Sunday, 11 March 2018

TLFG: 12-18 March 2018

It's been another strange week in the world of London football with the lows possibly outweighing the highs.

Whilst Arsenal recorded a fine first-leg triumph at the San Siro against AC Milan, Spurs bowed out of the Champions League to Juventus.

Chelsea enjoyed a valuable win in the Premier League but it came at the expense of Crystal Palace and over in east London West Ham got outplayed at home by Burnley to leave both clubs in a perilous position at the wrong end of the table. There was also crowd trouble at the London Stadium where unhappy Hammers fans invaded the pitch.

There were a mixed bag of results in the EFL too where there were wins for Fulham, Millwall and QPR in the Championship and AFC Wimbledon in League One. The defeats for Brentford, Charlton and Barnet were all significant too as they impacted on their hopes of gaining promotion and in the latter's case avoiding relegation.

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However, some of the biggest headlines this week were once again generated by non-league club Dulwich Hamlet who have spent several months fighting a battle with property developers Meadow, who own their ground.

This week they received a bill from Meadow for £121,000 in back rent, they were then evicted from Champion Hill and the icing on the cake was receiving a legal notice that 'Dulwich Hamlet' 'The Hamlet' and 'DHFC' had all been trademarked and they couldn't use their own name anymore!

Our friends at 'Two Men In Search...' recently paid a visit to Welling Town

Rather than crumble, the team travelled to title rivals Billericay Town and proceeded to beat them 3-1 to go top - the best possible response.

The support for Dulwich since then has come from all over as one of the most community orientated clubs I have ever seen has tried everything to protect its existence.

As the week came to an end, they received the good news that Tooting & Mitcham United had agreed a groundshare with them. Clubs co-habit all the time at this level but this arrangement was particularly notable as the Terrors and the Hamlet are big local rivals so all parties deserve a huge amount of credit for bringing this about. There are two Dulwich matches scheduled to be played at Imperial Fields this week but keep your eye on the club's website for the latest developments.

It emerged this week that several other non-league clubs around the country had financial problems and it shouldn't be forgotten that locally, National League side Dagenham & Redbridge are feeling the pinch at the moment.

To help them raise funds, West Ham have agreed to bring a squad to Victoria Road for a friendly on 21 March with adult tickets priced at £15.

On a personal note, I went to my third QPR game in just over a month - the home game against Derby on Tuesday.

After attending the 5-2 humiliation by Nottingham Forest a couple of weeks ago, it was pleasing to see a much-improved performance and a well-deserved draw against a good Rams side who are once again going for promotion.

The Conifa World Football Cup is coming told London - find out more
I used the officially endorsed Twickets re-sale site to get a good seat for this game and saved £15 on the walk-up match day price of £38, so I really recommend you use it if you're planning on going to see a QPR game at Loftus Road - although I think you have to buy by no later than the day before the match.

Since I last wrote, it's been announced that Carshalton Athletic will also be hosting some games in the forthcoming Conifa World Football Cup here in London.

The tournament which runs from 31 May - 9 June is for teams representing 'nations, de-facto nations, regions, minority peoples and sports isolated territories'.

Competitors in the 16-team tournament include Ellan Vannin (aka the Isle of Man), Northern Cyprus, Panjab, Tamil Ealam and Tibet.

Full information about fixtures and tickets can be found here.

Lastly this week I'd like to thank Martin from Warwickshire for his supportive words and his generous donation to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund - it's much appreciated.

There are over 90 matches in the London area over the next seven days. The highlights include some big games in the Europa League and EFL and there's a number of ties in minor cup competitions.

