Sunday 18 February 2024

TLFG: 19-25 February 2024

You join me at the end of a weekend which has left me in a very good mood indeed.

As regular readers know I have an interest in three teams - QPR in men's pro football, Harrow Borough in non-league and Actonians in women's football.

I'm pleased to report that all had important games and all of them won!

QPR are fighting relegation from the Championship and won 1-0 at Bristol City to leave them just one point adrift of safety.

Harrow Borough were 12 points adrift of safety the last time I looked but Saturday's 3-1 win at fellow strugglers Swindon Supermarine cut the gap to six points.

Lastly, Actonians were up against west London rivals Fulham who had knocked them out of the FA Cup on penalties in October.

Once again this was a cup tie, this time a quarter-final of the Capital Senior Cup.

Young defender Olivia Clement (left) has really impressed for Actonians this season

A good crowd were treated to a pretty even and open game with good chances falling to both teams throughout the game but thankfully it was the A's who were far more clinical.

Teenage striker Tori St Clair scored twice and captain Roschelle Shakes also chipped in as they won 3-1.

A shout of recognition should also go out to Olivia Clement, Mara Bramwell and Isi Meade who played as a defensive three and soaked up most of what came their way.

Sadly for Fulham's goalkeeper, the third was a bit of a shocker from her point of view.

Whether she completely misjudged it or wasn't expecting it, it was incredibly soft and you can see it here on TLFG's rarely used YouTube page.

It takes them into the semis were they'll meet either AFC Wimbledon, Haringey Borough or Ashford Town/London Seaward whose tie was postponed.

Also from Actonians HQ was the exciting news that the manager of a Women's Super League club has volunteered to join the coaching staff at junior level as their daughter has joined one of the sides.

I don't know how secret that information is so I'm not going to name them but we're all hoping it might also help the club get some decent players in on loan in the time ahead.

It was also great to meet a couple of TLFG readers at the game - Liam who I used to regularly run with before he broke his ankle was there in a Fulham-fan capacity. Also Martin B (apologies if I've got that wrong) who'd travelled all the way up from Dorset - it was a real pleasure to meet you and thanks a lot for coming.

Aside from going to Actonians, I also made it to Hanwell Town earlier in the week to see the U21 game between QPR and Watford.

It was a very competitive game which was played at a high tempo.

Despite having the better of things and seeing one of the opposition sent off early in the second half, the R's somehow lost 1-0.

Well I think that's about it from me. I'm back to work on Tuesday after over a week off and am going onto late shifts so I don't think there's going to be any live football for me.

Check back at the end of the week for my weekend previews, hopefully I'll have something up by Thursday or Friday at the latest.


This week we've got the EFL Cup Final and matches in the Premier League, EFL, National League, FA Trophy, Women's National League and Premier League International 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 19 February

National League South
Aveley v Maidstone United @745pm - the Millers picked up an important win over Hampton & Richmond on Saturday to stay in play-off contention. Another side in the leading group are fourth placed Maidstone. The Kent club have generated plenty of headlines this season for their sensational run in the FA Cup which will see them play Coventry City in the Fifth Round next week. When the clubs last played in September, it was Aveley who won 1-0 at the Gallagher Stadium. Tickets

Tuesday 20 February

League Two
AFC Wimbledon v Crawley Town @745pm - the Dons drew with promotion rivals Morecambe on Saturday to move up to eighth, just one point outside the play-off places. Competition for a spot in the top seven is fierce with only two points separating the clubs in seventh to fourteenth. In fifteenth, Crawley represent the best of the rest so can't be taken lightly. With the opposition located close to Gatwick airport to the south of London, there's also a bit of a derby feel to this one too. Tickets

National League
Bromley v Dagenham & Redbridge @745pm - the Ravens kept their very slender title hopes alive with a sensational 4-3 win over leaders Chesterfield on Saturday. Trailing with four minutes to go, they somehow turned it round and now find themselves just 20 points behind the Spireites in second with 13 games to go. With only one defeat in five, the Daggers have hauled themselves into the top half. However, they're still only six points clear of the relegation zone in what is an incredibly congested lower half of the table. Tickets

