Sunday, 12 September 2021

TLFG: 13-19 September 2021

Greetings and all. 

I've got to keep this preamble brief as I'm at work and my break is rapidly coming to an end.

Apart from this waffle, everything else should be where it normally is but I haven't had a chance to proofread it yet so there might be some errors - apologies.

A huge thanks to Kevin and Andy who both donated to the coffee drinking fund this week. Much appreciated!!!

Anyway, got to dash - enjoy!

THE WEEK AHEAD

The highlights of the next few days include games in the Premier League, the EFL, FA Cup, most of our local non-league competitions and the FA Women's National League.

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.

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - turquoise pin
Thursday fixtures - purple pin
Friday fixtures - black pin



WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin





TLFG DAILY DIGEST
In the following section I list, by day, 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 13 September

FA Cup First Qualifying Round Replay
Aveley v Barking @745pm - the most important match of the day would appear to be this FA Cup tie. Both sides are playing catch up after Barking's earlier tie against Ilford had to be re-played because of an ineligible player. After getting through, the Blues then drew with Aveley further delaying things. Both sides play in the Isthmian North but Barking are top and should start as favourites. The winners will host AFC Dunstable in the next round on Saturday

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Tuesday 14 September

Champions League
Chelsea v Zenit St Petersburg @8pm - the Blues won last season's Champions League and begin the defence of their title with this group stage match against Russian opposition. Zenit are the reigning champions domestically and arrive unbeaten and top of the Russian league again, having beaten Akhmat Grozny 3-1 on Saturday. Tickets are on general sale

League Two
Sutton United v Hartlepool United @745pm - the U's finally recorded their first victory in the EFL by beating Stevenage 2-1 on Saturday. The win moved them off the bottom and they will pull clear of the relegation zone if they win here. Hartlepool got promoted with Sutton but have made a much better start and will go second if they prevail. Tickets are on general sale

National League
Boreham Wood v FC Halifax Town @745pm - the Wood's fine start to the season continued with a 3-2 win at Bromley on Saturday. Still averaging crowds of only 692, the Hertfordshire outfit are the smallest club in the fifth tier by some distance and yet this result put them joint top. Halifax enjoyed a comfortable win over Southend last time out and should provide stiff opposition. Tickets are on general sale
Dagenham & Redbridge v Weymouth @745pm - just ahead of The Wood and top on goal difference are another TLFG club. The Daggers continued their unbeaten run with victory over King's Lynn on Saturday and should have too much for an inconsistent Weymouth side. Tickets are on general sale

Isthmian League Premier Division
Enfield Town v Haringey Borough @745pm - currently fourth and fifth and only a point apart, this alternative 'North London Derby' tops the bill for me in the Isthmian Premier. Although it's very early in the season, the Towners have seen a significant surge in attendances this season so there will hopefully be a decent atmosphere at the QEII Stadium. Tickets are £11 and can be bought in online in advance 

Isthmian League South Central
Uxbridge v Hanwell Town @745pm - the Reds are currently London's top club in this division, sharing the lead with two other sides. On Tuesday they have a west London derby against the Geordies who have been a little disappointing in the league so far. However, their form hasn't deterred the fans who have turned out in good numbers and made them one of the best supported clubs at this level. Tickets are £10 on the gate

Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Raynes Park Vale v Walton & Hersham @745pm - two of the top six meet at Grand Drive on Tuesday for an intriguing early-season encounter. RPV enjoyed a comfortable FA Vase win over Steyning Town on Saturday which allowed W&H, who had a league game, to leapfrog them with a stunning 7-0 win over AFC Croydon Athletic. The Swans are definitely a club on the rise and managed to draw crowds in excess of 400 for their recent FA Cup ties - not bad for a ninth-tier club!

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Wednesday 15 September

Friendly
QPR B v Brentford B @7pm - with Covid thwarting their attempts to launch last month, QPR's new 'B' team will try again on Wednesday with a derby against Brentford who pioneered the 'B' team idea in this part of London. The match is being played at Wealdstone's ground in Ruislip and it's only £5 to get in, payable on the gate

Isthmian League North
Grays Athletic v Romford @745pm - after a decent start to the season, Grays will look to stay in touch with the leaders and perhaps even go joint top if results go their way earlier in the week. Fellow Essex club Romford are holding their own in midtable but the smart money is probably on a home win

Essex Senior League
Athletic Newham v Stansted @745pm - the recently-promoted hosts are among the dark horses of the division and have made a good start. Although only sixth, they have the games in hand to catch the leaders. The only club above them to have played the same number of games are fourth-placed Stansted so a fair bit rides on this

SCEFL Division 1
Westside v Croydon @730pm - for one reason or another, The Trams haven't had much of a mention in TLFG so far this season so it's about time they did as they're doing really well. After all the disruption of last season, they're back home at the Croydon Arena and with six wins from eight, they are already two points clear at the top. Westside, who groundshare at Colliers Wood United, were rather unfortunate to see themselves moved over from the Combined Counties League in the summer reshuffle but are holding their own in eighth

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Thursday 16 September

FA Youth Cup First Round Qualifying
There are loads of ties in this prestigious U18 competition throughout the week and they're all that's on offer on Thursday. Balham, Colliers Wood United, Hayes & Yeading United and Kingstonian are all at home but please check all the details with the clubs before you travel

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Friday 17 September

Professional Development League
There are a couple of very decent options in this U23 league on Friday with Charlton Athletic playing Sheffield Wednesday at The Valley (1pm) and Watford hosting Hull City at Vicarage Road (2pm). I did see something about the Hornets not admitting fans for their game but, as with all matches at this level, check all the details on the day in case things change. The early kick-offs should allow ample opportunity for you to do a 'double' on Friday and see two games

Essex Senior League
Redbridge v FC Clacton @745pm - like Croydon, the Motormen are another team to go a little undeservedly under the radar so far this season. With seven wins from 10, they are top of the ESL at the time of writing. However, they have played more games than most of the chasing pack so they could well be caught in the not-too-distant future. The visitors are currently eighth

A bit further afield
England v North Macedonia @7pm - a lot of the media's attention on Friday night will be on Southampton where the Lionesses play a Women's World Cup qualifier against North Macedonia at St Mary's. The match is also the first for new England boss Sarina Wiegman and she'll be hoping to make a good impression. Tickets are great value at £15 for adults and £2.50 for kids

