Sunday 15 October 2023

TLFG: 16-22 October 2023

Greetings one and all and welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

At this point I have produced full match maps for the week ahead but have only written previews for Monday to Friday as I've run out of time.

To be honest, I don't think it's a bad thing as things often change in midweek which make my previews inaccurate by the weekend.

There are some great matches to look forward to too.

El Claptico is finally here!

If you can't make it to England v Italy on Tuesday, we've got a random international friendly at Brentford between Australia and New Zealand which should be fun.

Elsewhere that night it's also the first El Claptico between Clapton CFC and Clapton at the Old Spotted Dog and there's a big FA Cup replay between Barnet and Aveley with a place in the First Round up for grabs.

Last week I did manage to get to the derby between QPR and Actonians at Hanwell Town which took place on Wednesday.

It was a tight game which the R's had the better of and they took the lead 20 minutes from time.

However, the A's rallied superbly to score twice in the last 10 minutes and nick a hugely important 2-1 win. 

Next up, they face a very tricky FA Cup tie against Fulham to make it two west London derbies in a row.

Back to this week and the big event in TLFG Towers should be the arrival of a new cat.

My wife and kids have been lobbying for one for years but I've always strongly resisted as we live in a flat with no direct access to the outside world.

However, a parent at my daughters' school breeds ragdolls which are apparently specialist house cats so we're going for it. Wish me luck!


We've got a great few days of action to look forward to with international football at the start of the week and Premier League and a full programme of EFL football returning at the end of it.

Aside from that there are also games in the FA Vase, Women's Super League, Women's FA Cup and all the other non-league and women's competitions which our local clubs compete in.

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 16 October

Professional Development League
Charlton Athletic v Millwall @1pm - the week begins with this U21 derby at Dartford's ground. Millwall are one of the best teams at this level and are currently vying for top spot with QPR. Entry to these matches should be no more than £5

Middlesex Premier Cup First Round
PFC Victoria London v Civil Service @745pm - the only senior match of the day takes place at Ashford Town's ground near Heathrow (update - this is now being played at Colliers Wood United). PFC are a club founded in 2016 by Polish ex-pats and they're currently in the 11th tier MCFL Premier Division. On Monday they take on one of the oldest clubs in the world. Civil Service began life in 1863 and were one of the original members of the FA. As an amateur team, I don't usually cover them as they play outside the football pyramid but the Chiswick-based club are definitely worth a watch

FA Youth Cup Third Round Qualifying
The next round of the country's most prestigious U18 competition takes place this week, with ties taking place between Monday and Thursday. On Monday the home teams include New Salamis and Uxbridge but the biggest tie is probably Walton & Hersham against Maidstone United. All games kick-off at 745pm


Tuesday 17 October

UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier
England v Italy @745pm - the biggest game of the week sees two of the titans of world football meet at Wembley. The last time that happened was in the Euros final of 2021 when the Azzurri broke English hearts by beating them on penalties. Since then there have been three further matches - a 0-0 draw at Molineux, a 1-0 win for Italy in Milan (both in the Nations League) and a 2-1 win for England in Naples. That last result means Gareth Southgate's team are currently top of Group C and a win here will pretty much seal their ticket to Germany for next year's competition. Tickets have sold out

International friendly
Australia v New Zealand @745pm - if you can't get into the above but still want to watch some international football then head west to Brentford's GTech Stadium where these two old rivals, who are more famous for playing rugby or cricket, do battle.Top price tickets appear to be £20 but there are cheaper ones available 

FA Cup Fourth Round Qualifying Replay
Barnet v Aveley @745pm - one of the stories of the day on Saturday was the Millers' ability to grab a late equaliser for a 2-2 draw against one of the top sides in the fifth tier. That fact alone would've been impressive enough but they did it with nine men too! Having now lost home advantage, you'd think the Essex club's run will now end but this is the FA Cup and magic does happen. The winners will travel to Manchester to play Curzon Ashton in the First Round. Tickets