FA Trophy Fifth Round
Wealdstone v Hendon @745pm - with this tie postponed twice, these two local rivals will give it another go on Tuesday. As members of the National League, the Stones play two levels above the Greens and will be big favourites to win. However, the north-west London club caused one of the upsets of the competition so far by beating Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park in the last round and defeated sides from higher divisions in the two rounds before that. The club who play within sight of the Wembley arch, should travel to Grosvenor Vale with little to fear. It should be noted that a pitch inspection will be held on Monday and if it looks doubtful, the tie will be switched to Hendon's ground instead so check with the clubs for the latest information. UPDATE - this has been moved to Hendon Tickets
Bishop's Stortford v Coalville Town @745pm - poor pitch conditions mean this tie from outside our normal catchment area has been moved to Aveley's ground. Stortford, who are located close to London's Stansted airport, had the misfortune of being allocated a place in the National League North after winning the Isthmian League last season. This means they face journeys to clubs near Newcastle, Liverpool and even have to go west to Gloucester too which is costing them thousands. This has seen their really successful squad fall apart and they're bottom of the division as a result. However, they've had a great run in this competition and could make it to the quarter-finals as Coalville play a level below them. A trip to Macclesfield awaits the winners. Tickets will be available on the gate 

National League South
Welling United v Worthing @745pm - the Wings remain in the relegation zone but are building an unbeaten run under new boss Rod Stringer which is giving them hope. Four points behind Taunton Town, 20th is now within their grasp. The visitors, on the other hand, have won four in a row to climb to second. Still 10 points behind leaders Yeovil, they've got a five-point advantage over third placed Chelmsford. When the sides met in Sussex in September, Worthing won 2-0. Tickets

Premier League Cup
Fulham v Middlesbrough @7pm - if you're looking for an option on the south-west side of town, then this U21 match is probably your best bet. Having topped Group G ahead of Leicester, Brentford and Burnley, the Cottagers have got Boro in the last 16. The visitors made it out of their group as runners-up at the expense of Ipswich and Birmingham. This is being played the club's training ground in Motspur Park and you can usually pay on the gate

Southern League Premier South
Hanwell Town v Plymouth Parkway @745pm - the Geordies looked to have pulled away from the relegation zone but following Saturday's draw at Winchester, they find themselves only three points above the bottom four. The visitors, who have to travel all the way up from Devon, are a couple of places below them but have a whopping six games in hand - a big game for both. Tickets

Middlesex Premier Cup Semi-Final
Brook House v British Airways @745pm - two CCL Division 1 clubs from broadly the same part of west London meet at Farm Park in this important cup match. With BA in the top four and having one of their best seasons, they should start as favourites. Tickets will be available on the gate
Middlesex Premier Cup Semi-Final
RB Kensington v Kensington Dragons @745pm - it's derby day in one of London's poshest boroughs. Sadly though, neither actually play their home games within the hallowed postcodes of the area which is home to a royal palace. RBK are spending this season groundsharing with North Greenford United which is a far more normal place out in the western suburbs. It is they who should be expected to progress as they play a level above their 11th-tier opponents. Tickets will be available on the gate. UPDATE - at the time of writing there is confusion about whether this game is on Tuesday or Wednesday with RBK and the host ground saying different things

Wednesday 21 February

FA Youth Cup Quarter-Final
Millwall v Chelsea @7pm - the Lions' youngsters have made it to the quarter-finals of the country's most prestigious U18 competition. Having beaten Barking, Grimsby and Coventry, it's fair to say they've had a pretty good draw. The Blues, who have won it nine times, have had to do things the hard way defeating Leicester, Everton and Crystal Palace on their way to the last eight. The match is being played at The Den and tickets are £5

Isthmian League Premier
Cray Wanderers v Canvey Island @745pm - both sides look to have done enough to avoid the drop so it's now all about playing for pride and positions. The visitors are two points and two places above Cray who are London's oldest club and always worth a watch just for that. Tickets

Essex Senior League
Woodford Town v Romford @745pm - I'm pretty sure both of these sides have been top at some point, the hosts definitely were. Over the last couple of months, Woodford appeared to have lost their way a bit and were drifting towards midtable but four straight wins have hoisted them back up to second, three points ahead of Wednesday's visitors who are third - it could be a cracker. Tickets will be available on the gate

FAWNL Division 1 South East
Ashford Town (Middlesex) v AFC Wimbledon @745pm - the Dons travel to fifth-placed Ashford hoping for a win that will put them nine points clear at the top. If they do achieve that it won't be quite as dominant a position as it might first appear as their main rivals Norwich City will have three games in hand

