Monday 24 April 2023

TLFG: 24 April - 1 May 2023

Welcome to a bank holiday special of TLFG.

Apologies again for another late publication but once again I was spending too much time enjoying myself watching Actonians on Sunday to get round to writing this.

In fact it's been a very satisfactory few days for my clubs with QPR pulling off arguably the biggest shock of the weekend by inflicting Burnley's first home defeat of the season.

Vincent Kompany's side have already won promotion and had looked certain to wrap-up the title against a poor R's side who'd only won twice since December.

Maria Ledezma-Viso (left) crashed in her sixth of the season for Actonians

However, it wasn't to be and despite recording only 19% possession, Gareth Ainsworth's side played to their strengths and won 2-1.

They're now four points clear of the relegation zone with two games to go - the hope is back but that's what kills you right?

Harrow Borough came from behind to beat Yate Town 3-1 in their final match of the season but the result was tinged with disappointment as relegation had already been confirmed.

Steve Baker also became Boro's longest serving manager that afternoon, having joined in 2015, and he had already announced it would be his last game - a sad way to depart. 

It was even more gutting to see they finished only a point adrift of safety with old rivals Hendon just edging them out but good luck to them - they're rivals not enemies.

As for Actonians, they've been my sole source of positivity this season.

Coming into their final two games, they still had the chance to finish third.

On Sunday they faced Ashford Town, a side who sat just below them in the table and one they'd beaten twice previously earlier in the season in the league and cup.

Possessed of some good forwards, Danny Harrigan's side knew they'd have to be wary against the Tangerines.

Some of that talent was on show from the off as the visitors fired in a fine early goal.

The A's equalised soon after through Italian goal machine Alessandra Barreca and this was followed soon after by a thunderbolt from winger Maria Ledezma-Viso which slammed in off the bar.

Tickets are available for West Ham v Liverpool on Wednesday

Seemingly in control, Actonians found themselves pegged backed to 2-2 when Ashley Cheatley coolly fired across Amy Butler into the top-right corner.

The talented striker barely celebrated as she was mobbed by her team-mates.

Sadly for the visitors, they found themselves 3-2 down at the interval after another Barreca effort beat the keeper from range.

After such an entertaining first half, it looked like we could have one of the crazy end-of-season games where any score becomes possible.

Thankfully for the hosts and their fans, it never came close to happening as Actonians accelerated away after the interval and won 6-2 with further goals from Jasmine Williamson, Natsumi Kanno and a third from Barreca who completed her hat-trick with a free-kick into the top-left corner which the keeper couldn't quite keep out.

It was a huge moment for Barreca who only returned from an ACL injury at the end of January and now has six goals from just 10 appearances since then.

Actonians travel to the Abbey Stadium on Sunday to play Cambridge United in their final game.

To finish third, they will need to better Norwich City's result at AFC Wimbledon.

Whatever happens, my first full season as dedicated follower of a women's team has been a real pleasure.


With many of our local non-league competitions now concluded, there's far less to watch than normal. The highlights of the next few days include games in the Premier League, EFL, National League, Women's Champions League and a few 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
Monday fixtures - yellow 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 24 April

Professional Development League
There are a couple of decent U21 options on Monday afternoon as both Watford  and Charlton Athletic have games at their main stadiums. The match at Vicarage Road starts at 1pm and the one at The Valley at 2pm

Essex Senior League
Athletic Newham v Romford @745pm - the season should have finished by now but because of lots of postponements earlier in the season, there are still one or two games that need to be completed. With all the promotion and relegation issues settled in the ESL, this match is just about determining finishing positions. A win for the hosts will see them end up in fifth which I'm pretty sure would be a club best

CCL Premier South
Balham v Colliers Wood United @745pm - the CCL suffered more than most when it came to postponements and as a result, still quite a few games need to be played. However, in this division, the promotion issues have been decided. Sadly, neither of these teams will be going up but a top five finish is possible for the visitors. This is also a derby from the southern end of the Northern Line

CCL Division 1
Spartans Youth v Molesey @745pm - the hosts moved up to this level for the first time this season and are just about keeping their heads above water. Their HQ is located just metres away from Brentford's stadium on the other side of the M4 but they've been playing all their games several miles away at Northwood which has presumably made it hard to build a fanbase. Currently seven points above the relegation zone with five games to go, they could do with one more win to make sure

Tuesday 25 April

FA Youth Cup Final
Arsenal v West Ham United @7pm - the final of the country's most prestigious U18 cup competition takes place at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners may well need home advantage to win here as the Hammers' youngsters are well clear at the top of South section of the U18 league whereas Arsenal are 10th out of 12. Tickets are £5

