Sunday, 19 January 2020

TLFG: 20-26 January 2020

Greetings and welcome to this week's TLFG.

If you're in London over the next few days and looking for a bargain then you've picked a pretty good time as it's FA Cup Fourth Round weekend and most clubs are selling tickets at much cheaper prices than normal.

You should be able to get in for a cockle at West Ham, a commodore at QPR and a pony at Millwall. If your slang's not up to scratch, do a bit of research and find out what I'm on about here.

Although not as cheap, there are also opportunities to watch Premier League games at Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday with both matches on sale to non-members, something which doesn't happen very often.

It's also Women's FA Cup weekend with this tie topping the bill - tickets
It's also the Women's FA Cup Fourth Round this weekend with a number of ties taking place around the capital.

Earlier today I took up the FA's offer and bought a couple of tickets for the final at Wembley in May for the princely sum of £7.50 - you read that right, £7.50 for two tickets to a Wembley cup final!

I've been to the last two and really enjoyed the experience so give it some consideration, especially if you've never been to the national stadium.

The week ahead sees me head to Paris for what can best be described as a pan-European 'Non-League Day' planning meeting with the team at So Foot magazine and representatives from a few other other nations dialling in.

It's then off to watch Red Star play Bourg-en-Bresse in the French third tier - not the way I usually spend a Friday night.

Hopefully I'll be able to report back this time next week.

Lastly, many thanks as always to those who have donated to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund. It makes writing this even more worthwhile so many, many thanks.

THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include games in the Premier League, men's and women's FA Cup, EFL and loads of other matches in our local non-league competitions. 

As always, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or the venue or kick-off time has changed - this is highly possible for some of the lower non-league clubs. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Cheap tickets are on offer at Boreham Wood this Saturday
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 - blue 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 20 January

Isthmian League North
Aveley v Felixstowe & Walton United @745pm - the Millers' fine run in the FA Trophy means they have some games in hand. If they win this one by three goals or more then they'll go top

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Tuesday 21 January

Premier League
Chelsea v Arsenal @815pm - we've got a midweek round of top-flight action to look forward to with this big London derby topping the bill. Both suffered disappointing results at the weekend but with the Blues 10 points and six places ahead of Arsenal, they must start as strong favourites. Tickets are not available to non-members
Crystal Palace v Southampton @730pm - the Eagles nicked a late equaliser to earn a 2-2 draw at Manchester City on Saturday as they avoided defeat at the Etihad again. That should give them confidence going into this match against a much-improved Saints side who have only lost one of their last five. Unusually for a Palace home game, tickets are on sale to non-members

League Two
Leyton Orient v Northampton Town @745pm - the O's lost at Port Vale on Saturday to remain in the bottom five and now find themselves just five points above the bottom club who will go down. It's going to get even tougher on Tuesday when the promotion chasing Cobblers pay them a visit. Tickets are available

FA Trophy Second Round Replay
Barnet v Farsley Celtic @745pm - after drawing in Yorkshire just over a week ago and then seeing the replay postponed, the Bees will have another go at beating the side from the National League North. The winners will host Barrow in the next round

National League South
Dulwich Hamlet v Havant & Waterlooville @745pm - the Hamlet have strung together a nice little four-game unbeaten run but they're not out of the woods yet as just five points separates them from the relegation zone. Havant have been up among the play-off places for a while and will be tough to beat - however, Dulwich did beat them in the FA Cup back in the autumn

Southern League Premier Division South
Hayes & Yeading United v Poole Town @745pm - after a slow start H&YU have got things together and are now starting to catch the leading pack. Saturday's results saw them end the day six points adrift of the play-off places so there is hope. Poole lost to Hayes in the FA Cup earlier in the season and are just behind them in the table but have several games in hand on all of those above them so they're real contenders

Isthmian League South Central
Barking v Uxbridge @745pm - sitting just outside the play-off places, both sides have games in hand on fifth placed Waltham Abbey who they need to catch. A big game for each team

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Wednesday 22 January

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City @730pm - after a pretty positive start to his time in N17, Jose Mourinho has now seen his side win only one of their last five league games and they could slide into the bottom half with a loss here. However, the chances of bottom club Norwich picking up any points are pretty remote although they did win their crucial game against fellow strugglers Bournemouth on Saturday. Tickets are on sale to non-members


Championship

Charlton Athletic v Fulham @745pm - in the second tier we have this crosstown London derby between sides seemingly going in opposite directions. Not much was expected of the Addicks when they came up so it raised quite a few eyebrows when they started so well. Sadly they've been going backwards since the autumn and Saturday's loss to Preston left them in the bottom six. Fulham, on the other hand, are third and closing in on the automatic promotion places. Tickets are available

Professional Development League
Charlton Athletic v Crystal Palace @1pm - you can get a double helping of Addicks action on Wednesday as their U23 team are playing their counterparts from local rivals Palace at Dartford's ground

