Monday 17 April 2023

TLFG: 17-23 April 2023

Welcome to the latest edition of TLFG and apologies again for the late and incomplete publication.

On Sunday I headed north-east to Wadham Lodge in Walthamstow to watch the Women's National League game between London Seaward and Actonians.

As a result of postponements earlier in the season, it meant the sides were playing each other for the second game in a row.

Last Sunday the A's had blown a 2-0 lead and had settle for a 2-2 draw after conceding a late equaliser.

Roschelle Shakes scores Actonians' second goal against London Seaward

With the prize of a possible third-place finish up for grabs for both sides, it was the visitors who created the better chances with Natsumi Kanno seeing two efforts hit the post.

Goalless at the break, Actonians came out the brighter and found themselves 2-0 up not long after the hour with Kanno finally getting her goal and substitute Roschelle Shakes scoring with possibly her first touch.

Once again, Seaward fought back to make it 2-1 to ensure a nervy finish but with time running out, Shakes teed up fellow sub Samaira Khan to make it 3-1.

The result now means it's between Actonians and Norwich City to see who finishes third.

The A's have a game in hand against Ashford Town (Middlesex) this Sunday, meaning it will go to the final day if they win it.

With that excitement out of the way, I then ran back to Shepherds Bush - a distance of just over 13 miles.

London Seward's defence are powerless to prevent Actonians' third goal

It's Ramadan at the moment so to make it more of a challenge, I did the run while fasting.

This saw me take on my last food and water by 0430 and then I began the run about 1715.

Joined by my friend Mike, who'd come all the way up from Croydon to support me, we ran in a south-westerly direction through the likes of Tottenham, Islington, Camden, Paddington, and Notting Hill before ending up back in Shepherds Bush a bit over two hours later.

To be honest, I was a lot fresher than I thought I would be so am pretty chuffed with how it went.

I've opened a fundraising page to mark the occasion with The Felix Project being my chosen charity - they harvest unsold food from supermarkets and distribute it to food banks, schools and other community groups. If you can spare any pennies I'd really appreciate it.

London's oldest ground re-opens to men's competitive football on Saturday

Back to this week's guide and so far I've only been able to write previews for Monday-Friday, I'll get to work on the weekend matches over the next couple of days. 

In the lower divisions there are some serious fixture pile-ups so there are loads of games on over the next few days.

Have a great week!

UPDATE - I've now been able to write previews through to Sunday but with many games still to be played before the weekend, I hope to revise things again.


The highlights of the next few days include games in the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, EFL, National League, Women's Super 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 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 April

Premier League 2
Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers @7pm - the week kicks off with some U21 football at the Cottagers' training ground in Motspur Park. A win here will put the hosts into the top four. Admission will be no more than £5 and is payable on arrival

Southern League Premier South
Hayes & Yeading United v Tiverton Town @745pm - the pick of the non-league action is to be found at the SkyEx. Both sides have missed out on the play-offs and have avoided relegation so there's little to play for. The hosts have to play four games between Monday and Saturday including a cup final on Wednesday which will surely be their priority - expect to see some youngsters get given a chance

Essex Senior League
Athletic Newham v Redbridge @745pm - the ESL title race is now a straight fight between Enfield and Redbridge. With three games to go, Enfield are five points clear. Therefore, defeat here for the Motormen will be pretty much terminal

Tuesday 18 April

UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final Second Leg
Chelsea v Real Madrid @8pm - after losing the away leg 2-0, the Blues face an uphill task at Stamford Bridge. Saturday's loss to Brighton saw them slip into the Premier League's bottom half as their hugely disappointing season continued. Defeat here will see them complete the campaign with nothing and if they end up in the bottom half, it will be their lowest finish since 1996. Tickets are not available

Millwall v Birmingham City @745pm - the Lions got back to winning ways on Saturday with a crucial win over promotion rivals Preston that kept them in the top five. On paper they should beat struggling Birmingham too. The Midlands club are eight points clear of the relegation zone with four games to go so could do with one more win to make sure of staying up. Tickets

League Two
Sutton United v Northampton Town @745pm - the U's lost 2-0 at home to leaders Leyton Orient on Saturday, as the O's took another big stride towards promotion. Next up they face the Cobblers who are currently second. If they beat them then the visitors will bow out of the title race. Tickets

National League
Barnet v Solihull Moors @745pm - the Bees haven't won for a while but they did superbly well to draw with leaders Wrexham at the weekend. Still in fifth, with three games to go, a win here will clinch a play-off place. The visitors have run out of steam at the crucial moment and will almost certainly miss out on a place in the top seven
Wealdstone v Aldershot Town @745pm - with four games to go, the Stones find themselves 10 points adrift of the play-off places so realistically their season is over. However, the Shots are teetering just above the relegation zone and are desperate for every point they can get

