Monday 13 November 2023

TLFG: 13-19 November 2023

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

After a lot of ambitious talk about seeing several games during my week off, I only managed to get to see a further one.

I had been all set to go to the Middlesex Senior Cup game between Harrow Borough and Hanwell Town on Tuesday but my kids played up as I was about to head out and it didn't happen.

Apparently it was a pretty turgid affair with Boro scraping through with a last-minute goal despite playing most of it against 10 men.

On Friday we had some meetings as the preparations for this season's Non-League Day continued.

Actonians Reserves played at London's oldest ground on Sunday

Aside from a team meeting, we also went to have a chat with our charity partners Prostate Cancer UK at their HQ which sits in the shadow of The Shard by London Bridge station.

On Sunday, I did finally get to a game as Actonians Reserves travelled to Forest Gate in east London to take on Clapton CFC in a league match.

CCFC play at the Old Spotted Dog which is London's oldest ground and for that fact alone, I'd always recommend a visit.

It was my first since 2015 when I went to the Non-League Day match between the other Clapton and Ilford which produced a thrilling 3-3 draw in front of almost 1,000 people.

A lot of CCFC's fans were in the crowd that day but their club didn't form until three years later when they became disillusioned with the Tons' ownership.

Although Clapton FC still exist, CCFC took control of the Old Spotted Dog and saved it.

Now back open and hosting men's and women's football, the supporters have done a superb job to keep the historic ground alive.

As is often the case, I turned up a few minutes late but I knew it was going to be worth the visit as the drums and chants of the CCFC fans could be heard from some distance away - very unusual for a women's sixth-tier match but not for one of their games.

With crowds of 200-300 for their recent games against Dulwich and Fulham, the attendance was somewhat lower than that but there was no lack of atmosphere.

England play Malta at Wembley on Friday - tickets

Women's games here are pay what you want with a programme thrown in - you can't say fairer than that.

Having made my way to the away dugout where the small number of travelling fans were gathered, I discovered the A's had gone 1-0 up in the first minute and shortly after, they scored a second.

By half-time the visitors had opened up a highly unexpected 5-0 lead which no-one saw coming.

As Neil (the doyen of Actonians supporters) and I headed to the tea bar, we were joined by last season's first-team captain Naomi Graham who lives out east and came along to give the team her support.

After the interval, it was a far more even contest with Clapton CFC scoring the only goal of the half from the penalty spot shortly after A's keeper Elisa Dogor was lucky to avoid being sent off.

It finished 5-1, a result which lifts Actonians' second string to third.

Although it's unlikely, could they win a third consecutive promotion? If they did, they'd be in the division below the first team!

Overall, a fun afternoon thanks to a great performance on the pitch and and the great hospitality of CCFC and their fans.

Lastly this week, many thanks to Neil A from Vancouver, Canada and Martin B from Sherborne, Dorset who donated to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund I really appreciate it.


This week sees the top clubs have some time off for the international break but we've still got plenty to look forward to with matches in the EFL, FA Trophy and Women's Super 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 13 November

National League South
Aveley v Chelmsford City @745pm - the Millers lost their big game against promotion rivals Bath City on Saturday, allowing the West Country club to catch up and leaders Yeovil to pull six points clear. This match against fellow Essex side Chelmsford gives them a great chance to bounce back immediately. City are in the play-off places too so this should be some game


Tuesday 14 November

National League South
Hampton & Richmond Borough v St Albans City @745pm - the Beavers extended their unbeaten run to eight games with an impressive 5-2 win over Maidstone on Saturday. The result keeps them in fourth, meaning they'll go second if they win this one and Aveley slip up on Monday

London Senior Cup First Round
There are a couple of eye-catching ties in this competition on Tuesday. QPR are entering a team for the first time in years and they begin with an away tie against Corinthian Casuals. Elsewhere, Barking welcome Leyton Orient to Mayesbrook Park. Both games kick-off at 745pm

Wednesday 15 November

FA Cup First Round Replay
Cray Valley PM v Charlton Athletic @745pm - after recording a sensational 1-1 draw at The Valley in the original tie, CVPM welcome the Addicks to the Artic Stadium. With capacity limited to just 1,550, tickets have sold out. In the time since that first game, Cray Valley have been knocked out of the London Senior Cup but won a league game against Erith & Belvedere. Charlton warmed up for this with a fine 2-2 draw at League One leaders Portsmouth. If the underdogs do somehow win, it will be the furthest they've gone in the competition