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Saturday 18 September

Championship*
Fulham v Reading @3pm - after the feast of Premier League football in London last Saturday, there is none at all this week. Instead we have a fine selection of second-tier action. The Cottagers suffered their first defeat of the season against lowly Blackpool on Saturday and they've got a great chance to bounce back against another struggling side. The Royals are defensively suspect and conceded two late goals to draw 3-3 with QPR in their last match. Any match against west London opposition is effectively a derby for Reading so they should bring a sizeable contingent of travelling fans. Tickets are on general sale
QPR v Bristol City @3pm - elsewhere in west London, the R's are also among the leading pack with their aforementioned draw at Reading keeping them unbeaten and in the top four. City have been very inconsistent but have taken four points from their last two and with London well under two hours away by train, they always bring a big away support. Tickets are on general sale
Millwall v Coventry City @3pm - in the other Champo game of the day, the Lions host another member of the top. Cov came unstuck at QPR just before the international break but returned with a fine 2-0 win over Middlesbrough. Millwall have been a bit up and down but are starting to string a run together and came from behind to register an impressive 1-1 at leaders West Brom on Saturday. Tickets are on general sale
*All of our local Championship clubs have away midweek fixtures so some of the stats and information above might change


League One
AFC Wimbledon v Plymouth Argyle @3pm - the third tier looks like it could be pretty tight this season, if the early exchanges are anything to go by. The Dons currently find themselves in fourth despite winning only three of their seven games, whilst Argyle are only a point behind in eighth. Despite their distance from the capital, the Devon club often bring a sizeable travelling contingent and many will probably want to make their first visit to Wimbledon's new ground. Consequently, only a tiny amount of tickets are currently available but I know there have been some problems around ticketing and some more might become available later in the week

FA Cup Second Qualifying Round
There are a couple of National League games at Bromley and Wealdstone and many lower league games on Saturday, but the main non-league action is to be found in the next round of the FA Cup. I love the FA Cup and, as a result of that and limited time, I'm only going to write previews for a selection of the ties.

At this stage, National League South clubs enter the draw alongside all our other local surviving clubs from the seventh tier and below. With prize money of £3,375 for the winners of each tie and £1,125 for the losers, the stakes are getting pretty high.

There are numerous ties all over London - here are a few that really caught my eye.

Sutton Common Rovers v Jersey Bulls @1230pm - the first tie of the day takes place at Gander Green Lane, a ground famous for some memorable FA Cup matches. United aren't at home today but SCR, who groundshare with them, are. Newly promoted to the eighth tier, the hosts have struggled to adapt to life in the Isthmian League and are in danger of being 'cupset' by the visitors who play a level below but demolished VCD Athletic, another Isthmian club, 5-1 in the last round
Hayes & Yeading United v Tonbridge Angels @3pm - H&YU continued their 100% start to the season by beating Hartley Wintney 6-1 to remain top of the Southern League. They next face a Tonbridge side who have only managed one win from five at the level above. The cupset potential here is significant
Broadfields United v Hastings United @3pm - in north-west London, ninth-tier Broadfields are making their first ever appearance in the Second Qualifying Round after an impressive win over Isthiman League club South Park. Hastings are one of the biggest clubs in the eighth tier and have comfortably beaten Beckenham and Harefield in previous rounds. It's a huge day for the hosts and the Tithe Farm ground they share with Rayners Lane should be busy
Chertsey Town v Chesham United @3pm - the Curfews fanbase has been growing steadily since their FA Vase win two years ago. Big cup matches like this were drawing Covid-capacity crowds last year and a good few hundred should pack into Alwyns Lane for this one against a midtable side from the level above
Walton Casuals v Hampton & Richmond Borough @3pm - it's seventh tier versus sixth tier at the Elmbridge Xcel Sports Hub. Both sides only play a few miles apart so there's more than a feel of a derby to this one
Hanwell Town v Eastbourne Borough @3pm - the nearest tie to me sees the Geordies host a club from two levels above them. The Sussex club have only won one of their opening six so they're not unbeatable but it will take a big effort to beat them
Enfield Town v Hadley @3pm - there's a very intriguing local derby at the QEII Stadium. I was a little unsure about whether to include this as Hadley, the underdogs, are away. The Towners are in good form towards the top of the Isthmian League so play two levels above their visitors so should start as strong favourites
Hornchurch v Walthamstow @3pm - the Stow are another one of the few remaining ninth-tier clubs left in the draw and they face a tough trip to play the Urchins who upset several much bigger teams on the way to sensationally winning the FA Trophy at Wembley last season
Abbey Rangers v Marlow @3pm - the home team are also in the ninth-tier minnows category but have made it past this round before. Marlow only play a level above them but are currently one of the best teams in it - an upset here would be particularly notable
Carshalton Athletic v Ebbsfleet United @3pm - the Robins made it all the way to the First Round two years ago and they'd love to repeat that feat this season. Ebbsfleet are another midtable NLS side to have drawn a TLFG club so they could vulnerable if not really on their game

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Sunday 19 September

Premier League
West Ham United v Manchester United @2pm - after a fallow day for the top flight in London on Saturday, we end the week with a couple of crackers. First up at the London Stadium we should see Cristiano Ronaldo make his return to the capital with the Red Devils. At the time of writing, United are unbeaten and top of the league after their 4-1 win over Newcastle. The Hammers are also unbeaten and former Man Utd boss David Moyes will no doubt want to get one over on his old employers. Tickets are officially on general sale but I couldn't find any when I looked 
Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea @430pm - Spurs saw their hold of top spot slip unceremoniously away at Selhurst Park as they lost 3-0 to Crystal Palace after having a man sent off. Their chances of making an instant recovery look tough as an unbeaten Blues side who easily saw off Aston Villa in their last match pay them a visit. Tickets are only available to members

Premier League 2
Chelsea v Arsenal @12pm - if you can't get a ticket for either of them, or even if you can, then thisa lunchtime kick-off between the clubs' U23 sides at Stamford Bridge looks like a great shout. Adult tickets are only £5 and I think they need to be bought online in advance but check with the club. UPDATE - this match has been moved to Kingsmeadow. All original tickets have been cancelled and new ones will need to be bought either online or at the box office on the day

FA Women's National League Southern Premier
London Bees v Crawley Wasps @2pm - it's a women's international break which means this third tier game is the top-level match on offer. London Bees play at The Hive which also houses Barnet so it's a good chance to tick the ground off your list

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GET INVOLVED
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.

NEED HELP?
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 or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.

Monday, 6 September 2021

TLFG: 6-12 September 2021

Apologies for the late publication this week and the reduced content again.

