Sunday 12 February 2023

TLFG: 13-19 February 2023

Greetings one and all and welcome to this week's TLFG.

I hope you're all well and thanks to those of you for listening to my fledgling podcast.

It's still all a bit trial and error at the moment but I really appreciate those of you who have given me some feedback.

Last week I joked about my friend Liam's developing, lighthearted, feud with Actonians captain Naomi Graham. 

Having had run-ins with her at three matches this season, he was sad to be missing out on the next installment this coming Sunday when his side, AFC Wimbledon, play against them again.

This year's Non-League Day is fast approaching

Well completely randomly, he ran into her with some A's team-mates at Dulwich Hamlet as they enjoyed their sold-out game against Tonbridge Angels on Saturday.

Apparently it all ended amicably, hands were shaken and there were smiles all round - thank goodness for that!

I haven't seen any football this week but any spare moment I've had has been put into Non-League Day preparations.

This year's annual celebration of semi-professional and amateur men's football takes place on Saturday 25 March and we're hoping it will be the biggest yet - hopefully we'll be able to make a big announcement this week.

On Monday, I'm aiming to book tickets for this season's Continental Cup Final (Women's League Cup) between Arsenal and Chelsea which is being played at Crystal Palace on 5 March.

At the end of the week I begin a run of nine days off.

Hopefully I'll be doing blood platelet donation on Friday, it's my daughter's birthday party on Saturday and then I plan to head to Carshalton for the previously mentioned AFC Wimbledon v Actonians game.

Lastly this week, many thanks to Iain G from East Sheen who donated to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund  - I really, really appreciate it.

There might be another podcast from me at some point this week but I'm still getting to grips with what the best format is.

Have a great week.


The highlights of the next few days include a high-profile friendly and games in the Premier League, EFL, National League, Women's National League 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 13 February

Professional Development League
QPR v Bristol City @7pm - the R's U21 side get the week underway with this match at Hanwell Town's ground. The visitors are currently top of the division so should provide formidable opposition

Essex Senior League Cup
Redbridge v Enfield @745pm - there is match at Carshalton in the Isthmian Premier but this cup tie between the top two in the ESL looks like it could be a more meaningful


Tuesday 14 February

QPR v Sunderland @745pm - the hosts' dismal form under new boss Neil Critchley continued on Saturday with defeat to Millwall, the Lions' first win at Loftus Road since 1989. It's unlikely to get much easier against the Mackems who are also very much in play-off contention. The reverse fixture ended in a 2-2 draw with goalkeeper Seny Dieng scoring a last-minute equaliser for QPR. Tickets

League Two
Leyton Orient v Rochdale @745pm - why not celebrate Valentines Day with Kids For A Quid at Brisbane Road? Well I guess they have to try something to get you to come and watch as the bottom club in the EFL pay a visit. With Stevenage losing, the O's extended their lead at the top to seven points with a draw at Walsall on Saturday Tickets
Sutton United v Swindon Town @745pm - only a point apart in a very congested upper midtable, these two should provide a decent contest. The last match between them at the County Ground in September saw Swindon win 3-2. Tickets

National League
Boreham Wood v Solihull Moors @745pm - the Wood blew a 2-0 lead at promotion rivals Woking on Saturday but still managed to come away with a useful point. It kept them in the top seven but anything less than a win here, against midtable opposition, will probably see them drop out of the play-off places
Dagenham & Redbridge v Eastleigh @745pm - if they do slip up, then the Daggers are just a point behind and poised to replace them. Hampshire club Eastleigh are only a point behind them so it's all to play for at the Chigwell Construction Stadium

Middlesex Senior Cup Quarter-Final
Wealdstone v Brentford B @745pm - the tie of the round pits the fifth-tier Stones against the side who have made two of the last three finals. The non-league club have won this cup 13 times but haven't picked up the silverware since 1985. The Bees, on the other hand, won it for the first time way back in 1898 and collected only their second title in 2019 when they started fielding their B team 

Isthmian League Premier Division
Corinthian Casuals v Hornchurch @745pm - defeat to Hastings saw CCs slump to the bottom of the table on Saturday. With only five wins from 30 games, it's looking pretty grim for the south-west London club. The Urchins, however, thrashed former leaders Potters Bar 5-0 to climb back up to third. Now four points behind leaders Bishop's Stortford with two games in hand, things are looking pretty good for Mark Stimson's side

Isthmian League South Central
Northwood v Walton & Hersham @745pm - when star striker Sydney Ibie left for Dagenham & Redbridge before Christmas, many wondered how it would affect title-chasing Northwood. Sadly it seems to have been to their detriment. Defeat at Chipstead on Saturday saw them lose more ground on the top two with leaders Basingstoke now almost out of sight. W&H are the club in second so a win here will be of huge importance to both

EAL Senior Division
Frenford Development v Sporting Hackney @745pm - this 11th-tier match isn't hugely significant but I had to throw it in as it's the closest match taking place to Valentines Park in Ilford. Where else would you rather be on 14 February???

