Sunday 19 November 2023

TLFG: 20-26 November 2023

Greetings one and all and welcome to the latest TLFG.

Once again things are a little curtailed at this point as I'm exhausted. 

I've had a couple of long shifts at work this weekend and simply haven't had the time to get this piece as far as I'd like to by now.

At this stage, the match maps are, as far as I know, both up to date and I've written a few previews up until Wednesday to keep you going for now.

Sorry I don't have more for you at this stage but I think you'll survive!


This week sees the top clubs return from the international break meaning we've got matches in the Premier League, EFL, National League, FA Trophy, Women's Super League and Women's FA Cup 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 20 November

Professional Development League
QPR v AFC Bournemouth @7pm - the week begins with another helping of U21 football. Being played at Hanwell Town, this clash of the PDL South's top two should be well worth a watch


Tuesday 21 November

League One
Leyton Orient v Lincoln City @745pm - the O's were leading 1-0 with just six minutes to go when this match got abandoned last month. A fan was taken seriously ill in the crowd and sadly later died. The match is being replayed in full and the hosts could really do with a win having now gone four games without one. The Imps are three points above them so it should be close again. Tickets

EFL Trophy
Charlton Athletic v Sutton United @7pm - as EFL Trophy games go, quite a lot is riding on this. The top two in each group go through and with Crawley Town having already claimed top spot, only one of these two can join them. Currently locked on three points each, Charlton have slightly better goal difference so they only need a draw to progress. Tickets

National League
Bromley v Aldershot Town @745pm - with the top two losing on Saturday, the Ravens moved up to third just three points behind second-placed Barnet after a narrow win over AFC Fylde. Aldershot sit just outside the play-off places and should provide tough opposition. Tickets

National League South
Dartford v Braintree Town @745pm - the Darts suffered the disappointment of an FA Trophy defeat to Maidstone United in the Kent derby on Saturday. On Tuesday they'll be able to refocus on the league, knowing a win against a side who are just above them, could take them into the play-off places

Isthmian League Premier
Enfield Town v Whitehawk @745pm - the Towners saw off the challenge of promotion rivals Hastings United on Saturday to stay second behind Hornchurch. The Urchins kept themselves 11 points clear at the top with a win over Potters Bar. Sussex club Whitehawk are down in ninth but have games in hand which if won would put them firmly in the top four

Wednesday 22 November

National League
Barnet v Oldham Athletic @8pm - playing a day after everyone else, the Bees could start this game in third place just behind Bromley. In order to end their run of two consecutive defeats, they'll have to beat the Latics who were a Premier League club back in the '90s. Currently 10th, they're not the side they once were but they've only lost one of their last five and should bring a sizeable following with them. Tickets

Thursday 23 November

UEFA Women's Champions League
Chelsea v Paris FC @8pm - after drawing their opening group game with Real Madrid in Spain, the Blues return to Stamford Bridge to face the French club who eliminated Arsenal in the qualifying rounds. Emma Hayes' team crushed a decent Liverpool side 5-1 at the weekend and should start as favourites against the side who are currently second in Ligue 1. Tickets

FA Youth Cup Second Round
There are a couple of decent looking ties in the country's most prestigious U18 competition tonight with AFC Wimbledon hosting Stevenage at Plough Lane and Erith & Belvedere taking on Charlton Athletic in a local derby. You should be able to pay on the gate for both

Friday 24 November

Essex Senior League
Woodford Town v Saffron Walden Town @745pm - there are a couple of ESL games tonight but this one at Ashtons would be my pick. The hosts draw excellent crowds for this level and have been top for most of the season but in recent weeks they've dropped to third. Still only four points behind leaders Tilbury, they'll go second if they beat midtable SWT

Saturday 25 November

Premier League
Brentford v Arsenal @530pm - the biggest game of the day is this derby at teatime. After worrying barren spell, three wins from their last four games have lifted the Bees up to 11th and away from the relegation zone which was getting a little too close for comfort. The Gunners are challenging for the title again, have only lost once in the league and won here in the League Cup in September - they will start as favourites. Tickets are only available to members

Millwall v Coventry City @3pm - with the Lions narrowly missing a place in the top six and the Sky Blues making it to the play-off final at Wembley, it's fair to say last season was a decent one for both clubs. This time round, things are very different with Millwall in the bottom half and on to a new manager and City way down in 20th and starting to build a lengthy winless run. The new man at Millwall is Joe Edwards who has spent most of his career as a coach at Chelsea. His impact was immediate as they won the first game of his reign 4-0 at Sheffield Wednesday so they should be pretty confident of getting something here. Tickets

League One
Leyton Orient v Wigan Athletic @3pm - the O's loss to Lincoln means they're now winless in six in the league and down to 14th - the table is tight so they're only four points above the relegation zone. Next up, they welcome former Premier League club and FA Cup winners Wigan who have just come down from the Championship. Although down in 18th, they should actually be ninth as they started the season on -8 points and are doing way better than the table suggests. This will be the first time the clubs have played since 1997, a season where the Latics comfortably did the double over the London club. Tickets

League Two
AFC Wimbledon v Notts County @3pm - after a bit of a wobble, the Dons have won three of their last four in all competitions to give their confidence a boost. Now down in 10th and four points adrift of the play-off places, they've got work to do to make up the ground they've lost in recent weeks. Notts County are back in this division after winning promotion from the National League and are on course for another promotion, sitting third as they come into this. There aren't many tickets left so definitely buy in advance if you want to go