I'm very 'time poor' at the moment with this weekend having been particularly hectic.

Since last Sunday I did actually manage to get to the two games on my wishlist - QPR U23s against Barnsley on Tuesday lunchtime and Harrow Borough v Ramsgate in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Both were particularly enjoyable for having surprise meetings with TLFG readers.

At QPR I met Actonians social media guru Neil and over at Harrow, marathon runner extraordinaire Liam from Putney who bought drinks for myself and my good friend Brentford James who also made the journey.

The matches themselves varied greatly in entertainment with the R's blowing a first-minute lead to ultimately lose 2-1 to the Tykes whilst Harrow and Ramsgate put on a six-goal thriller which Boro eventually closed out 4-2.

The moment of the match was the fantastic fourth goal from George Moore who picked up the ball near the halfway line, ran all the way down left, cut into the box and deftly found the far corner.

As a result, I'll be waiting for the Second Round Qualifying draw this lunchtime with some excitement. (Update - Harrow have drawn Welling United away, tough one!)

I'm moving back on to late shifts this week so won't get to see any live action other than my daughter's return to training with Actonians tonight.

If you are looking for a game tonight, the only senior match I'm aware of takes place just to the north of London at St Albans City's Clarence Park where Watford U23s will take on Newcastle United in a Premier League Cup match.

Tickets are only £4 for adults and you're urged to book online if you can. It's a 6pm kick-off.

Lastly, Shepherds Bush FC also play their first competitive match this weekend as the MCFL Division 1 South/West finally gets underway.

My newly formed local non-league club, who play in the 12th tier, have had some very impressive results in pre-season with wins over teams three or four levels above them.

On Saturday they travel to Roehampton Playing Fields to take on Club Santacruzense De Londres at 2pm - good luck! (THIS HAS NOW BEEN POSTPONED!)

UPDATE (06/09/21) - I found myself with a bit of spare time this morning so have managed to create a 'Daily Digest' for the week


 THE WEEK AHEAD

With it being an international break the highlights of the next few days include games in the Premier League, EFL, FA Vase, FA Women's Super League, and Women's FA Cup. 

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.

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - turquoise pin
Friday fixtures - black pin



WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin



TLFG DAILY DIGEST
In the following section I list, by day, 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 6 September

Premier League Cup
Watford v Newcastle United @6pm - the only match I know of featuring any of our local teams is this U23 game being played at St Albans City. Tickets are just £4
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Tuesday 7 September

EFL Trophy group stage

AFC Wimbledon v Portsmouth @745pm - the Dons and Pompey get their EFL Trophy campaigns underway on Tuesday night. This much-maligned competition doesn't usually get very big crowds and tickets are available if you want to tick the new Plough Lane off your list

FA Cup First Round Qualifying
Barking v Aveley @745pm - after coming through their re-played Preliminary Round tie against local rivals Ilford, who fielded an ineligible player, the Blues face another all-Essex tie in the next round. Both clubs play in the Isthmian North so it should be close

FA Cup First Round Qualifying Round Replays
Corinthian Casuals v Worthing @745pm - after recording a very creditable draw against their Sussex opponents on Saturday, CCs welcome Worthing back to Tolworth. On paper, the visitors have the stronger side so should start as marginal favourites
Walton & Hersham v Beaconsfield Town @745pm - the Swans provided one of the results of the round by drawing 2-2 at Beaconsfield, a side from two levels above them. Now that they're back at their Surrey base, they'll surely fancy their chances

Southern League Cup Preliminary Round
Hendon v Harrow Borough @745pm - for the second time in just over a week, these two old rivals meet at Silver Jubilee Park for this north-west London derby. The Greens edged to a 1-0 win on Bank Holiday Monday and it's likely to be tight again if the sides put out full-strength teams

Essex Senior League
Walthamstow v Saffron Walden Town @745pm - one of the matches of the week at non-league level sees two of the early pacesetters in the ESL meet at Wadham Lodge. The Stow have won all six of their league games and are still in the FA Cup after beating higher-ranked opposition at the weekend. Although only third, they have played two games less than leaders Saffron Walden who are only a point ahead. A win for the hosts will surely confirm them as strong title contenders

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Wednesday 8 September

Premier League Cup
Charlton Athletic v Reading @2pm - if you're in the market for a 'double' on Wednesday then this U23 match at Dartford could well be for you. As with all youth and reserve matches, check the details on the day in case anything has changed

FA Cup First Round Qualifying Replays
Kingstonian v Oxhey Jets @745pm - the K's were given a scare on Saturday as ninth-tier Oxhey held them to a 2-2 draw in Hertfordshire. The Isthmian League leaders will hope to make up for that surprise result here
Bedfont Sports v Spelthorne Sports @745pm - although not quite as eyebrow-raising a result as Oxhey's, Spelthorne also did well to hold higher division opposition too. The two only play a couple of miles apart so it's a derby

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Friday 10 August

Premier League 2
Fulham v Southampton @7pm - the Cottagers' U23 side welcome Southampton to Motspur Park on Friday evening. For some reason, Fulham have been a bit cagey about admission details for these matches this season. Usually they are open to the public and cost about £3 but check with the club on the day to make sure

A bit further afield
Brighton & Hove Albion v Blackburn Rovers @7pm - probably the best option of the evening is this U23 match at Brighton's Amex Stadium. Located right next to Falmer station and with lots of car parking, it's easy to reach from London

Isthmian League North
Barking v Tilbury @745pm - if you'd rather stay in London, there's another all-Essex affair to be enjoyed at Mayesbrook Park. The Blues have a 100% record at the time of writing so should pick up another three points here

