Monday 15 April 2024

TLFG: 15-21 April 2024

TLFG is back for another week and I'm really glad you could drop in.

How have the last few days of football watching been for you?

I actually managed to see a whopping two matches!

First up, on Tuesday, I took my youngest daughter to see her first match at Loftus Road.

It was an U21 game against Crewe Alexandra and QPR did us all proud by going on to win 7-0.

My first game at Loftus Road was way back in 1983, was also against Crewe and the R's also won by a seven-goal margin (8-1), there's some crazy kind of symmetry going on there!

The impressive THS played host to a Women's FA Cup Semi-Final on Sunday

It was also notable how there were a lot of Bayern Munich fans in crowd for this lunchtime game.

Over for their Champions League match against Arsenal, they'd obviously opted to do a 'double' and it was interesting to see that by the end it was the match with the most check-ins on Futbology so far that day.

On Sunday I took my eldest daughter and a friend to watch Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City in a Women's FA Cup Semi-Final at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The THS is now arguably the best stadium in the country. 

I went to the first Premier League game played there against Crystal Palace five years ago and was really impressed with pretty much everything.

This time our seats in the Lower North Stand behind the goal were great but the catering was abysmal.

I'd downloaded the stadium app which promised all kinds of vegetarian and vegan delights but on arrival, the best the club could offer was smashed avocado on sourdough which a couple of 11-year-olds didn't want to touch with a bargepole.

A request to simply buy a portion of waffle fries was refused as you had to buy it in combination with a meat product.

So a bag of salt and vinegar crisps had to suffice - poor, Spurs, very poor!

As for the game itself, Tottenham made heavy weather of it and had to come from behind to beat a spirited Leicester side 2-1 with a goal just before the end of extra time.

The win sees the north London club make it to their first ever Women's FA Cup Final and I'm really chuffed for boss Robert Vilahamn who is also a volunteer youth coach at Actonians and an all-round nice guy by the sounds of things.

They'll play Manchester United at Wembley in four weeks after the Red Devils beat Chelsea in the other tie.

Lastly this week, many thanks to Mark K from Massachusetts, USA who made a donation to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund - I really appreciate it.


This week we've got matches in the Premier League, FA Cup, Europa League, EFL, National League, Women's Super League and 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 April

Premier League
Chelsea v Everton @8pm - despite their somewhat embarrassing draw with bottom club Sheffield United last time out, the Blues are still capable of achieving a top-six finish as they've played fewer games than any club in the division. History says they should pick up three points here as they haven't lost to the Toffees at Stamford Bridge since 1994, which is their longest unbeaten home run (28 games) against any club. Sean Dyche's side slipped back towards the relegation zone last week when they were deducted two more points for financial reasons so badly need to get something. Tickets are only available to members

Premier League 2
Arsenal v Aston Villa @7pm - just over 24 hours after seeing the first team suffer a wounding 2-0 defeat to Villa, the Gunners' U21 side face the same opposition in this PL2 game. A win for the hosts will take them into the top four. This match is being played at Boreham Wood

CCL Premier North
Hilltop v Rayners Lane @745pm - leaders Flackwell Heath won their game in hand on Saturday, meaning they're now four points clear of title rivals Rayners Lane with four games to go. Psychologically this must be tough for the visitors' players as they were top for so long. Hilltop are in the bottom four primarily because they've played so few games and their schedule is bonkers with eight games in the next two weeks, then there's a few more after that! This is being played at Uxbridge and tickets will be available on the gate

Tuesday 16 April

Premier League International Cup Semi-Final
Crystal Palace v Everton @7pm - the Eagles made the final of this U21 competition last season where they lost to PSV Eindhoven. With the Dutch club making the final again, things are all set for Palace to gain revenge. However, they need to get through this tie first and they should as they're several places above the Toffees in the PL2 table. This is being played at Selhurst Park and tickets should be available on arrival

Surrey Senior Cup Semi-Final
Sutton United v Farnham Town @730pm - League Two side Sutton are the second most successful side the in this competition's history with 15 wins from their 28 appearances in the final. On Tuesday they welcome an ambitious club who've just won the CCL Premier South title and will no doubt want to do a double. Tickets will be available on the gate

National League
Wealdstone v Eastleigh @745pm - as we head into the final week of the NL season, one relegation place is still available and a staggering eight teams are all still scrambling to avoid it. Both of these sides are in that group and a draw will be enough for both of them to stay up if Boreham Wood lose their match at Rochdale. If The Wood win, then it could go to the final day. Tickets

