Sunday, 2 February 2020

TLFG: 3-9 February 2020

Greetings one and all and welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

I'm writing this during my break in a cafe at Waterloo station so I'm going to keep this bit brief.

I don't have much to report since last week although I did have productive sponsorship discussions with a company in regards to Non-League Day.

On Saturday I also went to watch QPR take on Bristol City - only the second time I've watched the Hoops this season and it was pretty underwhelming stuff at times.

However, they were unlucky to lose and had enough chances to get a point as they laid siege to the Robins' goal in the closing stages.

Anyway, I think that's it from me. Enjoy your week.

Lastly, many thanks to all 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 FA Cup, EFL, FA Trophy, National League, Women's Super League 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.

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 3 February

Premier League 2 & Professional Development League
It's a slightly odd day in the U23 world in that there are three games but two are just outside London and the one that's more local (Millwall) probably won't let you in. If you are prepared to travel, Watford play Charlton at St Albans City in the afternoon and Spurs take on Brighton at Stevenage's ground in the evening. The most you should pay at either game is £5

Essex Senior Cup Quarter-Final
Billericay Town v Grays Athletic @745pm - not normally on our patch, Billericay have moved this game to Aveley which is becoming the go-to ground for clubs in Essex with games to make up - four different sides are hosting matches there this week
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Tuesday 4 February

Isthmian League Premier Division
Hornchurch v Cheshunt @745pm - the biggest game of the day sees the promotion chasing Urchins host a side scrapping to avoid the drop. The hosts are title contenders as they have games in hand on all around them and have the tightest defence in the division

Isthmian League South Central
Staines Town v Northwood @745pm - if relegation six-pointers are your thing then this match at Wheatsheaf Lane could be the one for you. Three teams are currently locked on 13 points at the bottom of the table and these are two of them

SSML Premier Division
Wembley v Tring Athletic @745pm - the SSML hasn't featured that much in TLFG this season as our local sides aren't doing that well. That's not the case for Tring who are fighting Colney Heath hard for the title and clearly still benefiting from the pre-season coaching they received from Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson

CCL Division 1
Bedfont & Feltham v Westside @745pm - with Jersey Bulls way out in front, it's all about the battle for second in this division and the hosts are still in with a very strong shout. If you're new to London, B&F's ground is famous for being next to the runway at Heathrow Airport so if planes and football are your things, you won't want to miss out on a visit

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Wednesday 5 February

FA Cup Fourth Round Replay
Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton @745pm - with the Premier League beginning its new staggered winter break both these sides are probably a bit annoyed that they've got to lose some of that rest time by playing this replay. It should be a pretty even game again given the sides' form - a home tie against Norwich awaits the winners. Tickets are on sale to non-members for £25

Isthmian League Premier Division

Kingstonian v Horsham @745pm - as a result of their runs in the FA Cup and FA Trophy, the K's have quite a few games to make up. If they win them, they'll be back in the hunt for a play-off spot. Horsham have been part of the leading pack for a while but with only one win in five are starting to lose their way

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Thursday 6 February

Premier League Cup
Crystal Palace v Burnley @2pm - while away a couple of hours on Thursday afternoon with this U23 match at Champion Hill, the home of Dulwich Hamlet. Admission should be no more than £5

FA Youth Cup Fifth Round
Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion @7pm - there will then be plenty of time for you to wend your way north to Boreham Wood for this U18 game in the evening

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Friday 7 February

ECL Division 1 South
May & Baker v Barkingside @745pm - Aveley plays host again as two east London clubs lay on a bit of 10th tier Friday night football

A bit further afield
If you're prepared to travel a short distance outside London then the U23 match between Watford and Fulham might appeal. It's being played at St Albans City at 7pm and tickets are no more than £5

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Saturday 8 February


Championship
Brentford v Middlesbrough @3pm - with the Premier League on its new staggered winter break, it's all about the EFL in London on Saturday. After going a couple of games without a win, the Bees stormed back with a 5-1 win at Hull City which made everyone sit up and take notice. Still fifth and five points behind Leeds, who lost again, automatic promotion is still very much in their sights. Down in 18th, avoiding relegation is still Boro's main priority but they are a lot tougher to beat than they were and should stay up. Tickets are only on sale to people with a booking history