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Saturday 11 September

Premier League
Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur @1230pm - London is absolutely overflowing with Premier League football on Saturday with a whopping five games taking place within the M25. The first of them is this derby which sees the Eagles welcome league leaders Spurs. Recent years have not been kind to the hosts who have failed to win any of their last six league games against Tottenham at Selhurst Park. Given current form, they'll do well to get a draw. Tickets are only available to members
Arsenal v Norwich City @3pm - the Gunners have made such a bad start that they're down in the bottom two with the Canaries, giving this the feel of a relegation six-pointer. It is still ridiculously early in the season but you'd have to fear for the manager's job if they lose this too. If a well-motivated Norwich side turn up at the Emirates then this dysfunctional Arsenal team could be there for the taking. Tickets are only available to members
Brentford v Brighton & Hove Albion @3pm - not the most glamorous match of the afternoon but a hugely important one for those involved. Although they've both made very satisfactory starts, both would view this as a match to take points from when surveying the fixture list. It's certainly more of a must-win for the Bees but they do have an iffy record at home to the Albion so it will probably be tight. Tickets are only available to members
Watford v Wolverhampton Wanderers @3pm - after winning their opening game the Hornets have lost their next two to sit snugly in midtable. Wolves, with a new manager, have lost all three of their opening games to find themselves in the relegation zone. Despite this, I hear the Black Country club are still creating loads of chances so they can't be written off. Tickets are available to non-members
Chelsea v Aston Villa @530pm - the day's action ends at Stamford Bridge where the Blues should feel pretty confident of picking up their third win of the season against an indifferent Villa side who haven't won away to Chelsea since 2011 although they did get a point last season. Hospitality packages are available if you've got loads of money

League One
Charlton Athletic v Cheltenham Town @3pm - with no Championship teams at home on Saturday, we next head to The Valley. The Addicks have made a very disappointing start but recorded a vital win over Crewe the last time out. Cheltenham are three places above them and can be caught with a win. Tickets are available to non-members

League Two
Leyton Orient v Oldham Athletic @3pm - O's fans will be pleased with the start they've made and this game gives them the perfect opportunity to push even further into the top six. The Latics have been really bad this season, with their only win coming against bottom club Sutton. Tickets are available to non-members 
Sutton United v Stevenage @3pm - as mentioned above, the U's have struggled to adapt to life as this level and are still searching for their first win. Stevenage are much improved on last season but are definitely beatable. Tickets are available to non-members

Premier League 2
There are a couple of high profile U23 games on Saturday too which is highly unusual. Arsenal entertain Manchester United at Boreham Wood at 1pm whilst Spurs play Liverpool at Stevenage at 3pm. The early kick-off at Boreham Wood should allow you to scoot across to Rowley Lane for the London Lions v St Panteleimon FA Vase match at 3pm if you want to do a 'double'


National League
Barnet v Eastleigh @3pm - the Bees have picked up where they left off last season, being winless after four games. Hampshire club Eastleigh are just above them in the table so a win is almost essential for the hosts
Bromley v Boreham Wood @3pm - the Wood are third at the time of writing and will arrive at Hayes Lane knowing a win could put them top
Wealdstone v Altrincham @3pm - the Stones started with two defeats but have arrested that run with two very decent draws against Southend and leaders Dagenham & Redbridge. Although Alty have made a decent start, this could provide Wealdstone's breakthrough win

National League South
Dartford v Tonbridge Angels @3pm - in the sixth tier, Dartford are very much the talk of the town having won all five of their league fixtures to sit two points clear at the top. Fellow Kent club Tonbridge have made an underwhelming start and should be beaten

Southern League Premier Division South
Hayes & Yeading United v Hartley Wintney @3pm - nothing really stands out in the seventh tier on Saturday so I recommend, once again, going to watch what appears to be the best team in it. H&YU have won their opening five league games, scoring 16 goals in the process. On Saturday they scored another four as they beat Bognor in an exciting FA Cup tie

Isthmian League South East
VCD Athletic v Haywards Heath Town @3pm - again there aren't any attention-grabbing fixtures in the eighth tier but this one features Haywards Heath who are currently top of this division with three wins from three. VCD made the long trip to Jersey in the FA Cup on Saturday and got stuffed so it looks like being a tough couple of weeks

FA Vase First Round Qualifying
The FA Vase gets underway this weekend. If you don't know, it's a national knockout competition for clubs in the ninth and 10th tiers with its final at Wembley. At this stage the draw is regionalised to minimise travel for the competing clubs. There are lots of ties across London - here are a few that standout

Buckhurst Hill v Enfield @3pm - the hosts are new to this level of football and making their debut in the Vase. They've had some impressive results so far but Enfield play a level above so it will be interesting to see how they fare
London Lions v St Panteleimon @3pm - a north London derby between two clubs who have found themselves shunted over to the Combined Counties League for the start of the new season. There is also a strong religious element to both clubs with the hosts being the capital's top Jewish side and the visitors one with its roots in the Greek/Cypriot Orthodox community. Both have made a great start to the season but St Panteleimon play a level above and should be favourites. As mentioned above, this can be combined with the Arsenal v Manchester United U23 game at Boreham Wood at 1pm
Lingfield v Erith & Belvedere @3pm - Sussex club Lingfield have been playing a lot of games at Church Road in Whyteleafe. They begin their Vase campaign against a very strong Deres side who've won all four of their league games this season
Walthamstow v Hadleigh United @3pm - one of the ties of the round sees leading clubs from the Essex Senior League and Eastern Counties League go head-to-head in E17- definitely worth considering if you're on that side of town
Wembley v Oxhey Jets @3pm - if you're planning on following the FA Vase all the way to Wembley, then why not start your adventure at Wembley FC just down the road from the national stadium? The Lions have made a good start in the Combined Counties League and Oxhey have performed heroics in the FA Cup so this has a lot going for it

MCFL Premier Division
Stonewall FC v Brentham @2pm - it may only be 11th-tier football but it's being played at the London Marathon Community Track facility in the shadow of London Stadium, the home of West Ham. I was there on Sunday and the pitch looked immaculate. There is still some doubt as to whether fans will be allowed pitchside but you can easily watch the match from the path above which has a railing and affords a great view of the pitch. If I get more details I will update this section. Update - we have been informed by Brentham that it's a 2pm kick-off and visitors need to fill out an online Covid form

FA Women's Super League
West Ham United v Aston Villa @1130am - if you're looking for a 'double' on the east side of town then the Hammers' match at Dagenham & Redbridge will give you several options. West Ham lost 2-0 at Brighton in their opening game so will want to bounce back here

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Sunday 12 September

National League South
Dulwich Hamlet v Hungerford Town @3pm - there are some really good non-league options on Sunday with the Hamlet hosting Hungerford in this sixth-tier clash. Apparently it's been delayed by Covid much to the great benefit of neutrals and groundhoppers

Isthmian Premier
Cray Wanderers v Potters Bar Town @3pm - the hosts, London's oldest club, play a good deal of their home matches on Sundays because of their groundshare with Bromley. They've made a slightly disappointing start and bowed out of the FA Cup at home to lower-league opposition on Saturday. PBT are one of those teams who seem to perennially drift around lower midtable and you'd expect Cray to win

FA Vase First Round Qualifying
Tooting Bec v Jersey Bulls @1pm - one of the best Vase ties of the weekend has been held over until Sunday because of the Bec's groundshare. These two had some good duels in the CCL Division 1 but Jersey have now been promoted and after thrashing VCD Athletic in the FA Cup on Saturday, should have the upper hand here

FA Women's Super League
Chelsea v Everton @1230pm - the Blues began the defence of their title with a controversial 3-2 defeat at the Emirates against big rivals Arsenal on Sunday. They will need to get back to winning ways immediately here and they should do as the Toffees lost heavily to Manchester City in their first game

A bit further afield
Reading v Arsenal @2pm - after getting that hugely important win over Chelsea, the Gunners next face the Royals at what was formerly known as the Madejski Stadium

FA Women's Championship
Crystal Palace v Sunderland @2pm - the Eagles women's team welcome leaders Sunderland to Selhurst Park as they hope to entertain their fans on the big stage

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GET INVOLVED
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.

