Sunday, 19 February 2017

TLFG: 20-26 February 2017

As someone who likes to champion the non-league game and FA cup competitions, it's been quite a week both locally and nationally.

The top story was definitely National League Lincoln City's shock 1-0 FA Cup win over Premier League Burnley at Turfmoor on Saturday. Elsewhere, Millwall claimed their third Premier League scalp of the season as they grabbed a late winner against Leicester City to also make the quarter-finals.

Of the big boys, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur made comfortable progress while Manchester City were held at Huddersfield.

But perhaps the biggest story of all could take place tomorrow when Sutton United, another National League side, look to cause one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup history when they host Arsenal live on TV (BBC One, 755pm). 

The ticket deal of the week is to be found at Charlton
It was also FA Vase quarter-final weekend where London's last remaining club Southall finally bowed out at home to highly rated Cleethorpes Town. It was a fantastic achievement by the 10th-tier club to make it to the last eight and hopefully they'll push on for promotion in the Spartan South Midlands League.

With the Sutton game out of the way, this Saturday sees the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy. We're fortunate in London to have two sides left in the competition and both Boreham Wood and Dulwich Hamlet have landed tough but very attractive home ties. As a result, my focus on the non-league games you can watch this weekend is largely dominated by these so I strongly recommend you get to one of them if you can.

Aside from all this, there's loads more great football to watch with matches every day this week including good options on Thursday, Friday and Sunday which we don't often have so fill your boots.

Buy tickets for Non-League Finals Day and you could win some for the FA Cup Final
I'll be at QPR v Wigan on Tuesday and will probably be at Dulwich v Macclesfield on Saturday. Barkingside v Clapton on Friday is also very tempting but getting permission to see three matches in a week is surely impossible??? Watch this space...

Lastly, given the FA Vase and Trophy chat above, don't forget that tickets for Non-League Finals Day at Wembley on Sunday 21 May are now on sale. It's only £25 for adults and £1 for kids to see the two finals played back-to-back. Also, if you buy before the end of February the you could win tickets for this season's FA Cup Final so don't delay!


THE WEEK AHEAD
There are over 100 matches in the London area over the next week with action in the Premier League, Europa League, EFL, FA Cup, FA Trophy and several minor league and county cup competitions.

However, 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 (white 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 (e.g. clubs in the Conference South).

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Magenta pin - Wednesday fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday fixtures
Black pin - Friday fixtures




WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Orange pin - Sunday fixtures




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

Monday 20 February

FA Cup fifth round
Sutton United v Arsenal @755pm - simply writing this fixture seems odd but a non-league team from south London are taking on one of the biggest clubs in the country in a last 16 tie of the FA Cup. The U's have had to win five ties to get this far, beating Forest Green Rovers, Dartford, Cheltenham Town, AFC Wimbledon and Leeds United. The Gunners represent a big step up in class but how seriously will they take it? Under pressure manager Arsene Wenger must realise this is his only realistic chance of silverware this season and shouldn't take any chances with his team selection but he often does - anything less than victory will be disastrous

Premier League 2
West Ham United v Fulham @7pm - tickets for the match at Sutton are long gone but you should have better luck getting one for this U23 game at the London Stadium. Tickets are £5 for adults but must be booked in advance - annoyingly I can't find any cut off time on the West Ham website so book online as soon as you can if you're interested in visiting the Hammers' new home

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Tuesday 21 February

Championship
Queens Park Rangers v Wigan Athletic @745pm - QPR picked up their first win in six games with a stunning 4-1 win at Birmingham City on Saturday. That result will hopefully push a few more wavering fans towards Loftus Road on Tuesday where tickets for this game against the struggling Latics should be in plentiful supply. Re-sale tickets are going for below face value on Twickets if you fancy a club-approved bargain

League One
Millwall v Chesterfield @745pm - from a London perspective, the Lions are the team of the moment in this division. Their fantastic victory over Premier League champions Leicester in the FA Cup on Saturday extended their unbeaten run to 13 matches in all competitions. A win over struggling Chesterfield on Tuesday could lift them to fifth
Charlton Athletic v Oxford United @745pm - elsewhere in the division we have this midtable clash. Both have games in hand which may give them an outside chance of making the play-offs but they both need to start winning regularly

