Monday 17 October 2022

TLFG: 17-23 October 2022

It's late so I'm going to keep this brief.

How was your week? Did you see many games?

Aside from my daughter's U10 game up at Alexandra Palace on Saturday morning, I also went to see Actonians Reserves play for the first time.

They're currently top of the Greater London Women's Football League - in the women's seventh tier.

Up against strugglers Clapham United at the Gunnersbury Park Sports Hub, just a few hundred metres from Brentford's GTech Stadium, they started as strong favourites.

Actonians Reserves gave a commanding performance against Clapham United

However, the visitors hadn't read the script and went 1-0 up and then 2-1 up midway through the first half.

After settling themselves, Actonians took control.

It was 3-2 at half-time and an impressive 8-2 by the end.

Apparently many of the players have first-team experience but for one reason or another prefer to play at this level despite being more than good enough to play in the FA WNL. 

If they carry on like this, they could well end up in the same division as Brentford's first team next year which would be quite something!

Next weekend, the first team make their bow in this season's Women's FA Cup against Ashford Town who they beat in their last league match so hopefully they'll repeat that at Rectory Park where I hope to be.

Looking even further forward to the World Cup, I received an interesting email this week from reader Tuncay Y who would like to see TLFG provide a guide of where different nationalities will gather to watch matches in London during the tournament.

Do you have any information on where the best places will be to see the likes of Australia play France or Qatar take on Senegal? All suggestions very welcome.

I think that's it from me, have a great week.


The highlights of the next few days include games in the Europa League, Premier League, EFL, FA Cup, FA Vase, FA Women's Super League, Women's FA Cup and many other games in our local non-league and women's 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.

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 17 October

League One
Charlton Athletic v Portsmouth @8pm - the week gets underway with this big third-tier game. The Addicks picked up a hugely important 4-2 win over Exeter in their last game as their worrying run came to an end. They face another tough opponent here as Pompey are fourth but are suffering a bit of a blip, having not won in three. Tickets


Tuesday 18 October

Premier League
Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton Wanderers @815pm - with four points from their last two games, the Eagles have moved up to 13th. However, this end of the table is really tight and a defeat to struggling Wolves could see them back in the relegation zone by the weekend. Tickets have sold out

EFL Trophy
Leyton Orient v Chelsea U21 @7pm - the O's drew with fellow title hopefuls Northampton on Saturday to stay second. On Tuesday they return to EFL Trophy action and this eye-catching group game against the Blues' youngsters. A top academy side have yet to win this competition since they were allowed to enter. Maybe this will be the year one of them breaks through? Tickets are £10
Sutton United v Oxford United @745pm - the U's were seconds away from winning this competition last season but they let in a late equaliser before losing in extra-time. This season hasn't been quite as exciting but they did win their big derby with AFC Wimbledon at Plough Lane on Saturday to put them in good spirits ahead of this. Oxford are usually in the promotion hunt in League One but they've made a disappointing start and are struggling for form. Tickets are £12

Premier League International Cup
Fulham v Celtic @7pm - it may only be an U21 game but any matches featuring one of the big two from Scotland usually draws a decent crowd. Strangely it's being played at Fulham's training ground in Motspur Park rather than Craven Cottage but tickets, which must be bought in advance, are available for £3

FA Cup Fourth Round Qualifying Replay
Hampton & Richmond Borough v Torquay United @745pm - the Beavers managed a 2-2 draw in the original tie in Devon on Saturday, a decent result given Torquay play a division above them. Back on home turf, I believe they should have enough to beat a side who have only won two of their 13 league games this season. Tickets are cheaper if bought online in advance

Essex Senior League
West Essex v Enfield @745pm - if you're on the north-east side of town, then Wadham Lodge in Walthamstow is the place to be as the top two go head-to-head for control of top spot