NEED HELP?
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 or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.

Monday, 30 August 2021

TLFG: 31 August - 5 September 2021

Bank Holiday greetings dear readers and welcome to the first guide of the autumn as we move into September.

Did you manage a 'double' or even a 'triple' of games on Monday?

I've been working all weekend so haven't seen anything.

As a result, I've only had time to produce the match maps so you'll have to do the digging yourself to find out what's on - if I get the chance to flesh things out a bit later in the week then I will.

I'll hopefully get down to Loftus Road tomorrow lunchtime to watch QPR U23 take on Barnsley at 1pm - it's free to get in although they do have someone with a bucket at the entrance on South Africa Road asking for donations to the club's community trust. 

They usually open a tea bar too and allow you to sit in the best seats in the house so it's a pretty good deal.

On Saturday it's my plan to enjoy a bit of FA Cup action at Harrow Borough as they welcome Kent club Ramsgate to Earlsmead. Will this be the year Boro make it to the First Round? It's been five years since the last time...

On the subject of FA competitions, the FA Youth Cup starts this week and there are ties every day so you'll have plenty to choose from even though it's an international break.


UPDATE - I've now written a few previews for the some of the weekend's best games, see below


THE WEEK AHEAD

With it being an international break the highlights of the next few days include games in the EFL, FA Cup, most of our local non-league competitions and the FA Women's Super League, Championship and National League. There's also an England game at Wembley and the opening round of the FA Youth Cup.

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.

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - turquoise pin
Thursday fixtures - purple pin
Friday fixtures - black pin



WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin




TLFG WEEKEND DIGEST

Saturday 4 September

League One

AFC Wimbledon v Oxford United @3pm - this week's international break means that the Dons' match against Oxford tops the bill in London. It shouldn't disappoint either as a close to capacity crowd is expected with the U's among the third-tier pacesetters once again. Tickets are pretty much gone but the club said that a few more may get released 

National League

Boreham Wood v Stockport County @3pm - I always bang on about how small a club The Wood are for this division but that's to highlight their impressive achievements. Once again they've come sprinting out of the blocks and are joint top after winning all of their opening three games. Stockport were an established EFL side not that long ago and should bring a decent away following. Tickets for non-members are £20 which is possibly why their crowds are smaller than they could be

Dagenham & Redbridge v Wealdstone @3pm - one of the other sides with a 100% record are the Daggers who currently sit in first place on goal difference. The Stones picked up their first point of the season against Southend on Monday and will hope for more joy against another opponent from Essex. Tickets are available from £15 and there are various deals available on kids tickets for the international break

National League South

Welling United v Slough Town @3pm - neither of these sides have made a great start and are in the bottom four, giving this the look of an early season six-pointer. Tickets are £14

 FA Cup First Round Qualifying

With the Extra Preliminary and Preliminary Rounds behind us, what is effectively the third round of the FA Cup takes place this weekend. At this point, all seventh-tier clubs enter the draw - that's Isthmian Premier and Southern Premier South teams for us. There are lots of ties around London, the ones below are those that have most caught my eye

Hayes & Yeading United v Bognor Regis Town @3pm - the hosts have made a spectacular start to the season, winning all five of their league games to sit top of the Southern League. On Saturday they enter the FA Cup and will look to make the First Round proper for the third season in a row, which would be some achievement for a seventh-tier club. Last year they lost on penalties to Carlisle United and the previous season 2-0 to a very decent Oxford United side. Bognor are one of the bigger sides in the parallel Isthmian League but they haven't made the First Round since 1995 and got stuffed 5-0 by Hayes last season. Tickets are £10 and available on the gate

Walthamstow v Berkhamsted @3pm - I was always going to include this tie as Walthamstow are a club on the up who draw some lively crowds, making Wadham Lodge a good place to visit for any FA Cup tie. However, having now done a bit of research, this is most definitely one of the standout ties of the round. The Stow are currently sitting pretty at the top of the Essex Senior League having won all six of their games whilst Berko also have a 100% record in the Southern League Division 1 Central, one level up. Combined with the decent crowd, this could be a real rip-roarer!

Uxbridge v Chesham United @3pm - the hosts are celebrating their 150th year and have begun their league campaign well. Chesham play a level above them and don't come from that far away so this has all the ingredients to make a decent cup tie

Broadfields United v South Park @3pm - currently groundsharing with Rayners Lane, Broadfields have been making steady progress over the last few years. By beating Cribbs and Reading City, they've made it to the First Round Qualifying for the first time ever and I can see them giving South Park, who play a level above them, a run for their money

Harefield United v Hastings United @3pm - I started off watching Beckenham Town in the Extra Preliminary Round and if I'd followed their route through the draw then I would be heading to this match. Hastings vanquished the Becks in the last round and now head to Harefield where they should start as strong favourites again. Although there's only a division between them, Harefield will have to be at their best to win

Oxhey Jets v Kingstonian @3pm - the David v Goliath tie of the round with ninth-tier Oxhey hosting the side who are currently top of the division two levels above them. The Hertfordshire club have only got past this round twice in their history whereas the Ks have made it all the way to the Fourth Round before. An Oxhey win would be one of the stories of the day

Spelthorne Sports v Bedfont Sports @3pm - back in west London there's a derby to be enjoyed not far from Heathrow. The Spelly play a division below the visitors so will start as underdogs

FA Cup Preliminary Round

Barking v Ilford @3pm - after a very late stewards' inquiry, this tie is being played again after Ilford were adjudged to have fielded an ineligible player in their surprise win. As a result of the late notice, there won't be a replay so penalties will be employed if necessary. The winners will play Aveley