London Senior Cup First Round
Cockfosters v Charlton Athletic U21 @745pm - the Addicks' U21 side are also in action against non-league opposition in the far north of London and with the away allocation at CVPM so low, you'd like to think they might take a few extra fans to Chalk Lane instead

FA Youth Cup Second Round
Barking v MK Dons @730pm - after wins over Great Wakering Rovers, Billericay Town, Dagenham & Redbridge, Stanway Rovers and Kingstonian, it's fair to say Barking are having quite a run in the country's most prestigious U18 competition this season. Next up they face a side who only entered the draw in the last round and won 3-0 at Stourbridge

Thursday 16 November

Youth games
Today's matches are all at U18 level with Chessington & Hook United, Colliers Wood United, Corinthian Casuals, Enfield Borough, Hillingdon Borough and Metropolitan Police (who have two squads in action) all playing at home

Friday 17 November

UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier
England v Malta @745pm - the biggest crowd of the week will be found at Wembley for this international match. With Gareth Southgate's side having already booked their place at next summer's tournament, there's a fair chance a few fringe players will be given a run-out in this one. Malta are bottom of the group having lost all seven of their games. Tickets are available

Essex Senior League
Woodford Town v Takeley @745pm - having seen themselves replaced at the top of the table by Tilbury, the hosts have the chance to re-take the lead. Takeley are in the bottom five and should be beaten

Saturday 18 November

Women's Super League
Chelsea v Liverpool @130pm - with it being an international break in the men's game, the biggest crowd of the weekend should be found at Stamford Bridge which plays host to this WSL match. The Blues are currently top and are the reigning champions. The Reds, despite an unspectacular season, did manage to beat Chelsea last year and they've made a good start this time. Nonetheless, anything other than a home win will be a surprise. Tickets

League Two
Sutton United v Tranmere Rovers @3pm - the biggest fixture in the men's game is this relegation six-pointer at the bottom of the fourth tier. Sutton have been 24th for most of the season but four points from their last two games has kept them in touch with everyone else. So much so that if they beat third from bottom Tranmere, then they could move out of the relegation zone. Tickets

National League
Barnet v Gateshead @3pm - with only one win from their last three, the Bees are starting to lose the form that put them in title contention. They are still second but have now slipped five points behind leaders Chesterfield. The visitors crushed Dorking Wanderers 6-0 in their last match and are chasing a play-off spot themselves so they should present a decent challenge to the north London club. Tickets
Bromley v AFC Fylde @3pm - the Ravens are another local club to be having a good season. A win here against relegation threatened Fylde could see them end the day in third. Tickets

FA Trophy Second Round
This national knockout competition is for clubs in the fifth to eighth tiers and has its final at Wembley at the end of the season. At this stage, all the clubs in the sixth tier enter the draw alongside the remaining seventh and eighth tier clubs that have made it through the earlier rounds. Here are my pick of the ties in London:

Dartford v Maidstone United @3pm - two of the biggest clubs in Kent, who both play in the sixth tier, have been drawn to play each other at the well-appointed Princes Park. On form the visitors should start as favourites. This season marks the 50th anniversary of the Darts' one and only run to the final so it would a great time to try and emulate that fine achievement. Tickets
Cray Valley PM v Hampton & Richmond Borough @3pm - a lot has been made of CVPM's sensational run in the FA Cup which saw them bow out at home to Charlton Athletic on Wednesday night. However, they've had a great run in the FA Trophy too. On Saturday they welcome an in-form H&RB side who, playing two levels above them, should start as strong favourites. The hosts have been brilliant in the cups in recent years, making it the FA Cup First Round again in 2020 and all the way to Wembley for the FA Vase Final in 2019. Hampton & Richmond have gone out in this round for the last four years and they look set to face another challenging afternoon here
Hendon v Eastbourne Borough @3pm - the seventh tier Greens have put in some good displays recently. On Saturday they pushed title contenders Gosport hard before losing 2-1 and in the previous round of this competition, they knocked out Walton & Hersham who are another of the division's best teams. On Saturday they welcome a side from the level above who have only won one of their last five league games and are dangling just three points above the relegation zone. The chance of an upset looks reasonable