Wednesday 19 October

Premier League
Brentford v Chelsea @730pm - there's a big derby in west London which should pique your interest. The Bees got back to winning ways with an important 2-0 victory over Brighton on Friday night to move them back into the top half. The Blues also enjoyed a 2-0 win at Aston Villa on Sunday to stay in the top four. Brentford have only beaten Chelsea five times in their history but the last time was in April when they crushed them 4-1 at Stamford Bridge. That's unlikely to happen here but if Ivan Toney et al are in top form, then they've got a chance. Tickets are not available 

Millwall v Watford @745pm - if you can't source a ticket for Brentford then you've got two good options in the second tier. Neck-and-neck on 20 points, these two both have a chance of getting very close to the play-off places with a win here. Although there isn't a huge rivalry between them, at less than 20 miles apart, this does have a derby feel to it. Tickets
QPR v Cardiff City @745pm - after three consecutive wins put them joint top, the R's went and lost 3-1 at Luton on Saturday to end the weekend fourth but only a point behind the leaders. They'll want to bounce back quickly here and Cardiff are struggling. Rangers have won four of their last five against the Welsh club and should start as favourites. Tickets

London Senior Cup First Round
Balham v AFC Wimbledon @745pm - once again, it's great to see the Dons entering a side in the LSC. More professional sides should do it as it adds a bit of interest to the competition and can create some extra revenue for the non-league sides that take part. These two met in the same competition two seasons ago with Balham's players getting a chance to play at Plough Lane. On that occasion, Wimbledon edged to a 2-1 win and a lot will depend on how strong a side they opt to field here

ECL Division 1 South
May & Baker v Benfleet @745pm - only three points separate the top six and these are two of the clubs involved. The hosts play at Aveley's ground so Benfleet don't have far to travel

Thursday 20 October

UEFA Europa League
Arsenal v PSV Eindhoven @6pm - being played at a ridiculously early time so as not clash with the televised Premier League games also taking place on Thursday evening, this was set to have been played several weeks ago but the death of the Queen saw it postponed. The Gunners have had an amazing start to the season, winning 12 of the 13 matches they've played. PSV aren't doing too badly either with 10 wins from their 13 matches putting them second in the Eredivisie and just behind Arsenal in Group A of the Europa League. Tickets are only available to members

Premier League
Fulham v Aston Villa @730pm - the hosts fought out a 2-2 with Bournemouth on Saturday to keep them ticking over nicely in midtable. The same can't be said for Villa whose defeat to Chelsea left them just a point above the relegation zone. Pressure is building on boss Steven Gerrard and he'll desperately want to get something here. Tickets

Friday 21 October

FA Vase First Round
May & Baker v Enfield @745pm - with the qualifying rounds completed, the 'proper' part of the competition begins on Friday night. There are a couple of ties but this one between one of the top clubs in the 10th tier against one of the best ones in the ninth tier looks well worth a watch


Saturday 22 October

Premier League
Chelsea v Manchester United @530pm - one of the biggest matches of the season takes place on Saturday evening. When two members of English football royalty meet, it's always an occasion to savour. This year neither of them are likely to be title contenders as they're already eight and 11 points adrift of Arsenal respectively. However, it's not impossible and a win for either should instill great confidence. Chelsea are unbeaten in five against the Red Devils. Tickets are not available

Millwall v West Bromwich Albion @3pm - with boss Steve Bruce sacked earlier in the week, the managerless Baggies went to promotion contenders Reading and won 2-0 on Saturday to pull away from the relegation zone. The Den is an intimidating place for most teams but West Brom don't fare well there at all, managing only won win on their last 10 visits. Tickets
QPR v Wigan Athletic @3pm - since winning promotion from League One, the Latics have been models of inconsistency with five wins, four draws and five defeats. As a result, they're snugly in midtable and will probably be there or thereabouts by the end of the season. The R's haven't lost at home to Wigan since 2003 and they should win again here. Tickets

League Two
Sutton United v Walsall @3pm - only a point apart in midtable, this should be close. Last season saw the first two games ever played between these clubs and the Saddlers won them both 1-0. There could well be a similar outcome here. Tickets

