Sunday 10 April 2022

TLFG: 11-18 April 2022

Greetings everyone and welcome to the Easter Special on TLFG!

The forthcoming long weekend is one of the best times to be in London as a football watcher - there are loads of games everywhere at pretty much every level.

The highlight of the weekend is the men's and women's FA Cup semi-finals.

Both the men's games are sold out but there is still some availability for the women's matches - which is unsurprising when you consider Chelsea and Manchester City's men's and women's teams are playing on the same day!

Tickets for this London derby are on sale now

There are lots of derbies, promotion and relegation scraps and even the odd title decider so it's going to be exciting.

I hope to make it to Harrow Borough's match against Walton Casuals on 18 April and maybe one other game before that but I don't want to push my luck. 

Normally I'd ramble on a bit longer than this but I'm out of time.

Lastly this week, many thanks to Mark T from London and Julia R from Massachusetts, USA who donated to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund. I really appreciate it.                                                        

                                                             THE WEEK AHEAD

The highlights of the next few days include games in the Premier League, FA Cup, EFL, most of our local non-league competitions and the Women's FA Cup too. 

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.

Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - turquoise pin
Thursday fixtures - purple pin
Friday fixtures - black pin

Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin
Monday fixtures - yellow 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 11 April

SCEFL Premier Division
Glebe v K Sports @745pm - with four games to go, the hosts are third and can't catch the top two. A win here would secure a third-place finish which would make them the top London club in the league


Tuesday 12 April

Middlesex Senior Cup Final
Barnet v Brentford B @745pm - one of my favourite memories as a young Harrow Borough fan was watching them win this title by beating Wembley 1-0 in the 1993 final at Enfield's old Southbury Road ground. It was and is, for me, one of the highlights of the season. This time, the competition has one of its most illustrious line-ups for some years so the quality should be good. I was quite shocked to find that Barnet haven't been to the final since 1933 when they beat Staines Town after a replay. Brentford's second string won as recently as 2019 when they beat Harrow at Griffin Park - another one of my favourite Boro memories. This year, it's being played at Hampton & Richmond Borough. Adult tickets are £10 and you can buy in advance

Middlesex Charity Cup Semi-Final
Hanwell Town v Northwood @745pm - there's also a big match in the county's other major cup competition on Tuesday, which seems a slightly odd bit of scheduling. Two Isthmian League South Central clubs do battle for a place in the final

CCL Premier Division North
Southall v Abbey Rangers @745pm - with Hanworth having already taken the title, it's all about who finishes second. If they do then they'll earn at least a play-off spot, if not automatic promotion. The 'All are currently in second and have the points per game to go straight up while Abbey are fourth but still have a bit to do

ECL Division 1 South
Buckhurst Hill v Ipswich Wanderers @745pm - in the 10th tier there's a huge match taking place in Essex. It's second versus first and if the visitors win, they'll go five points clear with two games to go. The stakes are almost as high as they can get. To add a bit more spice to the occasion, this match was supposed to have been played last weekend but was controversially postponed at the last minute with Wanderers citing Covid issues. The ground is small and a big crowd is expected so tickets have been put on sale online for £6

SCEFL Division 1
Stansfeld v Larkfield & New Hythe @745pm - if Sutton Athletic fail to beat Lewisham Borough on Monday then Stansfeld can win the title here. The visitors are third and eyeing a second-place finish themselves so it should be good

Wednesday 13April

Isthmian League Cup Final
Horsham v Margate @745pm - also known as the Velocity Trophy, this decent bit of silverware is up for grabs at Aveley's ground in Essex. In existence since the 1974/75 season, when I was born, this competition has never been won by either of these Premier Division sides. Margate are currently eight points ahead of Horsham in the league so should start as marginal favourites. Tickets are £10 and available on the gate

Surrey Senior Cup Semi-Final
Kingstonian v Chertsey Town @745pm - suspended during the pandemic, this is the first playing of the SSC since 2019 when Metropolitan Police took the crown. With 11 titles, the K's are one of the most successful clubs in the history of the competition and should start as favourites against the Curfews who play a level below them 


Thursday 14 April

FA Women's Championship
London City Lionesses v Lewes @7pm - although there are some non-league and youth games taking place, this second-tier women's match would be my choice on Thursday if I was free. With the title already won by Liverpool, there's now a five-way scrap to see who finishes second. LCL have this game in hand which will put them third if they win


