Monday 23 October 2017

TLFG: 23-29 October 2017

Apologies again for the late publication this week - it's half term and things have got a bit behind schedule.

At this stage I thought I'd just get the match maps up and then I'll try and fill in the gaps a bit later today.

The action gets underway at lunchtime with some very interesting U23 games. Crystal Palace have a match at Selhurst Park against Coventry at 1pm but it's also the north London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal at Spurs' training  ground at midday. I'm cautious about encouraging you to go to this match as it could be behind closed doors - even now three hours before kick-off, neither club's website or social media is advertising it so be very sure it's on and you can get in before travelling.

Like I say, I'll endeavour to get the rest of the info up later today.

UPDATE: (23/10/17 @1610): TLFG's daily digest has now been added so normal service has now been resumed.

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There are over 80 matches in the London area over the next seven days as the Premier League and EFL take centre stage. It's also a big week of cup football with the next round FA Trophy taking place and a number county cup ties too.

As always, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or venue has been changed. 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.

A fine way for your kids to end half-term - book here
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.

Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - magenta pin
Friday fixtures - black pin

Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin

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 23 October

London Senior Cup First Round
Hendon v Wingate & Finchley @745pm - one of the ties of the round pits these two near neighbours from north London against each other. You should also consider going to this game as vandals broke into Hendon's Silver Jubilee Park over the weekend and did thousands of pounds worth of damage and they've launched an appeal to raise funds for repairs

Bostik League South Division
Carshalton Athletic v Greenwich Borough @745pm - an enticing looking fixture between two promotion contenders is your best option in south London on Monday


Tuesday 24 October

EFL Cup Fourth Round

Arsenal v Norwich City @745pm - the EFL Cup usually provides a great way to see the big teams play at home at a reduced price and this is the case here. Getting a ticket to see the Gunners at the Emirates is usually tough or very expensive without membership but there are still quite a few tickets available for £20. As for the match itself, Arsene Wenger usually rests quite a few players for these games so it could be quite even as Norwich are doing well in the Championship and will be well backed by several thousand travelling fans

National League
Dagenham & Redbridge v Macclesfield Town @745pm - there are some great options in the fifth tier on Tuesday night but I'd personally go for this one on league placings. Only six points separate the top seven clubs in a really exciting title race. The Daggers were top for a bit but have dropped back a little while the Silkmen have become the current incumbents and opened a three-point lead after winning the first leg of their east London tour at Leyton Orient on Saturday

National League South
Hampton & Richmond Borough v St Albans City @745pm - after a poor start, the hosts have managed to string together a seven-match unbeaten run in the league. However, most of those games have ended in a draw meaning the Beavers are still way down in 15th. The Saints are currently joint top and, aside from a comprehensive home defeat to Boreham Wood in the FA Cup last week, are unbeaten in six themselves

Bostik League Premier Division
Enfield Town v Leiston @745pm - the Towners usually find themselves in and around the battle for the play-offs but are way down the table at the moment courtesy of a decent run in the FA Cup. With four games in hand on the current leaders Hendon, they could and probably should make significant strides up the table. Leiston are likely to be one of the sides that also challenge and were top themselves a few weeks ago so this should be a decent game

Bostik League North Division
AFC Hornchurch v Dereham Town @745pm - the game of the week in this division sees the sides currently ranked third and second go head-to-head. The Urchins should really be top but they've also enjoyed a decent run in the FA Cup and have three games in hand on the top two

Combined Counties League Premier Division
Walton & Hersham v Bedfont Sports @745pm - the Swans came unstuck against leaders Westfield in the big game last week and then saw Bedfont thrash Chertsey at the weekend to move above them. Therefore this is, as above, a battle of third versus second and gives groundhoppers another chance to check out the new stadium W&H have recently relocated to


Wednesday 25 October

EFL Cup Fourth Round

Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United @8pm - on paper this derby should be one of the ties of the round but given this competition is a low priority for Spurs and West Ham are playing really badly, tickets have not been selling all that well. As far as I understand it, the upper tier at Wembley won't open at all and there's still plenty of availability in the lower one. Tickets are cheap too with many available for £20 but you must be on their ticketing database or know a member/season-ticket holder to get one
Chelsea v Everton @745pm - contrast that with this game at Stamford Bridge which is completely sold out. Again, this cup shouldn't be a priority for the Blues and the visitors are also playing badly so why the huge difference in interest? To be fair, Chelsea are playing at their own much 'smaller' stadium and the attendances could end up being quite similar

Bostik League North Division
Grays Athletic v Haringey Borough @745pm - the best non-league option of the night is to be found at Aveley's ground where Haringey will attempt to win one of their games in hand to get their title challenge back on track


Friday 27 October

Premier League 2

Fulham v Norwich City @7pm - the weekend gets underway with an U23 game at the Cottagers' training ground which is very close to Motspur Park station. It's only £3 to get in and I'm told the facilities for spectators are pretty decent


Saturday 28 October

Premier League
Crystal Palace v West Ham United @3pm - the game of the day in London is this crunch clash between two sides who are desperate for a win at the wrong end of the table. The Eagles opened the season with seven straight defeats and couldn't even manage a goal. Last week they sensationally beat Chelsea before battling hard but ultimately losing to a late goal at Newcastle on Saturday. These performances seem to indicate that things are improving under Roy Hodgson but the same can't be said about Slaven Bilic. His Hammers side gave a pretty abject performance against Brighton on Friday and it's believed he's been given two games to start turning things around. A defeat here might end his reign even sooner
Arsenal v Swansea City @3pm - once again there has been a lot of hand wringing from Arsenal fans this season but they are still in all the cups and gave Everton a good stuffing on Sunday to move up to fifth. Even at this early stage, a title bid still looks out of the question but a win over a mediocre Swansea side could propel them back into the top four
Watford v Stoke City @3pm - if you're not a member of any of the clubs above, this game still has a few tickets available on general sale so you should be able to get to see some Premier League football this weekend if you book swiftly. The Hornets have had a fine start to the season and could also find themselves back in the top four if they win and other results go their way

