Sunday 6 November 2022

TLFG: 7-13 November 2022

Hi and welcome to this week's TLFG.

Sadly my schedule today (Sunday) is pretty hectic, with my shift at work falling at the sort of time that makes it very tough to do anything before or after.

As a result, there won't be a daily digest - I might update it if time allows during the week but don't bank on it.

UPDATE (07/11/22) - I did find the time and the Daily Digest can be found below.

The only live football I managed this week was my daughter's match on Saturday morning which coincided with my birthday.

It was a big moment for her as she was given the chance to play up a year for Actonians U11s against Enfield Town.

Crystal Palace will play Botafogo on 3 December

It was action-packed, played in constant rain and she got to play the last 45 minutes of the one-hour game.

She held her own in a match which ultimately ended 3-3 and she was buzzing at the end - a great gift for me.

In other news, earlier in the week I received a message from a director of a large European club wanting information on how to set up Non-League Day in their area.

It's early days but they seem very keen so here's hoping something can come of it.

With the World Cup fast approaching, another club have announced plans to host an eye-catching friendly to keep their players fresh during the break.

Last week we saw how Millwall will host Danish club Brondby,  while this week Crystal Palace announced that they will play Brazilian side Botafogo which should generate significant interest.

I've heard of other clubs playing games behind closed doors but if you know of any other friendlies that will be welcoming crowds then please let me know.

Lastly this week, many thanks to Frank G of Kent who donated to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund - I really appreciate it.


The highlights of the next few days include games in the Premier League, EFL, EFL Cup, FA Vase, 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 7 November

Premier League 2
There are a couple of very decent U21 options on Monday night with Chelsea playing Tottenham Hotspur at Kingsmeadow at 7pm - tickets are £5. Elsewhere over near Romford, West Ham entertain Wolves at their Rush Green training facility, also at 7pm. Tickets are £5 on the gate


Tuesday 8 November

EFL Cup Third Round
Brentford v Gillingham @745pm - if you're not a member, getting tickets for Premier League games at the GTech is very hard indeed. However, matches in this competition usually always go on general sale and that's the case here. Gillingham are currently towards the wrong end of League Two and have done really well to get this far. It's unlikely the Bees will field a full strength team and the tickets are only £10 as a result

QPR v Huddersfield Town @745pm - around three miles to the east, you find Loftus Road where the R's welcome the bottom club. Since turning down a move to Premier League strugglers Wolves, Rangers boss Michael Beale has seen his team go on a bit of a slump. Taking only one point from their last three games, they've slipped from top to fifth. The Terriers should be beaten but QPR lost at home to West Brom on Saturday and they were in the relegation zone too. Tickets
Watford v Reading @745pm - the Hornets seem to be taking one step forward and two steps back under latest boss Slaven Bilic. Just when you think they're starting to string a good run together, they lose at home to one of the strugglers. The Royals begun the season really well but their form has dipped and only one win in five has seen them drop to 12th. However, this division is so unpredictable and with the teams ridiculously close together, you can make big moves up and down the table fairly quickly. Tickets

League Two
AFC Wimbledon v Leyton Orient @745pm - there's a very decent looking derby to be enjoyed at Plough Lane where an improving Dons side welcome the leaders. Unbeaten in three in the league, the south London club are now up to 15th and pulling away from the bottom two. The O's are three points clear at the top but suffered the disappointment of a 1-0 defeat at Crewe in the FA Cup on Saturday so they're by no means unbeatable. Tickets

National League
Boreham Wood v York City @745pm - after making smooth progress against Eastleigh in the FA Cup on Saturday, the Wood return to league duties with this match against midtable York. A win could well see them return to the top six. Tickets
Wealdstone v Chesterfield @745pm - the Stones brought their worrying losing run to an end with a 1-0 win at Altrincham at the weekend, steadying themselves in midtable. It's just as well as the week ahead looks incredibly tough for the Ruislip-based club. It begins with this match against third placed Chesterfield who did the double over them last season. Tickets