Friday 15 April

League One
Charlton Athletic v Morecambe @3pm - the banquet of Easter football gets underway on Friday with this important game at the wrong end of the League One table. With only one defeat from five, the Addicks are already safe from relegation but they can do struggling AFC Wimbledon a huge favour if they beat the Shrimps who are just above of them. Tickets are available

League Two
Leyton Orient v Scunthorpe United @3pm - similar to the above but potentially more dramatic, the O's are all but safe and if they beat or draw with bottom club Scunthorpe then the Iron will lose their place in the EFL which they have held for 72 years. Tickets are available

National League
Dagenham & Redbridge v Barnet @3pm - with Boreham Wood's season seemingly coming off the rails, the Daggers are once again London's top club in this division. After their fine 2-0 win at Bromley on Saturday, Daryl McMahon's side could be peaking at the right time and now have the play-off places back in their sights. Barnet have had a better season this time but have still been hugely underwhelming and are not mathematically safe from relegation just yet

Isthmian League Premier Division
Hornchurch v Brightlingsea Regent @2pm - as I mentioned last week, the Urchins started slowly but are finishing very well indeed. Now up to third and only three points behind Bishop's Stortford, the runners-up spot is definitely a realistic target. The visitors are just above the relegation zone and badly in the need of the points

Isthmian League North Division
Romford v Aveley @3pm - the hosts have had a season to forget and have already confirmed that they will finish bottom. The Millers, on the other hand, are top and in a devilishly tight title race with Canvey Island and Stowmarket Town - they should and must win here

SCEFL Premier Division
Erith & Belvedere v Erith Town @3pm - it's derby day in south-east London. Currently sixth and seventh in the table and with promotion out of their reach, this is all about local pride


Saturday 16 April

FA Cup Semi-Final
Manchester City v Liverpool @330pm - this weekend is all about the FA Cup in both its men's and women's versions. Topping the bill at Wembley is the first men's semi-final between the top two clubs in the country. In case you missed it, they warmed up for this on Sunday with an entertaining 2-2 draw in the Premier League. Given how well matched they are, this could well go to penalties. When you consider how good both sides have been in recent years, it seems almost unthinkable that the Reds haven't been to the final since 2012 and City have only made one of the last eight themselves. Tickets are unavailabe

Women's FA Cup Semi-Final
West Ham United v Manchester City @1215pm - the scheduling of the two women's semi-finals seems very unfortunate to me. Although the kick-offs have been staggered, it seems weird to have Man City's men and women on the same day and Chelsea's men and women both on Sunday as you will see below. But hey, what do I know. Unlike the men, City's women have been the most successful side in this competition in recent years, winning three of the last five finals. One of those was against West Ham in 2019 and they won it comfortably 3-0. Sadly for the Hammers, even though they have home advantage, I can't see it being much different this time. The game is being played at Dagenham & Redbridge and tickets are £8

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion @1230pm - Spurs won 4-0 at Aston Villa on Saturday to keep themselves in the top four and even though Arsenal have a game in hand, Antonio Conte's side have momentum and are looking good. They were able to move three points clear of the Gunners because their bitter rivals suffered a surprise home defeat to the Seagulls so the club from N17 will have to avoid complacency at all costs. This match has sold out
Watford v Brentford @3pm - this weekend's results have been a bit of a disaster for the Hornets with their 3-0 loss at home to fellow strugglers Leeds particularly disappointing. Now six points adrift of safety, they need to pick up points fast. Many would've expected this to be a big relegation 'six-pointer' but Brentford's win against West Ham on Sunday now sees them eyeing a top-half finish. Tickets are available

Southern League Premier Division South
Hendon v Farnborough @3pm - even at this late stage in the season, four teams are still fighting it out for the title in this division. One of those are Farnborough who are currently third and three points off the lead. If rivals Taunton Town win in midweek then they will be six points behind coming into this. Therefore if they lose against the midtable Greens then their title aspirations will effectively end as their goal difference is vastly inferior

Isthmian League North Division
Grays Athletic v Brentwood Town @3pm - the game of the day in the eighth tier is this exciting looking all-Essex affair at Parkside. Fifth and fourth respectively, the sides are both looking good for a play-off spot as the next best teams are all five points behind with three games to go

