Sunday 22 October 2023

TLFG: 23-29 October 2023

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

With some really awkward shift times this weekend, I'm having to keep things brief.

In terms of content, I've got both match maps as up-to-date as I can and there are previews for Monday to Friday.

I'm going to hold my hands up now and say there's a really great programme of matches on Tuesday night but I simply don't have time to write previews for anything other than the biggest games so apologies for that.

Crystal Palace entertain Monaco in the Premier League International Cup on Tuesday

At the time of writing, I'm still in trying to pick myself up from Actonians' loss to Fulham in the Women's FA Cup earlier on Sunday afternoon

I didn't make the game but I heard it was closely fought and when the A's headed into injury time with a 1-0 lead, I thought the weekend was going to end very nicely indeed.

Sadly the Cottagers grabbed a late equaliser and then won it on penalties.

Last year Actonians' run to the Third Round brought them enough prize money to be able to start this season, such was the dearth of sponsorship over the summer, so going out at this early stage is a bit of a blow - especially when the win was so close.

Hopefully they'll bounce back in the league against AFC Sudbury on Sunday and things won't feel so bad.

Lastly this week, a big thank you to Wouter S from The Netherlands who donated some money to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund - I really appreciate it.

As well as his donation, Wouter also wished me luck with our new cat Pickle and I'm pleased to say it's all going smoothly at the moment.

Three days in, he's now pretty settled and has a good feel for the layout of our home.

He's living up to his ragdoll traits with the kids, even my four-year-old, finding it very easy to handle him.

I also had to abandon preparing this piece on Saturday night when he insisted on sitting on the keyboard.

So that's about it from me. I'll aim to write the weekend previews nearer the time and then get to that Actonians match on Sunday.

Have a great week!


We've got a great few days of action to look forward to with matches in the Premier League, EFL, National League, FA Trophy and Women's National League as well as 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 23 October

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham @8pm - the week begins with a juicy derby in N17. After a brilliant start to the season, Ange Postecoglu's side will go two points clear at the top if they win this. On paper, this midtable Fulham side should be beaten. When you consider they're also unbeaten against the Cottagers since 2013, a win for Spurs looks even more likely. Tickets are only available to members or hospitality packages are available from £299

Professional Development League
QPR v Ipswich Town @1pm - earlier in the day, the R's U21 side welcome the Tractor Boys to Loftus Road. The hosts could go back to the top of the table with a win here but Ipswich are fifth so should present a tough challenge. Admission is by donation on the gate - cash and cards are accepted

Isthmian League Premier Division
Carshalton Athletic v Lewes @745pm - the only non-league game of the night should be well worth a watch as it sees two of the Isthmian League's top six meet at Colston Avenue. After getting knocked out of the FA Cup and FA Trophy by lower division Cray Valley PM in consecutive games, the Robins' confidence seems to have taken an understandable hit. Since then, they've failed to win any of the three league games they've played and they're now 11 points behind the leaders. Lewes, on the other hand, broke into the top six on Saturday after thrashing promotion hopefuls Enfield Town 4-0 so the momentum would seem to be with them

Tuesday 24 October

Millwall v Blackburn Rovers @745pm - locked together on 16 points in the middle of the table, there's nothing particularly outstanding about this fixture. However, the Championship is really tight and with only six points separating sixth from 20th, a win here could put either of them back up among the play-off contenders. The other thing to note is that Rovers won 4-3 here on the final day of last season which stopped Millwall getting into the top six - I doubt the Lions' fans have forgotten. Tickets 

League Two
AFC Wimbledon v Accrington Stanley @745pm - the Dons' draw at Barrow on Saturday made it three games without a win and saw them slip to eighth in the process. They were replaced in the play-off zone by Accrington after their win over MK Dons. Therefore this game has a reasonable amount at stake. A look through the records shows that Stanley are a bit of a bogey team for the Dons. In the 10 away games they've played against their south London opponents, Accrington have only lost twice. Tickets are available

National League
Barnet v Solihull Moors @745pm - there's a full programme of fixtures in the fifth tier but as I'm pushed for time, I've only got the ability to recommend one and it's not hard to decide which one. The Bees moved level on points with top club Chesterfield on Saturday and play the team in third here. Last season saw Wrexham and Notts County pull away from the rest in a two-horse title race. If Barnet win here, then we could see a similar scenario begin to develop as Solihull are already eight points behind. Tickets are available

Premier League International Cup
Crystal Palace v Monaco @7pm - still in the group stage, this U21 competition played entirely on English soil sees its next batch of games take place this week. After being held to a 1-1 draw in their opening game by Athletic Bilbao, Palace next entertain Monaco who began with an impressive 2-1 win over Liverpool last month. The match is being played at Sutton United and adult tickets are £5