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.
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
Thursday fixtures - purple 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 12 March

Professional Development League
There are two U23 games on Monday at 2pm. Charlton Athletic host Coventry City whilst QPR face London rivals Millwall. Both games are worthy of consideration as they are being played at the clubs' main stadiums so will give you the opportunity to visit on the cheap with tickets unlikely to be more than £5. As always, check with the clubs on the day what the final arrangements are just in case they change

Middlesex Charity Cup Quarter-Final
Enfield Borough v Hampton & Richmond Borough @745pm - on paper this is probably the biggest game in the Panthers' short history as the 10th level club welcome the Beavers from four divisions above them. Although the visitors will almost certainly rest a number of their regulars, they do tend to take county cup competitions pretty seriously so it will be an interesting test for the Spartan South Midlands League club

A bit further afield
If neither of these float your boat then there is a non-league alternative just beyond the M25 as Kingstonian entertain Staines Town in a Bostik Premier (7th tier) match at Leatherhead's stadium. It kicks-off at 745pm with the ground within walking distance of Leatherhead station which can be reached directly from Victoria, Waterloo, Vauxhall or Clapham Junction

Tuesday 13 March

Brentford v Cardiff City @745pm - the Bees' narrow defeat at Millwall on Saturday left them eight points adrift of the play-off places and with 10 games to go it could be too big a gap to make up. However, they have this game in hand on most of those above them so victory would make things a lot more interesting. Sadly, those three points aren't likely to come easily as Cardiff are the form team of the division with eight wins and two draws from their last 10 league games. Interestingly, their last defeat came at QPR on New Year's Day so Brentford will be hoping the West London curse strikes again

Professional Development League
Crystal Palace v Cardiff City @1pm - by chance the Bluebirds' U23 side are in London as well meaning there's a potential feast of football for any travelling fans or exiles. The match is being played at Selhurst Park too - tickets are £5 for adults and £1 for OAPs and U18s

Uefa Youth League Quarter-Final
Tottenham Hotspur v Porto @3pm - Spurs' U19 side have made it to the last eight in this prestigious European competition and you can be there to cheer them on. The match is being played at Tottenham's training ground in Enfield and tickets are free but they must be obtained in advance by calling the box office - do not attend without one or you won't get in

National League
Boreham Wood v Maidenhead United @745pm - having seen this fixture snowed off a couple of weeks ago the sides will go again on Tuesday. Despite extending their impressive unbeaten run on Saturday, the Wood only managed another draw at struggling Hartlepool. The result still leaves them fifth, very much in play-off contention. Maidenhead look destined to end firmly in midtable which I'm sure the newly promoted side will be more than happy with. With the visitors being from Berkshire, this is pretty much a derby in the national scheme of things so hopefully they'll bring a few supporters. Maidenhead won the reverse fixture 2-1 back in September
Leyton Orient v Torquay United @745pm - the O's suffered the disappointment of defeat at Gateshead in the FA Trophy earlier in the week, ending their hopes of a trip to Wembley in May. They recovered with a creditable draw against Ebbsfleet on Saturday and with the hard work to avoid the drop seemingly done, their season looks almost over. Another former Football League club, Torquay are in all kinds of trouble near the foot of the table and look almost certain to go down

Velocity Trophy Semi-Final
Dulwich Hamlet v Metropolitan Police @745pm - much has been made of the Hamlet's plight over the last week and this big cup game is set to be the first at their new Imperial Fields home. Tooting & Mitcham deserve a lot of credit for offering their biggest rivals this opportunity, shining a light on the great values that exist at this level. Just to clarify, the Velocity Trophy is the sponsored name for the Isthmian League Cup so it's a pretty significant piece of silverware. The winners will face Billericay Town, the current holders, in the final

Evo-Stik League East Division
Hanwell Town v Hayes & Yeading United @745pm - there's a local derby at Reynolds Field on Tuesday where the visitors continue their push for promotion. Things have gone a bit pearshaped for Paul Hughes' side over the last few weeks with two consecutive league defeats and a semi-final exit from the league cup. They remain in fourth but could start to drop out of contention as teams are beginning to queue up behind them

Essex Senior League
West Essex v Redbridge @745pm - the Motormen were top for a long time but have dropped to third in recent weeks following some iffy results and a couple of postponements. If they win their two games in hand on new leaders FC Romania then they will return to the summit. West Essex enjoyed a home win over Tower Hamlets on Saturday and should provide a stern challenge