Isthmian League South Central
Raynes Park Vale v Metropolitan Police @745pm - with Chertsey winning the title at the weekend, it's now all about who will claim a play-off spot. Five teams are in contention but only four will get one. RPV are currently occupying the last one but Westfield are two points behind with a game in hand so they really need to win this. The Met are in the bottom four and although they will probably stay up they could probably do with one more win to make sure of it. Tickets will be available on the gate

SSML Premier
Cockfosters v Milton Keynes Irish @745pm - the hosts still have a slim chance of making the play-offs. Seventh at the time of writing, they have a 12-point gap to make up on FC Romania but seven games in which to do it. The visitors are second, in a two-horse title race with Real Bedford and could go level on points with a win here. Tickets will be available on the gate

CCL Division 1 Cup Second Round
British Airways v Amersham Town @745pm - the top two in this division do battle in this cup competition which must be way behind schedule given this is only a second-round game. Amersham have already won the title so they'll be keen to do the double and don't have the distraction of securing second spot which BA still do. Tickets will be available on the gate


Wednesday 17 April

Isthmian League Cup Final
Chatham Town v Hashtag United @745pm - with three cup finals taking place across town on Wednesday, you're really spoilt for choice. The biggest is this one which is being played at Aveley's ground. Running since the 1974-75 season, neither of these sides have ever won it. The Chats are currently second in the league so should start as favourites against the midtable Tags. Tickets will be available on the gate

Middlesex Senior Cup Final
Hayes & Yeading United v Rayners Lane @745pm - after trouncing Harrow Borough 5-0 in last year's final, H&YU are back to defend their title. On paper they should beat Rayners Lane who play two divisions below them but the Tithe Farm club have spent a lot on recruiting players with EFL and higher-division experience so it should be closer than it might at first look. This is being played at Uxbridge and tickets are available in advance

London Senior Trophy Final
Croydon v Wimbledon Casuals @8pm - the Trams bowed out at the semi-final stage last season to lower division opposition. This year they've made it all the way to the final and they're the favourites again as they play a side from the 11th tier Surrey Premier County League. However, Casuals should be tough to beat as they won that league last season and appear to be well on course to win it again. This is being played at Carshalton Athletic and tickets will be available on the gate

Essex Senior League
Woodford Town v Great Wakering Rovers @745pm - elsewhere in non-league, I really like the look of this game between two sides who are hoping for some play-off glory. The hosts are third and have already secured their place in the post-season whilst GWR have lots of games in hand after making it to the FA Vase Final at Wembley next month. Down in seventh, they have eight games remaining to make up the 13-point gap on fifth placed Sporting Bengal United. Tickets will be available on the gate

Women's Super League
Chelsea v Aston Villa @7pm - it's a really significant night of action in the women's game too. With Emma Hayes leaving the Blues at the end of the season, there was much talk of her completing a quadruple of trophy wins to sign off with. Sadly for her a double is the best outcome now. After losing to Arsenal in the League Cup Final, they lost to Manchester United in the FA Cup on Sunday so it's now all about the WSL and Champions League. A win by two goals or more against midtable Villa will put them back on top of the league on goal difference with four games to go. This is being played at Kingsmeadow and tickets are available

L&SE Women's League Premier
Dartford v Ebbsfleet United @745pm - Dulwich Hamlet won on Sunday to open a six-point lead over the second placed Darts who have three games to go. Given the Hamlet also have a far superior goal difference, it's effectively a seven-point lead. In the harsh world of women's football, only one team get promoted so realistically a win is the only acceptable outcome for the hosts. Standing in their way are local rivals Ebbsfleet who have nothing to play for but are fourth and clearly a decent side. Tickets will be available on the gate

L&SE Women's League D1 North
Brentford v Richmond Park @745pm - although I'm told they don't pay their players, the Bees' resources dwarf anything that any other team in this division can muster. Despite this, they still have a battle on their hands to win the title. Thirteen points behind leaders SL Benfica, they have four games in hand so if they win them all they'll still be a point adrift. That's because they only managed a 2-2 draw at Clapton CFC on Sunday and Benfica won 10-0 against Hackney. Richmond Park are one of the weakest teams in the division so will almost certainly lose here. The most interesting thing about this game for groundhoppers is that it's being played at Wheatsheaf Park. Staines Town's former ground is now being used as a secondary venue by Brentford in the same way Chelsea do with Kingsmeadow so if you haven't been yet, pay it a visit. Tickets are £2


Thursday 18 April

Europa League Quarter-Final Second Leg
West Ham United v Bayer Leverkusen @8pm - the chances of the Hammers making a second consecutive European final look slim. Bayer were crowned Bundesliga champions at the weekend and won the first leg 2-0. The Hammers warmed up for this with a 2-0 home loss to Fulham. I don't really know what much more I can say other than for the first time in ages, tickets aren't available which is highly unusual for West Ham games. If you do have one, just go along and marvel at what Xabi Alonso has achieved with the German title winners