National League
Dagenham & Redbridge v Bromley @745pm - the cheap tickets on offer as part of the Daggers' anti-racism day proved a big draw as they got their biggest crowd of the season on Saturday. However, lowly Guiseley ruined the party by notching an unlikely 2-1 win. With Lincoln creating FA Cup history elsewhere, John Still's side missed the chance to go joint top. On Tuesday they have another chance when they take on midtable Bromley in this derby

Middlesex Senior Cup semi-finals
Hendon v Wealdstone @745pm - we're down to the last four in one of our local county cups and we've got a couple of derbies to look forward to. The Greens and Stones used to play much closer together and be in the same division so these games had quite a bit of spice to them. With Wealdstone now back up in the National League South and Hendon ailing at the wrong end of the Ryman Premier, there should only be one winner...
Hampton & Richmond Borough v Hanworth Villa @745pm - on paper, the mismatch in this game is even bigger with three divisions separating the sides. Hampton, if playing a full strength team, should win at a canter but boss Rufus Brevett (he of former QPR and Fulham fame) has done really well at Hanworth this season and they come into the game on a great run of form

London Senior Cup second round
Redbridge v AFC Wimbledon @745pm - it used to be traditional that most of the capital's pro clubs entered sides in local county cup competitions but sadly it has become a rarity. Thankfully the Dons are still doing it to lend a bit of extra interest to this competition. Although they can play their full first team, it's more likely to be a development side but you could see one or two senior squad members if you're lucky

Ryman League Division 1 South
Greenwich Borough v Hythe Town @745pm - the tense battle for play-off places continues on Tuesday with this match between the sides currently in fourth and sixth. At this level, only the top side goes up automatically and the clubs in second to fifth play-off

Southern League Division 1 Central
Ashford Town (Middlesex) v Royston Town @745pm - the Tangerines are having a pretty mediocre campaign but are in no danger of relegation. The main reason to watch this one is to take a look at visitors Royston who are top and looking for promotion. The last game between them shortly before Christmas produced eight goals (5-3 to Royston) so hopefully we'll get more of the same

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Wednesday 22 February

Ryman League Division 1 South
Cray Wanderers v Tooting & Mitcham United @745pm - with eight league wins on the bounce, Tooting seem to be building a real head of steam as they look to return to the Ryman Premier. Sadly they can't shake off Dorking Wanderers who are second, just three points behind. On Wednesday they face a tricky trip to Bromley for this game against a side whose outside hopes of a play-off place could hinge on getting a decent result here

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Thursday 23 February

Europa League
Tottenham Hotspur v Gent @805pm - with a place in the last 16 up for grabs, Spurs need to overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit in front of another big crowd at Wembley where this match will be played

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Friday 24 February

Premier League Cup
Fulham v Charlton Athletic @7pm - there's quite a decent selection of Friday night football this week. If you want to see some of the pros of the future then this U23 game at Fulham's training ground is the match for you. A TLFG reader went to a game here a while back and reported that the facilities for spectators were good with seats and refreshments available. It's usually £3 on the gate to get in so give it a go

Ryman League Division 1 North
Thurrock v Bowers & Pitsea @745pm - if you're looking for a game with a bit more riding on it then this Essex derby between sides fighting for a play-off place should tick a few boxes

Essex Senior League
Barkingside v Clapton @745pm - alternatively if atmosphere is what you're after then, ironically, this ninth-tier game could well provide the most as the title-chasing Tons with their vocal ultras make the short journey to Seven Kings for this east London derby

