Monday 3 April 2023

TLFG: 3-10 April 2023

Greetings one and all and welcome to the Easter Special of TLFG which runs right through until Monday 10 April.

The schedule is crammed full of games as is traditional at this time of year.

I think it's going to be just about possible to see three games on some days this week so fill your boots!

Whether you want to see a Premier League blockbuster, a huge match at Wembley or a relegation six-pointer at the foot of the 10th tier, there's something for everyone.

Typically I'm working the whole of the Easter weekend but I'm on early shifts so there's a glimmer of hope that I could get out early enough to possibly see something.

Hashtag United captain Grace Gillard prepares to take a throw in

After all the excitement of Non-League Day last weekend - where crowds in the top four levels of the non-league game were up by about 20-30% - things were a lot calmer this week.

My only live football was another trip to Rectory Park to watch Actonians take on league leaders Hashtag United.

It looks very likely that they'll be crowned champions and they'll be worthy winners but they have had a lot of money and resources thrown at them, like the probable runners-up AFC Wimbledon.

The Tags have demolished several sides this season, reaching double figures on occasion, so the A's record of 4-2 and 3-0 losses in two away games (league and cup) in the earlier part of the season looked pretty respectable.

On home turf, they were competitive again and made the leaders work hard but ultimately they triumphed again but this time by only 2-0.

Danny Harrigan's side contained Hashtag well for the most part and even had an effort cleared off the line but it really was more about containment than anything else.

Both sides left the field feeling reasonably content.

I think that's about it from me - there are some unusual fixtures and kick-off times in the days ahead so check the Daily Digest and maps very closely.

Have a great week.                                              


The highlights of the next few days include games in the Premier League, EFL, National League, Women's National League, international friendlies, FA Youth 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 - magenta pin
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin
Monday fixtures - yellow 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 3 April

Premier League 2
Chelsea v Crystal Palace @7pm - as is often the case, the week begins with U21 football topping the bill. Not only is this a London derby but it features two of the top four so this should be well worth a couple of hours of your evening. It's being played at Kingsmeadow and tickets are £5

Professional Development League
Charlton Athletic v Wigan Athletic @2pm - the early kick-off in this game will allow you to see two matches on Monday. To top it all, this is being played at The Valley where tickets are £3. Later in the evening, QPR play Coventry City at Hanwell Town where it's a 7pm start

Essex Senior League
Athletic Newham v Clapton @745pm - the best non-league option of the night is this groundshare derby at the Terence McMillan Stadium in east London. Sadly for the Tons, they look all but relegated as they're 12 points adrift of safety with six games to go

Tuesday 4 April

Premier League
Chelsea v Liverpool @8pm - both sides suffered very disappointing weekends. After a bright start at the Etihad which saw them take the lead, the Reds lost 4-1 to Manchester City whilst the Blues experienced a rare defeat at home to Aston Villa and saw boss Graham Potter relieved of his job. These results have effectively ended any hope Chelsea had of making the Champions League and Liverpool are still seven points adrift of the top four. Games between these two are often tight - the last three league games were draws and the last two cup games were level at 90 minutes. Tickets have sold out

FA Youth Cup Semi-Final
Arsenal v Manchester City @7pm - the country's most prestigious U18 competition is approaching its climax and we're lucky enough to have both semi-finals being played in London this week. The first is the more glamorous and it's being played at the Emirates Stadium. If you've struggled to get tickets for a game here in the past, then this is your chance as they're only £4. However, don't delay, there only appear to be a few left!

Surrey Senior Cup Semi-Final
Metropolitan Police v Raynes Park Vale @745pm - Imber Court plays host to some high stakes county cup football on Tuesday. The Met play two division above RPV but the visitors are top of the CCL Premier North and in great form. The winners will play Egham Town or Virginia Water in the final

Southern League Premier South
Hayes & Yeading United v Bracknell Town @745pm - with seven games to go, the hosts have to close a 10-point gap if they're to get into the play-offs. Thankfully they have two games in hand on the club currently in fifth so the task isn't quite as huge as it seems. If they are to be taken seriously in this endeavour then beating third-placed Bracknell should give them a huge lift

Isthmian League South Central
Hanworth Villa v Southall @745pm - in the eighth tier there's a west London derby between clubs with promotion ambitions. To be honest, Hanworth's charge into the top six has kind of crept up on me but that is indeed where they find themselves. Still one place and one point adrift of the play-off places, they have this game in hand which if won, will put them right up there. The 'All are back in ninth but they have two games in hand and can't be ruled out either

Southern League Division 1 Central
Walthamstow v Ware @745pm - I'm also equally stunned to report that the Stow are up in this division's top four too! They've been, in my consciousness, pottering around in midtable for most of the season so it's great to see them apparently timing their run for the play-offs to perfection. Ware are also in the top five, so this should be a cracker

