Sunday 3 April 2022

TLFG: 4-10 April 2022

Welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

I'm a bit pushed for time so rather than cut the 'Daily Digest', I'm going to keep this preamble brief instead.

I don't have a huge amount to report - I managed to go to two games this week.

First up I went to Wealdstone on Tuesday lunchtime to see QPR's U23 side lose 3-0 to Charlton Athletic.

All the goals came from Miles Leaburn, son of Addicks legend Carl.

Then on Saturday, my daughter played her first ever away game on real grass against Harefield United who had invited her Actonians U9s side for a friendly in the Middlesex village.

It was a rollercoaster of a game which the visitors came from behind to win 8-6 - happy days! 

There's not much else to report - the match maps are full to bursting with lost of extra youth games but check all the details before you travel.

Have a great week.


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

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 4 April

Premier League
Crystal Palace v Arsenal @8pm - the week begins with the Patrick Vieira derby as the Palace boss takes on the club for which he won so many trophies as a player. The Eagles are in fine form and will move into the top half with a win. However, it's not going to be easy as the Gunners are on probably their finest run of the season too. Fifth, at the time of writing, Chelsea are now back in their sights after their loss to Brentford on Saturday. Tickets have sold out

Premier League 2
Arsenal v Manchester City @7pm - rather unusually, the Gunners' U23 side are also playing on Monday night with this big game against City taking place at the Emirates Stadium. With tickets to see the first team very hard to get without membership, this presents a great opportunity to see inside one of London's top stadiums. Admission is only £4 for adults but you must buy online in advance

Professional Development League
Charlton Athletic v Coventry City @1pm - earlier in the day, the Addicks' U23 team entertain Coventry at The Valley, giving you the chance to visit another main stadium on the cheap. However, I've seen no ticket details for this yet and Charlton's U23 games are notorious for changing venue at short notice - check with the club on Monday for the latest

SCEFL Division 1
Lewisham Borough v Stansfeld @745pm - the visitors are currently six points clear at the top with six games to go. If they win this game in hand at eighth-placed Lewisham, surely their nine-point lead will be too much for main challengers Sutton Athletic


Tuesday 5 April

Millwall v Swansea City @745pm - with only one defeat from their last five, the Lions are just four points adrift of the play-off places. Although mathematically still in with a shout of a top-six finish, it's highly unlikely the Swans will make and their season is almost over. The Welsh club are unbeaten in five games against Millwall at The Den so appear to be a bit of a bogey team. Tickets are available

League One
AFC Wimbledon v Charlton Athletic @745pm - despite the installation of new boss Mark Bowen, the Dons' terrible losing run continued with a 2-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. The result leaves them in the relegation zone, four points adrift of safety. They now have to raise their spirits and their standards for this big derby against the Addicks. A recent three-game winning streak has all but secured the south-east London club's survival in the division so they should be able to play with less pressure. It's close to capacity already so visit the club's website to see if there are any tickets left

Professional Development League
QPR v Sheffield United @1pm - for the second day running, the PDL offers you the chance to see two games in a day as the R's U23 side play this game at Loftus Road at lunchtime. Games like these are usually pay what you want with all donations going to the club's community trust

National League
Dagenham & Redbridge v Boreham Wood @745pm - there's a derby in the fifth tier too where two clubs chasing a play-off spot do battle. The Wood were the toast of the division a few weeks ago - well in the hunt for the title and playing Everton in the FA Cup, it was all going so well. Sadly, that valiant performance at Goodison Park seems to have taken too much out of them as they've failed to win any of the six games since. Now eighth, they've got to win this and their other game in hand to get back into promotion contention. With three wins from five, the Daggers are just below the visitors in the table and will surely give them a challenging evening

Southern League Premier Division South
Hayes & Yeading United v Salisbury @745pm - Saturday's results mean there are only three points separating the top four clubs as the title race gets ever more exciting. H&YU are third, three points behind leaders Taunton who have a game in hand, so they simply have to win against a Salisbury side going nowhere in midtable

London Senior Cup Semi-Final
Barking v Brentford B @745pm - the Bees' second string have been to two of the last three finals but lost on both occasions. With a place in the Middlesex Senior Cup Final already secured, a cup double is looking highly likely this season. Barking haven't been to the final since 1980 and will start as considerable underdogs

CCL Premier Division North
Egham Town v Southall @745pm - with Hanworth having already won the title, it's all about the battle for the runners-up spot and these two are currently third and second so would appear to be the moan contenders

CCL Premier Division South
Banstead Athletic v Walton & Hersham @730pm - there's another game of major significance at Merland Rise where the struggling hosts welcome title-chasing W&H. The Swans are currently joint top with Beckenham Town but have played two games more, so winning here is absolutely essential