Wednesday 15 February

Premier League
Arsenal v Manchester City @730pm - this time last week it was the turn of these clubs' women's teams to do battle in the cup. On that occasion, the Gunners won 1-0 and I'm sure they'd be overjoyed to repeat that scoreline here. After dropping points against Everton and Brentford in their last two games, Mikel Arteta's side are still top but looking shaky. City have won their last six against Arsenal in all competitions and are their nearest challengers. A win for the North London club will steady a lot of nerves. Tickets are not available

Isthmian League Premier Division
Cray Wanderers v Folkestone Invicta @745pm - their win over Carshalton on Saturday means Cray can push into the top three with a victory here. They have played more games than all those around them so their position is arguably a little false but it's still looking pretty good for London's oldest club

London Senior Trophy Semi-Final
Forest Hill Park v Tooting Bec @745pm - there's a game of huge importance at the Ladywell Arena where a place in the LST Final is up for grabs. Both these sides play in the SCEFL Division 1 and the visitors should start as favourites

Thursday 16 February

Arnold Clark Cup
England v South Korea @745pm - with nothing of any note on in London, why not go and watch the Lionesses take on Asian opposition as they prepare for this summer's Women's World Cup? Being played just to the north of the capital in Milton Keynes, this forms the second part of a doubleheader which sees Italy play Belgium at 445pm with one ticket valid for both games. Tickets


Friday 17 February

Premier League 2
Arsenal v West Ham United @7pm - the action resumes on Friday with two decent U21 games. The biggest would appear to be this derby at Boreham Wood. Arsenal U21 games at this venue are usually free entry but check with the club on the day
Fulham v Manchester City @7pm - the other game of the night sees the Cottagers welcome City to their Motspur Park training ground. The visitors are top of the PL2 after beating Liverpool 3-1 on Sunday

Saturday 18 February

Premier League
Brentford v Crystal Palace @3pm - the Bees' great run continued with a 1-1 draw against leaders Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday. Still in the top eight ahead of clubs like Chelsea and Liverpool, Thomas Frank's side have proven they're more than a match for anyone. Palace managed to take a point from their game against fierce rivals Brighton on Saturday but extended their winless run to seven games in the process. The last three games between these sides have ended in a draw but it's hard to look past a Brentford win on this occasion. Tickets are only available to members
Chelsea v Southampton @3pm - over at Stamford Bridge, two clubs who are having incredibly disappointing seasons meet for what could be a big game for both. The Blues' draw at struggling West Ham on Saturday saw them stretch their unbeaten run to four games but with near neighbours Fulham beating Nottingham Forest, they stayed in ninth. The Saints lost to the 10 men of Wolves to stay bottom and promptly sacked manager Nathan Jones on Sunday morning as a response. Despite their terrible form, one of the high points of Southampton's season so far was beating Chelsea at St Mary's in August. With Jones gone, maybe they can raise their game again. Tickets have sold out

Millwall v Sheffield United @1230pm - with three wins from five, the Lions are up into the top five and looking to cement a play-off place. With average crowds of 14,000, the south London club are one of the smallest clubs in the division so they're doing superbly well. The Blades are second and looking very likely to go up automatically with Burnley. They also won 2-0 here last month in the FA Cup. Tickets

League Two
AFC Wimbledon v Hartlepool United @3pm - with only one win from six, the Dons have missed numerous opportunities to break into the top seven. Still only five points adrift of the play-off places, they should be expected to take the points here against a side who are just above the relegation zone. Tickets
Leyton Orient v Crawley Town @3pm - back-to-back home games against two of the bottom three should see the O's pick up six points this week. Anything less will be seen as a disappointment and could cost them given nearest challengers Stevenage have three games in hand. Tickets
Sutton United v Doncaster Rovers @3pm - at the time of writing, only two points separate these sides. The U's haven't played Doncaster at Gander Green Lane since 1999 when they won 1-0. Tickets

National League
Bromley v Dorking Wanderers @3pm - every other local team in the National League has had a mention this week so why should Bromley miss out? Sitting just outside the play-off places, they face a team sitting just above the relegation zone. Neither side are in great form with only one win between them over their last five games