CCL Premier South
Raynes Park Vale v Abbey Rangers @745pm - RPV travelled to the Channel Islands to play Jersey Bulls on Saturday in a huge test of their title credentials and came back with a 2-1 win. The result kept them five points clear at the top. Next up they face the team in fourth. With only the top two standing any chance of promotion, Abbey need to start winning fast as they're currently 10 points adrift

Essex Senior League
Barking v Enfield @745pm - it's a similar story at Mayesbrook Park where the Blues welcome the leaders. In this case Barking are fifth but are 11 points shy of second. Sadly for them they only have four games left so anything less than a win will effectively end their season

CCL Division 1
Brook House v CB Hounslow United @730pm - at the top of the bill on Tuesday we have two Premier League heavyweights slugging it out at Stamford Bridge. Well, towards the bottom of the undercard we have this relegation six-pointer at the foot of the 10th tier. The hosts are in a far healthier position with games in hand on all those around them. The visitors, on the other hand, are on the verge of being relegated into a division that their own reserves play in


Wednesday 5 April

Premier League
West Ham United v Newcastle United @8pm - with both sides scrapping for points at either end of the table, this is a hugely important match. Both managed to pick up crucial wins over Southampton and Manchester United respectively on Sunday. With managers being sacked left, right and centre this week, the Hammers' win probably saved David Moyes' job. The Magpies' win saw them power up to third. Tickets are available

Isthmian League Cup Final
Aveley v Potters Bar Town @745pm - undoubtedly the non-league game of the night sees a decent chunk of silverware up for grabs. The Millers will start as strong favourites as they're fourth in the league and hosting the game. Earlier in the season, PBT were top but the shock departure of their manager in November really unsettled them and they're now down to 13th. Tickets are £10 on the gate

Middlesex Premier Cup Final
British Airways v Rayners Lane @745pm - if you're on the west side of town you should find this final at Bedfont Sports much more convenient. In it, two of the top nine in the CCL Division 1 do battle for the honours with Rayners Lane the favourites on paper. Tickets are £6 and can be bought in advance

SCEFL Division 1
Tooting Bec v Snodland Town @745pm - the hosts currently occupy the last play-off place but three teams are breathing down their necks and can move above them if they slip up. On Wednesday they welcome the leaders to Chipstead. Snodland seem to have been top forever and a win here will see them clinch the title. In fact, there are various permutations that could see them end the night as champions but a win will definitely make sure of it

Thursday 6 April

Women's Finalissima
England v Brazil @745pm - the biggest crowd of the week will be at Wembley where two of the world's best women's teams do battle. Last year saw a successful relaunch of the men's Finalissima which sees the champions of Europe and South America play each other in a one-off game. In 2022 this saw Italy lose 3-0 to Argentina at Wembley. Given that went so well, UEFA and CONMEBOL are doing a women's one too and the last few tickets have recently gone on sale

FA Youth Cup Semi-Final
West Ham United v Southampton @7pm - as mentioned above, there are two FA Youth Cup semi-finals this week and the second takes place at the London Stadium on Thursday. Tickets for non-members are £7

CCL Division 1
Bedfont v Sandhurst Town @745pm - for non-league fans, your best option would appear to be this important game in the 10th tier. Both teams sit just outside the play-off places and have a realistic chance of making the 'post-season'. However, Sandhurst have six games in hand on the leaders which if won would put them well clear at the top


Friday 7 April

Millwall v Luton Town @1230pm - when I saw this fixture come up, for some reason the film The Long Good Friday sprung into my mind. Largely set in Docklands and the Isle of Dogs (where the area of Millwall actually is), the '80s gangster movie featured a lot of grit and conflict. And that's exactly what we might expect here. Both in the top five, two of the division's smaller clubs are hugely overachieving this season and have done superbly well. No quarter is likely to be given on or off the pitch as two of the Championship's most lively sets of fans should generate quite an atmosphere. Tickets are available
QPR v Preston North End @3pm - really sad things are happening at Loftus Road right now. Seemingly in freefall, Saturday's loss at bottom club Wigan Athletic left the R's three points above the relegation zone. In October they were top. The appointment of new boss Gareth Ainsworth has yielded just one win from seven - the other six were defeats, three of which were to teams in the bottom five. The fans stayed behind to shout abuse at players and each other on Saturday. PNE have an outside shot at the play-offs and have a pretty good record in W12 but somehow they lost the reverse fixture to this ailing side back in December so maybe QPR do have a chance afterall. Tickets
Watford v Huddersfield Town @3pm - both of these sides have installed new managers recently. Chris Wilder came in at Vicarage Road whilst Neil Warnock took over at the struggling Terriers. With only one defeat in five, it's Warnock that's having more of an impact and it's now only goal difference that's keeping them in the relegation zone. The Hornets have won four of their last five against the Yorkshire club and should prevail here. Tickets