SSML Premier Division
Broadfields United v New Salamis @745pm - it's a similar story at the Tithe Farm where the visitors are also going for the title. Unlike the game above, New Salamis are three points clear at the top but have played two more than their main challengers Risborough Rangers. Broadfields are in the bottom five and should be beaten

CCL Division 1
Hilltop v Chalvey Sports @745pm - a game of huge importance at either end of the table. The hosts have suffered crucial 3-0 back-to-back defeats against main rivals London Lions and Rayners Lane in the last week. Still hanging on in second, they're now four points off the title pace and badly need to win against Chalvey who are second bottom and in need of every point they can get

MCFL Premier Division
NW London v Brentham @8pm - with the end of the season approaching, it's hard to know who's going to win this 11th-tier league as only eight points separate the top seven clubs. They've all played a very different amount of games so the table is quite hard to interpret. Of the leading pack, these two have played the fewest games so you could possibly surmise that they are the main challengers. Anyway, it's being played at Haringey Borough's ground so give it a go if you're in the area


Wednesday 6 April

Champions League Quarter-Final
Chelsea v Real Madrid @8pm - in a week packed with big games, it doesn't get much bigger than this as reigning world and European champions Chelsea take on the most successful club in Champions League/European Cup history. The Blues come into this on the back of a surprise 4-1 home defeat to Brentford so they're preparation hasn't been great. The visitors are on course for winning the Spanish title after a 2-1 win at Celta Vigo put them 12 points clear on Saturday night. According to my records, the sides have only met five times before and Chelsea have yet to lose. Tickets are only available to members

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

Middlesex Premier Cup Final
FC Deportivo Galicia v Bedfont & Feltham @745pm - there's a decent bit of silverware up for grabs at Hanwell Town's ground on Wednesday. Two very local rivals meet in a game tinged with controversy. FCD were thrashed by Rayners Lane in the semi-final but were reinstated after an ineligible player was found to have played for the victors. It caused a huge stir and the local MP even got involved but the decision stood and we have this line-up. With 115 goals from 35 league games, FCD are the highest scorers in the CCL Division 1 so a 0-0 after 90 minutes is highly unlikely

CCL Division 1
London Lions v Bagshot @8pm - almost a carbon copy of the Hilltop game on Tuesday - the hosts need a win to keep them on track for the title whilst the visitors need every point they can get to stay up


Thursday 9 April

Europa League Quarter-Final
West Ham United v Lyon @8pm - the Hammers haven't enjoyed any European adventures of note since winning the Intertoto Cup in 1999. So this Europa League quarter-final is a truly historic moment for the club. Having seen off Sevilla, the virtual owners of the competition, in the last round, they'll more than fancy their chances against a mediocre Lyon side who find themselves 10th in the French league. Tickets are sold out

SSML Premier
Hadley v Harpenden Town @745pm - your next best option is this ninth-tier game between two of the top six in this division. With six games to go, the title is realistically out of Hadley's grasp but second is still possible


Friday 10 April

Isthmian League North Division
Aveley v Hashtag United @745pm - with just four games to go, the Millers find themselves five points clear at the top and heading for a return to the seventh tier. They beat Essex rivals Hashtag 2-0 in the reverse fixture back in January


Saturday 11 April

Premier League
Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion @3pm - the Seagulls ended their losing run on Saturday with an underwhelming 0-0 draw against bottom club Norwich. It's lucky their early-season form was so good as current results would probably see them battling to avoid the drop. With only 26 goals all season, they're in the bottom three when it comes to that statistic. Rather unsurprisingly, it ended 0-0 when the sides played at the Amex in October and I can easily see the Sussex club drawing a blank here too. Tickets are only available to members
Watford v Leeds United @3pm -it's not looking good for the Hornets but it's by no means over. Defeat at Liverpool left them three points adrift of safety and with Everton losing again on Sunday, they've still got a chance. Now unbeaten in three games, Leeds are eight points clear of the relegation zone and will come close to confirming safety if they win here. Tickets are not available 

Millwall v Barnsley @3pm - victory in midweek could leave the Lions on the cusp of the play-off places so this match against the relegation-threatened Tykes is a must win for both sides. The historic head-to-head record between these sides is very close indeed and games are often tight. Millwall won 1-0 at Oakwell in October and should edge this one too. Tickets are available

League One
AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons @3pm - the Dons face another devilishly tough game on Saturday in their quest to stay up. While the south London club desperately need the points, so do the visitors who are just one point off the automatic promotion places. Apart from anything else, these two clubs hate each other (you all know that), so the stakes couldn't be much higher. Tickets are not available

