Monday 15 January 2024

TLFG: 15-21 January 2024

Welcome one and all to the latest TLFG.

Firstly apologies for the late publication - I really fancied myself to get it finished on Sunday night but with the end in sight, one of my kids had a meltdown and wrote off the rest of the evening.

Thankfully I had an early finish at work today so I've got something available for you to read.

Sadly I couldn't publish in time for Charlton's lunchtime U21 game but you've got a few hours to check your options for Monday night.

At the moment, I've only had time to write previews for Monday but I'll add more when I get the chance - the match maps are there in full though.

Have a great week and I'll try and flesh this out with more info as soon as I can. 


This week we've got matches in the Premier League, EFL, National League, 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 15 January

Essex Senior Cup Fourth Round
Aveley v Dagenham & Redbridge @745pm - the week begins with this derby at Parkside. It pits a sixth-tier club against one in the fifth but there's likely to be some squad rotation to make things a bit harder to call. The Millers have been to the final four times but never won whilst the Daggers have two titles, the last of which came way back in 2001 

Essex Senior League
Woodford Town v Frenford @745pm - the hosts were among the early pacesetters in the league but they've now dropped to sixth and need to recover some form to stay in contention for a play-off spot. Newly promoted Frenford, who are based near Gants Hill, have struggled this season and are in the bottom three


Tuesday 16 January

Walton & Hersham v Ashford Town (Middlesex) @745pm - with most of tonight's fixtures falling foul of the cold weather, these two sides have arranged a friendly at short notice. The hosts play a level above the visitors so should start as favourites on paper. It's £5 to get in

CCL Premier North
Bedfont Sports v Hilltop @745pm - the hosts are having a good season and come into this match in fourth. On Tuesday they welcome the team who are currently bottom of the division. However, their position is false thanks in part to their great run in the FA Vase which has seen them make the last 16. Having played only 14 games, eight less than some teams, they're a point adrift at the foot of the table


Wednesday 17 January

Premier League International Cup
There's another couple of games in this U21 competition with a strong European flavour. On Wednesday, Crystal Palace host Dutch club Feyenoord at Sutton United whilst Fulham play Monaco at their training ground in Motspur Park. Both matches start at 7pm and you can pay on the gate. Update - Crystal Palace match now behind closed doors 

Essex Senior League
Athletic Newham v Barking @745pm - if it beats the frost, this should be the non-league game of the night. These two local rivals are just two points apart in the top eight and pushing for a place in the play-offs

CCL Division 1
Langley v Hillingdon Borough @745pm - one game that should beat the cold is this one at Honeycroft where they have an artificial pitch. The hosts are sixth and well placed for a play-off push but they have played more than everyone else. The visitors are currently bottom but have games in hand on all those above them

Thursday 18 January

Youth & Development matches
Tonight is all about U23 and U18 matches at our local non-league clubs. The pick of the action would seem to be the U23 game between Abbey Rangers and Aldershot Town


Friday 19 January

Premier League International Cup
West Ham United v Dinamo Zagreb @7pm - the weekend begins with another bit of European U21 action. The Hammers are second in Group B whilst their Croatian opponents are second bottom of the eight-team group and without a win. This match is being played at Dagenham & Redbridge

Essex Senior League
Ilford v Frenford @745pm - elsewhere in east London, there's an Ilford derby being played at Barking's ground. Both are in the bottom three so it's a relegation six-pointer too
Woodford Town v Buckhurst Hill @745pm - a little to the north-west of Mayesbrook Park we've got another derby - the Roding Valley Derby to be precise. With the hosts pushing for a play-off place and the visitors drifting in midtable, there's not quite as much riding on it as the game above but the crowd and atmosphere should be considerably bigger