League Two
Sutton United v Stockport County @3pm - the U's 1-1 draw at Walsall on Saturday extended their winless run to four games. Now six points adrift of the play-off places with seven games to go, they're going to have to start winning soon or their season will be over. The visitors are in the top five and going for back-to-back promotions. Tickets

Women's International Friendly
Australia v Scotland @115pm - regular readers know I love a random international friendly. With the Women's World Cup coming up in the summer, the tournament's co-hosts Australia are playing this friendly at AFC Wimbledon's Plough Lane. There'll be a number of WSL stars on show in both teams but it's the Matildas with star striker Sam Kerr who will start as favourites. Tickets are £12

Premier League 2
Fulham v Arsenal @7pm - there are games seemingly kicking off all round the clock on Friday so you'll definitely have the chance to see more than one. These sides are currently fifth and sixth in the country's top U21 division so you should get to see some future stars. The match is being played at Fulham's training ground and it shouldn't be more than £5 to get in, payable on the gate

National League
Barnet v Bromley @3pm - the Bees travelled all the way up to Gateshead on Saturday to lose on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw in the FA Trophy semi-final, meaning they miss out on next month's Wembley final. However, they're still fifth in the league and have plenty to play for. The promotion race is really hotting up now and Bromley are also firmly in contention after stringing three wins together. Barnet won the reverse fixture 3-1 back in October
Boreham Wood v Dagenham & Redbridge @3pm - the Wood are also in the promotion mix too but their form is a bit inconsistent at the moment. The Daggers were closing in on the play-off places but a couple of defeats mean they're now nine points adrift with six games to go

National League South
Dulwich Hamlet v Cheshunt @3pm - there have been some big crowds for some big games at Champion Hill recently but this match is massive. A relegation six-pointer, the Ambers sit just outside the relegation zone, one point above the Hamlet. You're strongly advised to buy tickets in advance

Southern League Premier South
Harrow Borough v Truro City @3pm - it is with deep regret that I have to report that the Boro's time in the seventh tier looks to be coming to an end. It's not over yet but being six points adrift with five games to go, it's not looking good. The visitors, like most seasons, are going for the title but they need to close a five-point gap on leaders Weston-super-Mare or it's the play-offs for them

Isthmian League South East
VCD Athletic v Ashford United @3pm - things are also looking rather gloomy for the Vickers but they're only a point adrift of safety at the current time. Ashford are looking to grab a play-off spot and they could finish the day in the top five with a win here

Essex Senior League
Woodford Town v Buckhurst Hill @745pm - if you don't want to go to the Fulham U21 game, then you've got this cracking looking derby on the north-east side of town instead. The hosts will start as strong favourites - currently in the top four, finishing top is still a possiblity


Saturday 8 April

Premier League
Brentford v Newcastle United @3pm - after being denied a win by a last-minute penalty at Brighton on Saturday, the Bees face an incredibly tough week. Away to Manchester United in midweek and then back to the GTech for this one. Brentford have impressed against a lot of sides over the last couple of years but Newcastle are not one of them. Thrashed 5-1 in the reverse fixture in October, they haven't beaten them in the league since 1948. Tickets are only available to members
Fulham v West Ham United @3pm - a pleasant meander along the Thames will bring you to Craven Cottage for this London derby. Marco Silva's side have had a great season but their slightly surprising loss to AFC Bournemouth on Saturday made it three defeats in a row and saw them slide to tenth. The Hammers' win over Southampton saw them shoot up to 14th but they're still ridiculously only one point above the relegation zone, it's that tight down there. Tickets are only available to members
Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion @3pm - Spurs parted company with boss Antonio Conte last week and don't play their first game without him until Monday night at Everton. If they beat the struggling Toffees, they'll come into this in third. The visitors play Bournemouth on Tuesday where a win will keep them in sixth. Tickets are only available to members

Isthmian League Premier
Aveley v Bishop's Stortford @3pm - as we approach the business end of the season, the big games start to come thick and fast. If the Millers win the Isthmian League Cup on Wednesday then they'll be on for the double as they're only two points behind leaders Bishop's Stortford

CCL Premier North
Egham Town v Reading City @3pm - nothing really floats my boat in the eighth tier so next up, I'd recommend this game between two of the top three in this ninth-tier division. Leaders and FA Vase finalists Ascot United are nine points clear at the top so the one automatic promotion place would seem to be out of reach but the solitary play-off spot is there to be fought for

CCL Division 1
FC Deportivo Galicia v Langley @3pm - it's a case of first versus third at Bedfont Sports' ground. FCD are top just one point ahead of Langley and Berks County are right up there too. However, Langley have a game in hand. Unlike the division above, the top team go up and the next four teams make the play-offs 