ECL Division 1 South
Clapton CFC v Clapton @745pm - the first El Claptico is finally here. Ever since the sides were allocated the same division, this match has been eagerly awaited by fans and neutrals alike. CCFC was founded in 2018 by supporters of Clapton who had become disillusioned with the club's ownership. After two promotions CCFC are now in the same division as the Tons and this game at the Old Spotted Dog, which is London's oldest ground, should draw a big crowd for the level. Given the limit on capacity, you're strongly advised to buy tickets in advance


Wednesday 18 October

Isthmian League Premier Division
Kingstonian v Enfield Town @745pm - the K's lost 3-2 at Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday in front of over 3,000 fans. It left them in the bottom three as their tough start to the season continued. Enfield travelled to eighth tier Cray Valley PM in the FA Cup and got humbled 5-2 by the lower-ranked team. The defeat saw them miss out on what would've been a memorable trip to The Valley to play Charlton Athletic in the First Round. Now they can re-focus on the league where they are firmly involved in the promotion race. An away win looks likely

SSML Premier
London Lions v Cockfosters @8pm - a point apart in midtable, these two are way off title pace but with a bit of momentum, one of them could make it to the play-offs. The hosts play near Boreham Wood, just to the west of Cockfosters, so this is also a derby

Essex Senior League
Woodford Town v Barking @745pm - Woodford have made a superb start and could've gone six points clear at the top but suffered their first defeat of the season on Friday night. Not only did they lose but they lost big, going down 4-0 at home to Tilbury who strongly reinforced their promotion credentials in the process. The Blues, on the other hand, are down in lower midtable and should be beaten

L&SE Women's Regional League D1 South
Bromley v Welling United @745pm - if you fancy some women's football, there's a south-east London derby at Hayes Lane. The hosts are currently second with games in hand so should start as favourites


Thursday 19 October

FA Youth Cup Third Round Qualifying
There are two matches in this U18 competition on Thursday with Barnet hosting Ware at The Hive and Welling United welcoming Dorking Wanderers to Park View Road


Friday 20 October

EAL Senior Division
Woodford East v Frenford Reserves @8pm - there are three games in this 11th-tier division on Friday. Woodford East, in third, are the highest-ranked team in action and they badly need to win to try and cut the nine-point gap on leaders FC Baresi. The match is being played at Barking's ground

Saturday 21 October

Premier League
Brentford v Burnley @3pm - a lot has been made of the Bees' success in the top flight over the last couple of years and rightly so. They have this aura about them that they're well organised and tough to beat and they have been but this season it hasn't gone so well. With Ivan Toney banned for betting offences, they've only won one of their eight games and sit just three points above Burnley who are in the relegation zone. To say this is an important game for both would be an understatement. Tickets are only available to members
Chelsea v Arsenal @530pm - the biggest club match of the week takes place at Stamford Bridge at teatime where two of England's football heavyweights meet in this derby. In years gone by, this match would've settled title battles but with the Blues down in midtable and nine points off the pace, they're unlikely to challenge this season. Just before the international break, the Gunners firmly reinforced their credentials by beating Manchester City to leapfrog them in the table. Arsenal are also unbeaten in their last four at Stamford Bridge and on current form, should be able to extend that run. Apart from some very expensive hospitality packages (£600+), this match is sold out

Watford v Sheffield Wednesday @3pm - our local second-tier clubs are not having a great campaign. Millwall are 15th, QPR are in the bottom three and the Hornets could end up in the relegation zone if they lose here and results elsewhere go against them. Wednesday are rock bottom following their promotion so losing to them would be disastrous. Tickets