Isthmian League South Central
Hanworth Villa v Guernsey @745pm - having won three of their last four, the hosts seem to have timed their run to the end of the season to perfection. Fifth with two games to go, a win here will confirm their play-off place. Guernsey need one point from their last two games to stay up
Tooting & Mitcham United v Ashford Town (Middlesex) @745pm - with the Terrors already relegated, the Tangerines are close to suffering the same fate. Also in the bottom four but only on goal difference, a win here is essential as they've got the worst goal difference in the division

Isthmian League South East
Beckenham Town v Faversham Town @745pm - the Becks have been there or thereabouts for most of the season but Saturday's disappointing draw with East Grinstead saw them drop out of the play-off spots. This game in hand against already relegated Faversham simply has to be won to stay in serious contention
Cray Valley PM v VCD Athletic @745pm - if Beckenham do slip up then they'll slide even further down the table if CVPM win this derby. The hosts could go as high as fourth if they are successful but VCD are another side to be caught up in a relegation scrap and should be fighting hard to get something out of the game themselves 

Southern League Division 1 Central
Walthamstow v Biggleswade FC @745pm - with Berkhamsted having walked off with the title some time ago, it's now all about the battle to finish in the top five. Only three points separate the clubs in second to fifth, and both these sides are in that group. Although the clubs just outside the play-off places are seven points behind, one of them still has four games left so the Stow would like at least another win to make sure they make the 'post-season'

CCL Premier North
Harefield United v Egham Town @745pm - with Ascot United having won the title, it's now a battle between Egham Town and Reading City for the one play-off place which goes to the runners-up. If the Sarnies win here and Reading lose to Virginia Water, it will be theirs
Oxhey Jets v Ascot United @745pm - the hosts have had a season to forget and are in the relegation zone. However, they're only a point adrift of safety with four games to go so they've still got plenty to play for. As mentioned above, Ascot have already won the title and have a trip to Wembley for the FA Vase Final to prepare for - they'd be mad not to rest some players

CCL Division 1
Rayners Lane v Westside @745pm - both these sides have a ridiculous schedule between now and the end of the season and both have a chance of making the play-offs. The visitors are playing a match on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday as they look to complete their fixtures on time. Surely such an intense run of games will finish them off but you never know


Wednesday 19 April

QPR v Norwich City @745pm - it's a case of one step forward and five steps back for the R's at the moment or so it seems. After beating Watford a few weeks ago they followed it up with a 6-1 loss to Blackpool. Last Monday they fought back from 2-0 down to draw at West Bromwich Albion and then lost 3-0 at home to Coventry City. Still just above the relegation zone, in part because of Reading's recent points deduction, they still seem like certainties for the drop so abject have some of their recent performances been. The Canaries aren't having a great season by their standards, but can still make the play-offs and should have more than enough to win here. Tickets
Watford v Cardiff City @745pm - talking of Watford, they can do QPR a huge favour by beating one of their relegation rivals. Cardiff are a point below the R's with a game in hand. The Hornets beat Bristol City on Saturday to relieve some of the pressure on boss Chris Wilder and are now only four points shy of the play-off places. Tickets

Middlesex Senior Cup Final
Harrow Borough v Hayes & Yeading United @745pm - my beloved Harrow had relegation confirmed on Saturday following their defeat at Poole Town. They have finished in the drop zone before but have received reprieves and survived. Sadly that doesn't look very likely to happen this time so this will be the first time I will have seen them go down in the 35 years I've been following them. Winning this title would therefore be a bit bittersweet. They will start as underdogs against local rivals H&YU who've had a much better season and knocked out Brentford's development side in the last round. The match is being played at Hanwell Town. Tickets

CCL Premier South
Colliers Wood United v Badshot Lea @730pm - this match at Wibbandune could decide the CCL Premier South title. With leaders Raynes Park Vale away at Guildford City at the same time, second place Badshot Lea, who have played a game more, need to match or better RPV's result to have a strong chance of finishing top. Defeat and a win for RPV will see the south-west London club become champions 

Essex Senior League
Athletic Newham v Woodford Town @745pm - two of the top five meet at Newham Leisure Centre for what could be a cracking game. The hosts can't make the play-offs but Woodford can. Their chances are slim and anything less than a win will end their hopes
West Essex v FC Clacton @745pm - it's a similar story at Wadham Lodge where the visitors, on level points with Woodford, have to win to keep their season alive