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Saturday 25 February

Premier League
Chelsea v Swansea City @3pm - the Blues seem to be walking to the title as the teams below them continue to slip up. Comfortably through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup as well, Chelsea will start this match as strong favourites. Although in the lower reaches all season, the Swans have won four of their last six under new manager Paul Clement as they've impressively hoisted themselves up to 15th in the table. It's also worth noting that Swansea are unbeaten in three against the Stamford Bridge club so any complacency will need to be nipped in the bud by Antonio Conte
Crystal Palace v Middlesbrough @3pm - Sam Allardyce's side face another crucial relegation six-pointer on Saturday as fellow strugglers Boro pay a visit. With only one league win in 11, the Eagles are in terrible shape and really must win here to stop their already shattered morale completely collapsing. Although only three points above their hosts, Middlesbrough are only in this position because they have become the draw specialists of the division (10 from 25) and are therefore quite tough to beat
Watford v West Ham United @530pm - in the day's late game we have a derby between two midtable clubs. The Hornets managed to arrest a worrying run of defeats and should now have enough to avoid the drop for another season. The Hammers were also in a bad way but have fought back brilliantly to break into the top 10. This match is, therefore, little more than a battle for places and bragging rights

Championship
Brentford v Rotherham United @3pm - although in the lower reaches of the table, the Bees look to be safe for another season which is no mean feat for one of the smallest clubs in the division. On Saturday they welcome the bottom club who are 15 points adrift of safety and seemingly doomed

League One
AFC Wimbledon v Walsall @3pm - up among the play-off contenders earlier in the season, avoiding the relegation places is now the priority for the Dons as a five-game winless run has left them only five points above the relegation places. Walsall still have an outside chance of a play-off place so they should start as marginal favourites
Charlton Athletic v Bury @3pm - the bargain of the day is to be found at The Valley where the Addicks are charging a flat price of just £5 for all tickets. It's just as well as the hosts have little to play for, being eight points from both the play-off and relegation places. Bury, on the other hand, are fighting to avoid relegation

League Two
Barnet v Cambridge United @3pm - with four points from two games this week, the Bees have kept themselves firmly in contention for a coveted top-seven place. Cambridge are only just behind them in the table so there's plenty to play for as the season moves towards its final quarter
Leyton Orient v Cheltenham Town @3pm - after the joy of a hugely surprising win at Plymouth on Tuesday, the O's crashed back down to earth with a home defeat to fellow strugglers Notts County on Saturday. The result left them in the bottom two and three points adrift of safety. Next up they welcome the Robins who are one of two catchable teams just above them. They must win this one!

FA Trophy Quarter-Finals
Boreham Wood v Lincoln City @3pm - with Wembley looming for the final eight teams, the stakes are rising. The Wood have, on paper, the toughest opponents left in the competition with the National League leaders and vanquishers of Burnley heading to Meadow Park. The Imps have never lost to Boreham Wood and are looking great at the moment but will their FA Cup heroics prove to be a distraction???
Dulwich Hamlet v Macclesfield Town @3pm - over at Champion Hill, the lowest ranked team remaining in the competition welcome former third-tier side Macclesfield for another massive game. The Hamlet knocked out National League side Braintree in the last round so shouldn't find the challenge of the Silkmen insurmountable. This game could well draw a close to sell-out crowd so you are advised to buy in advance

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Sunday 26 February

EFL Cup Final
Manchester United v Southampton @430pm - the season's first bit of silverware is up for grabs at Wembley on Sunday. The Red Devils will be looking to win the cup for a fifth time and they'll start as strong favourites against an out-of-sorts Saints side who last made the final in 1979

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City @130pm - now 10 points off the pace in the Premier League, the title looks to have gone for third-placed Spurs but mathematically it's still very much on. A win against a tough Potters side won't be easy to get but is a necessity

Southern Counties East League Premier Division
Cray Valley PM v Ashford United @3pm - the hosts welcome Ashford twice this week in the cup and league. Ashford are top at the time of writing while Cray are having a decent season back in sixth

FA Women's Super League 2
Millwall Lionesses v Sheffield Ladies @2pm - the women's game of the day takes place at Fisher's ground in Rotherhithe where Millwall play their first home match of the new season



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 within 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.

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

Sunday, 12 February 2017

TLFG: 13-19 February 2017

Welcome one and all to the latest edition of TLFG.