National League South
Hampton & Richmond Borough v Ebbsfleet United @745pm - a 3-2 defeat at Dulwich saw the Beavers extend their losing streak to three games and saw them slide to 15th in the process. It's unlikely to get any easier on Tuesday when title-chasing Ebbsfleet pay them a visit. Currently a point behind leaders Dartford but with three games in hand, they are certain to provide a very stern test. Tickets

Southern League Premier South
Hanwell Town v Merthyr Town @745pm - the Geordies suffered a disappointing defeat at lowly Hartley Wintney on Saturday which saw them fall to eighth. Still only two points off they play-off spots, they should beat Welsh club Merthyr who face a long midweek trip up from the Valleys. Tickets

Wednesday 9 November

EFL Cup Third Round
Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion @745pm - the Gunners passed a huge test of their title credentials by winning at Chelsea on Sunday. The result left them two points clear of Manchester City at the top. Next up they face a tricky Brighton side who can't be taken lightly. With consecutive wins over Chelsea and Wolves, they're firmly back in the top six. The Sussex club also have a really good record at the Emirates, taking seven points from their five games there since winning promotion in 2017. Historically, the Gunners have been well known for fielding weakened sides in this competition so there could be even more chance of them losing. Tickets are only available to members and their guests
West Ham United v Blackburn Rovers @745pm - this tie between an out-of-form Premier League side and one of the title contenders in the Championship has cupset written all over it. Given their need for points in the league, David Moyes will almost certainly rest a few players here. If Blackburn don't do the same, then it's theirs for the taking! Tickets

National League
Bromley v Woking @745pm - there's a decent looking option in the fifth tier where two of the current top eight meet at Hayes Lane. Although Woking are in far better form than the Ravens, they've only won two of their last 10 league games against them so this is definitely not a happy hunting ground for them

Thursday 10 November

Professional Development League
Charlton Athletic v Cardiff City @1pm - the only match I'm aware of on Thursday is this U21 fixture at Dartford's ground. The going rate is usually around £5 but check all details before you travel

Friday 11 November

Premier League 2
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur @7pm - the highlight of Friday is this U21 derby match at the Hammers' Rush Green training facility. Entry is £5 on the gate


Saturday 12 November

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United @3pm - these sides experienced contrasting fortunes at the weekend with Spurs losing their place in the top three after defeat to Liverpool and Leeds climbing to 12th after a thrilling 4-3 win over Bournemouth. Morale must definitely be higher in the visitors' camp but will that be enough as they travel to a team they haven't beaten in N17 since 2001? Tickets are only available to members
West Ham United v Leicester City @3pm - with only one defeat from their last five games, the Foxes' recovery is definitely on and their win over Everton at the weekend saw them move above the Hammers on goal difference. Still only two points above the relegation zone, this match is of huge importance to both clubs. Tickets

League Two
Sutton United v Bradford City @3pm - a quirk of the fixture computer means there are no Championship or League One games in London on Saturday, meaning this is your next best option if the Premier League isn't for you. The U's are having that tricky second season following promotion. After all the highs of last year, they're really struggling to build any momentum and are ticking over in 17th. Still seven points clear of the relegation zone, it's not time for panic stations but a win would be nice. Since taking over in February, former Manchester City boss Mark Hughes has made sure Bradford should be among the contenders for promotion and they're currently fifth. Tickets

National League
Boreham Wood v Woking @3pm - with there being a full round of midweek fixtures before this, it's hard to write an accurate preview but if results go their way, then these two should both be in the top six and be well worth 90 minutes of your time. Tickets
Wealdstone v Wrexham @3pm - I said above that the Stones face a tough week and here's why. With third place Chesterfield visiting on Tuesday, they follow it up with a game against Wrexham who could be top by the time this gets underway. Famously backed by Hollywood superstar Ryan Reynolds, the Welsh club's fans travel in large numbers so I'd strongly advise you to buy your tickets in advance

Isthmian League Premier Division
Aveley v Hornchurch @3pm - undoubtedly the game of the day in the seventh tier, this Essex derby has the potential to be a cracker. The hosts were top earlier in the season but they've now been replaced by the Urchins at the summit. The title race in this division is really tight with only three points between first and fifth. If you've not been, Aveley's Parkside ground is one of the most modern non-league grounds within the M25 and has some fine facilities, including a 4G pitch so it should go ahead whatever the weather