Professional Development League
As on Monday, there are a couple more U21 games being played at clubs' main stadiums. QPR play at Loftus Road at 1pm and Millwall, who are top of the South section, kick-off at The Den at 2pm

National League
Boreham Wood v Gateshead @745pm - after losing the big game at Wrexham on Saturday, which gave the Welsh club the title, The Wood know a draw here will secure their play-off place with a game to spare. The Heed have already done enough to avoid relegation so don't have a huge amount to play for but I'm sure they'll want to put on a show for the fans who do make the long midweek journey from the north east

National League South
Dulwich Hamlet v Concord Rangers @745pm - there's a huge game at the wrong end of the NLS table on Tuesday where a win for the Hamlet will secure their place in the division for another season. Concord have been in the bottom four for a long time, partly as a result of lots of postponements. In the last few weeks they've been working their way through those games, ominously winning four out of their last five games as they've motored towards safety. However, if they lose here it will all be over, they'll go down and will take Cheshunt with them. Most games at Champion Hill sell out so you are strongly advised to buy tickets in advance if you want to go

CCL Premier North
Harefield United v Chalfont St Peter @730pm - this game is all about what happens to the visitors. In order to stay up, CSP have to match or better whatever Windsor achieve in their match against Virginia Water the same night

CCL Division 1
London Samurai Rovers v Cove @745pm - in theory LSR could still win the title and also completely miss out on the play-offs, although making the latter is the most realistic outcome. A win here will go a long way to securing their place in the 'post-season' but it still won't be guaranteed even at this late stage
Spartans Youth v Brook House @745pm - if Spartans win on Monday, then another win here against relegation rivals will keep them up and send the visitors down
Westside v RB Kensington @730pm - the hosts have a very slim chance of sneaking into the play-offs and as a result can't afford to lose


Wednesday 26 April

Premier League
Chelsea v Brentford @745pm - last April the Bees went to Stamford Bridge and stunned everyone by beating the then European champions 4-1. A year on and it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see them win again. Currently five points ahead of them in the league, they'll be disappointed not to get anything here although their form is probably the worst it's been all season. Tickets have sold out
West Ham United v Liverpool @745pm - the pressure was really on David Moyes after his Hammers side capitulated against Newcastle three weeks ago but since then they haven't lost a game. Through to the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa Conference League and now six points clear of the relegation zone after winning 4-0 at Bournemouth on Sunday, things are looking pretty rosy. However, with seven league games to play, a lot could still happen. The Reds also badly need to win to stay in the hunt for a place in Europe. The last three games between them have been close with only one goal winning margins. Tickets are available

Isthmian League Premier Division Play-Off Semi-Final
Hornchurch v Cray Wanderers @745pm - with the SCEFL getting the play-off season underway last week, things get into full swing this week. Most non-league play-off games only have one leg so the stakes are high. The Urchins have been in the title race for weeks so the fact they made it to the play-offs wasn't a huge surprise. For Cray, London's oldest club, it was in doubt until the final day when a draw at Haringey in front of over 800 fans was enough to see them pip Lewes to the last place on goal difference. Hornchurch have played in the NLS before but Cray never have - is this their moment?

Isthmian League South Central Play-Off Semi-Final
Walton & Hersham v Northwood @745pm - the Swans were neck-and-neck with Basingstoke Town until the final day when they only managed a draw at Thatcham and their rivals won. With only one team going up automatically, W&H will now go into the play-offs. They've ended up with a home game against Northwood who were leaders until Christmas. They also recorded an impressive 3-1 win over Marlow, who also made the play-offs, on the final day. The hosts have been getting crowds of over 1,500 recently so you'd expect something similar here

London Senior Cup Semi-Final
Charlton Athletic U21 v Hendon @7pm - being played at Dartford's stadium, a young Addicks side will take on the Greens who are celebrating avoiding the drop from the Southern League Premier South. The north-west London club are one of the most successful clubs in the competition's history, winning it six times. They last won it in 2020 and were runners-up last season. Charlton have never been to the final. The winners will play Haringey Borough

Essex Senior League Cup Semi-Final
Woodford Town v Redbridge @745pm - two of the top three meet for this mouthwatering semi-final at Ashton's. The winners will play Athletic Newham or Barking in the final

Middlesex Intermediate Cup Final
Bush Hill Rangers v Staines & Lammas (Middlesex) @745pm - two of the best sides in the 11th tier meet at North Greenford United for a decent chunk of county silverware. Currently top of the Herts Senior County League, BHR might start as marginal favourites but it's hard to say as S&L are still firmly in the hunt for the Surrey Premier crown too