This week I managed a rare foray to a live game over in south-east London.

Having earned a creditable draw at National League side Braintree Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday, Dulwich Hamlet welcomed the Essex club back to Champion Hill for the replay on Tuesday night.

Playing in the seventh tier, the hosts came into the game as the lowest-ranked team left in the competition so were the underdogs in most people's eyes.

Braintree seemed to have the better of the opening exchanges without really taking charge and it was Dulwich who took the lead with a penalty shortly before the half hour but it was all square at the break after a corner was poorly defended at the near post.

The ticket deal of the week is to be found at Dagenham & Redbridge
After the break, Dulwich took control but only after a moment of outrageous fortune restored their lead when keeper Sam Beasant (son of Dave) saw his clearance hit one of his own defenders and loop back over him into the net. 

Gavin Rose's players grew in confidence and opened up an unassailable 4-1 lead with 15 minutes to go. By this time Braintree were also down to 10 men and although they pulled one back, there was still time for sub Jacob Erskine to add another as Dulwich recorded a memorable 5-2 win.

Next up, in the quarter-finals, is a blockbuster home tie against former third-tier club Macclesfield Town. The Cheshire side are now back in the National League but are among its play-off contenders so will be incredibly tough to beat.

Thanks to reader Moran for this great panoramic of Brisbane Road
Both sides average sizeable crowds so Champion Hill's 3,000 capacity is likely to be reached for the game which takes place on Saturday 25 February. Tickets are on sale online and are being kept at the normal rate of £10 for adults which is impressive.

Elsewhere this week, it's Dagenham & Redbridge's annual 'Daggers Against Racism Day'. Guiseley are the visitors for a National League game and tickets start at just £2.50 for adults if bought in advance. 

Southall also have their hugely important FA Vase quarter-final against Cleethorpes Town on Saturday. They will start as considerable underdogs but the lure of a trip to nearby Wembley for the final could see them raise their game again.

We're lucky again this week to have a blog from 'Two Men In Search Of The Beautiful Game' who paid a visit to Barking who are currently top of the Essex Senior League. I've never been to Mayesbrook Park so will take particular interest in this.


Lastly this week, thanks to reader Moran from Israel who visited Leyton Orient as their terrible run continued with defeat against Morecambe. He had a good time nonetheless and sent some great photos of his experiences. Thanks again Moran.

I'm heading up to Edinburgh this week. Sadly there don't seem to be any games on while I'm there but I'll try and squeeze in a match down here before I go.

Enjoy your week and, as always, let me know what you've been up to.

THE WEEK AHEAD
There are over 70 matches in the London area over the next week with action in the FA Cup, EFL, FA Vase and several minor league and county cup competitions.

However, 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 (white 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 (e.g. clubs in the Conference South).

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Magenta pin - Wednesday fixtures




WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Orange pin - Sunday fixtures




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 13 February

Premier League Cup
Fulham v AFC Wimbledon @7pm - there are three games in this U23 competition on Monday with this derby at the Cottagers' training ground the one I'd go for

National League South
Wealdstone v Whitehawk @745pm - with average crowds of 745, the Stones should draw a bigger crowd for the non-league game of the day
----------------------------------------------------

Tuesday 14 February

Championship
Fulham v Nottingham Forest @745pm - the match of the night takes place at Craven Cottage where the hosts will look to push again for a play-off place. They're six points off the pace at the moment and should beat Forest but they don't have a great record against them with five wins from their last 20 meetings

League One
Millwall v Port Vale @745pm - the Lions are on a great 11-game unbeaten run which has lifted them into top six and the fifth round of the FA Cup. The visitors are struggling so that run should get extended
AFC Wimbledon v Coventry City @745pm - these clubs made history and won a lot of fans with unlikely FA Cup victories in consecutive years in the late '80s. Sadly both sets of supporters have suffered greatly since then and find themselves in League One. In the case of the Dons, things have hopefully reached their lowest point and they're a club on the up but for the Sky Blues, the downward trajectory continues. Currently bottom and winless in the league since the 1 November, a place in League Two looks a certainty