Women's Super League

Tottenham Hotspur v Birmingham City @3pm - the women's top flight returns this weekend and it brings with it some great opportunities for groundhoppers. This match is being played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium so if you still haven't been, then you won't get many better chances. Adult tickets are only £6.50

Women's Championship

Watford v Liverpool @2pm - in the women's second tier, the Hornets are staging this game at Vicarage Road. Somewhat surprisingly, tickets for this are a hefty £12 

Friendly

England Fans v Lalaha FC @730pm - if one game isn't enough or you're not free in the afternoon, then head down to Bedfont Sports for a bit of Saturday night fun. Lalaha are a side made up primarily of Afghan players and it's free entry too

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Sunday 5 September

Fifa World Cup qualifier

England v Andorra @5pm - in theory the biggest match of the week takes place at Wembley on Sunday evening. Having crushed Hungary 4-0 on Thursday amid disgraceful scenes of racist abuse in Budapest, the Three Lions could rack up a cricket score against international minnows Andorra. Tickets are still available

FA Cup First Round Qualifying

Erith & Belvedere v Chertsey Town @12pm - one of the ties of the round, this should draw a decent crowd to Park View Road. The Deres have won all four of their league games and claimed the scalp of the higher-ranked Tooting & Mitcham United in the opening round. Chertsey famously won the FA Vase at Wembley in 2019 so know quite a bit about putting a cup run together. They play a level above the hosts but it really is a tough one to call. Tickets are a very reasonable £8 on the gate

Balham v Merstham @3pm - elsewhere in south London, Balham will look to make it to the Second Qualifying Round for only the second time in their history. They've landed a tough draw though, with Isthmian Premier club Merstham likely to provide very tough opposition. With the hosts playing their matches at AFC Croydon Athletic's ground, it's only a short journey for the visitors so hopefully they'll bring a few fans

FA Women's Super League

Arsenal v Chelsea @1230pm - one of the biggest footballing events of the whole week is this clash of two of the giants of women's football at the Emirates Stadium. Chelsea won the league and made the Champions League final last season so will start as favourites. Tickets are available online for an incredibly reasonable £7.65


GET INVOLVED
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.

NEED HELP?
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 or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

TLFG: 23-30 August 2021

Greetings one and all and welcome to the August Bank Holiday Special of TLFG.

This edition goes all the way through to next Monday 30 August where there's a whole raft of non-league matches in most, but not all, of our local competitions.

One of the highlights of every bank holiday is the Combined Counties League putting all their matches on at 1130am, allowing you to easily watch two games in a day.

The other thing about a bank holiday fixture programme is that many of the games are derbies so it's usually an exciting time to be watching.

Carlos Simeon makes a fine save as Romford beat Kensington & Ealing in the FA Cup

I've done my best to highlight these in the Daily Digest but I've missed out a lot because there simply isn't the room or time to write about all the good options so you'll have to use the map and your own knowledge to pick out what's most appealing to you.

My footballing week has been surprisingly rich as I managed to watch two games!

On Tuesday lunchtime I headed to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium to watch QPR play Hull City in a highly entertaining U23 game.

The R's saw a 3-0 half-time lead evaporate before winning 4-3 with 10 men thanks to a stunning free-kick just before the end.

Today (Sunday) I headed west to Hanwell Town to watch tenants Kensington & Ealing Borough lose 1-0 to Romford in the FA Cup.

It was a close game, decided by a penalty and played in front of a lively home crowd which was great to see.

The week ahead also has a number of options for me including the first-ever game for QPR's newly formed 'B' team who play a friendly at Wealdstone on Wednesday.

Whether I end up going anywhere depends on work and childcare commitments so we'll see.

Harrow Borough enter the FA Cup draw which will be published at 1pm on Monday so I await that with bated breath.

Have a great week everyone.

THE WEEK AHEAD

The highlights of the next few days include games in the Premier League, the EFL, FA Cup, most of our local non-league competitions and the FA Women's Championship and National League.

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.

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - turquoise pin
Thursday fixtures - purple pin
Friday fixtures - black pin



BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin
Monday fixtures - yellow pin





TLFG DAILY DIGEST
In the following section I list, by day, 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 23 August

Premier League
West Ham United v Leicester City @8pm - the week gets underway with this fine-looking match at the London Stadium. Only a point separated these sides last season as they finished sixth and fifth respectively to make it into the Europa League. Both started their campaigns with wins last weekend so it's all teed up to be a good game here. Last season the Hammers won 3-2 as they did the double over the Foxes for the first time since 2012. The last few tickets are on general sale

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Tuesday 24 August

EFL Cup Second Round
The EFL Cup often sees Premier League and Championship sides field heavily altered teams in the early rounds as they give their reserves and youngsters a chance to show what they can do. This gives the lower division sides a great chance of causing an upset but also means tickets are cheap and in plentiful supply. As a result, you get the opportunity to visit stadiums that are often inaccessible to non-members and you get to create a ticket purchasing history with the club that can sometimes be useful when it comes to buying tickets for big games in the future

Watford v Crystal Palace @745pm - one of only two all-Premier League ties in the Second Round, this match tops the bill on Tuesday. Both sides' main priority will be to stay in the top flight this season so they could well see this competition as a distraction. They last played two weeks ago in a pre-season game at Selhurst Park which Palace won fairly comfortably but this match is anyones. Tickets are on general sale for £15
Brentford v Forest Green Rovers @745pm - with the Bees now in the Premier League, tickets for games at their new stadium are going to be hard to get so this presents a fantastic opportunity for groundhoppers. Although Brentford remain unbeaten after drawing at Crystal Palace on Saturday, they can't afford to be complacent as FGR arrive as League Two leaders having won all four of their league games, scoring 13 goals in the process. Tickets are on general sale for £10
Millwall v Cambridge United @745pm - the Lions are yet to win a league game and sit just above the Championship relegation zone after four games so could have a challenging evening if a well-motivated Cambridge side turn up. Mark Bonner's side won promotion from League Two last season and sit comfortably in midtable with just one defeat from four games. Tickets are on general sale for £12
QPR v Oxford United @745pm - this fixture has some real history going back to the final of 1986. The R's had enjoyed a superb run to Wembley with stunning victories over arch-rivals Chelsea and then the all-conquering Liverpool in the semi-finals. Oxford had done well to get there themselves but hadn't beaten anyone of similar pedigree and it looked like QPR's to lose. Sadly for me and thousands of other supporters of the club from W12, Jim Smith's boys just didn't turn up and tamely lost 3-0 - it wasn't even close. It remains the only cup final I've ever seen QPR play in as a fan (as a tiny child with no club affiliation, I actually supported Spurs in the 1982 FA Cup final) so it was a hugely disappointing moment. Aside from friendlies, games between the two have been few and far between since then and this is the first time they've met since 1999 when QPR managed a 1-0 win at Loftus Road. After a bruising schedule, QPR will almost certainly rest a few players which could allow the U's to humble them again. Tickets are on general sale for £15