Sunday 9 April

FAWNL Southern Premier
Watford v Bridgwater United @2pm - Easter Sunday is all about women's football with this third tier game at Vicarage Road the headliner. The Hornets are one of four teams who still have a shot at the title whilst Bridgwater are a point adrift of safety in the relegation zone. Tickets

FAWNL Division 1 South East
Actonians v London Seaward @2pm - the A's pushed leaders Hashtag United hard on Sunday and did themselves proud as they went down 2-0 at Rectory Park. With that game out of the way, they have four games left to try and finish third. To do that, they'll probably have to beat London Seaward twice and they've got back-to-back games against them as a result of postponements earlier in the season. Seaward were Leyton Orient until a couple of seasons ago when the now EFL club suddenly decided to ditch them mid-season without warning. It's a credit to everyone involved that they kept things going and going well
Ashford Town (Middlesex) v Hashtag United @2pm - the Tangerines are also in the mix when it comes to finishing third but they face a very tough afternoon here. Hashtag have won 13 of their 15 games this season and scored 11 goals without reply in their two games (league and cup) against Ashford earlier this season

L&SE Women's Regional League
Dulwich Hamlet v Ebbsfleet United @2pm - with five games to go, fourth placed Dulwich have an outside chance of winning the title. That will improve considerably if they can beat the current leaders here
Sutton United v Worthing @2pm - down in seventh, the U's season effectively finished a while ago. However, they can have an impact on who wins the title as Worthing are currently second, three points behind Ebbsfleet but with a game in hand

ERWFL Premier
Haringey Borough v Luton Town @2pm - the hosts are third in this fifth-tier division but will probably fall short of  winning the title as they're six points behind with four games to go. The Hatters are back in fifth but have a whopping eight games left to play which if won would put them miles clear at the top - are they up to the punishing schedule which lies ahead?


Monday 10 April

League One
Charlton Athletic v Burton Albion @3pm - the top game on Easter Monday isn't the most thrilling. Twelve points adrift of the play-offs, the Addicks realistically have very little to play for while Burton are in lower midtable and could probably do with a couple more wins to make absolutely sure of staying up. Tickets

League Two
AFC Wimbledon v Salford City @3pm - like Charlton, the Dons look consigned to midtable obscurity but I think they'll take that at this point. Salford, however, are still very much in the play-off  mix and need to get something from this game. Tickets
Leyton Orient v Harrogate Town @3pm - the O's won their big game against Carlisle on Saturday to move seven points clear at the top and 11 points clear of the play-off places. With eight games to go, they're not going to get many better chances to get promoted. The visitors are only four points above the relegation zone so should be beaten. Tickets

National League
Bromley v Boreham Wood @3pm - with a round of games taking place on Good Friday, it's hard to write a meaningful preview but in essence, this is a derby between two sides who are fighting for a play-off place - it should be good
Dagenham & Redbridge v Chesterfield @3pm - as mentioned above, the Daggers' season looks to be running out of steam but that's not the case for the Spireites who are currently in a battle with Woking for third
Wealdstone v Solihull Moors @3pm - these sides looked to be mounting a charge for the play-offs but a dodgy couple of weeks looks like seeing them both miss out. Now winless in four, the Stones are in worse form than their opponents

National League South
Dartford v Dover Athletic @3pm - there's nothing outstanding in this division but give the Darts a watch if you're on that side of town as they're looking to make sure of finishing runners-up to Ebbsfleet. The current leaders could win the title if they beat Oxford City on Friday but if that doesn't go according to plan then they'll probably wrap-up the title on this day. Dover are in lower midtable and should be beaten

Isthmian League Premier
Corinthian Casuals v Kingstonian @3pm - my featured game in the seventh tier on Monday is this local derby in Tolworth. These two were groundsharing until last season before the K's moved away to Tooting & Mitcham United. CCs have had a poor campaign and barring a miracle will go down but they're not finished just yet. If they beat the K's who sit just above the relegation zone, they'll remain mathematically in touch but if they lose they're down

Isthmian League South Central
Hanworth Villa v Northwood @3pm - if Villa have a good week then they could come into this in fifth, just behind the visitors. With the clubs in second to fifth making the play-offs, Hanworth need to keep their momentum going

CCL Premier South
Balham v AFC Croydon Athletic @1130am - there aren't any humdingers in the ninth tier on Monday but this game is notable for being a groundshare derby. I've also listed it to highlight the fact that most CCL games start at 1130 on Monday, meaning you can see more than one game

CCL Division 1
Bedfont v British Airways @1130am - it's a similar story in the 10th tier where there's lots of early kick-offs but no standout games. Here we have another groundshare derby but the hosts do have a good chance of a getting a play-off place

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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