Sunday 8 May 2022

TLFG: 9-15 May 2022

We're now well into May and the season is winding down fast.

The EFL regular season has now finished in all three divisions and we're already into the play-offs.

All we're really left with now is the Premier League and National League, with the latter concluding this weekend.

Overall, I don't have a lot of matches to offer you this week but those that are on are hugely significant.

Apart from anything else, it's FA Cup Final weekend with Wembley hosting the men's final on Saturday and the women's game the day after.

I'm going to the women's final on Sunday and am really rather looking forward to it as it should be the closest one I've been to yet. It surely can't be more disappointing than the last one where Arsenal just didn't turn up and got beaten with ease by Chelsea - more on all that below.

My daughter's first post-match interview

My football week took me to Loftus Road again on Tuesday to watch QPR U23s beat Wigan 3-2 in a very entertaining game - although the school run meant I had to leave about 10 minutes early and miss the R's thrilling late comeback.

Then on Saturday, I headed down to Feltham where my daughter took part in a 'Football Welcomes' event put on by Amnesty International where she played with her Actonians team-mates alongside a load of girls from Afghanistan.

It was a lot of fun and the goody bags and lunch were great - she even did her first post-match interview and was complimented on her performance by the journalist.


The highlights of the next few days include games in the Premier League, FA Cup and National League. 

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 9 May

Premier League 2
Crystal Palace v Derby County @7pm - it's all about youth and development football on Monday with this U23 match at Selhurst Park topping the bill. Adult tickets are £5

Isthmian Development League Final
Haringey Borough v Hastings United @730pm - the best of the Isthmian League's U23 talent do battle at Aveley's Parkside ground on the far eastern side of town


Tuesday 10 May

National League
Bromley v Altrincham @745pm - as we enter the final week of the NL season, this has become a dead rubber as both teams will finish comfortably in midtable. For the hosts, it's now all about building momentum ahead of the FA Trophy Final against Wrexham at Wembley on 22 May


Wednesday 11 May

Premier League
Watford v Everton @745pm - the Hornets confirmed relegation with defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday, a result that takes a lot of the edge off this fixture. The Toffees are still only one point above the relegation zone but have taken 10 points from their last five games to give them more than a fighting chance of staying up. Tickets are available


Thursday 12 May

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal @745pm - the North London Derby is always a huge occasion but this is one of the biggest for a while. With the sides fighting for fourth and the riches of a Champions League place, there are literally millions of pounds at stake. If the Gunners win, they'll go seven points clear of Spurs and seal that place in Europe with two games to go. If Chelsea drop points at Leeds, then it won't all be over for Tottenham but it would be incredibly difficult so they really must avoid defeat here. Tickets have sold out

National League South Play-Off Eliminator
Dartford v Chippenham Town @745pm - top for a time earlier in the season, the Darts ended up finishing fourth and will now play Chippenham in this eliminator. The winners will travel to Ebbsfleet United on Sunday for the semi-final. You're advised to buy a ticket in advance

Saturday 14 May

FA Cup Final
Chelsea v Liverpool @445pm - comparable to the Super Bowl, arguably the highlight of the English football calendar is here again. Somewhat diminished in its importance since the advent of the Premier League, this grand old competition seems to be enjoying a bit of a renaissance in recent years and long may it continue. The Blues have now made it to five of the last six finals, winning in 2018. That took them to a total of eight wins from 15 appearances. In my head, I thought the Reds would have an even better record but they've only managed seven wins from 14 with their last triumph coming way back in 2006. On current form, they have to start as favourites here. Tickets have sold out

MCFL Premier Division
Clapton CFC v Wilberforce Wanderers @3pm - the next biggest crowd of the day will almost certainly come at Wadham Lodge in Walthamstow where the Tons should pick up a home win over the bottom club in what I believe is their last game at the venue before moving back to their spiritual home at the Old Spotted Dog in Forest Gate. As a result, it's all-ticket so you must get one in advance


Sunday 15 May

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley @12pm - provided Arsenal and Chelsea don't both win in midweek, Spurs will still have a shot at the top four coming into this. However, with Burnley fighting for every point they can get to stay up, it's not going to be easy. The omens look good for Tottenham though as the Clarets lost 5-0 and 4-0 on their two visits to the THS since it opened in 2019. Tickets have sold out
Watford v Leicester City @2pm - at the time of writing, the Foxes still aren't mathematically safe from relegation although a win against bottom club Norwich on Wednesday will be enough to make sure. Realistically, they won't go down so there's really very little to play for here. With the pressure off, this often leads to some very entertaining games. It is worth noting that final league position, even in midtable, can lead to a huge difference in prize money with the side coming 10th banking around £20m more than the one that came 14th last season. Tickets are available
West Ham United v Manchester City @2pm - this weekend's results saw City go three points clear at the top with three games to go, meaning the title is now theirs to lose. Both they and their main challengers Liverpool have midweek games so it's hard to write an accurate preview here but if the Reds lose at Aston Villa and Pep Guardiola's side beat Wolves then Jurgen Klopp's men will be left hoping for miracles. The Hammers' form at the business end of the season has dipped badly and the loss to Frankfurt in Europe must have been really disappointing. However, they bounced back with a resounding 4-0 win at Norwich to mean they're still on course for a top-six finish and another year in European competition. Tickets are all gone bar re-sale so check to see if any come up 

Women's FA Cup Final
Chelsea v Manchester City @230pm - cup final weekend concludes at Wembley with the women's final on Sunday afternoon, which is where I'll be with my daughter. At the last count on Wednesday, over 40,000 tickets had been sold which suggests the record of 45,423 could be beaten. I've been going to these since 2018 and this is probably the one I'm most excited about as it pits the newly crowned WSL winners against the League Cup winners. City finished third but only because the first part of their season was ruined by injury. The latter half of the season has seen them surge up the table and they come into this on a hot streak of form that has seen them win their last 13 games, scoring 46 goals in the process - 25 of those have come in their last five. Their last defeat was a 1-0 loss to Chelsea at Kingsmeadow in February but they beat the Blues a month later in the League Cup Final. Personally, I think and hope City will win here too. Tickets are available and at very reasonable prices too

National League
It's the final day of the regular season in the fifth tier and as far as our local clubs are concerned, it's all about the battle for the last play-off spot 
Dagenham & Redbridge v Wrexham @3pm - the Daggers are one place and three points behind Chesterfield who currently occupy seventh. To have any chance of going up, they have to beat Wrexham who are going for the title and hope that the Spireites lose to Woking. Anything else and it's all over. Surprisingly, this match is not all-ticket but I'd strongly advise you to buy in advance to make sure you get in
Boreham Wood v Solihull Moors @3pm - the Wood are also in contention for seventh but that will all end if they lose their midweek game in hand at Grimsby. For Solihull, it's all about making sure they finish third so they can get a bye to the play-off semi-finals and home advantage. Tickets are available
Barnet v Bromley @3pm - in the other games of the day, there's a London derby to enjoy at The Hive. There's little riding on it and the visitors could rest players ahead of the FA Trophy Final the following weekend. Tickets are available


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!

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.

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