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.

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