London Senior Cup Quarter-Final
Erith Town v Tooting & Mitcham United @745pm - the Dockers last made the final of this competition in 2000 but got thrashed by the now defunct Bedfont. Tooting & Mitcham are the second most successful club in LSC history with seven titles but it's been four years since their last one

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Thursday 23 January

London Underground League
This competition sees teams from each of the network's lines and associated TfL teams fight for glory at the 4G facility on Market Road near Caledonian Road station. Matches take place at 4pm and spectators are very welcome. There are usually a couple of fixtures a week - check the league's Twitter feed for all the latest. On Thursday, the Elizabeth Line take on the Piccadilly Line who are top of the league

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Friday 24 January

FA Cup Fourth Round
Queens Park Rangers v Sheffield Wednesday @8pm - the next round of the FA Cup gets underway in London on Friday at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. QPR have been notoriously bad in this competition over the last 20 years but made it to the Fifth Round last year and demolished Swansea 5-1 to make the Fourth Round this year. After beating title chasing Leeds 1-0 on Saturday to extend their fine recent home record, they next face Wednesday who are in poor form and lost 5-0 at home to Blackburn this weekend. Tickets are available for £15

Essex Senior League
Tower Hamlets v Southend Manor @745pm - if you'd prefer some non-league action then make your way to Mile End where you'll find this ninth-tier contest taking place

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Saturday 25 January

FA Cup Fourth Round
West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion @3pm - the FA Cup often throws up some good ticket bargains and that's certainly the case here as the Hammers welcome the Baggies who currently top the Championship. Tickets are available from £10
Brentford v Leicester City @1245pm - arguably the tie of the day in the capital could end up being the last ever FA Cup match to be played at Griffin Park. The Bees are one of the Championship's top clubs and play some really decent football so Premier League high-flyers Leicester will have to be very careful. Tickets are not available
Millwall v Sheffield United @3pm - there's also a very decent looking game at The Den where we have a pretty similar match-up. The Lions kept themselves firmly in the hunt for a play-off place with a win over Reading on Saturday. The Blades, although newly promoted to the Premier League, are taking it by storm and should start as favourites. Tickets are available for £25

League Two

Leyton Orient v Newport County @3pm - the O's FA Cup run ended early at the hands of non-league Maldon & Tiptree who went on to lose to Newport in the next round. County are starting to generate a bit of form so should get something here. Tickets are available

National League
Boreham Wood v Barrow @3pm - in terms of attendance, the Wood are the smallest club in the NL by some distance. With average crowds of just 664 it's quite some achievement to find themselves in the top five after 30 games and firmly in contention for a play-off place. On Saturday they welcome the leaders for what should be an intriguing game. It's also the club's community day and there are special ticket deals on offer
Bromley v Barnet @3pm - the hosts have been London's top non-league club for most of this season but have lost form of late and could slip below Boreham Wood if results go against them. The Bees are on a decent unbeaten run but haven't played a league game for over two weeks because of bad weather
Dagenham & Redbridge v Notts County @3pm - the big games continue as the Daggers welcome the division's biggest club to Victoria Road. County suffered a surprise relegation from the EFL at the end of last season and have adjusted well after a disappointing start

National League South
Wealdstone v Bath City @3pm - the division's top two do battle at Grosvenor Vale in one of the biggest games of the weekend at any level. The reverse fixture, last month, ended in a 0-0 draw

Isthmian League Premier Division
Enfield Town v Cray Wanderers @3pm - the top 10 in this division is getting pretty congested with a number of teams having games in hand which could make a big difference on the final table. The Towners are seventh and Cray fifth but it's the hosts who have two of those games in hand so a win would be very handy for either

Isthmian League South East
Cray Valley PM v Ashford United @3pm - fifh placed CVPM welcome second placed Ashford in the game of the day in the eighth tier. A win for the hosts could end up giving leaders Hastings a seven-point lead whilst strengthening their hold on a play-off place

CCL Premier Division
Spelthorne Sports v Molesey @3pm - in the ninth tier, get yourself to Sunbury for this top four clash which could have a significant impact on a very competitive title race

SSML Division 1
St Panteleimon v Winslow United @3pm - there's another top-two clash over in west London. If the Wealdstone game doesn't take your fancy then this hugely important game in the 10th tier might. The hosts have only lost one league game this season but are only three points ahead
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Sunday 26 January

Women's FA Cup Fourth Round
West Ham United v Arsenal @1pm - it's not all about the men's FA Cup this weekend as the women's version is also taking place. The tie of the round is to be found in Rush Green out near Romford where the Hammers, last season's beaten finalists, do battle with the reigning league champions. On paper the Gunners should win but they got stuffed 4-1 at home by title rivals Chelsea on Sunday so maybe this is a good time to play them. Tickets are £8 

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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