Thursday 21 February

Professional Development League
QPR v Colchester United @7pm - the R's welcome opposition from Essex for this U21 game at Hanwell Town. QPR have been top of the Group South of this competition for most of the season but now have three teams just a point behind them. Colchester are bottom of the 10-team division so should be beaten. Tickets are £5 on the gate

London Senior Cup Quarter-Final
Balham v Metropolitan Police @745pm - with the last-eight ties spread over several weeks, this is the first. It sees a ninth-tier side hosting one from the eighth. Balham won this cup back in 2018 beating Cray Valley PM 4-1. The Met, on the other hand, have made five finals and last won it in 2010. With the hosts pushing for promotion and the visitors looking to avoid relegation from the level above, it should be close. Tickets will be available on the gate

Friday 23 February

Premier League International Cup Quarter-Final
West Ham United v  Brighton & Hove Albion @7pm - we're also down to the last eight in this U21 competition with a European flavour. I say last eight but it's actually now seven as Chelsea lost to PSV Eindhoven in the first quarter-final last week. It's kind of good that they did as PSV are the only non-English club left in the competition so it wouldn't have been very international if they'd gone out. As for this tie, both clubs are in the top six of the Premier League 2 so this is another match that should be competitive. This is being played at the Hammers' Rush Green training facility and tickets will be available on the gate

Isthmian League North
New Salamis v Ipswich Wanderers @745pm - the highest level non-league match of the night sees two teams in the bottom seven of this division meet at Haringey Borough's ground. With the bottom two going down and being well adrift of everyone else, there isn't a huge amount riding on this. Tickets will be available on the gate

Essex Senior League
Woodford Town v Little Oakley @745pm - although a level below New Salamis, there could well be a more lively crowd and better atmosphere at Ashtons. Remember, the hosts still have a chance of winning the title and the visitors are the type of midtable team that must be beaten if they are to be taken seriously. Tickets will be available on the gate 

Saturday 24 February

Premier League
Crystal Palace v Burnley @3pm - Austrian Oliver Glasner takes charge of his first match at Selhurst Park after replacing Roy Hodgson earlier in the week. Winless in three, the Eagles sit five points above the relegation zone so there's work to be done. The visitors have only won three games all season and look doomed to go down. Palace won at Turfmoor earlier in the campaign and really need to complete a double here. Tickets are only available to members
Arsenal v Newcastle United @8pm - the Gunners' great winning run in the league has taken them to third but despite this great form, they suffered a slightly surprising 1-0 loss at Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday. The Magpies had a great season last year and finished in the top four. This time round they've won less than half their games and have only made it to eighth and will do well to get into the Conference League. Despite this, Eddie Howe's team did manage to beat Arsenal at St James' Park in November so it's not a foregone conclusion by any means. Tickets are only available to members

QPR v Rotherham United @3pm - there's a huge game at the wrong end of the second tier as two of the bottom three meet at Loftus Road. With only one defeat in five, the R's are now just a point adrift of safety. Millwall are the team they're trying to catch and their form has plummeted in recent weeks, leading to the sacking of young head coach Joe Edwards. Rotherham's cause looks pretty hopeless but they haven't given up the fight - it took a 95th-minute goal for high-flying Ipswich to beat them 4-3 on Tuesday. Tickets 
Watford v Huddersfield Town @3pm - a run of three straight defeats earlier in the month pretty much ended the Hornets' promotion charge but on Saturday they could play a big part in who goes down. The Terriers sit just above aforementioned strugglers Millwall so if they lose here and QPR get three points, they could find themselves in the relegation zone. Tickets

League One
Charlton Athletic v Portsmouth @3pm - three games into his new reign, Nathan Jones is still looking for his first win as Addicks boss. If he gets it here, it will be quite something as Pompey are six points clear at the top of the division. Something to give Charlton fans a bit of hope - they drew 2-2 at Fratton Park in November and are unbeaten in five against the Hampshire club. Tickets

League Two
Sutton United v Colchester United @3pm - it's a big day for teams battling the drop. Sutton have been at the foot of the fourth tier for sometime now and still haven't won under new manager Steve Morison. Seven points from safety, their escape isn't impossible but they've got to start winning soon. Colchester are fourth from bottom but are seven points clear of the drop zone - a win would do wonders for them to. Tickets