Isthmian League Premier Division
Enfield Town v Hastings United @3pm - the game of the day in the seventh tier sees two of the top five in this division meet at Donkey Lane. In this division only one team goes up automatically with the next four playing off for a second promotion place. Currently, Hornchurch are 11 points clear at the top and seemingly leaving everyone else behind. Therefore this match is of huge importance - the Towners need to keep the pressure on the Urchins whilst Hastings need to win to stay in the play-off places as four teams are queued up right behind them waiting for any slip-ups

Isthmian League North
Walthamstow v Stowmarket Town @3pm - the highest ranked of our local eighth tier teams to be hosting a game on Saturday are the Stow. Currently fifth in the Isthmian North, they could move into the top four with a win over lowly Stowmarket. With average crowds of nearly 400, the north-east London club are one of the best supported sides at this level and are definitely a club on the up - ones to keep an eye on

CCL Premier North
Rayners Lane v Broadfields United @3pm - it didn't take long to decide my ninth tier game of the day. This match at Tithe Farm sees the leaders take on the side in sixth and to top it all, they groundshare. This should be well worth taking a look at if you're in north-west London

ECL Division 1 South
Clapton CFC v Benfleet @3pm - in the 10th tier, why not pay a visit to the Old Spotted Dog? CCFC are currently top of this division and the visitors are sixth. However, it's devilishly tight with only three points separating the top six

Sunday 19 November

Isthmian League South East
Erith & Belvedere v Chichester City @3pm - the Deres have only managed two wins since returning to this level at the start of the season, consequently they're in the bottom three. Chichester are fifth at the time of writing (Thursday) and have a couple of games in hand on some of the sides above them so will start as favourites

Women's Super League
West Ham United v Aston Villa @3pm - the Hammers, under new boss Rehanne Skinner, have made a disappointing start with only four points from their first six games. It's even worse for Villa who were bottom going into last weekend having lost all their games. Thankfully for them, they beat fellow strugglers Bristol City to move off the dreaded bottom spot. The Birmingham club's struggles have been a huge surprise after their fine season last year. Surely they'll come good soon. This match is being played at Dagenham & Redbridge. Tickets

Women's Championship
Charlton Athletic v Sunderland @12pm - arguably the women's match of the day actually takes place in the second tier where the leaders host the club in second at The Valley. Level on points and goal difference, only goals scored separate them. The early kick-off means you should be able to combine it with the Erith & Belvedere game above Tickets
Crystal Palace v Southampton @2pm - next up it's the match between the sides in third and fourth. The Eagles are only a point behind the leading pair and have a game in hand meaning the race for the solitary promotion place looks like being one of the closest ever. This match is being played at Selhurst Park. Tickets
Watford v Sheffield United @2pm - the Hornets picked up a crucial point by drawing 0-0 at Reading in their last match, a result which moved them out of the relegation zone. The Blades are also in the bottom four so this is definitely a game they should be targeting to get something out of. This is being played at Vicarage Road. Tickets

Capital Senior Cup Second Round
Fulham v Arsenal U21 @230pm - the Gunners youngsters entered this tournament last year and won it. Playing against senior opposition throughout, they beat Sutton United, QPR, London Bees and AFC Wimbledon and scored 21 goals in the process. This demonstrated once again the huge gulf that exists between the biggest women's clubs and the rest. They begin the defence of their title with a trip to Craven Cottage to play fifth tier Fulham. Last week the Cottagers played Portsmouth in the FA Cup - I predicted they'd struggle and they duly lost 9-1. This will almost certainly be another tough assignment. Tickets

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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  1. We are searching for games on sunday evening 26/11 and monday evening 27/11 in London area !
    Anybody who can help us ?
    Regards / Magnus from Helsingborg Sweden

  2. Any lower tier matches played on Sundays are usually during the afternoon. Chelsea Women are playing at Kingsmeadow on the 26th but at 1400. A visit to Kingsmeadow when Chelsea is playing is worth the visit.

  3. Sorry, we will not manage until 1400 hours on sunday, is there any games on monday evening 27/11 ?

  4. Ilford v with am in Essex Senior cup. Played at barking fc.

  5. Sorry. That’s this week,