League One
Charlton Athletic v Reading @3pm - two former Premier League clubs meet at The Valley for one of the biggest games of the day in the third tier. The Addicks are putting together a decent unbeaten run and with two games in hand on some of the clubs above them, they'll surely be up among the play-off contenders soon. The Royals suffered relegation to this level last season after suffering a points deduction for financial reasons and a further deduction since the start of the season means they're in the relegation zone again. Tickets
Leyton Orient v Barnsley @3pm - with only one defeat in five, the O's are just three points off the all-important top six. If they are to be considered as serious promotion candidates then they'll need to beat the likes of Barnsley who made the play-off final last season and are third coming into this. Tickets

League Two
Sutton United v Morecambe @3pm - the U's have had a miserable season but when they thrashed Walsall 4-0 two weeks ago, it looked as if they might have turned a corner. Sadly, they promptly went and lost their next game 4-1 at Doncaster who were only four places above them in the table. Lancashire club Morecambe could find themselves just outside the play-off places with a win here so it could be another tough afternoon for the south London club. Tickets

National League
Barnet v Maidenhead United @3pm - with the hosts fighting for the title and the visitors desperate to get out of the relegation zone, this is an important game at either end of the table. The Bees made smooth progress in the FA Cup in midweek and should be confident of getting the points which could put them top if leaders Chesterfield lose. Tickets
Bromley v Oxford City @3pm - the Ravens also made it through to the First Round of the FA Cup last week and they'll want to take that winning form into the league. Two matches without a victory has seen them slip to fifth. Oxford are just above the relegation zone so should be beaten. Tickets
Dagenham & Redbridge v Woking @3pm - of the five local sides we have in the fifth tier, the Daggers are struggling the most. In the relegation zone and knocked out of the FA Cup by a team from two divisions below them, it's not been great for the east London club. Woking are having a disappointing season by their recent standards. The Surrey club made the play-offs last season but with four defeats from five, are well off the pace this time round. Tickets
Wealdstone v Boreham Wood @530pm - there's a local derby in the live televised game later in the day. Two of the smaller clubs in the division, they've done really well to simply be competitive at this level with neither facing much threat of relegation since they came up. Indeed, Boreham Wood have made the play-offs on more than one occasion so it's a bit of a surprise to see them struggling a bit. Only a point apart in the table, this should be close. If you've got a car, then this can be combined with the matches at Hilltop or Northwood which are taking place nearby. Tickets

National League South
Aveley v Truro City @3pm - after all their heroics against Barnet on Saturday in the FA Cup, the Millers lost the replay on Tuesday night. They'll quickly want to refocus on their league form which has been really impressive for a newly promoted club and a win here against midtable opposition from Cornwall could see them climb back into the top three

Isthmian League Premier Division
Hornchurch v Bognor Regis Town @3pm - there aren't any standout games in the seventh tier on Saturday so I've gone for this as it gives you a chance to run the rule over the Urchins who narrowly missed promotion last season and are six points clear at the top as things stand. Beneath them, the table is pretty tightly congested with only six points separating second from 13th. Bognor are in this group so could well be in the play-off shake up at the end of the year

Isthmian League South Central
Metropolitan Police v Raynes Park Vale @3pm - it's a similar story in the eighth tier where there aren't any obvious crackers but one of our local table-toppers are in action. RPV won promotion to this level last season and have made a great start. One point clear of Southall at the top, they're involved in what looks like a being a very competitive title race with all of the top five firmly in contention. Therefore a win at struggling Met Police is vital. It's a real shame to see the hosts where they are. After numerous seasons in the seventh tier, where they often made it to the play-offs and had some good runs in the FA Cup, they took voluntary relegation last season for financial reasons and look set to go down again

FA Vase First Round
Bedfont Sports v Hassocks @3pm - there are numerous ties around London in this competition on Saturday but they're all much of a muchness in my opinion. This one is my pick of the ties as it features sides from the top six of the CCL Premier North and SCFL Premier so it should be competitive

Essex Senior League
There's a very unusual doubleheader taking place at Mayesbrook Park on Saturday with Ilford having to switch their derby against Barking to the Blues' ground as their own stadium is hosting Barkingside's FA Vase match. This match will kick-off at 1230pm before Romford play Takeley at 4pm. Both matches will require you to pay separate admission

