Sunday, 11 October 2020

TLFG: 12-18 October 2020

Greetings one and all, I hope you're well.

I'm currently writing this on a train that's waiting to depart from Addlestone, not a million miles from Abbey Rangers football club down here in Surrey.

As some of you may know, I'm a railway worker and I've done all my work for the day and now just have to get back to my base at Waterloo - hopefully I'll have things finished by then.

Anyway, how was your week?

It was supposed to be Non-League Day on Saturday but Covid-19 put paid to that for many reasons.

I thought that would give me a year off from the preparations and media work.

Although it did for the most part, I was quoted in an Evening Standard article written by TLFG reader James McMahon - cheers James. I then received an invitation to speak on Sky Sports News on Saturday morning about the cancellation of NLD and its impact.

They asked where I'd like to do it so I suggested Harrow Borough - where else?

It was the first time I'd done a piece to camera with just an earpiece and microphone but it wasn't as hard as I thought as David Garrido asked me questions from the studio.

This visit to Earlsmead also gave the chance to finally meet some of the movers and shakers at Harrow Borough too so it was a very productive trip.

Sadly I had to dash straight to work and didn't get to stay for the game but with my 'weekend' on Tuesday and Wednesday, I'm hoping to go to the Haringey Borough v Bracknell Town FA Cup tie with a few friends.

Lastly from me, many thanks to Daniel S from London and all those who have donated to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund. Cheers one and all.

THE WEEK AHEAD

The highlights of the next few days include games in the FA Cup, FA Trophy, Isthmian League, Southern League, Women's National League and Women's FA Cup. There are also games at higher levels but none of them are open to the public.

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. However, capacity restrictions are currently in place at all grounds because of Covid-19 meaning only clubs from the seventh tier and below can currently admit spectators.

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
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 12 October

Isthmian League Premier Division
Carshalton Athletic v Horsham @745pm - aside from an unexpected exit from the FA Cup against lower division opposition, the Robins have made a solid start to the season and are in the top five. Crowds have been very strong on Colston Avenue with many games reaching their 600 capacity, including Saturday's 1-0 win over Corinthian Casuals. Horsham are having a very mixed season and are in midtable as a result. To avoid disappointment, you're strongly advised to buy your ticket in advance

Combined Counties League Premier Division
Sutton Common Rovers v Molesey @745pm - SCR have made a very fine start to their campaign and are currently top of the league. The chances are that they'll stay there after this one as Molesey are second bottom and have conceded 29 goals in just seven games

Eastern Counties League Division 1 South
Newbury Forest v Barkingside @745pm - there's an Ilford derby at Oakside on Monday. Newbury Forest are one of several clubs to have got off to a good start in this division and are in the top four. Matches at this ground must always be a bit of a sour experience for the 'Side as historically it was theirs. Located next to Barkingside station, Oakside was their home from 1957 when it opened but they sold their lease to Ford United during the 2001/2 season. They stayed on as tenants but in 2014 their rent was put up to unaffordable levels and they had to leave

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Tuesday 13 October

FA Cup Third Round Qualifying
With the season starting late, the FA Cup rounds are coming thick and fast. No new teams enter the draw at this stage and there are 40 ties around the country. It's a really crucial round with the remaining non-league clubs now only 120 minutes away from the First Round 'proper' where League One and League Two clubs enter the draw. The prize money jumps to £5,625 for the winners of each match and £1,875 for the losers

Haringey Borough v Bracknell Town @745pm - north London club Haringey have done well in the league and cup in recent years and things are looking very positive again. Currently joint top of the Isthmian League and making smooth progress in this competition, they should start as favourites here. Bracknell play a level below their hosts but are an ambitious club and are top of their division. They come into this on the back of a 4-0 win over Chalfont St Peter so will be dangerous opponents. Tickets are available in advance or on the door
Hayes & Yeading United v Chipstead @745pm - after demolishing Bognor 5-0 in the last round, H&YU should really fancy their chances of making it into the next round. They play a level above Chipstead who are having a bit of a stinker in the league, accruing only three points from four games. It's quite something that they've made it this far and if they do win it will equal their best ever run in the competition. Tickets will be available on the gate for £10
Bedfont Sports v Canvey Island @745pm - this clash of two midtable eighth-tier teams should be close. The hosts caused a bit of an upset by beating Carshalton in the last round and thrashed Chipstead 5-0 in the league on Saturday, so they certainly seem to have some form. Canvey Island are a shadow of the former Conference club they once were but can't be discounted by any means. Tickets are only £8 and are available in advance but only in person from the clubhouse. Any remaining tickets will be sold on the gate
Cray Valley PM v Aveley @745pm - two of the most fancied clubs in the eighth tier do battle at the Badgers in one of the more intriguing matches of the night. CVPM destroyed higher ranked Harrow Borough 5-1 in the last round and are going well in the league again. Aveley have a 100% record in the league and also picked off seventh tier Lowestoft Town a couple of rounds back. Both sides are clubs on the up and ones to watch. Tickets are available in advance for £10
Whyteleafe v Concord Rangers @745pm - two divisions separate the clubs with the Leafe starting as considerable underdogs against National League South opposition. In the same division as CVPM, they did well to draw 2-2 with the south-east London club in a very entertaining game on Saturday. It's still very early in the season for Concord so it's hard to gauge what level they're at. It would be one of the shocks of the night if the hosts were to win. Under the government's rules, away fans are not permitted to attend but neutrals are. Tickets are £10 and will be available on the gate

Isthmian League South East Division
VCD Athletic v East Grinstead Town @745pm - I was going devote Tuesday night's coverage entirely to the FA Cup but then I noticed this top-two clash at Old Road and had to include it. Like I said, it's a top-two clash - what more do you need to know?