Saturday 20 January

Premier League
Arsenal v Crystal Palace @1230pm - with only one win in the last five games, the Gunners have slipped to fourth and badly need the three points here if they want to stay in the title race. Palace ended their own poor run of league results just after Christmas with a hugely important win over Brentford but they bowed out of the FA Cup in midweek at Everton. The Eagles last won at the Emirates in 2019 but it was a very rare occurrence as the previous time was in 1994. Tickets are only available to members but hospitality packages are available from  £325
Brentford v Nottingham Forest @530pm - talking of bad league form, the Bees' is the worst in the Premier League. Now only three points above the relegation zone, this match against Forest who are just above them is absolutely huge. Thomas Frank's side are unbeaten in five against the East Midlands club and this match marks the long-awaited return of star striker Ivan Toney after a betting ban. Can he save them??? Tickets are only available to members

QPR v Millwall @3pm - if you can't get into either of the above, then this spicy London derby at Loftus Road should be well worth some of your time. Less than four weeks since they last played, these two will do it all again in west London. On that occasion, the Lions virtually strolled to a 2-0 win at The Den which helped them begin a run that's pulled them well clear of the relegation zone. The same can't be said of the R's who can't buy a win at the moment. Five points adrift of safety, they simply have to start winning soon. If you haven't been to one of these games, they can be very lively off and on the pitch so beware. Tickets

League One
Leyton Orient v Bolton Wanderers @3pm - with 10 points from their last four games, the O's have hit a bit of a purple patch. Last time out they inflicted a 3-0 defeat on leaders Portsmouth who are wobbling badly. Next up they play one of the sides looking to replace them at the top so it's going to be tough again. When they last played in December, Bolton edged to a 3-2 win. Tickets

League Two
AFC Wimbledon v Crawley Town @3pm - on level points just outside the play-off places, this should be close. With Crawley a short journey to the south of London, the visitors should bring a decent following for what might as well be a derby. The Dons won the reverse fixture 2-1 last month. Tickets

Women's Super League
Arsenal v Everton @2pm - after beating Watford in the FA Cup last weekend, the Gunners return to WSL action on Saturday. They'll be looking to recover from losing the derby to Spurs before Christmas and putting pressure back on leaders Chelsea. Everton got a great 3-0 win at Aston Villa in the FA Cup on Sunday but they'll do well to get anything here. Tickets have sold out

National League
Barnet v Chesterfield @530pm - the game of the day in the fifth tier is this blockbuster between the former leaders and the current top team. The Bees' form dipped badly towards the end of the year but it's recovered well and they're still third. However, the Spireites are 12 points clear at the top and will take some stopping. Tickets MATCH OFF
Bromley v Boreham Wood @3pm - sandwiched in between them in second are the Ravens. Only a point ahead of Barnet, they can't afford to slip up in this derby. The Wood are in midtable and having a slightly disappointing season by their recent high standards but with only one defeat in five and having drawn at Hayes Lane earlier in the season, they can't be taken lightly. This is on an artificial pitch so should go ahead. Tickets

National League South
Hampton & Richmond Borough v Eastbourne Borough @3pm - the pick of the games in the sixth tier will affect proceedings at either end of the table. With Yeovil Town 13 points clear at the top, it seems to now be all about who can finish second. Worthing, Hampton & Richmond and Maidstone United are all level on 46 points in second to fourth. The Beavers have a game in hand on both of them so things are looking good. With The Sports in the bottom four, the hosts really should win. Tickets

Isthmian League Premier
Wingate & Finchley v Chatham Town @3pm - if you're in north London and not going to one of the other games in the area, then this seventh-tier match at Summers Lane looks good. W&F are having the season of their lives. With an average attendance of 176, they are the smallest club in the division but they've been in the top five for quite a while now. On Saturday they welcome second placed Chatham for a real test of their promotion credentials. Tickets

Isthmian League South Central
Raynes Park Vale v Marlow @3pm - the best game in the eighth tier would appear to be this one between two of the top five. RPV lost their big match at Chertsey Town last week which kept the Curfews top. Still in the play-off places, they face a strong Marlow side who sit just a point and a place above them in the table. Tickets are available on the gate