Wednesday 25 October

Isthmian League Premier Division
Kingstonian v Horsham @745pm - after two exciting yet ultimately disappointing 3-2 defeats to Dulwich and Enfield, the K's got a well needed 3-0 win over Folkestone on Saturday to move up to 17th. At Horsham, the focus must surely be on their great FA Cup run and the impending First Round trip to League One giants Barnsley at the start of next month. As a result of that, they have two games in hand on most of the teams in the top five and could find themselves right up there with a win here

Essex Senior League
West Essex v Great Wakering Rovers @745pm - a win by two goals or more will see the hosts go top of the ESL until at least Friday when current leaders Woodford Town return to action. GWR are down in ninth so should be beaten


Thursday 26 October

Youth and Development football
There are a handful of U23 and U18 matches around London tonight, largely on the north and west side of town


Friday 27 October

Premier League
Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur @8pm - with only one win from their last five, the Eagles could do with another three points. Despite that lack of victories, Roy Hodgson's side are still 11th and would move level on points with Manchester United if they win here. However, it's a massive if as Spurs will head to Selhurst Park as league leaders having beaten Fulham 2-0 on Monday night. Tickets are only available to members and hospitality packages seem to have sold out too

Premier League 2
There are three fine U21 games to keep you entertained on Friday night if you can't get a ticket for the Palace game above. Chelsea, Fulham and West Ham United are all playing at home - admission is never more than £5

Essex Senior League
Woodford Town v FC Clacton @745pm - as mentioned above, current leaders Woodford could find themselves needing to win this if West Essex triumph on Wednesday night. Clacton are still very much in the running for a play-off place so this shouldn't be the easiest of games for the hosts

Saturday 28 October

Premier League
Chelsea v Brentford @1230pm - it's derby day in west London as the Bees travel to Stamford Bridge. Since joining the Premier League in 2021, Thomas Frank's side have won both of their games in SW6 beating the Blues 4-1 and 2-0. With the Blues improving but still somewhat out of sorts, can they do the unthinkable and win for a third time in a row? Tickets have sold out but hospitality packages are available from £360
Arsenal v Sheffield United @3pm - in the later game, the Gunners will look to keep themselves in the title race by winning here. With the Blades rock bottom and without a victory, anything less than three points will be a disaster. If the Yorkshire club do manage to finally get a win, it will be their first at Arsenal since 1971. Tickets are only available to members. Hospitality packages are available from £280

QPR v Leicester City @3pm - if the matches above are out of your price range, then the next best thing is probably a visit to Loftus Road where you'll get to watch what might as well be a Premier League team. Leicester, the 2015/16 Premier League champions and 2020/21 FA Cup winners, are top of the table and seem set for an immediate return to the top flight.The R's, on the other hand, are having a terrible season and find themselves stuck in the relegation zone after their midweek defeat at West Brom. It looks like a foregone conclusion but an equally poor QPR did the unthinkable last season by winning at eventual champions Burnley to delay them winning the title. Tickets are available
Watford v Millwall @3pm - if you'd rather watch a match which, on paper, should be far more competitive then head to Vicarage Road. Now unbeaten in three, the Hornets leapfrogged the Lions with their win at Swansea on Tuesday to climb to 15th. Millwall are still without a manager following the departure of Gary Rowett. The current favourite to replace him is former Rangers and QPR manager Michael Beale who incidentally hails from south-east London so it looks like a good fit. Tickets are available

League One
Charlton Athletic v Bolton Wanderers @3pm - after a seven game unbeaten run, the Addicks suffered their first defeat of the Michael Appleton era on Tuesday when they lost 3-1 at Lincoln City. The result leaves them five points adrift of the play-off places, one of which is currently filled by Bolton. Wanderers have a great record against Charlton in recent years, winning their last four against them and they're unbeaten at The Valley since 2014. If the London club are to be seen as serious promotion contenders then this is the kind of opponent they need to be able to beat. Tickets are available

League Two
Sutton United v Bradford City @3pm - the U's, who are bottom, looked like pulling off a memorable draw at big-spending Wrexham on Tuesday night but conceded in the 89th minute to lose 2-1. Still only three points adrift of safety, there's still plenty of time to turn things around. Bradford made the play-offs last season but have struggled to get going this time round and boss Mark Hughes got sacked as a result. With seven points from their last four games, results have improved a bit under player-manager Kevin McDonald. They're also unbeaten in all four matches they've played against Sutton since the London club joined the EFL in 2021. Tickets are available 

National League
Boreham Wood v Southend United @3pm - after a solid 3-1 midweek win at Dagenham & Redbridge, the Wood are now five points clear of the relegation zone. Although that result was pleasing, they're still way off the standards they set last season as they reached the play-offs. With all the off-pitch turmoil seemingly now over, the Shrimpers fans can focus solely on what's going on on the pitch and recently it's been very good. A 3-0 home victory over Ebbsfleet on Tuesday made it four wins in a row and they're now 14th. They would be actually be fifth if it wasn't for the 10-point deduction they received earlier in the season so it looks like being a tough afternoon for the hosts. Tickets are cheaper if bought in advance