Isthmian League North Division
New Salamis v Lowestoft Town @3pm - there aren't any truly outstanding games in the eighth tier so I'd suggest going to watch Cypriot club New Salamis who play at Haringey Borough's ground. Their rise through the leagues in recent seasons has been nothing short of remarkable - they were only a Sunday league club in 2016 and now they're more than holding their own at this level after winning promotion from the SSML. Currently 11th, they welcome Suffolk club Lowestoft who are enjoying a renaissance after a few years of struggle and they're already five points clear at the top

FA Vase Second Round
The national knockout competition for sides in the ninth and tenth tiers with its final at Wembley reaches its second round. Still regionalised at this stage to minimise travel expense, here are the pick of our local ties:

Colliers Wood United v Raynes Park Vale @3pm - this tie leapt off the page as soon as I saw it. The A3 Derby between neighbouring clubs in south-west London is definitely one of the highlights of the round. Currently third and first in the CCL Premier South, I can't remember when the two sides were so good at the same time so get down to Wibbandune for what promises to be a great afternoon
Egham Town v Abbey Rangers @3pm - there's also a similar scenario at the Runnymede Stadium where two local rivals who are top four clubs in the parallel CCL Premier North and South go head-to-head in what should also be a brilliant tie
Fisher v Jersey Bulls @130pm - if you need an early kick-off or fancy something a little bit different then head to Salter Road where the Fish will be entertaining opposition from the Channel Islands. One of the title contenders in the CCL Premier South, the visitors should start as strong favourites

Sunday 13 November

Premier League
Fulham v Manchester United @430pm - just seconds away from taking a point off Manchester City at the Etihad on Saturday, the Cottagers succumbed to a 2-1 defeat thanks to Erling Haaland's 95th-minute penalty. With most expecting them to continue their yo-yo existence between the top two divisions, Fulham have confounded many with their performances this season. Up in ninth, they're clearly a match for anyone on their day and an inconsistent Manchester United side who lost 3-1 at Aston Villa on Sunday could come unstuck here. Tickets are only available to members

Women's FA Cup First Round
With the qualifying rounds out of the way, the teams in the women's third tier enter the draw. Winners of each tie receive a cheque for £6,000. Here are my pick of the ties in the London area:

Watford v Fulham @1pm - the third-tier Hornets are the highest-ranked side in action on Sunday. Currently second in FAWNL Southern Premier, they should have too much for the Cottagers who play in the fifth tier. This match is being played at Wealdstone's ground in Ruislip. Tickets
Millwall Lionesses v Gillingham WFC @2pm - the Lionesses have had a great start to the season and are currently five points clear of the fifth-tier division that they play in. After securing their financial future in recent weeks, the visitors will hope to make progress here as they play two divisions above the London club. Tickets 
Clapton CFC v Ashford United @1pm - being played at London's oldest ground, the Old Spotted Dog in Forest Gate, the hosts are having another fine season. Thrashing fourth tier Hounslow in the last round, CCFC are currently top of their sixth-tier division and are one of the lowest-ranked clubs left in the cup.  Ashford are top of a parallel sixth-tier division too so this should be a great game. Tickets

London & SE Women's League Division 1 North
Brentford v Watford Development @3pm - although not in the FA Cup and only a sixth-tier match, the biggest women's attendance of the day could well be achieved here as it sees Brentford Women play their first ever match at the GTech Stadium. Tickets are free but you need to secure one online first

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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  1. Good tip on the U21s at Selhurst, a great ground. Unfortunately, the club shop was closed, so no scarf. Marc D

    1. Oh that's a shame - very surprising too. Glad you enjoyed your visit though.

  2. Thanks James for your tlfg contributions now and in the past. I'm in London for my (anticipated) annual football holiday. Attended 17 matches in 22 days while using tlfg as my main resource in planning my trips. Fav grounds are Loftus Road, The Den, York Rd, and grounds for Maidenhead United and Carshalton Athletic. My goal is to see 20 matches before I leave for home. Looking for anything playing on Friday and Sundsy. Any suggestions?