Capital Women's Cup Final
AFC Wimbledon v Arsenal Academy @745pm - the Dons have had a decent season but it's ultimately going to see them pipped to the FAWNL Division 1 South East title by Hashtag United, a side they've taken four points off during the campaign. Winning this would be a nice consolation but it's going to be tough as Arsenal's youngsters have already beaten Sutton United, QPR and London Bees by convincing margins to get here. The match is being played at CB Hounslow United
Thursday 27 April

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United @815pm - after being thrashed 6-1 by Newcastle on Sunday, Spurs were left six points behind fourth placed Manchester United who have two games in hand. If they are to have any chance of making next season's Champions League they simply must win this. The visitors have won their last three league games and made it to the FA Cup Final after scraping past Brighton on penalties on Sunday. Tickets are only available to members

Premier League Cup Semi-Final
Fulham v Brentford @7pm - if you can't get a ticket for the above, then head to the Cottagers' training ground in Motspur Park for this derby. Blackburn Rovers await the winners in the final. Tickets are available on the gate

FAWNL Southern Premier
Watford v Oxford United @745pm - as we move into the last week of the season three teams can still win the title and these are two of them. Oxford are currently the favourites as they're top with a game in hand on the Hornets and Ipswich Town in third. The hosts have to avoid defeat at all costs or their season will end. Given the magnitude of the game, it's being played at Vicarage Road

Friday 28 April

Premier League 2
There are a couple of U21 matches on Friday night as Chelsea welcome Brighton to Kingsmeadow and West Ham United entertain Leicester City at Rush Green. Tickets are £5 and usually available on arrival
Saturday 29 April

Premier League
Crystal Palace v West Ham United @1230pm - the Eagles travel to Wolves in midweek where a draw will see them reach the mythical 38-point mark which traditionally proves to be enough to see clubs avoid relegation. If the Hammers beat Liverpool then they'll just need just a point here to get to 38 too. Either way, both these clubs now look pretty likely to avoid the drop. Tickets are only available to members
Brentford v Nottingham Forest @3pm - with the Bees' European hopes all but over, they've got little to play for other than position. Forest, on the other hand, need every point they can get to stay up. Brentford are unbeaten in three against the Midlands club and drew 2-2 at the City Ground earlier in the season. Tickets are only available to members 

League One
Charlton Athletic v Port Vale @3pm - the Addicks suffered a disappointing home defeat to Morecambe on Saturday to give the Lancashire club hope of staying up. Vale picked up a valuable 2-0 win over Bristol Rovers which all but ensures their place in League One next season but at least a draw here would make it absolutely certain. Tickets

League Two
Leyton Orient v Stockport County @3pm - the O's finally wrapped up the League Two title by beating Crewe on Saturday and presumably we'll see the trophy presented to Richie Wellens and his team at this game. The drama isn't over though as the visitors are still fighting hard with Carlisle, Northampton and Stevenage for two of the remaining automatic promotion places.Tickets have sold out
AFC Wimbledon v Tranmere Rovers @3pm - the Dons gave a pretty disgraceful performance while losing 5-1 at home to Swindon on Saturday. Luckily for them, struggling Hartlepool lost too which means they'll stay up whatever happens in the last two games. Midtable Tranmere also have little to play for. Interestingly, they are one of the only teams Wimbledon have managed to beat away this season. Tickets

Women's Super League
Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion @515pm - the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium plays host to this WSL tea-time relegation six-pointer. One of the great things about the women's top division this season has been an exciting title race but also a really close relegation battle too. As we approach the last four or five games, the bottom four are only separated by three points. Spurs fought back from 2-0 down to draw 3-3 with a very handy Aston Villa side on Sunday whilst Brighton lost 2-1 at Liverpool to stay in trouble. Given how tight it is, a win will be huge for either. Tickets 

National League
Barnet v Dagenham & Redbridge @3pm - if Boreham Wood win in midweek then the Bees will need to win here to make sure of finishing fifth which will give them home advantage in the first round of play-off games, which are played over one leg. The Daggers won't go up but could possibly finish in the top 10 with a win here
Boreham Wood v Yeovil Town @3pm - the significance of this game depends a lot on how the hosts do in midweek against Gateshead. A win or draw will confirm their play-off place, lose and they'll still be catchable. Former Championship club Yeovil have had a disastrous season and have already been relegated to the sixth tier

National League South
Dulwich Hamlet v Chippenham Town @3pm - if the Hamlet fail to beat Concord in midweek, they could well find themselves in the bottom four by the time this kicks-off. If that is the case, it means Concord will have had a great midweek (they have two games) and even a win might not be enough to keep the south London club up. The visitors are sitting snugly in midtable and will hopefully be metaphorically on the beach