League Two
Leyton Orient v Harrogate Town @745pm - if you want to see an arguably more meaningful game where the two teams should be playing full-strength sides then get yourself over to Brisbane Road where the O's will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to four matches. Tickets are on general sale

FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay
AFC Croydon Athletic v Erith & Belvedere @745pm - the Rams did extremely well to hold the in-form Deres to a 0-0 draw at Park View Road on Sunday. Whether they can overcome them on home turf is anyone's guess 

SCEFL Premier Division
Fisher v Glebe @745pm - I also fancy this ninth-tier match at Salter Road where the Fish play host to Glebe who've won all of their opening three league games. The St Paul's Sports Ground has one of the best backdrops of any non-league ground in London so it's well worth a visit. Tickets are £8

FA Women's National League Division 1 South East
Actonians v QPR @745pm - as regular readers know, I have a vested interest in both of these clubs so I'm very torn when they play each other in this local derby. The main disappointment for me is that QPR scheduled their men's game against Oxford on the same night meaning the attendance for this will almost certainly suffer. The sides last met in the Capital Cup Final in May where QPR came from behind to win a thrilling game on penalties. Tickets are £5 for adults and free for U16s

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Wednesday 25 August

Friendly
Wealdstone v QPR B @730pm - a new era begins on Wednesday when QPR's new B team will play their first-ever game against the Stones. Going forward, Grosvenor Vale will become QPR B's ground for home fixtures. Adult tickets are £8  MATCH OFF

FA Cup Preliminary Round Replays
Sutton Common Rovers v Steyning Town @745pm - I thought for one moment that this match was going to be the first on the new grass pitch at Gander Green Lane but on checking with SCR, this game is being played at Banstead Athletic. The hosts should win as they play at a higher level
Erith Town v Sevenoaks Town @730pm - the Dockers did well to draw at Sevenoaks, who play a level above them, on Saturday. They'll be hoping home turf gives them the advantage they need to see them through

ECL Division 1 South
Park View v Buckhurst Hill @745pm - these two have begun well and are both in the top five at this stage. Buckhurst Hill are playing their first season at this level and are unbeaten as they've made an impressive start

FA Women's National League Southern Premier
Hounslow v London Bees @745pm - there are only two London clubs in the third tier of women's football at they meet at Rectory Meadow on Wednesday. Both sides struggled last year and both begun with defeats last weekend so this has the feel of a six-pointer to it already

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Thursday 26 August

Europa Conference League
Tottenham Hotspur v Pacos de Ferreira @745pm - I think I'm right in saying that this is the first-ever Europa Conference League match to be played in London and you could be there as tickets are on general sale for £20. Having lost the first leg in Portugal 1-0, the result is not a foregone conclusion

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Friday 27 August

Premier League 2
Crystal Palace v Everton @7pm - there are some fine U23 matches on Friday but this one at Selhurst Park is the only one we know that you'll definitely be able to get into. Tickets are £5

Isthmian League North
Aveley v Great Wakering Rovers @745pm - the only non-league game of the night is at the well-appointed Parkside ground in Essex. Having only played one league match each so far, it's hard to say too much about this game or make any predictions but the facilities are fantastic

Women's Friendly
Chelsea v Aston Villa @6pm - the Blues won the Women's Super League and finished as runners-up in the Champions League last season as Emma Hayes's side really impressed. With the new WSL season starting the following weekend, this friendly will be their final warm-up. Tickets are £5

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Saturday 28 August

Premier League
West Ham United v Crystal Palace @3pm - the only Premier League game of the day is this derby at the London Stadium. It seems hardly possible that this is the Hammers' sixth season at this ground - the years are flying by. In the previous five meetings between the two at this venue, Palace have only won once and given the teams' current form I can't see them improving that record. Tickets are on general sale

Championship
Fulham v Stoke City @3pm - the top game of the day in the EFL sees first play third at Craven Cottage. Both sides are locked on 10 points after making excellent starts. After being in the doldrums for a few years, the Potters appear to be firing again but this part of SW6 rarely yields them any points. Fulham have an uncanny knack of winning this fixture 1-0 and it's likely to be tight again. Tickets are on general sale
QPR v Coventry City @3pm - just up the road in Shepherd's Bush there's a game between two sides who are also in the top five. The R's came from 2-0 down to draw with Barnsley on Saturday as they maintained their unbeaten record while Coventry beat Reading to leapfrog Mark Warburton's team. QPR are unbeaten against Coventry at Loftus Road since 2007. Tickets are on general sale
Millwall v Blackpool @3pm - at the other end of the table we've got a clash of two sides in the bottom four so there are some really good games on offer in this division on Saturday. Both have had a pretty tough opening run of fixtures but they would probably both have hoped to have one win by now. The Lions have lost two on the bounce whilst Blackpool came from 2-0 down to get a very creditable draw at promotion-chasing Bournemouth on Saturday. Tickets are on general sale

League One
Charlton Athletic v Crewe Alexandra @3pm - after the optimism of a new takeover, the Addicks have made a very disappointing start with Saturday's 2-0 loss to Wigan leaving them in the relegation zone. Crewe have made a similarly poor start meaning this has become highly important for both clubs. Tickets are on general sale

League Two
Leyton Orient v Bradford City @3pm - if the O's win their midweek game they'll go third just behind Bradford so this could be another really important game in what is clearly a big weekend for our local EFL clubs. Tickets are on general sale
Sutton United v Oldham Athletic @3pm - last but not least we have this match of great historical significance as the recently promoted hosts prepare to play their first home game in the EFL on their new grass pitch. With former top-flight club Oldham currently bottom of League Two, they won't get many better chances to win. When I last checked, over 1,000 tickets were still available. If you do want to go, you're urged by the club to buy online in advance 