SSML Premier Division
Hadley v New Salamis @3pm - it's first versus third at Brickfield Lane on Saturday. Sadly for the hosts, that's as good as it's going to get this season as the top two are on their own fighting for the title. Whatever happens, New Salamis confirmed promotion on Saturday by beating Aylesbury Vale Dynamos 8-1


Sunday 17 April

FA Cup Semi-Final
Chelsea v Crystal Palace @430pm - with eight wins from their 15 appearances in the final, the Blues are the third most successful club in the history of the competition. They're currently third in the Premier League, are the reigning World and European champions and made last year's final too. Their credentials are formidable but midtable Palace have a habit of upsetting the big boys every so often - ask Manchester City who are regularly tripped up by them. If Patrick Vieira's side do pull off a shock, it will probably be the story of the weekend. Tickets are sold out

Women's FA Cup Semi-Final
Arsenal v Chelsea @1230pm - in the other women's semi, the top two in the WSL meet at Meadow Park for a repeat of last season's final which the Blues won comfortably. Chelsea seem to have Arsenal's number and I think they'll beat them again. Tickets are £8 and are selling out so don't delay! 

Premier League
West Ham United v Burnley @215pm - with the Hammers still trying to make sure of a place in Europe and the Clarets scrapping to avoid the drop, there's plenty to play for at London Stadium. Tickets are available


Monday 18 April

Millwall v Hull City @3pm - the Lions thrashed Barnsley 4-1 on Saturday to leave them four points off the play-off places with five games to go. Hull are fifth from bottom but pretty much safe so have little to play for. It looks like Millwall's to lose. Tickets are available
QPR v Derby County @3pm - the R's season has fallen apart at precisely the wrong time. Pretty much a fixture of the top six all season, they've lost five on the trot and dropped to 11th. Although a play-off spot is still mathematically possible, the fact they are bottom of the division's form table makes it look incredibly unlikely. Derby are second bottom after being docked 21 points for financial issues but can still catch Reading if they put together an amazing final run of results. QPR have already lost three times to bottom club Peterborough this season, so the Rams could be in for a good afternoon. Tickets are available

League One
AFC Wimbledon v Wycombe Wanderers @3pm - with the Dons desperately trying to get out of the relegation zone and Wycombe trying to break into the play-off places, both sides really need to win but for very different reasons. Tickets are available

League Two
Sutton United v Newport County @3pm - after the heartbreak of losing last Sunday's EFL Trophy Final, the U's bounced back with a crucial 1-0 win in the derby against Leyton Orient on Saturday. This means they are still on course to grab a play-off berth but the battle is fierce with only seven points separating the sides from fourth to 11th. Newport are one of these sides and must be beaten. Tickets are available

National League
Wealdstone v Boreham Wood @3pm - Easter Monday is often about the derbies, especially at non-league level. The Stones' season is pretty much over and they'd love to put another dent in The Wood's promotion hopes

National League South
Dartford v Maidstone United @3pm - third versus first and a Kent derby, it doesn't come too much bigger than this. With five games to go, the visitors are seven points clear and seemingly heading back to the fifth tier. This match is so big that you have to have a ticket in advance and you can only buy them in person from the ground

Southern League Premier Division South
Hayes & Yeading United v Chesham United @3pm - there shouldn't be any issue getting a ticket at the SkyEx Stadium but there really should be as the hosts have played some great stuff this season, are currently top and are the division's highest scorers by some distance. As mentioned above, the title race is very tight so they badly need to win this. However, Chesham are sitting just one point and one place outside the top five so really need a win too

Isthmian League South Central Division
Chertsey Town v Bedfont Sports @3pm - with Bracknell having already secured the title, it's now all about who can win the play-offs. These two are second and third at the time of writing so are looking good for a place in the 'post-season'. However, like many other divisions, it's all getting very tight among the pack of promotion hopefuls and every point really counts

CCL Premier Divison South
Raynes Park Vale v Beckenham Town @1pm - one of the best things about bank holiday football is that the CCL start most of their games in the morning, meaning you can easily see two games in a day. Probably the biggest is this one which sees the sides currently in third and second slugging it out at Grand Drive. RPV could still just about nick second place off the Becks but they'd have to win this to have any chance

SCEFL Division 1
Stansfeld v Meridian VP @3pm - if the hosts don't wrap up the title on Tuesday then they'll have another excellent chance here. Meridian are in the bottom three and in real trouble

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!

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