Southern League Premier South
Hanwell Town v Plymouth Parkway @745pm - there's a juicy relegation six-pointer to be enjoyed at the Powerday Stadium. The Geordies looked as if they'd pulled themselves clear of the bottom four but one win from seven has left them in a real pickle. Third from bottom but only a point adrift with three games to go, a win here against the side just above them will make a big difference. Tickets will be available on the gate

Middlesex Charity Cup Semi-Final
Uxbridge v Broadfields United @745pm - ninth tier Broadfields continue the defence of their MCC title with a trip to the Reds who won it the year before. On paper, the hosts should start as favourites as they play a level above the visitors. Tickets will be available on the gate


Friday 19 April

Premier League Cup Semi-Final
Chelsea v Fulham @7pm - get your weekend underway with this attractive looking U21 fixture at Kingsmeadow. Neither of these sides have made the final since the competition began in 2013-14. The Cottagers are one place above the Blues in the PL2 table so it should be close. The winners will play Peterborough United or Sunderland in the final. Tickets will be available on the gate 

ECL Division 1 South
Barkingside v Dunmow Town @745pm - both sides will complete their league fixtures with this game. If the the 'Side win at Hoddesdon on Tuesday, they'll finish snugly in midtable whatever happens here. Dunmow are in a battle with Clapton CFC and Cannons Wood for the last play-off place. If they win at Newbury Forest on Monday, then another win here will secure it. Tickets will be available on the gate

Saturday 20 April

FA Cup Semi-Final
Manchester City v Chelsea @515pm - the biggest match of the weekend takes place at Wembley where the holders take on the club who have made five of the last seven finals. City got knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid in midweek so they'll want to put that disappointment behind them and beat the Blues who will start as underdogs. Tickets are sold out

Watford v Hull City @3pm - well adrift of the play-off places and well clear of the relegation zone, the Hornets' season is well and truly over. Hull, on the other hand, still have a shot at the play-offs. Six points behind sixth-placed Norwich, they've got four games to catch up so they badly need to win this. Tickets
QPR v Preston North End @515pm - in the tea-time game, there's loads at stake for both teams. PNE are one of Hull's main challengers for the last play-off spot while QPR need every point they can get to stay up. Tickets

League One
Charlton Athletic v Shrewsbury Town @3pm - the Addicks have gone 13 games unbeaten to secure their place in League One for another season. The Shrews are five points behind and haven't quite made it to safety so they could do with a win here. Tickets
Leyton Orient v Fleetwood Town @3pm - the O's first season at this level following their promotion from League Two must go down as a successful one. With two games to go, a top 10 finish looks very possible. The visitors are in the bottom four but can still make it out. However, anything less than a win will see them go down. Tickets

League Two
Sutton United v Crawley Town @3pm - the U's have been fighting hard to get out of the bottom two but it looks like they'll probably fall just short. To have any chance they have to win this but Crawley need the win to stay in the hunt for a play-off place - the stakes are high! Tickets

National League
Barnet v Kidderminster Harriers @1215pm - it's the final day of the regular season in the fifth tier. The Bees are guaranteed at least a third-place finish which means they've secured a bye through the first round of the play-offs. Beating Kidderminster, who are already down, will see them end up in second. Tickets
Boreham Wood v Ebbsfleet United @1215pm - probably the biggest fifth-tier match in London is this relegation six-pointer. As we go into the final game, five teams are scrambling to avoid the one remaining relegation place and this match features two of them. The Wood are the team currently occupying it so they simply have to win to have any chance of staying up. Tickets 
Dagenham & Redbridge v Aldershot Town @1215pm - the Daggers are sitting snugly in midtable and have nothing to play for. The Shots are being kept out of the play-off places by goal difference alone so they need to be going all out to win this. Tickets

National League South
Aveley v Bath City @3pm - it's the last day in the sixth tier too. The Millers are eighth and the Romans are sixth - the top seven make the play-offs. Although not mathematically certain of their place, Bath's goal difference is way better than any of their rivals so a place would appear to be theirs. Aveley have to win or they'll miss out. Tickets

Southern League Premier South
Harrow Borough v Tiverton Town @3pm - Boro have made a valiant charge towards the finish line and three consecutive wins gave them hope of staying up. However, Tiverton's win over Winchester on Thursday night made Harrow's chances of survival almost impossible. Six points adrift with two games to go and with terrible goal difference, it seems to all be over. Anything less than a win here, will definitely finish them. Despite that midweek win, the visitors are still only one point above the relegation zone so they have to win too. Tickets will be available on the gate