SCEFL Premier
Erith & Belvedere v Deal Town @745pm - if the Deres win or draw at Tunbridge Wells on Monday night, then they will be champions. If they lose, they'll get another chance here although this should be significantly tougher as Deal are third and still fighting for the one play-off place afforded to the runners-up. UPDATE - the Deres did win the league on Monday night
Holmesdale v Phoenix Sports @745pm - if Deal lose at the Deres and Phoenix win at Holmesdale, Phoenix will clinch the one available play-off spot. If Phoenix fail to win then it will go to the final day whatever happens at Park View Road and Erith Town will come into the reckoning too

SCEFL Division 1 Play-Off Semi-Final
Tooting Bec v Larkfield & New Hythe @745pm - a storming run of four consecutive wins saw the Bec surge up the table to finish as runners-up. As a result they have home advantage for this one-legged semi-final. L&NH staggered to the end of the season with a 1-0 home defeat to lowly Forest Hill Park. The winners will play Lydd Town or Faversham Strike Force on Saturday 
Thursday 20 April

UEFA Conference League Quarter-Final Second Leg
West Ham United v KAA Gent @8pm - after drawing 1-1 in Belgium last week, things are set up nicely for the Hammers to make their second consecutive European competition semi-final. Buoyed by an impressive comeback which saw them draw 2-2 with leaders Arsenal on Sunday, spirits should be high in the West Ham camp. Tickets

Southern League Premier South
Metropolitan Police v Bracknell Town @745pm - currently eighth, The Met's season is over. However, they could play a decisive role in the title race. Bracknell are five points behind leaders Weston-super-Mare with three games to go all of which have to be played by Saturday. If they win at promotion rivals Truro on Monday then they'll be in with a good chance when they arrive at Imber Court. However, if WSM beat lowly Hendon on Tuesday and Bracknell fail to beat Truro then their title bid will be over - it's complicated writing this far in advance! UPDATE - WSM won the title on Tuesday

CCL Premier North
Egham Town v Holyport @745pm - if the Sarnies don't clinch the runners-up spot earlier in the week then they'll get another chance here against midtable opposition UPDATE - Egham did clinch the runners-up spot on Tuesday

SCFL Division 1
Chessington & Hook United v Epsom & Ewell @745pm - having lost to Wick on Tuesday, the hosts have now only won one of their last five. Just two points above the relegation zone, a point from this derby will probably be enough for them as their goal difference is way better than anyone else in the bottom half. For E&E it's all about building momentum as they've already secured a play-off spot

Friday 21 April

Premier League
Arsenal v Southampton @8pm - after letting two-goal leads slip against Liverpool and West Ham, the Gunners' lead at the top has been cut to just four points, with second placed Manchester City also having a game in hand. They simply have to win here against bottom club Southampton. Tickets are not available

Premier League 2
Arsenal v Fulham @7pm - the Gunners' U21 side are in action the same night at Boreham Wood's ground. Despite it usually being free entry, I can't see there being much of crowd given what's going on at the Emirates

ECL Division 1 South
May & Baker v Wormley Rovers @745pm - even if they win their remaining three games, the hosts will fall just short of the play-offs. However, they will play a big part in who wins the title. With two games to go only two points separate the top two - Frenford and Wormley. Prior to this game, Wormley have to play Basildon Town who are also in the mix because they have two games in hand. There are so many permutations possible at this stage but defeat here for Wormley is likely to be highly damaging. UPDATE - Wormley lost to Basildon, are now out of the title race and will contest the play-offs instead
Saturday 22 April

FA Cup Semi-Final
Manchester City v Sheffield United @445pm - it's FA Cup Semi-Final weekend and, as usual, Wembley plays host to both ties. The first would appear to be a foregone conclusion with the team currently second in the Premier League taking on the side second in the Championship - but will it go the way most of us expect? Both are probably prioritising league success at this point in the season so will City rest players? During the Blades' recent stint in the Premier League, they lost all four games against City but it was always close with the last three ending 1-0. Prior to that, the last time they played was an FA Cup game in 2008 and on that occasion Sheffield United won 2-1. Let's also not forget that the Yorkshire side also had to beat Spurs during their run to Wembley so they've already picked off one of the biggest clubs in the land. If you've got a previous purchasing history at Manchester City, then a few tickets are still available