Ryman League Cup Quarter-Final
AFC Hornchurch v Dulwich Hamlet @745pm - the eighth-tier Urchins welcome Dulwich from the division above. Both sides have hopes of promotion this season but the Hamlet seem to be dropping away a bit with the focus and performances seemingly being saved for their cup games. The visitors should start as favourites but Hornchurch are in much better form

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Wednesday 8 February

Combined Counties League Premier Division
Colliers Wood United v Sutton Common Rovers @730pm - if you're looking for a game on Wednesday, get yourself down to the Wibbandune for a match between two sides from south London. Neither are pulling up trees this season but their league positions are possibly a bit false as they both have several games in hand on the teams around them

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Saturday 18 February

FA Cup Fifth Round
Millwall v Leicester City @3pm - we're down to the last 16 and the Lions have done superbly well to get there, seeing off top-flight sides Bournemouth and Watford in the previous two rounds. Next up they welcome the reigning Premier League champions who have made a shocking defence of their title and are fighting the drop. Given who they've already beaten, Millwall should fancy their chances again

League Two
Barnet v Portsmouth @3pm - the Bees welcome former Premier League side Pompey for one of their biggest games of the season. Both were pushing hard for a play-off place a few weeks ago but Barnet have gone five without a win to fall to 12th. The gap is still only five points so a win against a fellow challenger would be very useful
Leyton Orient v Notts County @3pm - there's a massive relegation six-pointer over at Brisbane Road where two of the division's bottom three meet for a crucial game in their fight to remain in the EFL

National League
Dagenham & Redbridge v Guiseley @3pm - the Daggers got relegated from League Two last season but are right up in second as they look to make an immediate return. On Saturday they welcome struggling Guiseley for their annual 'Daggers Against Racism Day' where tickets are reduced to just £2.50 (standing) and £9.99 (seats) for adults but you must buy in advance to get the deal. Don't hang about!

National League South
Dartford v Chelmsford City @3pm - the Darts have won six on the trot to surge into title contention in the NLS. A win here could even see them leapfrog Ebbsfleet and Maidenhead to go top. However, Chelmsford have play-off ambitions of their own so can't be taken lightly

Ryman League Premier Division
Dulwich Hamlet v Needham Market @3pm - the big games are coming thick and fast for the Hamlet at the moment. Having beaten National League side Braintree in the FA Trophy and drawn with Ryman League leaders Bognor on Saturday, second-placed Needham are next up for what should be another challenging game for the club from SE22

FA Vase Quarter-Final
Southall v Cleethorpes Town @3pm - if you're in west London the non-league game of the day takes place at Hanwell Town's ground where tenants Southall have done superbly well to make it to the last eight of the Vase. Finalists back in the '80s, this is probably the club's biggest game since. Sadly, in Cleethorpes they've drawn one of the strongest teams left in the competition - the Lincolnshire club are currently top of the Northern Counties East League and have won a staggering 14 of their last 15 games in all competitions

Southern Counties East League Premier Division
Fisher v Croydon @3pm - Bermondsey club Fisher moved back to a ground of their own at the start of the season and they're holding a Community Day there this Saturday when Croydon pay a visit. Among other things, funds are being raised for breast cancer awareness charity CoppaFeel

Combined Counties League Division 1
Banstead Athletic v Chessington & Hook United - two of the top three meet for a game which could have a big bearing on who wins the title

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Sunday 19 February

FA Cup Fifth Round
Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur @2pm - there's a mouthwatering London derby to look forward to at Craven Cottage on Sunday afternoon. Both sides will probably be more concerned with their league campaigns so might rest one or two players but hopefully not. Tickets are still available but you must have a previous booking history with Fulham to be able to get one

Women's FA Cup Fourth Round
Millwall Lionesses v Nottingham Forest @2pm - if you can't get a ticket for the above, you needn't go without as you'll be able to get in at Salter Road, home of Fisher, for this game in the women's version of the FA Cup


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 within 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.