League Two
Sutton United v Leyton Orient @3pm - I always set to write a glowing preview which included news of Sutton's heroic EFL Trophy Final triumph but a 96th-minute equaliser saw Rotherham force extra-time before going on to win 4-2. With their league form having left them in recent weeks, ending the season with a decent bit of silverware would have been a huge success for one of the EFL's newest clubs. Now they have to get back to refocus on getting back into the play-off places which they've just dropped out of after spending most of the season there.They're only three points adrift so it won't take a lot to turn things around but repairing the psychological damage of Sunday's late defeat might be too much. A win in this derby against the O's would do wonders but they're like a new team under new boss Richie Wellens and climbing the table fast themselves. Tickets are available

National League
Bromley v Dagenham & Redbridge @3pm - it was a tough decision but my game of the day in the fifth tier is this all-London affair at Hayes Lane. After the joy of reaching their second FA Trophy Final in five years, the Ravens can now refocus their attention on getting back into the play-off places. With three games in hand on seventh-placed Grimsby, it can be done. As mentioned above, the Daggers are also in the mix so this is massive for  both clubs

National League South
Dulwich Hamlet v Oxford City @3pm - again it was tough call as to which game to pick in the sixth tier but I've gone for this as it's between the teams in eighth and sixth. With the top seven getting a play-off place, the Hamlet badly need this win. Only a point behind Hungerford, they could be back amongst the frontrunners by Saturday evening. Dulwich games often sell out so you're strongly advised to buy tickets in advance and arrive early to secure a good view of the action

Southern League Premier Division South
Metropolitan Police v Taunton Town @3pm - in the seventh tier it was an easy decision, with two of the title challengers in this division meeting for a crucial game. At the time of writing, they are the top two but midweek results could see that change slightly. The Met won 1-0 in Somerset back in August and would love to see a repeat of that

Isthmian South Central
Tooting & Mitcham United v Bedfont Sports @3pm - game of the day in the eighth tier sees the team third from bottom host the one third from top. The Terrors have had a very disappointing season, one which I didn't see coming. Bedfont, on the other hand, have had a campaign to savour with a great run in the FA Cup and a superb showing in the league. Both need the points but for very different reasons

CCL Premier Division South
Walton & Hersham v Raynes Park Vale @3pm - at the time of writing, these two are second and third in this ninth-tier division, although the hosts could be top by kick-off. Realistically it's a straight fight between Beckenham and W&H for the title but RPV have an outside chance and if midweek results and this game go their way, they could be just four points adrift

ECL Division 1 South
Buckhurst Hill v Park View @3pm - several of our local teams are in title contention in the 10th-tier leagues and Buckhurst Hill are one I haven't mentioned for a while. The Essex club are new to this level and have enjoyed a really impressive season. Saturday was set to be their biggest match of the season against title rivals Ipswich Wanderers but they controversially got the match postponed on Covid grounds at very short notice. As a result, Ipswich remain two points clear of Buckhurst Hill at the top with four games to play. Park View are fifth from bottom so really should be beaten

MCFL Premier Division
Clapton CFC v Brentham @3pm - the Tons return to Wadham Lodge for a game that could go some way to deciding who will win the title. As mentioned above, this division is very delicately poised. If Brentham win in midweek then this will be second versus fourth. The reverse fixture produced a highly entertaining 4-2 win for Brentham so hopefully we'll have more of the same and a crowd of 400+


Sunday 10 April

Premier League
Brentford v West Ham United @2pm - both clubs have enjoyed a fine weekend with Brentford thrashing Chelsea and West Ham picking up another three points against Everton to stay in the top six. The Bees are now 11 points clear of the relegation zone and surely safe for a second season in the top flight - a fabulous achievement for a club of their size. The Hammers have also punched well above their weight this year and could conceivably still finish in the top four and arguably need the win more than the hosts. Brentford won at the London Stadium earlier in the season, so must be confident of doing well again here

Fulham v Coventry City @3pm - the Cottagers' 2-0 win at QPR ended their brief winless run and put them 14 points clear of third-placed Huddersfield, all but ensuring promotion back to the Premier League. Fulham have only lost six times this season with the heaviestdefeat  being a 4-1 drubbing by Sunday's opponents Coventry. The Sky Blues were in the top six for a long time but with only one win from five, they're down in 11th now. It appears that this match has sold out

Isthmian League Premier Division
Cray Wanderers v Hornchurch @3pm - if you can't get in to either of the above, then head to Bromley's ground where London's oldest club are in action. Cray have had a season to forget and are second from bottom. However, they're only a point behind three other clubs so they can stay up if they string some good results together. Hornchurch started slowly but now find themselves in the top four at the business end of the season and could conceivably finish second

FA Women's National League Division 1 South East
AFC Wimbledon v Harlow Town @2pm - the best of the women's action is to be found at Plough Lane, home of the Dons who are currently the top ranked London club in this division. On course to finish third, they should pick up all three points against one of the division's strugglers

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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