Premier League
Fulham v Leeds United @1230pm - the Cottagers arrested a run of four straight defeats by beating Everton at the weekend. The result kept them in the top half, just above arch-rivals Chelsea. The visitors picked up a couple of hugely important wins over Wolves and Nottingham Forest as it looked as if they might stave off relegation. However, two heavy home defeats to Crystal Palace and Liverpool has got everyone seriously fearing for their future again. Fulham have already played Leeds twice this season in the league and cup and won both. On current form, a home win looks the most likely. Only members and those with a previous booking history can get tickets
Brentford v Aston Villa @3pm - the Bees have had a great season and are in no danger whatsoever of getting relegated. Sadly, though, their great form appears to have deserted them as they're now five games without a win and their hopes of landing a European place are fading. The same can't be said of Villa who are a team transformed since Unai Emery took over. Five wins on the bounce have taken them into the top six and there's no reason why they can't go higher. Tickets are only available to members
Crystal Palace v Everton @3pm - since taking over from Patrick Vieira at the end of March, boss Roy Hodgson has seen his side win all three games. They were all relegation six-pointers against fellow strugglers too so they're now almost certainly safe. If they win this game, they could move level with Chelsea. With the Toffees winless in four and in the bottom four, why shouldn't they get another three points? Tickets are only available to members

League One
Charlton Athletic v Morecambe @3pm - having hoisted themselves up to midtable safety, the Addicks' season has been over for a while now. Not so the Shrimps who still have a chance of avoiding relegation. They gave their hopes a boost by beating Wycombe Wanderers at the weekend but having played more games than all those around them, their situation remains dire. Tickets

League Two
AFC Wimbledon v Swindon Town @3pm - with both sides towards the foot of the division's form table, there's not a lot going for this game. Swindon's season is effectively over, whilst the Dons need one more win to be absolutely sure of avoiding relegation. Tickets
Leyton Orient v Crewe Alexandra @3pm - if the O's win at lowly Gillingham on Tuesday, then they'll be promoted. If all their main challengers have a bad night then they could seal the title as well. It's unlikely the latter will happen, which means they'll probably be looking to make sure of their title triumph here. Crewe are in midtable and should be beaten but the Cheshire club have won three of their last four so arrive in a bit of form. Tickets have sold out. UPDATE - the O's lost at Gillingham but still got promoted, this match could decide whether they win the title

UEFA Women's Champions League Semi-Final First Leg
Chelsea v Barcelona @1230pm - when it comes to the women's game, it doesn't get much bigger than this and that's why it's being played at Stamford Bridge. Well in the hunt for the Super League title and through to yet another FA Cup Final, the Blues have been the dominant power in England for several years now. Barcelona, including Lionesses Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh, will provide a formidable test having made the last two Champions League finals and thrashing Chelsea 4-0 in one of them. Tickets

National League
Bromley v Chesterfield @3pm - the game of the day in the fifth tier takes place at Hayes Lane. With average crowds of 2,529 Bromley are the best supported non-league club in London, just ahead of Dulwich Hamlet. With two FA Trophy Final appearances at Wembley in five years and lots of investment off the pitch, the time is surely coming when they'll make their League Two debut. With two games to go, they occupy the last play-off place so it's delicately balanced. The visitors are battling it out with Woking to see who finishes third (second and third play one less round of play-off games) so they should be as motivated as anyone to win. Tickets

National League South
Welling United v Ebbsfleet United @3pm - the Wings welcome newly crowd champions Ebbsfleet to Park View Road on Saturday. With 100 points already on the board, the Kent club have had a season to remember. Welling, however, could do with one more win to make sure of staying up

Isthmian League Premier
Haringey Borough v Cray Wanderers @3pm - with Bishop's Stortford winning the title and all of the relegation spots filled, there's just one play-off place left to be decided and it's between Cray Wanderers and Lewes. Cray hold it at the moment and have a two-point advantage but with the goal difference also close, only a win here will make sure of keeping it

Isthmian League North
Grays Athletic v Hullbridge Sports @3pm - at the time of writing, Grays occupy the last play-off place. However, they could be overtaken on goal difference if Felixstowe & Walton win their game in hand on Wednesday. If that happens, F&W, Heybridge Swifts and Grays will all go into the final day on level points but only two of them will make the play-offs. By a quirk of the fixture computer, F&W and Heybridge Swifts are playing each other whilst Grays have to play bottom club Hullbridge. UPDATE - Felixstowe did win so all three teams go into the final game on level points

Isthmian League South Central
Bedfont Sports v Guernsey @3pm - in this division, the bottom two go down automatically and the next two have to go into a relegation play-off. The hosts are currently in the bottom two and only a win will do if they are to have any chance of getting into those play-offs
Sutton Common Rovers v Ashford Town (Middlesex) @3pm - if Bedfont Sports do win then they'll have to hope that SCR don't. The south London club are two points above them but with a significantly worse goal difference. As for Ashford, they're not out of the woods either. They picked up a massively important win at Tooting & Mitcham on Tuesday to move out of the bottom four and need just a point here to be certain of staying up