National League
Boreham Wood v Aldershot Town @3pm - with average crowds of only 650 it's quite an achievement that The Wood are about to start their seventh season in the fifth tier. They finished next to Aldershot, a much bigger club, in midtable last season and started this campaign with a solid 2-0 away win at Weymouth. The Shots, meanwhile, lost 2-0 to Chesterfield. In 2020/21, games between these two produced 11 goals so hopefully we'll have another goalfest
Dagenham & Redbridge v Bromley @3pm - the Daggers notched a very respectable 3-1 win at Stockport County in their opening day game on Saturday to set a very positive tone ahead of this derby. Bromley lost their televised game against Grimsby to Covid so they've yet to play

National League South
Dulwich Hamlet v Dartford @3pm - talking of derbies, there's another one at Champion Hill. Given the odd number of teams in the division, the Hamlet had the weekend off whilst the Darts beat Slough 3-0 to make it two wins from two to top the division. If you're thinking of going to a game here, you're advised to buy tickets online in advance and arrive in good time as the small ground fills up early

Southern League Premier Division South
Hayes & Yeading United v Taunton Town @3pm - the pick of the action in the seventh tier sees the free-scoring Hayes & Yeading look to extend their 100% record with this match against third-placed Taunton. The hosts have scored 12 goals in their opening three games to move two points clear already

Isthmian League South Central
Uxbridge v Westfield @3pm - in the eighth tier, just down the road from Hayes, there's a top-four clash in the ILSC. Uxbridge pulled off a fine 1-0 win over Cray Valley PM in the FA Cup on Saturday to take their place in Monday's draw. Westfield drew 3-3 at Hythe so will have to replay in midweek which could take that little bit more out of them ahead of this one

CCL Premier North
Edgware Town v Abbey Rangers @3pm - I think I'm right in saying that this will be the first league meeting between the two as they've been in different leagues up until now. Both have made a great start with only two points dropped between them so far. Abbey have won all their games and made further progress in the FA Cup on Saturday so will probably start as favourites

SCEFL Division 1
Croydon v Kent Football United @3pm - second plays fourth at the Croydon Arena in my game of the day in the 10th tier. The Trams have won four of their opening five games, scoring a hefty 13 goals in the process. KFU have played a game less so will move level with them if they win

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Sunday 29 August

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Watford @2pm - as a result of their European exploits, Spurs face another Sunday match at the THS. The smart money is overwhelmingly on a Tottenham win as they haven't lost at home to the Hornets since a cup game in 1994 with their last home league defeat way back in 1985. Tickets are not on general sale

Premier League 2
West Ham United v Chelsea @1pm - there's a very decent looking U23 match at West Ham's Rush Green facility on Sunday afternoon. However, it's not yet clear whether the public will be admitted and I think it's doubtful. Check with the club before you travel

FA Women's Championship
Crystal Palace v Bristol City @2pm - the phased return of the women's season sees the second tier return to action on Sunday. The Eagles, who play at Bromley's ground, welcome the Robins fresh from their relegation from the Super League

FA Women's National League Division 1 South East
QPR v Billericay Town @2pm - these two found the net 14 times between them on the opening day of the season and both won again in the second round of games. There is a set of games in midweek too but these could be the top two by Sunday afternoon

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Monday 30 August

National League
Barnet v Dagenham & Redbridge @3pm - the August Bank Holiday is a huge day in the non-league calendar with many leagues scheduling games, many of them derbies. The only derby on offer in the fifth tier is this match at The Hive where Harry Kewell's Barnet will be desperate to improve on the 5-0 mauling they suffered in their last match against Notts County. They could find it tough as the Daggers have started well
Wealdstone v Southend United @3pm - although not a derby, I really fancy this one between the Stones and Southend who have just come down from League Two. It wasn't long ago that Wealdstone were playing the likes of my side Harrow and now they're in a division packed with former EFL clubs. The Shrimpers scraped past Kings Lynn in their first game so a pumped up Stones team backed by their raucous fans could get something out of this

National League South
Hampton & Richmond Borough v Maidstone United @3pm - given how early it is in the season, it's quite hard to pick standout games when there are no derbies. As I've given Dartford a mention above already, then why not take a trip down to the Beveree? The hosts welcome a Maidstone side who have made a solid start and the ground is one of the most popular among groundhoppers on this side of town

Isthmian League Premier Division
Corinthian Casuals v Kingstonian @3pm - a visit to watch CCs is always worth doing but when they're hosting the K's in a groundshare derby, you can't go wrong. A sizeable and colourful crowd usually turns out for this fixture so don't miss out. The stadium is a short walk from Tolworth station so it's pretty easy to get to
Hendon v Harrow Borough @3pm - pretty much every match in this division is a derby so you'll do pretty well in that respect wherever you go. I've gone for this one as both clubs are in London and both used to groundshare too. In recent years these matches have produced a huge amount of goals with one Boxing Day match ending 5-5 a few years ago. The Greens will start as marginal favourites as they're at home but there shouldn't be much between them

Isthmian League North
Grays Athletic v Aveley @3pm - I still haven't been to Parkside but it's supposed to have some of the finest facilities of any non-league club in the south east. These two Essex clubs have been sharing since it opened so it should generate a decent crowd

SCEFL Premier Division
Erith & Belvedere v Glebe @3pm - at the time of writing, these are two of the top teams in the SCEFL. The Deres have won every league game and are still in the FA Cup. Glebe aren't far behind so this should provide some fine Bank Holiday entertainment MATCH OFF - COVID

CCL Division 1
Hillingdon Borough v Hilltop @1130am - it's a Bank Holiday tradition in the Combined Counties League to start all games in the morning, allowing groundhoppers the chance to comfortably see two games in a day. This match showcases another couple of groundsharers, with Hilltop currently top and scoring for fun. You could easily combine this match with the ones at Wealdstone, North Greenford United* or Hanwell Town to name just three. UPDATE - this match now starts at 1pm so it's no use if you're trying to do a double with a 3pm kick-off, check the map for alternatives

*Don't go to North Greenford as they kick-off at an early time too - thanks to an eagle-eyed reader for noticing. 

PS - Try Barnet or Hendon instead

POSSIBLE "TRIPLE" NOW AVAILABLE
It has come to my attention that there are now several FA Youth Cup ties on Monday night. So far I've only confirmed the location for the game at Woodford Town but Lewisham Borough and Walton & Hersham also have ties.

Also, just outside London, there's a Southern League game between Beaconsfield Town and Hayes & Yeading United being played at Kings Langley's ground at 745pm.


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