Step 4/5 Interleague Play-Offs
Sutton Common Rovers v Crawley Down Gatwick @3pm - interleague play-offs are a fairly new thing in non-league but they're about as high stakes as they come and usually generate a lot of excitement. It's a one-off game between a team in the eighth tier (Step 4) who finished just above the relegation zone defending their place against a team who finished second in one of the divisions below. SCR actually finished the Isthmian League South Central season strongly, going unbeaten in their last four games but CDG are in even better form and will want to get back to a level they used to play at
VCD Athletic v Phoenix Sports @3pm - Oakwood plays host to a big local derby in the other play-off so this should be a real cracker. In this instance, the Vickers aren't in the best form so will do well to hold on to their place in the Isthmian South East

MCFL Premier Division Cup Final
CB Hounslow United Reserves v Indian Gymkhana @745pm - a great one for groundhoppers looking to do a double on Saturday, this cup final for clubs in this 11th-tier league is being played at Uxbridge's stadium. Indian Gymkhana will start as favourites

Sunday 30 April

Premier League
Fulham v Manchester City @2pm - after a rather sticky run, the Cottagers have recorded back-to-back wins to put them back above west London rivals Brentford and give themselves half a chance of a top-six finish. City can't stop winning at the moment and cruised into the FA Cup Final by beating Sheffield United on Saturday. Their whole season, as far as the league is concerned, probably hinges on Wednesday's huge game against leaders Arsenal. If they win that and then this, they may well go top for the first time in months. Tickets are not available

Premier League 2
Fulham v Liverpool @12pm - if you can't get a ticket for the above, then the Cottagers' U21 side welcome their counterparts from Anfield to Motspur Park. Tickets are available on the gate

Isthmian League South Central Play-Off Final
Walton & Hersham v Hanworth Villa @3pm - the hosts missed out on the title by drawing their final game after a tight title battle with Basingstoke who they thrashed 5-1 a few weeks before. They did well to overcome that disappointment by beating Northwood in their play-off semi-final but now face a side who surged into the play-offs by winning eight of their last 10 games, including an away win at the eventual champions. This could well go to penalties and the crowd should be well into four figures

Women's Championship
Charlton Athletic v Crystal Palace @2pm - despite losing at Bristol City on Sunday, a result which saw the Robins win the title, the Addicks kept hold of fourth and they'll finish there. This is the last game of their season, it's a big derby and it's being played at The Valley. A win for Palace could see them finish fifth but they'll need Southampton to drop points against Sheffield United for that to happen
London City Lionesses v Coventry United @2pm - although in the title race for a good while, LCL had a wobbly couple of weeks that saw them drop out. Annoyingly, Birmingham City have jumped into second place and they'll want to wrestle that back off them. They've good a good chance of doing it too as the Blues have to play the champions whilst they face Coventry United who have already been relegated having won only two of their 21 games thus far

FAWNL Southern Premier
London Bees v Bridgwater United @2pm - the hosts secured their place in the third tier by beating Bridgwater 1-0 on Sunday. Just a week later and the sides are meeting again and it's the club from Somerset who are still looking for points to avoid the drop. For that to happen, they'll have to win this and hope Plymouth drop points against MK Dons 

FAWNL Division 1 South East
AFC Wimbledon v Norwich City @2pm - as we go into the final day in the fourth tier, all the promotion and relegation issues have been decided. It's now all about who finishes third and who avoids coming last. The Canaries are the current incumbents and will take third if they match or better Actonians' result at Cambridge United. However, the Dons are a great side and should give them a tough afternoon at Plough Lane where they'll want to impress a sizeable home crowd 
Hashtag United v QPR @2pm - as expected, the Tags sealed their title triumph against QPR with a 4-1 win at the Powerday Stadium on Sunday. With a budget to dwarf most sides in the division, it would of been pretty disastrous if they hadn't. They conclude their campaign with another game against the R's and will presumably be presented with the winners' trophy during the afternoon

LSE Women's Regional League Cup Final
Dartford v Worthing @12pm - Sutton United's stadium plays host to this final for teams in this league for fifth and sixth-tier clubs. With Worthing still well placed to win the league title, they will start as favourites
Monday 1 May

UEFA Women's Champions League Semi-Final Second Leg
Arsenal v Wolfsburg @545pm - the Gunners travelled to Germany for the first leg on Sunday shorn of inspirational captain Leah Williamson as she joined the growing list of high profile ACL casualties in midweek. They found themselves 2-0 down after 24 minutes but managed to end the game with a 2-2 draw which puts them in a good position ahead of this game at the Emirates for which around 50,000 tickets have already been sold

Isthmian League Premier Division Play-Off Final
Hornchurch v Aveley @3pm - the semi-finals were desperately tight and both went to penalties. Ultimately we've ended up with a big local derby which should be produce a great Bank Holiday crowd. The Urchins have been and there and done it all before but Aveley have never been higher than the seventh tier 

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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