Premier League 2
There are two U21 games kicking off at 12pm, so if you want to see two matches in a day then it's quite possible. Chelsea play Blackburn Rovers at Kingsmeadow and tickets are £5. Tottenham are playing Fulham in a derby at their training ground where entry is a bit tougher but can be arranged by calling the ticket office

FA Women's Super League
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City @1130am - there's also an early kick-off at Leyton Orient's ground where two of the bigger names in the WSL look to improve on their slow starts. Both managed wins this weekend to move themselves away from the relegation zone. Tickets

National League
Boreham Wood v Wrexham @3pm - the game of the day in the fifth tier is a real David v Goliath contest as it pits the smallest club in the division, in terms of average attendance, against its biggest. Despite this, The Wood are third and only four points behind second-placed Wrexham. The hosts have been punching well above their weight since joining this division in 2015 but the Welsh club are a real bogey team for them having managed only one win from 14 attempts against them. Tickets 

National League South
Dulwich Hamlet v Hungerford Town @3pm - the Hamlet recently sacked long-serving manager Gavin Rose and they've yet to appoint a permanent replacement. Interim boss Paul Barnes has tried to steady the ship but results have still been poor and only goal difference is keeping them out of the relegation zone where visitors Hungerford currently reside - the loser will end the day in the dreaded bottom four. Tickets

Isthmian League Premier
Hornchurch v Horsham @3pm - although there are some midweek fixtures which could alter the standings, at the time of writing, this would appear to be the best seventh-tier match on offer. Currently both in the top six, one of them could be third by the end of the day

Isthmian League South Central
Chertsey Town v Ashford Town (Middlesex) @3pm - having made a disappointing start, the Curfews sacked their manager and brought in former boss Dave Anderson who famously won the Combined Counties League and FA Vase double in 2018/19. His second reign began with a narrow 3-2 defeat in the big derby at Walton & Hersham which was played in front of nearly 600 fans - highly impressive for this level. On Saturday they face another local rival who are also very much in the promotion mix

FA Vase First Round
Erith Town v Crawley Down Gatwick @3pm - there are several Vase ties in London on Saturday but time constraints mean I'm only going to pick one and it's this one. It features two of the best sides in the parallel SCEFL and SCFL and should therefore produce a decent tie

Sunday 23 October

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United @430pm - the biggest game of the day takes place in north London where, at the time of writing, third plays sixth. It could be even better for Newcastle but they've become the division's draw specialists with six from their first 10 games. Spurs are unbeaten in five against the Toon and have scored 14 goals in the process. Tickets are only available to members

Watford v Luton Town @12pm - the Hornets have a reputation for being a family club where you'll enjoy a safe afternoon. However, their derby against Luton is one of the most poisonous around. Fans of these clubs really don't get on and it is one of the most notable matches of the Championship season as a result. The Hatters are in better form at the moment but are only a point ahead of their bitter rivals. With the clubs moving up and down the divisions in recent years, they've only played five times in the 21st century and they've got two wins apiece and one draw - it's too close to call. Tickets are not available

FA Women's Super League
West Ham United v Reading @3pm - the Hammers inflicted Aston Villa's first defeat of the season on Saturday in what was a bad tempered game. With Hawa Cissoko and manager Paul Konchesky both shown red cards, the east London club did well to hold on for a 2-1 win. Reading are bottom and still yet to pick up a single point after losing 1-0 at home to leaders Arsenal on Sunday evening. The hosts, playing at Dagenham & Redbridge, should win. Tickets

FA WNL Southern Premier
London Bees v Watford @2pm - after thrashing Crawley 4-0 in midweek, Watford went top as their impressive start to life in the third tier continued. Local rivals London Bees, who play at The Hive, lost to struggling Gillingham on Sunday and missed the chance to go fourth

Women's FA Cup Third Round Qualifying
QPR v AFC Wimbledon @2pm - clubs in the women's fourth tier enter the draw at this point in the competition and two of them have drawn each other in what for me is the tie of the round in the London area. Currently fifth and third respectively, these two should put on a good show. The match is being played at Hanwell Town

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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