National League
Wealdstone v Barnet @3pm - undoubtedly the game of the day in the fifth tier is this local derby at Grosvenor Vale. There's a significant grudge in existence between these two, largely over stadium issues with the Stones the more aggrieved party. Historically, the Bees are the bigger and more successful club and are Chesterfield's main challengers for the title. However, after a brilliant start, they've now lost three in a row and could come unstuck again if a spirited Wealdstone side turn up. This is another game where I'd strongly advise buying tickets in advance

National League South
Welling United v Yeovil Town @3pm - in the sixth tier, there's a match of great importance affecting either end of the table. The Wings are in the bottom four after winning only three of their 18 games whilst former Championship club Yeovil have already opened a nine-point lead at the top as they bid to get back into the National League at the first time of asking.  Again there should be a big crowd so buy your tickets in advance

Southern League Premier South
Walton & Hersham v Merthyr Town @3pm - in the seventh tier, fifth host fourth at the Elmbridge Xcel Sports Hub. The hosts have enjoyed a staggering three consecutive promotions and are apparently well set for another one after a great start to life at this level. On Saturday they welcome Welsh opposition who have improved tremendously following after some significant investment in recent months. Tickets

Isthmian League South Central
Chertsey Town v Southall @3pm - the standout game in the eighth tier, this match between the top two in this division should be well worth a watch. The hosts are currently second, two points behind the 'All but with a game in hand so this is huge

CCL Premier South
Colliers Wood United v Balham @3pm - there's nothing in the ninth tier to match the game above but we do have this south London derby at Wibbandune. Although the areas of Colliers Wood and Balham are geographically close to each other in reality, neither club actually play their home games in those areas so the rivalry isn't probably as big as it could be. The visitors are in the top six and should start as favourites

CCL Division 1
RB Kensington v Amersham Town @3pm - this match gives you a chance to run the rule over one of the best sides in the 10th tier. Having won 15 of their 18 league games this season, Amersham have already opened an 11-point lead at the top and are beginning to look unstoppable. RBK are no slouches themselves and could potentially go second if they win here and other results go their way. Sadly the hosts don't have a ground of their own and rather than playing somewhere in inner London, they groundshare out in Zone 4 at North Greenford United

Sunday 26 November

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa @2pm - twelve games into the season and amazingly just three points separate the top five. Both of these clubs are members of that leading group so the result of this could play a big part in where they finish up, so tight are the margins. Villa come into the game a point behind Spurs but in marginally better form and they've won on two of their last three visits to the THS. Regular tickets are only available to members whilst the last few remaining hospitality packages start at £349

Women's Super League
Arsenal v West Ham United @2pm - the rest of the day's football is all to be found in the women's game and there's plenty to choose from. First up we have this derby at Boreham Wood's ground. The Gunners warmed up for this with a 2-1 win at Southampton in the League Cup on Thursday which put them joint top of their group with Spurs. West Ham, however, lost 3-1 at Brighton in the same competition to extend their winless run to six games. Now just goal difference is keeping them off bottom spot and they'll do well to get anything here. This match has sold out
Chelsea v Leicester City @2pm - Emma Hayes' side come into this on the back of a 4-1 win over Paris FC in the Champions League so they should be full of confidence coming into this one. Leicester narrowly avoided relegation last season but after a bright start have now gone five league games without a win and are down in midtable. The match is being played at Kingsmeadow and tickets have almost sold out so don't delay buying one if you do want to go

Women's FA Cup First Round
Southampton WFC v Brentford @3pm - after seeing this match postponed twice, the tie has been switched to Bedfont Sports which the Bees women use for home games. Southampton WFC are independent of the men's club and are not to be confused with the Southampton women's team in the Championship. Even so, they are a very well established fourth-tier club who should have too much for sixth-tier Brentford but this is the cup and anything's possible. This match is free entry

Women's FA Cup Second Round
For most teams still in the FA Cup, it's actually the Second Round this weekend. At this stage, the draw is made up of the surviving teams from the third tier and below. Here are the ties taking place in London:

Millwall Lionesses v Bromley @1pm -  the action begins at lunchtime with this much anticipated derby at the ground Fisher use in Rotherhithe. The Lionesses are currently fifth in the fifth tier whilst the Ravens are third in the sixth. On paper, we should expect to see a home win
Enfield Town v Luton Town @2pm - a little later there's a clash between two sides from parallel fifth-tier divisions. The Hatters are in far better form and with two of Actonians' best ever side from last season now in their ranks, they must surely win!
Haringey Borough v Moneyfields @2pm - being played within earshot of the THS at the same time as Spurs v Villa, fifth tier Haringey have landed a tough draw against a very talented Moneyfields side who are averaging over six goals a game in their fourth-tier division so far this season

L&SE Women's Regional League Division 1 North
Actonians Reserves v Denham United @2pm - last but not least, I thought I'd throw in this sixth-tier match too as it's where I plan to be. After watching the A's second string record a resounding 5-1 win at Clapton CFC two weeks ago, I'm going to go and watch them again. With the first team out of action, one or two players could well make a guest appearance in what could end up being an important match in this season's title race as these two are third and fourth. It is being played in Gunnersbury Park

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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