League One

AFC Wimbledon v Fleetwood Town @3pm - the Dons narrowly lost at Accrington on Saturday to leave them one place above the relegation zone but still with a crucial six-point cushion. Joey Barton's Fleetwood side are five points off the play-offs after a win over Doncaster so should start as favourites on paper. Tickets are available to non-members

League Two
Leyton Orient v Macclesfield Town @3pm - a solid 3-0 win at bottom club Stevenage made it two wins from three for the O's and probably ended any fears of relegation. Macclesfield are 22nd and in a far more perilous position. It's a credit to them that they're not rock bottom given all the problems they've had away from the field this season. Tickets are on sale to non-members

FA Trophy Third Round
This national knockout competition is for clubs in the fifth to eighth tiers with its final at Wembley in May. At this stage we're down to the last 16 so things are starting to get serious

Barnet v Barrow @3pm - after finally managing to play and win their replay against Farsley Celtic, the Bees have made it through to the last 16. Next up they face National League leaders, and therefore the top non-league club in the land, who are well on course for a rarely achieved double so it's going to be tough.
Aveley v Chelmsford City @3pm - the eighth tier Millers are the lowest ranked side left in the competition and they've beaten four seventh tier sides to get this far. In Chelmsford they've managed to land themselves a great draw - they hail from the same county so it's a derby and the sixth tier side are going through a dodgy patch which they could exploit to pull off another cupset

National League South
Wealdstone v Billericay Town @3pm - if Glenn Tamplin was still pumping his money into Billericay then they would probably be right up there with leaders Wealdstone. However, he left for Romford and now the Essex club are trying to avoid relegation. After an iffy spell, the Stones have now won three in a row to re-establish a seven-point lead at the top

Isthmian League Premier Division
Enfield Town v Bognor Regis Town @3pm - there isn't really a standout fixture in the seventh tier but this one between two sides just outside the top five should be competitive enough

Isthmian League South Central
Tooting & Mitcham United v Chertsey Town @3pm - the Terrors have been there or thereabouts all season and a top-three finish is well within their grasp. On Saturday they welcome last season's FA Vase winners who are also in contention for a play-off place

CCL Premier Division
Spelthorne Sports v Ascot United @3pm - at the time of writing these two are both in the top three so it would appear to be far and away the most interesting looking fixture in the ninth tier

CCL Division 1
Walton & Hersham v Jersey Bulls @1pm - if you didn't already know, Jersey Bulls entered the English league system for the first time this season and they've taken it by storm. Having won all 23 of their league games, they're currently 21 points clear with a goal difference of +80. Will seventh placed W&H be the first to stop them in this early kick-off?


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Sunday 9 February

Championship

Millwall v West Bromwich Albion @130pm - there's a decent game on Sunday lunchtime between sides with aspirations to go up. The Baggies are top and have been for a while but their form isn't great and they could easily miss out on an automatic promotion place. Millwall were right on the cusp of breaking into the play-off places a couple of weeks ago but two games without a win in this crazy division has left them five points adrift in ninth. Nonetheless, they should still fancy their chances here. Tickets are available to non-members from £25

FA Women's Super League
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur @2pm - there is a packed programme of women's football on Sunday but this London derby comfortably tops the bill. Reigning champions Arsenal lost the top of the table clash to Manchester City on Sunday to slip to third as Chelsea crushed West Ham 8-0 to go second. Spurs are still finding their way at this level but are more than holding their own in midtable. The reverse fixture, won by the Gunners, was played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but sadly this isn't being played at the Emirates. Boreham Wood, Arsenal Women's normal home, will host the game with tickets only £7 if bought in advance or £10 on the gate

London & South East Women's Regional League
Dulwich Hamlet v Fulham @2pm - the deal of the day would appear to be on offer at Champion Hill where the Hamlet have made it 'Pay What You Want' as they try to grow their women's fanbase


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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