are now only two levels below their hosts. In Saturday's original televised tie, the minnows pinched a late equaliser to earn a shock 1-1 draw and this trip to The Hive. Barnet should, of course, start as favourites but anything is possible. Tickets are available to non-members
Wealdstone v Maidenhead United @745pm - the Stones did well to hold the Magpies, from a division above, to a draw on Saturday. If you want atmosphere it could well be better at this game than the one above because the ground is far smaller and likely to be busy. Wealdstone's fans are also among the most passionate at this level of the game. Tickets are available to non-members and you can buy in advance or pay cash on arrival. Unlike most non-league games, rival fans will be segregated

Isthmian League Premier Division
Enfield Town v Hornchurch @745pm - in north London there's a big game in the Isthmian League where two of the top four will duel for three precious points. A win for the hosts could see them go top on goal difference

Isthmian League South East
Cray Valley PM v Whyteleafe @745pm - this fixture in the eighth tier looks intriguing. CVPM have made a fine start to life at this level after promotion from the SCEFL and find themselves in the top three. The Leafe are way down in 16th but have only played four league games because of a great FA Cup run which came to an end on Saturday. The Surrey club would go top if they won all their games in hand so it will be interesting to see how good they really are

SCEFL Premier Division
Erith & Belvedere v Erith Town @745pm - the standout game in the ninth tier is most definitely the Erith derby in south-east London. Neither side are pulling up any trees this season and are side-by-side in lower midtable so both could do with a win

SSML Division 1
St Panteleimon v London Lions @745pm - in terms of form, the hosts are one of the best sides to watch in London right now. The Greek Cypriot club, who groundshare at North Greenford United, are new to this higher level and haven't lost any of their opening 13 games to put themselves nine points clear at this early stage. The visitors, a Jewish club, are coasting along nicely enough in midtable but they'll do well to get anything here

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Wednesday 23 October

Championship
Fulham v Luton Town @745pm - the match of the day takes place at Craven Cottage in what is also effectively a derby given Luton's close proximity to London. The Hatters' fans always travel in large numbers to these sort of games with QPR getting their biggest crowd of this season against them. The Cottagers haven't lived up to the tag of pre-season favourites and lost to a pretty hapless Stoke side on Saturday but given how tight the division is, they are still very much in contention. Having only been recently promoted, this season will be all about consolidation for the visitors and they're doing enough to survive at the moment. Tickets are on sale to non-members

Friendly
Brentford B v Reading U23 @730pm - with Griffin Park closing at the end of the season, demand for tickets to see the Bees' home games has been high as people try to get in a final visit. If you've not made it yet then this match gives you the perfect opportunity to do it as entry is free and open to everyone

CCL Premier Division
Colliers Wood United v Hanworth Villa @730pm - two points off top spot and with two games in hand, CWU are in the best position I can remember them being in since I started this blog in 2011. With only one league defeat, it's looking good for the south-west London club. Hanworth Villa have been one of the stronger sides in the CCL over the last few years but they've gone right off the boil and could go down

FA Vase First Round
Westside v Deal Town @745pm - having seen this match postponed a week ago, these two will have another go at getting a result here. The hosts play a level below their opponents but they have a good chance of pulling off a cupset nonetheless

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Thursday 24 October

Europa League

Arsenal v Vitoria @8pm - at the time of writing, the Gunners are on an eight-game unbeaten run so come into this in pretty good shape. With wins over Liege and Frankfurt in their first two group games, a win over Portuguese side Vitoria looks likely. The Primeira Liga club were humiliated by third-tier side Sintra in the Portuguese Cup on Saturday and lost their previous league game. With defeats in their first two Europa League games too, there can surely be only one winner. This match has sold out

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Friday 25 October

Premier League 2
Fulham v Sunderland @2pm - if you're off on Friday and want to take the kids somewhere for half-term, it's only £3 for adults and £1 children to watch this U23 game at the Cottagers' training ground in Motspur Park

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Saturday 26 October

Premier League
Watford v AFC Bournemouth @3pm - the Hornets came agonisingly close to a shock win at Spurs on Saturday but ultimately had settle for a 1-1 draw. The result kept the Hertfordshire club winless and rooted to the bottom of the table. On paper, the Cherries are the smallest club in the Premier League by some distance with their tiny ground of 11,000 half the size of the next smallest. Yet somehow they keep doing what they need to do to keep things ticking over on the pitch. Their dull draw with Norwich on Saturday kept them in the top half. Since moving into the top flight together in 2015 there have been eight matches - six have ended in draws with a win apiece. It could well be tight. Tickets are available to non-members
West Ham United v Sheffield United @3pm - the Hammers made a decent start to the season but with only one win in five, they've drifted back down to 10th. Newly promoted Sheffield United will probably be satisfied with the fact they are not in the bottom three at this stage but they could easily find themselves in there if they lose this. Tickets are available to non-members