Isthmian League North
New Salamis v Lowestoft Town @3pm - the hosts are in the bottom six but are safe from relegation. They can, however, play a big part in deciding who wins the division as Lowestoft are currently top. The Suffolk club arrive in north London two points clear of Bowers & Pitsea with four games to go. But it's not just about them as anyone in the top five can still finish as champions so it's tight. Tickets will be available on the gate

Isthmian League South East
Cray Valley PM v Herne Bay @3pm - the hosts are in a fight to the end with Ramsgate for the one automatic promotion place. Currently on level points with the Kent club but with one game in hand, they've just got to keep winning. Herne Bay are seventh but even if they win their remaining two games, they'll fall short of the all-important top five. Tickets will be available on the gate

CCL Premier North
Rayners Lane v Burnham @3pm - the hosts beat Hayes & Yeading, from two levels above them, to win the Middlesex Senior Cup in midweek. Currently four points behind leaders Flackwell Heath with three games to go, they're still very much in contention for the title in this division too. The visitors are fourth and still need points to make sure of making the play-offs themselves. Tickets will be available on the gate

ECL Division 1 South
Clapton CFC v Harlow Town @3pm - in the 10th tier CCFC will try and secure a play-off place on the final day of their season. A first look at the table might have you questioning that statement as the hosts are sixth and four points adrift of the top five. However, Harlow withdrew midway through the campaign last season and made themselves ineligible for promotion this season so even though they're currently in a play-off place, they can't have it. Therefore, sixth will be enough for CCFC. To get it they need to match or better what Cannons Wood do at Enfield Borough. If you haven't already got a ticket, I'm afraid it's too late as the match has sold out


Sunday 21 April

FA Cup Semi-Final
Coventry City v Manchester United @330pm - in the second semi-final of the weekend, we've got a real David v Goliath contest at Wembley with a Championship side taking on one of the biggest clubs in the world. The Sky Blues beat Spurs 3-2 in a thrilling final to win the FA Cup in 1987 but haven't got close since. The Red Devils last won it in 2016 and also lost in last year's final. Although United are the overwhelming favourites, they're not in great form so Coventry, who are chasing a play-off spot in the second tier, will rarely get a better chance of beating them. Tickets have sold out 

Premier League
Crystal Palace v West Ham United @3pm - the Eagles ended their winless run in fine style with a shock 1-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield last weekend. The result leaves them eight points clear of the relegation zone with six games to go. The usual points requirement for staying up is around 38 so they need another five. It's quite conceivable that they could get some here as the Hammers are really inconsistent. Last weekend they lost 2-0 at home to Fulham but then held German champions Bayer Leverkusen to an impressive 1-1 draw in the Europa League. With Manchester United pushing them out of the top seven in recent days and Chelsea snapping at their heels, they badly need a win to keep any hopes of another European campaign alive. Tickets are only available to members
Fulham v Liverpool @430pm - the Cottagers have built themselves an unwanted reputation of being a 'yo-yo' club who spend their time bouncing between the Premier League and Championship. So for them to secure another season in the top flight with relative ease is, for me, one of the success stories of the season. A win here could take them into the top 10 and breaking into the top eight by the end isn't inconceivable. However, taking anything off the title-chasing Reds will be a big achievement in itself. Tickets are only available to members

Women's Super League
Arsenal v Leicester City @2pm - the Gunners return to the Emirates Stadium for the final time this season, looking to impress another massive crowd. With four games to go, they're six points behind the top two. Given how rarely Chelsea and Manchester City drop points, that gap is almost unbridgeable so now it's all about making absolutely certain of finishing third which a win here will do if Manchester United fail to beat Spurs. Leicester are way down in 10th but made the FA Cup semi-finals this season and are, in my opinion, a better side than their league position suggests. Tickets are available

FAWNL Southern Premier
Hashtag United v Chatham Town @3pm - the Tags have had a great debut season at this level following their promotion. Top for many weeks of the season, winning this match against the already relegated Chats will see them claim the runners-up spot. This is being played at Aveley and tickets will be available on the gate

FAWNL Division 1 South East
Actonians v London Seaward @2pm - the A's play their final home game against the only other independent women's club in this division. The two met on the opening day at Oakside, where a much better prepared Seaward side won 3-1. Since then, Actonians have improved a lot and they could even break into the top four if they win here and QPR drop points at Chesham. This match is being played at Rectory Park in Northolt. Tickets are available in advance

L&SE Women's League Division 1 North
Brentford v SL Benfica @3pm - the top two in this sixth-tier division meet for what could be a title decider. The Bees have the resources to be comfortably winning this league but they're not. Currently 10 points behind Benfica with four games to go, they simply have to win here or their season is over. This match is being played at Bedfont Sports and tickets will be available on the gate

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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