Premier League Cup
Tottenham Hotspur v Fleetwood Town @1pm - if you've not been to the impressive Tottenham Hostpur Stadium then now's your chance to do it on the cheap. Spurs' have made it to the last 16 of this U21 competition and tickets are £10 

National League
Barnet v York City @3pm - in the fifth tier, there's a match of some significance affecting either end of the table. The Bees are third but have a game in hand which could put them second. Although York are 16th out of 24 teams, only four points separate the clubs between 11th and 21st so virtually anyone in the bottom half could go down in what must be one of the tightest relegation battles in the country. Tickets

National League South
Dartford v Taunton Town @3pm - avoiding relegation is still a concern for both these teams too. Although both sit outside the drop zone at present, Welling United are picking up points fast under new manager Rod Stringer and they could be caught. Tickets

Isthmian League Premier Division
Enfield Town v Wingate & Finchley @3pm - away from all the doom and gloom of relegation, we've got a north London derby featuring two sides who are going for promotion. The Towners are often there or thereabouts in the race for the play-offs and they're currently occupying fifth, the last spot. W&F on the other hand are one of the smallest clubs in the division and do well just to survive at this level. So it's quite something for them to be up in fourth. When the sides met at Summers Lane on Halloween, Wingate had a horror show of a game losing 4-1 and they'll be hoping to avoid that at all costs. Tickets

Isthmian League South Central
Raynes Park Vale v Leatherhead @3pm - although there are a couple of relegation six-pointers elsewhere, I've gone for this as the match of the day in the eighth tier. The sides in second to fifth make the play-offs in this division and both clubs are in there at the moment. In fifth, RPV have a five-point cushion over Westfield who are leading the chase so they could do with the points slightly more than the Tanners. Tickets

CCL Premier North
Rayners Lane v Flackwell Heath @3pm - there's no doubt about the big game in the ninth tier where the top two in this division go head-to-head at Tithe Farm. The hosts have been top for a long time but the Heathens are now in a position to usurp them. Three points behind and with a game in hand, this game is absolutely huge for both as only one team goes up automatically. Tickets will be available on the gate

ECL Division 1 South
Clapton v Clapton CFC @3pm - in the 10th tier, El Claptico is definitely the most interesting match for your consideration. However, the attendance is likely to be a lot lower than it could be as most supporters of the away team are likely to boycott the game. CCFC were formed by supporters of the Tons who had become disillusioned with the way it was being run. On paper, CCFC are third so should start as favourites. Tickets will be available on the gate

Sunday 25 February

EFL Cup Final
Chelsea v Liverpool @3pm - tenth in the Premier League, the Blues are having a season to forget so this match represents a huge moment of potential redemption for them. They last won this cup in 2022 to take their tally of wins to five. If they do win at Wembley on Sunday, it will be quite an achievement as the Reds are currently top of the Premier League and have won this cup more times than anyone else. Also, when the sides last met at the end of January, Jurgen Klopp's side strolled to a 4-1 win at Anfield so they're big favourites again. Tickets are not available

FAWNL Division 1 South East
Ashford Town (Middlesex) v Chesham United @2pm - there's an international break in the women's game this weekend so this is the highest level game you can go to. The Tangerines will jump above Cambridge United into the top five if they beat the Generals who have probably done enough to avoid the drop. Tickets will be available on the gate

Actonians v Maidenhead United @2pm - with the amount of rain we've had and with further more forecast, it wouldn't be a huge surprise if the game at Ashford got postponed. That's highly unlikely to happen here where teams from parallel fourth-tier divisions meet for a friendly on the 3G at Gunnersbury Park. Admission is free

L&SE Women's League Premier
Sutton United v Dartford @2pm - six points separate the top three as we approach the final weeks of the season. The visitors are currently four points clear at the top and should fancy themselves to take the points at Gander Green Lane. However, former Actonians defender Justine Buckmire has recently signed for the U's and will look to anchor the defence as they attempt to shut out the leaders. Tickets will be available on the gate

L&SE Women's League D1 South
SL Benfica v Dulwich Hamlet Reserves @2pm - in the sixth tier there's a top-two clash at Rectory Park in Northolt. Benfica have had a huge upturn in form this season and have been among the frontrunners for the whole campaign. With Brentford also in the division and apparently throwing quite a bit of resource at their team to get promoted, the club with its roots in London's Portuguese community are doing superbly well to be out in front at this stage. Although Dulwich's second string are just two points behind, they've played three games more so really have to win to stay in contention

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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