CCL Premier South
AFC Croydon Athletic v Farnham Town @3pm - before the season started, the Rams created a lot of headlines when they were taken over by a consortium which featured Crystal Palace legend Wilfried Zaha and musician Stormzy. Things started well enough but by mid-September results had dipped and co-managers Lee Roots and Kevin Rayner were asked to leave. In mid-October former pro-player Jermaine McGlashan took charge and they're now back in the top six and pushing for a play-off place. On Saturday they welcome leaders Farnham who are an ambitious club who can draw crowds in excess of 1,000 for big games - quite something for a ninth-tier club. They'll have to be at their best to beat them. Tickets will be available on the gate

SCEFL Division 1
AFC Whyteleafe v Rochester United @3pm - there's only one place to be if you want a cracking 10th-tier game on Saturday and that's Church Road where the division's top two do battle. The Leafe are currently seven points clear so a win will be absolutely massive for them. Tickets will be available on the gate and with it being played on an artificial pitch, it should go ahead

Sunday 21 January

Women's Super League
Chelsea v Manchester United @1230pm - Sunday is all about women's football and there are some great games to choose from. Top of the bill is this eye-catching fixture at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are top and are the reigning league champions. Despite this, there is a vulnerability to their game that hasn't been on show in recent seasons. Thrashed by Arsenal in the league in December, they needed extra-time to get past West Ham in the FA Cup last weekend. The visitors finished second last season but are only fourth at the time of writing. Both sides are packed with international stars so this should be well worth a watch. Tickets
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur @645pm - if you want to do a 'double' then you've got the perfect opportunity as this London derby, at Dagenham & Redbridge, doesn't start until the evening so you can combine it with pretty much any other game earlier in the day. The Hammers might be right down near the bottom but they've made some big January signings and should see their results pick up. Spurs are in the top six and much improved on last season but they made heavy weather of beating Championship side Sheffield United in the cup so this could be pretty close. Tickets

Women's Championship
Charlton Athletic v Blackburn Rovers @12pm - if they'd won rather than drawn their last two league games then the Addicks would be four points clear at the top. Sadly they did only manage draws so they find themselves on level points with Birmingham City and only just ahead of Crystal Palace, Sunderland and Southampton in what is an incredibly tight title race. Rovers are seventh and eight points off the pace but they have two games in hand so could get right into the fight for top spot too. However, if the Lancashire club lose here then their chances of going up will become very slim indeed. This match is being played at VCD Athletic. Tickets
London City Lionesses v Crystal Palace @2pm - in the later game, we've got a derby featuring another one of those sides who are going for the title. Currently two points behind the leaders, the Eagles have a game in hand so they're in a strong position. LCL have had a disappointing season and will probably struggle to get out of midtable but they are still in the FA Cup and could potentially get something here. This is being played at Dartford. Tickets

FAWNL Southern Premier
London Bees v Ipswich Town @130pm - originally scheduled to be played in the main stadium that Barnet use at The Hive, the match has now been moved to the new 'Bees Stadium' right next to it which has a 5G pitch (I didn't know there was such a thing). The hosts have had a dreadful season and have yet to win a league game. Ipswich are fifth but have games in hand on all above them so it looks like being another tough afternoon for the London club. Tickets

Capital Senior Cup Second Round
AFC Wimbledon v Charlton Athletic U21 @2pm - most clubs in the third tier and below will be playing in various county cups on Sunday afternoon. The pick of the ties would appear to be this one at Plough Lane. The Dons made the final last season but narrowly lost to a young side from Arsenal. Arguably a stronger outfit than last season, Wimbledon are top of their fourth-tier division and have former WSL striker Ashlee Hincks banging in goals for fun (29 so far). I watched the Addicks' youngsters play a depleted Actonians side in pre-season and they won by a five-goal margin but they weren't that special. Personally I fancy the Dons to win here. 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!

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below, via X/Twitter or even by good old email.

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