Isthmian League South East
Cray Valley PM v Sheppey United @3pm - of all the games in the eighth tier taking place in London, this looks like being the most tense. Currently fifth and sixth in the table, the winners will make the play-offs and the losers' season will end. A draw could see them both miss out as seventh placed Hythe Town are right in the mix too

CCL Premier North
Egham Town v Oxhey Jets @3pm - with the Sarnies having already secured the one available play-off spot, the focus turns to the visitors who will probably need a win to avoid relegation. Oxhey have a game in hand on Thursday at Virginia Water that if won would give them a good chance of staying up but they'd still need to better the results of Chalfont St Peter and Windsor on the final day. UPDATE - Oxhey lost to Virginia Water so have to win this game to have any chance of staying up

SCEFL Premier
Phoenix Sports v Kennington @3pm - as mentioned above, the hosts could already have clinched the one available play-off spot by the time this kicks-off but if not, then this will be their final chance. The visitors are bang in the middle of the table and should be beaten
Glebe v Erith Town @3pm - if results go their way in midweek, then the Dockers could have the chance to steal in at the death and nick that play-off spot. It would still require Phoenix and Deal to drop points too though. The hosts are currently seventh and likely to make it tough for them. UPDATE - Phoenix and Deal won in midweek meaning there is now little to play for in this match

MCFL Premier
Clapton CFC v Kensington Dragons @3pm - although only an 11th-tier match, this will be one of the biggest non-league events in London on Saturday. The CCFC men's team will be playing their first competitive match at the Old Spotted Dog, London's oldest football ground, which members and fans have spent lots of their time and money upgrading over the last few months. Not only that but the hosts could clinch the MCFL title with a win. The atmosphere is always lively at CCFC games but it should be really special this time. To top it all, entry is by donation so it's effectively pay what you want

Sunday 23 April

FA Cup Semi-Final
Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United @430pm - the last time these two met at Wembley was in May 1983 when the Albion took their illustrious opponents to an FA Cup Final replay after drawing the initial game 2-2. Sadly, the replay was a lot more one-sided and the Sussex club lost 4-0. This time round, Brighton head to the national stadium with probably the best squad they've ever had. Currently seventh in the Premier League after recording their first ever win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Roberto de Zerbi's side will be more than capable of giving the Red Devils a tough afternoon. Tickets are only available to members

Women's Super League
Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa @2pm - wins are hard to come by when you're in the WSL's bottom four and that's sadly where Spurs find themselves. Three points above the relegation zone, things will get a lot tighter if bottom club Brighton win their midweek game at Everton. Villa have had a good campaign and currently represent the best of the rest who are looking to break into the elite group of four that dominate the top of the league. Top scorer, and Lionesses star, Rachel Daly could go joint top of the WSL goal scorers charts with a hat-trick which isn't inconceivable given some of Tottenham's performances

Women's Championship
Crystal Palace v Lewes @12pm - the only second tier match taking place in London has little riding on it. Currently sixth and seventh, the best either side can do is finish fifth

FAWNL Division 1 South East
Actonians v Ashford Town (Middlesex) @2pm - after their crucial victory at London Seaward on Sunday, the A's kept themselves in the hunt for third but they have to win or draw here to stay in it. Ashford are just a place below them but this is their final game and with inferior goal difference, can't finish higher than sixth. The clubs have already met twice this season in the league and FA Cup and Actonians won them both 3-0 and 4-1. This is where I plan to spend my Sunday afternoon and I'll be more than happy to see the hosts grab a third win against the Tangerines
QPR v Hashtag United @2pm - just over two miles to the east at Hanwell Town's ground, the Tags will be looking to finally wrap-up the title. Top for pretty much the whole season, the Essex club saw their lead significantly reduced when Hounslow folded, taking all their results with them, and title rivals AFC Wimbledon inflicted their only defeat. Thankfully for them, they recovered and got back to winning ways. Another victory here and they'll be crowned champions. If seventh place QPR can get anything out of this it will be close to miraculous - only second placed Wimbledon have been able to lay a glove on them so far this season

Capital Women's Intermediate & Junior Cup Finals
If you fancy a double bill of back-to-back cup finals then head to Bedfont Sports where Brentford will be looking to clean up as their first and B teams have made both finals. The Intermediate Cup kicks-off at 1pm and sees Brentford take on league rivals Dorking Wanderers whilst the Junior Cup will start at 4pm and feature Brentford B and a development side from Millwall Lionesses. This ground doubles as the Bees' normal home stadium and with a four-figure crowd turning up for a recent league game, there could be a very healthy attendance here

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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