Combined Counties League Division 1
Worcester Park v Badshot Lea @745pm - the leaders host their nearest rivals in a crucial top-two clash with 10 games to go. Seven points clear and with a game in hand, a victory would give Worcester Park an almost insurmountable lead. The one downside for them is that this match is being played at Bedfont Sports as their own ground doesn't have floodlights

Wednesday 14 March

Bostik League South Division

Cray Wanderers v Whyteleafe @745pm - the hosts briefly topped the table a few weeks ago but results have dipped of late and they've sunk to fifth. The Leafe are there or thereabouts and could very conceivably make the play-offs too so this is an important game for both

Combined Counties League Premier Division
Colliers Wood United v Chertsey Town @745pm - if a scrap to avoid relegation is your cup of tea then this match might appeal as it features two sides just above the bottom three who need the win

Thursday 15 March

Europa League
Arsenal v AC Milan @805pm - after all the doom, gloom and pessimism of recent weeks it was quite a refreshing surprise for the Gunners to go to the San Siro last week for the first leg and win 2-0. It gives Arsene Wenger's side an excellent chance of progressing to the quarter-finals where they should fancy their chances against anyone

A bit further afield
With tickets for the Emirates likely to be in short supply you might want to head out to Essex to watch Billericay Town take on Dorking Wanderers in the Bostik Premier. The big-spending side are having a worrying wobble at the moment and have dropped to fourth but they have seven games in hand on current leaders Folkestone so there'll be quite a few more midweek fixtures coming their way (Update: 15/03/18 - Billericay's match against Dorking Wanderers is now being played at Aveley as their own pitch is unplayable). If that doesn't appeal then South Park, who play in Reigate, host Herne Bay in a Bostik South game

Saturday 17 March

Fulham v Queens Park Rangers @1230pm - with all our local Premier League sides playing away this weekend, this big west London derby gets even more prominence than it normally would. The smart money should be on a Fulham win - the Cottagers are flying at the moment and should at least match their run to last season's play-off semi-finals. QPR got a morale-boosting 1-0 win over bottom club Sunderland on Saturday but it was hard earned and they'll do well to get anything here. As a side note, a group of QPR fans are doing a sponsored walk from Loftus Road (going a very long way round) to raise funds for the clubs Down's syndrome team and are looking for sponsorship so please help them out if you can
Brentford v Middlesbrough @3pm - later in the afternoon there's another decent looking Championship game at Griffin Park. The Bees could find themselves right back in play-off contention if they beat Cardiff in midweek and Boro are the side currently occupying sixth so this is an important game for both sides. Also, it might look on the map as if the Fulham and Brentford games are close together and could possibly be combined - don't be fooled. The roads linking these two are usually heavily congested, particularly on match days. Going by Tube requires a 10-15 minute walk at each end so it would take a minor miracle to get between these two in time for kick-off. You might have a chance if you're a great cyclist or an even better runner by heading along the river to Hammersmith before cutting through to Chiswick High Road and then heading west via Wellesley Road to the ground (just over four miles). If you're really keen you could try and charter a boat from somewhere and hope the 9mph speed limit on the Thames is enough to get you there in time!

League One
Charlton Athletic v Fleetwood Town @3pm - having suffered a desperately disappointing 4-1 defeat to promotion rivals Peterborough on Saturday and with only one win in five, the Addicks' hopes of going up seem to be fading. They simply must beat relegation threatened Fleetwood to get themselves back on track

League Two
Barnet v Wycombe Wanderers @3pm - with one side fighting to avoid the drop and the other needing points to try and secure automatic promotion, this is another important game. With Wycombe located just outside London, this effectively a derby too

FA Trophy Semi-Final First Leg
Bromley v Gateshead @3pm - after winning their midweek replay at Spennymoor, the Ravens have made it to the last four of non-league's premier cup competition - the furthest the club have ever gone. On paper they should start as marginal favourites against their north-eastern opponents but there's unlikely to be much in it. Tickets are available in advance but you can pay on the gate