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Wednesday 14 October

Essex Senior League
Ilford v Cockfosters @745pm - the spotlight turns to Cricklefields on Wednesday where we'll have the chance to see whether the visitors can extend their 100% winning start to a seventh game. Both sides made progress in the FA Vase on Saturday but only on penalties

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Friday 15 October

Essex Senior League
West Essex v Enfield @745pm - once again West Essex take centre stage on Friday as theirs is the only game in town that I know of. The east London club, who groundshare with Barking, might be able to break into the top four with a win here against midtable opposition

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Saturday 16 October

Isthmian League Premier Division
Haringey Borough v Cray Wanderers @3pm - Cray suffered a disappointing reverse at home to Bishop's Stortford on Sunday which means this match isn't quite as mouthwatering as it could have been. Nonetheless, these two should still be challenging for at least a play-off spot come the end of the season

Southern League Premier Division South
Hayes & Yeading United v Truro City @3pm - the hosts haven't quite recaptured the form they ended last season with but they're doing ok. Still making progress in the FA Cup, they're a side that can be dangerous to anyone in this division on their day. Truro were heading for the title last season until Covid-19 kicked in and are second at the time of writing. Despite being a talented side, they face a lot of travel and their journey up from Cornwall is the best part of a 600-mile round trip so other teams also hope a bit fatigue might take its toll


FA Trophy Second Round Qualifying
This is a national knockout competition for clubs in the fifth to eighth tiers with its final at Wembley. At this stage the draw is regionalised and only features sides in the eighth tier. The winners of each tie receive £3,000, the losers £775

Ashford Town (Middlesex) v Whitstable Town @3pm - two of the top six clubs in the parallel Isthmian South Central and Isthmian South East meet in this decent looking tie. If travelling by public transport, this ground is a bit tricky to get to but don't forget that buses that skirt around the perimeter of Heathrow Airport are free or they were when I went last season
Chertsey Town v Berkhamsted @3pm - the Curfews are the reigning FA Vase holders so they know a thing or two about getting to Wembley. On Saturday they face a similarly ranked side from the Southern League Division 1 Central
Hanwell Town v Aveley @3pm - another game between two similarly ranked sides from parallel divisions. On paper I'd make Hanwell marginal favourites
Tooting & Mitcham United v Romford @3pm - the Terrors have made a decent start and are in the top three of the Isthmian South Central, although they've played more games than those around them. Romford are former Billericay owner Glenn Tamplin's latest playthings and they've gleaned only five points from six league games
Whyteleafe v Cray Valley PM @3pm - both going well in the FA Cup, at the time of writing, these two divisional rivals meet for the second weekend running. They produced four goals between them last time, let's hope for more of the same

Essex Senior League
Cockfosters v Hashtag United @3pm - one of the standout games of the week comes in the ninth tier where the top two in the ESL meet at Chalk Lane. Midweek results could change that but whatever happens, this will still almost certainly have a big bearing on who goes up this season

Combined Counties League Premier League
Hanworth Villa v Abbey Rangers @3pm - two of the top four in the CCL meet at Rectory Meadow in the game of the weekend in the CCL. Once again, midweek results could change this 

Combined Counties League Division 1
Chessington & Hook United v Westside @3pm - in the 10th tier this game looks well worth watching as it features two of the top three who until the end of last season were groundsharing

Southern Counties East League Division 1
SC Thamesmead v Croydon @3pm - the top two London clubs in this division will be looking to secure the win that will further cement their places in the top five. In fact, the hosts could even go clear at the top

Middlesex County League Premier Division
Hilltop v Clapton CFC @230pm - if you want to try a bit of 11th-tier football, head to the Middlesex Stadium near Ruislip for what will probably be the biggest crowd of the day at this level. The Tons have been known to get 1,000 turn up for home games and can often take a hundred or more away



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Sunday 11 October

Women's FA Cup Second Round Qualifying
Dulwich Hamlet v Leyton Orient @2pm - with Super League and Championship games still behind closed doors, the best women's matches you can watch on Sunday are all in the FA Cup. There are a number of ties but this one stands out for me. Buy your tickets in advance now as it could well reach capacity


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.

2 comments:

  1. At Sutton Common Rovers v Molesley last night , there was no seating , and no refreshments . i understand it isn't their fault , but it is what it is . could you warn us of this situation when you plug their fixtures , and also any other clubs who are supplying reduced amenities . any more that i come across , i'll let you know .

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    Replies
    1. Hi Micky - thanks for letting me know about this. Often this information isn't published or is hard to find. In all honesty, I don't think I'd have time to research this kind of info for every match, I barely have enough time to produce what I do. Sorry.

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