Monday 13 May 2024

TLFG: 13-19 May 2024

Welcome one and all to what will probably be the penultimate guide of the season.

Things are really winding down now with only 30-odd games to choose from over the next seven days, with nothing at all on Monday - unless you can somehow get yourself into Charlton's training ground.

What there is, should be pretty great though.

Top of the bill are the concluding round of fixtures in the Premier League and Women's Super League where the title races are both still open - Manchester City will hope to win both although Arsenal and Chelsea look set to push them all the way.

Actonians won a prestigious FAWNL award at Wembley on Sunday

We've got a couple of EFL Play-Off Finals at Wembley - sadly no London clubs are involved but Crawley Town, in League Two, aren't a million miles away and might be your best bet when it comes to getting tickets.

There's a really great selection of U21 and U18 football too with several finals at clubs' main stadiums between now and the weekend.

My week saw me spend Tuesday afternoon at Loftus Road watching QPR lose 2-0 to Barnsley in an U21 game.

Sadly, that meant the R's youngsters would fall just short of the PDL play-offs and a possible meeting with Sheffield United who they'd beaten comfortably the week before.

Although I didn't make it to Wembley for the Women's FA Cup Final, I did watch it on TV and it was a shame to see Robert Vilahamn's Spurs side so comprehensively beaten 4-0 by a hitherto very inconsistent Manchester United.

It wasn't all bad news from the national stadium though as the FAWNL held their end-of-season awards there before the game and I'm delighted to say that Actonians were named Community Club of the Year in the fourth tier.

Given the resources available, this was a huge achievement by club community officer Shadia Edwards-Dashti who has led various projects with partners including the Felix Project and Amnesty International.

Shadia is also a mainstay of the club's reserve side and regularly presents the evening news on local TV station London Live so she's a busy lady!

Given the games are running out, I may have seen my last one for this season - at least domestically.

I'm off for the last two weeks of May and there's a chance I might head overseas to see one of the summer leagues in action - Ireland, Norway and Sweden are the leading contenders at the moment but it all hinges on my daughters' new passports coming through.

Have a great week everyone!


This week we've got matches in the Premier League, EFL Play-Offs, Women's Super League and a number of other finals at non-league and youth level.

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.

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.

Tuesday 14 May

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City @8pm - Spurs take on reigning league champions City knowing that the outcome will hugely influence whether or not their arch rivals Arsenal win the league. If they win, then the Gunners will probably become champions and if they don't, then City probably will. However, to complicate things further, Ange Postecoglu's side need to win to stay in the hunt for a Champions League place (depending on Villa's result on Monday night). Tickets are not available

U18 Premier League Final
Chelsea v Manchester United @7pm - the Blues finished five points clear at the top of Group South and now face the Red Devils, who won Group North, at Stamford Bridge. Manchester City have won this competition for the last four years but United left them trailing in their wake so I'd have them as marginal favourites. Tickets 

CCL Challenge Cup Semi-Final
Bedfont Sports v Burnham @745pm - having pushed hard for promotion all season both finished in the top six but didn't make it to the next level. Therefore, to end the season with some silverware would be a great consolation. The hosts start as favourites for me. The winners will play Langley or Virginia Water in the final. Tickets will be available on the gate

Wednesday15 May

Women's Super League
Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea @715pm - for the second night running, Spurs hold the destiny of a title in their hands. This time it's Manchester City who will be praying for a favour from the north London club. If Chelsea win this they'll go into the final game on level points with City. After their 4-0 mauling by Manchester United in Sunday's FA Cup Final, Robert Vilahamn will be hoping for a strong response from his team. This is being played at Leyton Orient. Online sales appear to have ended and Chelsea have sold out their allocation so check with the club for the latest ticketing information

Premier League International Cup
Crystal Palace v PSV Eindhoven @7pm - in this men's U21 competition we have a repeat of last year's final. Being played at Selhurst Park again, the Dutch side will hope to regain their title. It went to extra time last season before they won 3-1. This season they've enjoyed wins over the likes of Chelsea, Nottingham Forest and West Ham. Palace's most notable victories have come over Benfica and Monaco. Tickets

Essex Premier Cup Final
Brightlingsea Town v Rayleigh Town @8pm - on Wednesday there's a chance to see two 11th-tier teams which this blog doesn't normally cover because the final's being played at Aveley. Brightlingsea finished fourth in the Essex & Suffolk Border League whilst Rayleigh come into the game as the newly crowned Essex Olympian League champions. Tickets will be available on the gate

ACYL Champions Cup Semi-Final
Northwood v Walton & Hersham @745pm - having won the ACYL East Division title, the hosts go into this post-season U18 competition against the winners of all the other regional divisions. On Wednesday they play South Division winners Walton & Hersham. The winners will face Badshot Lea or Thatcham Town in the final


Thursday 16 May

Premier League Cup Final
Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur @7pm - the cup finals continue on Thursday at Craven Cottage. This time it's in this U21 competition which began with a group phase before progressing to knockout rounds. These clubs have two of the best academies in the country with Fulham finishing third in the PL2 and Spurs top (the play-offs to decide who ultimately wins are currently underway). When the sides last met at Motspur Park just over two weeks ago, it was the north London club who won 2-0. Tickets

Middlesex Charity Cup Final
Uxbridge v North Greenford United @745pm - in the last of the many Middlesex county cups for adults, Isthmian League side Uxbridge will start as favourites against NGU who play a level below them. The Reds have won this competition numerous times and have been to two of the last three finals, winning both of them. NGU have one title win to their name, beating Enfield Town 1-0 in 2010. Tickets