National League South
Dulwich Hamlet v Bath City @3pm - despite having a pretty underwhelming season, crowds at Champion Hill remain amazingly strong. Saturday saw another sell-out crowd of 3,000 witness their 2-1 loss to Tonbridge which left them down in 18th. Bath aren't in great form either but sit far more snugly in midtable. Given the large crowds, Dulwich are one of the only non-league clubs in London that I'd strongly advise buying in advance for. I'd also recommend arriving at least 30 minutes before kick-off to secure a spot with a good view. Tickets

Isthmian League Premier Division
Aveley v Lewes @3pm - the game of the day in the seventh tier, for me, would be this top-six clash. The Millers are currently second, six points ahead of the Rooks but they have two games in hand on the hosts. It's hard to say who is the best in this division at the moment as games played varies but Hornchurch, who are also at home, look marginally the strongest

Isthmian League South Central
Chipstead v Basingstoke Town @3pm - the Chips potter along most seasons and don't really trouble the scorers, never really threatening to go up or down so they get a bit overlooked. Famed for the legendary Muddy Boot Tea Hut, their ground is well worth a visit for that alone. It's also worth going on Saturday to run the rule over Basingstoke who are now top of the division and starting to open up a lead

CCL Premier South
Colliers Wood United v Raynes Park Vale @3pm - it's A3 derby time again. The sides have already met twice this season in the league and FA Vase and on both occasions RPV have edged to a 1-0 win. Currently fifth, CWU will be looking to make it third time lucky as they take on the leaders

ECL Division 1 South
NW London v Frenford @3pm - both of these sides are still relatively new to 10th-tier football. The hosts, who play at Hadley, are in their first season whilst Frenford have only been at this level since 2018. NWL are experiencing a season of consolidation after their move up from the MCFL whilst Frenford look well on course to win the title

London Senior Trophy Semi-Final
FC Petrocub v Croydon @2pm - after beating Jolof Sports in midweek, the Trams next travel to Romford to play 11th-tier opposition from the Essex Alliance League. The winners will play Tooting Bec in the final


Sunday 19 February

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United @430pm - Spurs top the bill on Sunday with this derby against one of their fiercest rivals. The club from N17 are blowing hot and cold at the moment, beating Manchester City one week and getting thrashed by Leicester the next. Consequently they're floating around in fifth at the moment, taking it turns with Newcastle to occupy the final Champions League spot. The Hammers are two points above the relegation zone after a poor start to the season but they're now four games unbeaten in all competitions and the confidence is starting to come back. Tickets are only available to members

FA WNL Southern Premier
Watford v MK Dons @2pm - with the Lionesses taking part in the Arnold Clark Cup (they play Italy in Coventry on Sunday), the top two women's divisions have the week off. The Hornets picked up a tidy 3-1 win at Cheltenham on Sunday to move up to fourth. If they win their games in hand, which they have on all those above them, they'll be right back in title contention. The visitors are the kind of midtable side that need to be beaten if their aspirations of top spot are to be taken seriously

Essex Senior Cup Semi-Final
Hashtag United v Billericay Town @130pm - last season's title rivals go head-to-head for a place in the ESC Final. Hashtag lost out in the race to win the FAWNL Division 1 South East title last season and Billericay moved up to the third tier. Comfortably holding their own after a shaky start, they can expect a spirited display from Hashtag who appear to have the South East title within their grasp already this season 

Capital Senior Cup Quarter-Finals
QPR v Arsenal Academy @2pm - of the four quarter-finals, this one could be very interesting indeed as it gives us the chance to look at some of the stars of the future. The Gunners' youngsters put 11 past Sutton United in the last round and a Rangers side who aren't in stellar form could be humbled too
Ashford Town (Middlesex) v Charlton Athletic U21 @2pm - it could be a similar story at the Robert Parker Stadium too. Again, the Addicks' youngsters gave an impressive display last time out as they scored 12 at Hounslow. However, Ashford are a far better side than that and this should be a lot closer
Haringey Borough v London Bees @2pm - the lowest-ranked team left in the competition, Haringey caused a bit of an upset by beating London Seaward on penalties in the previous round. In London Bees they face a side from two tiers above them but how strong a side will they field?
AFC Wimbledon v Actonians @3pm - on paper, this tie between two of the better sides in the fourth tier looks like being the closest. With two narrow defeats to the Dons already this season, will it be third time lucky for the A's? Being played at Carshalton Athletic, you won't be surprised to hear that this is where I intend to be on Sunday

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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