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

Sunday, 5 February 2017

TLFG: 6-12 February 2017

Welcome all to this week's TLFG.

I haven't got a huge amount to write about this week so I'll just put out there the strange fact that half of London's Premier League and EFL clubs aren't actually based in the area they hail from or are supposed to represent.

Arsenal started off in Woolwich in south-east London, Chelsea play in Fulham, West Ham are based in Stratford, QPR aren't in Queens Park, Wimbledon are based in Kingston, Millwall is on the Isle of Dogs (north of the river) while the club play in Bermondsey and Barnet's new ground is in Harrow. You could even argue that Crystal Palace is closer to Croydon or Thornton Heath but that would be churlish.

If bought in advance, tickets for Fulham v Wigan start at £20
There are also several non-league teams who are located several miles from their home towns. One of the most notable are Clapton who play in Forest Gate and have done since the 19th century. Wealdstone were the top club in Harrow for many years and had a central location in the town - now they play in Ruislip several miles west and don't look like returning. There are quite a few others too.

As I say, there's no great point to this, I just thought it might be interesting.

In the real world of football, Chelsea look almost home and dry when it comes to winning the Premier League after their 3-1 victory over Arsenal put them nine points clear of Spurs.

At the other end it's been a weird week for Palace who enjoyed a priceless win at Bournemouth on Tuesday only to get thrashed at home by bottom club Sunderland on Saturday - Sam Allardyce clearly still has a lot of work to do.

The non-league story of the week was Sutton United beating Leeds in the FA Cup and then drawing Arsenal at home in the fifth round. The match has been picked for live TV coverage which is good because you'll have no chance of getting a ticket if you're not a member or season-ticket holder of either team. 

Well I think that's about from me. Have a good week and enjoy your football.

THE WEEK AHEAD
There are over 80 matches in the London area over the next week with action in the Premier League, EFL, FA Trophy and several minor league and county cup competitions.

However, 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 (white 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 (e.g. clubs in the Conference South).

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Magenta pin - Wednesday fixtures




WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Orange pin - Sunday fixtures




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 6 February

Premier League 2
Fulham v Middlesbrough @2pm - once again there are several U23 games on Monday with this PL2 game at the Cottagers' training ground being the best on offer

Southern Counties East League Division 1
Sporting Club Thamesmead v Forest Hill Park @745pm - if you'd like to check out a non-league game instead, this match in SE28 is the only game that's on
----------------------------------------------------

Tuesday 7 February

League Two
Leyton Orient v Morecambe @745pm - the O's made it five defeats on the trot on Saturday as their season continues to disappoint. Still in the bottom two but only a point adrift of safety, a win against lower midtable Morecambe is possible

FA Trophy Third Round Replays
Boreham Wood v Sutton United @745pm - after fighting out a goalless draw on Saturday, these two National League sides will do battle again on Tuesday for a place in the last eight
Dulwich Hamlet v Braintree Town @745pm - the hosts, from the seventh tier, are lowest ranked side left in the competition but are well supported and could upset Braintree who have struggled in the National League this season

National League South
Hampton & Richmond Borough v Gosport Borough @745pm - the wins have started to dry up a bit of late for Hampton as they've fallen to eighth in the table. However, they're only two points behind the play-off places so a win against lowly Gosport could put them back in contention

Ryman League Premier Division
Hendon v Bognor Regis Town @745pm - the Greens' fight against relegation received a boost with a win over Grays on Saturday. However, their next fixture sees them welcome league leaders Bognor who have opened a four-point lead at the top

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Wednesday 8 February

Ryman League Premier Division
Grays Athletic v Harrow Borough @745pm - the hosts seem to have been bottom of the division all season but they've kept themselves in touch with the rest and will take a significant stride towards safety if they can beat fellow relegation fighters Harrow