Friday 17 May

Professional Development League Play-Off Semi-Final
Millwall v Birmingham City @7pm - the Lions clearly place a lot of emphasis on youth development as they won this U21 competition last season and are now two matches away from winning it again. The Blues finished runners-up to Sheffield United in Group North and face a challenging evening at The Den. Tickets


Saturday 18 May

League One Play-Off Final
Bolton Wanderers v Oxford United @415pm - Bolton boss Ian Evatt has only been in management since 2018 and in that time he's managed two promotions, an EFL Trophy win and, including this one, two other play-off appearances - not bad at all. In the other dugout we have another bright young manager in Des Buckingham. Although born in Oxford most of his career has been spent overseas with his last job being in India where he guided Mumbai City to a place in the Asian Champions League. Often among the frontrunners in League One, Oxford had a dreadful 2022/23 campaign and were lucky not to get relegated so they've been hugely improved under their new coach. If they do win, it will be the first time they've played in the second tier since 1999. Tickets are available directly from each club so choose whether you want to support Bolton or Oxford and you'll get them emailed to you

Women's Super League
Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion @3pm - it's the final day of the season in the WSL and aside from the title battle between Chelsea and Manchester City, pretty much everything else has been decided. Whatever happens here, the Gunners will finish third and enter next season's Champions League. The Seagulls are safe from relegation but are in the bottom four and will start as significant underdogs. The match is being played at Boreham Wood and has sold out
Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United @3pm - of more interest is this London derby at the impressive Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Despite losing heavily to Manchester United in Sunday's FA Cup Final, Spurs managed to put in a decent display against Chelsea in midweek and only lost 1-0. Regardless of this, they've had a good season and have already sealed a sixth-place finish. Unless they win by a large margin here, the Hammers will finish second bottom as another pretty underwhelming campaign comes to an end. Tickets are available 

MCFL Premier
Pitshanger Dynamo v Stonewall FC @3pm - most non-league competitions have ended but we still have a few games to go in the 11th tier MCFL. The pick of Saturday's action for me is this match which features title challengers Pitshanger. Currently five points off top spot in third, the top two have completed their seasons so if they win their remaining two matches, the title will be theirs. The visitors are a solid midtable team who could force their way into the top five if they do well in their last four games. This is being played at the Brentham Club near Hanger Lane 

Sunday 19 May

Premier League
Arsenal v Everton @4pm - it's the final day of the Premier League season and there'll be some very nervous people heading to the Emirates for this. The Gunners pushed Manchester City hard last season but ended up finishing second by five points. Coming into this one, they're two points behind so could end up missing out by five points again if they lose here. On paper, they shouldn't lose as the Toffees are 15th and have shipped a total of nine goals on their last two visits. However, Sean Dyche's side are under no pressure and in great form. Arsenal have slightly better goal difference so for them to become champions they have to win and need City to draw or lose against West Ham at the Etihad. Tickets are available to members via the club's ticket exchange whilst hospitality packages are available from £995
Brentford v Newcastle United @4pm - with Liverpool and Aston Villa having sewn up third and fourth, the next battle of interest is the one to finish fifth and sixth and claim guaranteed European places. Down in 16th and with another season in the top flight secured, the Bees are not in contention but they can decide whether or not the Magpies are. Currently seventh and three points behind Chelsea but with a better goal difference, they have to win. If Manchester City win the FA Cup next week, then seventh place will be enough for a Europa Conference League place but if Manchester United win, then seventh gets nothing. Tickets are only available to members
Chelsea v AFC Bournemouth @4pm - after their really underwhelming season, the Blues are finishing strongly and now only need to draw this match to finish sixth and qualify for the Europa League, something which looked like the stuff of fantasy earlier in the campaign. In fact a win could see them edge above Spurs into fifth if they lose at Sheffield United. The Cherries looked relegation certainties earlier in the campaign but could finish 10th with a win here which would be highly impressive. Tickets are on general sale but the cheapest are £120
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa @4pm - if Bournemouth and Brighton slip up then Palace have the opportunity to finish 10th too. Aside from the biggest clubs in the division, the majority of sides have to get most things right in order to avoid the drop and the Eagles have succeeded again. With some amazing attacking talents at their disposal, they've got through a sticky patch which saw them change managers and they're now set for an 11th consecutive season at this level. Villa have been one of the success stories of 2023/24 under former Arsenal boss Unai Emery who has guided them to their first top-four finish since 1996. With very little pressure on either side, this could turn into one of those crazy end of season goalfests that sometimes occur at this time of year - here's hoping! Tickets are only available to members

League Two Play-Off Final
Crawley Town v Crewe Alexandra @1pm - this time last year, Crawley had narrowly avoided relegation into non-league and now here they are at Wembley 90 minutes from a place in League One. In the semi-finals they crushed MK Dons 8-1 on aggregate whist Crewe needed penalties to edge past Doncaster Rovers. Only a point separated them in the regular season so this should hopefully produce an entertaining contest. Once again, choose who you want to support and buy through either the Crawley or Crewe websites

Premier League 2 Play-Off Semi-Final
Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea @12pm - if you're struggling to find a way to watch a Premier League match on Sunday then why not head to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for this important U21 game instead? Spurs topped the PL2 in the regular season and Chelsea finished fourth. The winners will meet Reading or Sunderland in the final. Tickets are £10

Surrey v London Japanese @115pm - after beating Wanderers 2-0 last weekend, Surrey return to Fisher's ground in Rotherhithe for their next match against a side made up of Japanese ex-pats. There is a large Japanese community based in West Acton and that's where I'm led to believe the club are based. Tickets are £5 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!

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