SCEFL Division 1
AFC Whyteleafe v Bridon Ropes @3pm - the Leafe are another local side to be top of their division. Currently level on points with Rochester United, they have the lead by virtue of scoring one more goal than the Kent club. On Saturday they welcome Bridon Ropes who sit just two points above the relegation zone

Sunday 22 October

Women's Super League
Chelsea v Brighton & Hove Albion @2pm - Sunday is all about women's football and there's a great selection of matches taking place. Reigning WSL champions Chelsea continue their title defence with this home match against the Seagulls. Now under the management of American coach Melissa Phillips, who did really well at London City Lionesses, the Sussex club look like being a tougher proposition this season. Emma Hayes' side have been steady but unspectacular in their opening games and Brighton should make Chelsea work hard for the points. Tickets
West Ham United v Liverpool @3pm - the Reds travel to east London having blown the chance of going top of the WSL last Sunday. After a 100% start to the season, they lost to Everton at Anfield and ended the weekend in fifth. With one win from three, Rehanne Skinner will want to see her Hammers side get at least a point here. Tickets

Women's Championship
Charlton Athletic v Crystal Palace @2pm - with it being a derby and with both sides doing well, this match is being played at The Valley. With only one defeat from seven, the Addicks are fourth and only three points behind leaders Southampton. Palace are doing even better - they're third, a point behind the leaders and they have a game in hand. This one has real potential. Tickets
London City Lionesses v Southampton @1pm - if you want to see the current leaders in action, then head to Princes Park where the Saints are in town. LCL narrowly missed out on the title last season but it looks like they'll be in a relegation battle this time round. Tickets

FAWNL Southern Premier
Hashtag United v Plymouth Argyle @2pm - the Tags finally lost their 100% record at home to MK Dons a couple of weeks ago but recovered to beat Billericay three days later. Three points clear of Portsmouth at the top, the Essex club should be expected to beat this struggling Argyle side
London Bees v Oxford United @2pm - having shipped 27 goals in their first seven games, bottom club Bees managed a welcome 0-0 draw at fellow strugglers Chatham in their last game. In desperate need of a win, they'll do really well to get anything against Oxford

Women's FA Cup Third Round Qualifying
At this stage of the competition, all the fourth-tier clubs enter the draw. There are numerous ties around the capital, here are my pick:

Actonians v Fulham @2pm - after beating QPR in the league in their last match, the A's face another local derby against the Cottagers. On paper, the hosts should win as they play a level above the visitors but it will probably be really close. Fulham are second in the division below and scored eight in their last match. If they do win, it won't be the biggest surprise of the day. This is being played at the Middlesex FA's HQ at Rectory Park in Northolt
London Seaward v Norwich City @2pm - the hosts have been gloriously inconsistent this season, beating the likes of promotion contenders Worthing one week and getting thrashed by strugglers Chesham the next. On Sunday they welcome another one of the top teams in the fourth tier. In theory they should lose but with this team, who knows??? This is being played at Redbridge's ground which is next to Barkingside Tube station
Watford Ladies v Brentford @2pm - the hosts, who are not connected to the men's team, play in the sixth tier and welcome another club who play at the same level but in a parallel league. Being played on one of the outside pitches at The Hive (at the same time as London Bees), the visitors should start as favourites
Headstone Manor v Dulwich Hamlet @2pm - playing in the seventh tier on what is little more than a park pitch in Hatch End in north-west London, Headstone Manor face one of the biggest matches in their history. Fifth-tier club Dulwich are the opponents and they should be expected to bring a few fans
Richmond & Kew v Maidenhead United @2pm - the hosts, who are also in the seventh tier, play close to the Thames in shadow of National Trust stately home Ham House. Having caused a bit of an upset by beating local rivals Richmond Park in the previous round, they face an incredibly tough match against fourth-tier opposition 

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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