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Saturday 11 February

Premier League
Arsenal v Hull City @1230pm - after breezing past Southampton in the FA Cup last weekend, the week just gone has been a bit of a disaster for the Gunners. With back-to-back league defeats against local rivals Watford and Chelsea, they've dropped to third and are now a whopping 12 points behind the Blues in the race for the title. Normally a home game against Hull would be a good antidote to such a run but the relegation threatened Tigers have had a great few days which have seen them take four points off Manchester United and Liverpool
West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion @3pm - I foolishly predicted last week that an improved Hammers side would do better against Manchester City on Wednesday but they got stuffed again. However, it seems they are becoming a bogey side for the east Londoners who responded superbly with a 3-1 win at Southampton on Saturday. The Baggies are still going along nicely and sit just above Slaven Bilic's side in the table - I doubt it will be a goalfest

Championship
Fulham v Wigan Athletic @3pm - the Cottagers are making a habit of closing in on the play-off places and then blowing it to slip back down. This week has seen this form repeated with a midweek win at Burton followed up with a loss to Birmingham, leaving them six points off the pace. They are still the best London has to offer in this division and should beat the struggling Latics
Queens Park Rangers v Huddersfield Town @3pm - Ian Holloway's QPR side are also a model of inconsistency at the moment with a fantastic draw at Newcastle on Wednesday bookended by woeful defeats to Burton and Blackburn. On Saturday tough Yorkshire outfit Huddersfield come to W12 looking to force their way back into the top four

League One
AFC Wimbledon v Charlton Athletic @3pm - if you can get a ticket, this derby is likely to provide a better spectacle and atmosphere than either of the above. Neck and neck in midtable these two London rivals should produce a decent game but the ground is small and tickets are limited to season-ticket holders and members with most already gone
Millwall v Southend United @3pm - over in Bermondsey, this match is pretty close to being a derby as the Shrimpers hail from Essex just to east of London. These two are also pushing hard for a play-off place. The good news is that the Den is much bigger than Kingsmeadow so tickets are readily available

National League South
Hampton & Richmond Borough v Margate @3pm - with all our local fifth-tier teams on the road this week, this match is the pick of the non-league games. A midweek win could see Hampton start this match in the top five. A win against bottom club Margate could see them reach the giddy heights of the top four

Ryman League Premier Division
Enfield Town v Merstham @3pm - the Towners have had a bit of wobble recently suffering consecutive defeats to Burgess Hill and Met Police but they turned it round in style in Saturday's derby at Wingate, winning 5-1. They're still firmly in touch with all the play-off contenders and beating lowly Merstham could finally get them into the top five

Ryman League Division 1 North
Aveley v Bowers & Pitsea @3pm - the hosts are having a decent season and sit eighth, well placed for a tilt at the play-offs. Bowers won the Essex Senior League last year and are having a fine debut season at this level, currently occupying fifth place
Haringey Borough v Cheshunt @3pm - on the north side of town there's another match between a couple of play-off contenders for you to consider

Essex Senior League
Barking v Takeley @3pm - the Blues have been leading the league for a while but lost at title challengers Clapton last week and dropped another two points at Hullbridge on Saturday as the Tons went top in their place. However, they still have four games in hand and are only a point behind. On Saturday fourth placed Takeley come to Mayesbrook Park for another crunch match

Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
Cockfosters v Wembley @3pm - in third, the hosts have had a great season but leaders London Colney have just been too good and seem uncatchable by the Chalk Lane club. On Saturday they take on Wembley who have also had a good campaign and are fifth at the time of writing

Southern Counties East League Division 1
Bridon Ropes v Rusthall @3pm - down in SE7, the Ropes host leaders Rusthall who are just a point ahead of Glebe and therefore need a win in this top-six clash

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Sunday 12 February

FA Women's Premier League South
Queens Park Rangers v Coventry United @2pm - QPR have had a season to forget and are currently battling to avoid the proverbial wooden spoon. Coventry, on the other hand, are only three points off the top at the time of writing so will provide tough opposition
West Ham United v Portsmouth @2pm - fellow strugglers West Ham face a midtable Pompey side who are winless in two


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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 within the London area for this blog then get in touch. I also very much welcome photos of your football travels.

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