National League South
Hampton & Richmond Borough v Torquay United @3pm - the hosts are currently second only to leaders Yeovil when it comes to being in good form. With four wins on the spin, the Middlesex club are climbing the table fast and are now only a point adrift of the play-off places. The Gulls are only a point above them so if they win, they will almost certainly break into the top seven. Given the big crowd that's likely to be generated by the visit of a former EFL club, you're strongly advised to buy tickets in advance, it's also cheaper than paying on the day too

FA Trophy First Round
The FA Trophy is a national knockout competition for clubs in the fifth to the eighth tiers with its final at Wembley. At this stage, the 64 seventh and eighth tier teams who have made it through the qualifying rounds do battle. There are several ties in London, here are my pick:

Dulwich Hamlet v Lewes @3pm - the biggest crowd will be found at Champion Hill where two Isthmian Premier clubs go head-to-head. The Hamlet have an average attendance of 2,308 despite having made a disappointing start following their relegation from the National League South. They are  currently the best supported non-league side in London, the second best supported club in the seventh tier and get higher crowds than 16 National League sides and even two in League Two. Lewes are a former fifth-tier club who hold similarly inclusive values to Dulwich and with only four points separating them in the league, it should be a fun afternoon. You are strongly advised to buy tickets in advance as games often sell out
Cray Wanderers v Chesham United @3pm - the hosts, who are London's oldest club, are in the Isthmian Premier's bottom three and having a season to forget. They'll be hoping to kick-start their season here with what would be a shock win over the Generals who are pushing hard for the Southern League Premier South title
Hendon v Walton & Hersham @3pm - the Greens also welcome one of the best sides in the Southern League. Just a point behind Chesham, W&H have enjoyed three consecutive promotions as they've surged up to the seventh tier. Hendon have been playing at this level for decades and are coasting along in midtable. A lot will come down to who wants it more and with the visitors perhaps more concerned with getting another promotion, this might give the hosts the edge

Isthmian League South Central
Chertsey Town v Chipstead @3pm - match of the day in the eighth tier would appear to be this game between two of the top seven in this division. Third but only a point behind leaders Raynes Park Vale, the Curfews could go top with a win here

CCL Premier North
Rayners Lane v Ardley United @3pm - for me there aren't any standout fixtures in the ninth tier so I'd suggest going to give Rayners Lane a watch. The north-west London club finally won promotion from the 10th tier last season and despite a lot of upheaval off the pitch over the summer, have managed to very successfully regroup. Currently top of this division, they welcome ninth-placed Ardley who are playing in this league because they agreed a swap from the SSML with London Lions

SCFL Division 1
Chessington & Hook United v Seaford Town @3pm - again there's not a stellar selection of games in the 10th tier so it gives me a chance to recommend a game in the SCFL where two of the division's form teams meet at Chalky Lane. With 10 points from their last five, they're in seventh just behind Seaford on goal difference

Sunday 29 October

Premier League
West Ham United v Everton @1pm - with only one win from five in the league and having suffered defeat to Olympiakos in the Europa League on Thursday, the Hammers come into this on a rare low after a very successful few months. The Toffees are three points above the relegation zone but with two wins from their last five, are showing some signs of improvement. West Ham have won three of their last four against the Merseyside club and you'd expect them to extend that run here. Tickets

Premier League 2
Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion @2pm - there's also a bit of U21 action on Sunday afternoon. At the time of writing, these clubs are fourth and sixth in the PL2 so it should be well worth a watch. This match is being played at Boreham Wood's ground. Admission is often free but never more than £5

FA Trophy First Round
Kingstonian v Whitehawk @3pm - there's also a tie between two Isthmian Premier clubs at Imperial Fields. With three wins from their last six matches, the K's are picking up a bit of form after a poor start. Whitehawk, with only one league defeat, are in the division's top four and will start as favourites

FAWNL Cup Second Round
Hashtag United v Rugby Borough @2pm - in the women's game it's an international break, so the highest level of football you'll be able to see will be this all third-tier team cup match. Being played at Aveley, the Tags are currently top of the Southern Premier whilst Rugby are fourth so this should be well worth a watch
London Bees v Norwich City @2pm - elsewhere in north London, there's a great chance of a cupset as the Canaries travel to The Hive. Currently fighting hard for the title in their fourth-tier division, they should have the talent and momentum to get the better of the Bees who are bottom of the Southern Premier without a league win

FAWNL Division 1 South East
AFC Wimbledon v Worthing @2pm - the big game in the fourth tier sees the leaders host the side three points behind them in third. The sides played on the south coast in the FA Cup last weekend with the Dons winning an entertaining game 3-2. Given how crucial every point is at this end of the table, another loss for Worthing could pretty much end their title ambitions. This match is being played at Plough Lane. Tickets are £5 on the door and, just so you know, there's a Halloween fancy dress competition taking place for fans

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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