Championship
Millwall v Stoke City @3pm - with only one win in five, at the time of writing, the Lions badly need to get something against struggling Stoke. Sadly for them, the Potters have finally started to hit some form with back-to-back wins over highly fancied Swansea and Fulham sides lifting them off the bottom. Tickets are available to non-members

League Two
Leyton Orient v Carlisle United @3pm - with three wins on the trot, the O's have hit a hot streak. The results have pushed them up to 12th only two points away from the play-off places. Carlisle are having a disappointing season and have lost four of their last five to sit 20th. However, the Cumbrian club have won on three of their last five visits so it appears Brisbane Road is a happy hunting ground for them. Tickets are available to non-members

National League
Bromley v FC Halifax Town @3pm - without doubt the match of the day at non-league level sees the top two in this division clash at Hayes Lane. Only goal difference currently separates the clubs so this should be a cracker. Halifax are in marginally better form but both lost on Saturday. Tickets are available to non-members but are cheaper if bought online in advance

National League South

Wealdstone v Tonbridge Angels @3pm - there aren't any really eye-catching games in the sixth tier but if you go to this one, you'll get to see whether the Stones can extend their lead at the top to eight points. Tonbridge are just above the relegation zone so an away win looks unlikely

FA Trophy First Qualifying Round
This national knockout competition is for clubs in the fifth to the eighth tiers and has its final at Wembley. At this stage, clubs from the seventh tier enter the draw to play all the eighth tier clubs who've made it this far. There are several ties in the London area on Saturday, here are my top three

Haringey Borough v Horsham @3pm - north London club Haringey hit the headlines on Saturday when they decided to take their players off the pitch during an FA Cup tie with Yeovil because of alleged racist abuse by some of the visitors' fans. The Isthmian League club return to cup competition a week later with a tough match against fellow Isthmian League promotion contenders Horsham. The Sussex club enjoyed promotion at the end of last season, have just moved into a new ground and are second in the league. It should be close
Kingstonian v Corinthian Casuals @3pm - over in south-west London we've got this mouthwatering groundshare derby to look forward to. Both in the Isthmian League Premier Division's bottom eight, neither are in good form but these occasions usually draw a good crowd so it should be well worth a watch
Uxbridge v Bognor Regis Town @3pm - the hosts are only a couple of points away from the play-off places in the Isthmian League South Central. In Bognor they face a tough draw against a club from the division above but the Sussex club aren't in the best form so they've got half a chance

Middlesex Senior Cup Second Round
Hanwell Town v Brentford B @3pm - already out of the FA Trophy and presumably without a league game, Hanwell have arranged this attractive county cup match for Saturday afternoon. With Brentford's first team not in action that day, you'd hope a few of their fans would make the short journey north to see this match. Once again, I'd like to applaud the Bees for putting a side in this competition and the London Senior Cup and I wish more of our local Premier League and EFL clubs would do too

SSML Premier Division
Oxhey Jets v Newport Pagnell Town @3pm - two of the top five meet at the Boundary Stadium on Saturday in a match of great importance in the ninth tier. The visitors are desperately trying to keep up with leaders Tring Athletic and if they lose here, they could find themselves eight points off title pace

SCEFL Division 1
Croydon v FC Elmstead @3pm - there's no doubt about the game of the day in the 10th tier where the top two in this division meet. The visitors are currently two points clear at the top but Croydon have a game in hand - a hugely important game at this level

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Sunday 27 October

Premier League
Arsenal v Crystal Palace @430pm - the week comes to a close with this derby at the Emirates Stadium. Given the Gunners' current form and the fact Palace have only won twice on their last 10 visits to this part of London, you'd expect the Selhurst Park club to come unstuck again. Tickets are not available to non-members

Isthmian League North Division
Grays Athletic v Dereham Town @3pm - there's a random bit of non-league action in Essex where the FA Trophy draw has seen Grays have to move this game to Sunday as their landlords are have landed a home draw. Grays are firmly in the hunt for the title so they should expect to win here against midtable opposition

FA Women's Super League
Arsenal v Manchester City @230pm - the biggest game of a busy programme of women's football sees this hugely important clash between last season's league champions and FA Cup winners. City are currently top with a 100% record so Arsenal will need to win to draw level. This match is being played at Boreham Wood and tickets are cheaper if bought online in advance


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