National League
Boreham Wood v Tranmere Rovers @3pm - if the Wood win in midweek then these two will come into the game level on points in third and fourth. Even if the sides weren't doing so well in the league this would still be one the hosts' biggest games of the season as Rovers are the biggest club in non-league football. The former second-tier club who made it to what is now the EFL Cup Final in 2000 still average crowds of over 5,000 and will bring a large contingent of travelling supporters

National League South
Dartford v Hemel Hempstead Town @3pm - the Darts suffered an embarrassing home defeat to struggling Poole Town on Saturday. To add insult to injury, this saw them finally replaced at the top by Havant & Waterlooville who have been waiting for their opportunity for several weeks. The Hampshire side, with games in hand on all of the chasing pack, look like very strong bets for the title now. Dartford have an excellent chance to respond with this match against Hemel who are also contenders. Currently fifth, the Tudors should be dangerous opponents

Bostik League Premier Division
Tooting & Mitcham United v Hendon @3pm - it was hard to pick a standout game in this division but I've gone for this at features two London clubs who both need the points at either end of the table. The Terrors, sadly, are fighting a relegation battle and although they are six points clear of the bottom club, (only one club go down) Burgess Hill have three games in hand. Hendon are currently occupying the last play-off spot, playing some great football and have games in hand on three of the four teams above them. They also have the highly rated Niko Muir in their ranks who has bagged 26 goals in the league this season and attracted interest from QPR and Doncaster Rovers

Bostik League North Division
AFC Hornchurch v Mildenhall Town @3pm - despite the loss of their manager to a stroke, the Urchins continued their push for the title with a win over Essex rivals Canvey Island on Saturday. The victory saw them go 14 points clear at the top but all the teams below them have games in hand which means they can't celebrate just yet. Midtable Mildenhall should be the source of another three points

Bostik League South Division
Molesey v Lewes @3pm - after a bit of a wobble, the Rooks look to have made themselves favourites for the divisional title. With Carshalton having a game in hand, the race is far from over but it's looking good for the Sussex club. Molesey are second from bottom but with only one going down, they should be fine for another year

Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
Wembley v Berkhamsted @3pm - the Lions welcome top club Berkhamsted to Vale Farm on Saturday. The Hertfordshire club are four points clear but second placed Welwyn Garden City have five games in hand. Although Wembley won't win the league, they could be crowned the division's top London club with Edgware Town and Hadley well within their sights

Combined Counties League Division 1
Worcester Park v Cobham @3pm - the hosts have a big week ahead of them. With nearest rivals Badshot Lea visiting on Tuesday, they next face another top-four side in Cobham. With up to three teams getting promoted at the end of the season, the Hammers will be looking to force their way into that group 


Sunday 18 March

Bostik League Premier Division
Dulwich Hamlet v Worthing @3pm - the Hamlet get back to league action with this eminently winnable home game against midtable Worthing. A win could well put the south London side back on top of the league but it all depends on other teams' results earlier in the week. As it stands, this game is set to be played at Tooting & Mitcham's ground but check Dulwich's website throughout the week just in case they somehow get let back in to Champion Hill or have to play somewhere else

Bostik League South Division
Cray Wanderers v Horsham @3pm - the hosts continue their push for a play-off place with this game against midtable opponents

Women's FA Cup Quarter-Final
Arsenal v Charlton Athletic @2pm - the pick of the women's action on Sunday is this London derby in the FA Cup. The Gunners play two divisions above their opponents so will start as big favourites

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. Any thoughts on what could be combined with the Fulham game? Thought about Brentford but that might be a struggle with parking and tube connections not simple

    1. Hi Ryan - getting to any of the 3pm games in time for kick-off will be very hard indeed.

      As I mentioned above, your best bet getting to Brentford will probably be by bike.

      Colliers Wood United can by reached by a bus from Putney. Tooting & Mitcham would be worth a watch - Tube to Wimbledon and then tram to Mitcham.

      In all of the above I think you'd miss the opening minutes so I'd go for a cheap option to get best value.