Queens Park Rangers v Wolverhampton Wanderers @3pm - the R's are currently joint second in the division for drawing games this season so although they're way down in 17th they are proving tough to beat. If Sheffield United fail to win at Leeds on Friday, Wolves will arrive at Loftus Road as leaders and will no doubt bring a large and lively following with them
Fulham v Bolton Wanderers @3pm - if you'd rather spend a more leisurely afternoon down by the river then pay Craven Cottage a visit. Fulham, who are still firmly in the hunt for a play-off place, should see off bottom club Bolton

League One
Charlton Athletic v AFC Wimbledon @3pm - if it's a London derby you want then get yourself down to The Valley for this south-east versus south-west affair. The smart money is definitely on the Addicks who are fourth and on a seven-game unbeaten run. For some reason, it's also 'Kids For A Quid' - bargain!

Premier League 2
West Ham United v Manchester City @1pm - earlier in the day there's this rather strangely scheduled U23 fixture at Dagenham & Redbridge's ground. The kick-off time doesn't even let you get to another game unless you shave off the end of this one or the start of another one - Barking are the nearest club if you do attempt a 'double'

National League
Sutton United v Ebbsfleet United @3pm - the biggest crowd of the day at this level locally is likely to be found at Gander Green Lane. Sutton are one of several teams to have briefly held top spot this season and a win over newly promoted Ebbsfleet, who are in the play-off hunt themselves, could put them right back in it
Boreham Wood v Bromley @3pm - there's a cross-London derby at Meadow Park where two teams in the top eight will both look to advance their causes. Although their average attendances have increased significantly this year, the Wood are still getting the lowest crowds in the division so it is some achievement that they are continuing to more than hold their own at this level

National League South
Dartford v St Albans City @3pm - the title race in this division is even tighter than the division above with a ridiculously tiny three points separating the top eight clubs. At the time of writing, these two find themselves in that group so this should be one of the matches of the day
Welling United v Wealdstone @3pm - after the struggles of recent years it's not often you've been able to say that Welling are the form team of the division but that is currently the case. With six wins on the trot and two draws before that, they've climbed to fifth. The Stones, from west London, are unbeaten in six themselves and are also climbing the table quickly after an iffy start

FA Trophy First Qualifying Round - this knockout competition is for clubs who play in the fifth to eighth tiers of the national system. Seventh-tier teams enter the draw at this stage alongside those eighth-tier teams who survived the opening round. Winners of each tie earn £3,250 in prize money. There are several ties in London on Saturday, here are my pick
Hendon v Kings Langley @3pm - at the time of writing the Greens are top of the Bostik League meaning they should win this tie. The visitors, who hail from just north of Watford, play in the parallel Evo-Stik Premier but have made a poor start
Staines Town v Margate @3pm - the hosts have made a bullish start to the season, enjoying a few big wins as they've cemented themselves a place in the top five of the Bostik Premier. Margate suffered relegation from the NLS last season and have yet to really get going so could come unstuck here
Harrow Borough v Haringey Borough @3pm - these two have surpassed all my expectations so far this season. Harrow only avoided relegation last season because of another club's poor finances so to see them in the top seven as we approach November is quite remarkable. When I started this blog a few years ago, Haringey were a pretty run of the mill Essex Senior League club, playing in a slightly shabby stadium in front of pretty meagre crowds. Since then they won that league, installed a 3G pitch and made the Bostik North play-offs last season. Challenging for promotion again and with a great run in the FA Cup also under their belts, they're looking strong and could cause an upset here

Southern Counties East League Division 1
Sporting Club Thamesmead v K Sports @3pm - with not much of interest going on in the ninth tier, the best game in the 10th is this one. SC Thamesmead are currently fourth in this division, making them the best that London has to offer. This match will see them take on the current leaders

FA Women's Super League 2
London Bees v Millwall Lionesses @2pm - if you'd rather see a women's game then this derby at The Hive (also home of Barnet) is the match for you

Sunday 29 October

FA Trophy First Qualifying Round
Thamesmead Town v Brightlingsea Regent @2pm - by virtue of their new groundshare arrangement with Dartford, Thamesmead look set to provide us with a fair bit of Sunday football entertainment this year, especially if they make progress in this competition. They've landed a tough tie here against a side from the division above but they held the mighty Billericay here a few weeks ago so should be more than capable of getting a result here

FA Women's Super League 1
Chelsea v Yeovil Town @2pm - with three wins from three, the new season has begun well for Chelsea. Joint top with Manchester City and seemingly well settled at their new Kingsmeadow home, victory against the struggling Glovers should be a formality

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.

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.


  1. Thanks so much for posting about the cheap voucher for Wimbledon vs Rotherham last week. I'm sort of a Rotherham fan and it made it possible for me to afford to go to the game. Please do keep posting any special offers like this :)

    1. You're very welcome, glad to have been of service :-)

  2. i missed the game but i a mreallt glad that i got all the tid bits through this post. you are such a life saver to update us with it