Sunday 14 July 2019

TLFG: 15-21 July 2019

Welcome one and all to our guide to week three of pre-season.

How's it been for you so far?

The next few days look like being the busiest yet as more teams get into action and Premier League sides start to return from overseas training camps.

Once again I've included a few notable games from beyond the M25 as I seek to showcase the best of what's on offer at this early point of the football year and there are some quirky match-ups, the kind of which keep this time of year so interesting as far as I'm concerned.

A new football festival comes to London in August

Aside from the live action, let me mark your card with news of the 'Jumpers For Goalposts' festival of football culture which is happening here in London on 3-4 August.

There will be speakers, screenings, memorabilia, retro video games and pretty much everything your heart might desire.

It's taking place at Printworks London in Surrey Quays, a stone's throw from Millwall who will be hosting Preston North End on the Saturday in their opening game of the new season - day tickets to the festival are £20 but you can get 15% off if you include discount code 'LFG15' when booking. Many thanks to German TLFG reader Christoph B for tipping me off about this.

Lastly this week, thanks to Simon K who joined the readers who have donated to TLFG's lung cancer fighting fund over the last few months. I really really appreciate it and thanks for all your kind words. The page will stay open as the fight goes on!

As always - enjoy your football and have a great week.

The highlights of the next few days include some decent friendlies featuring several Premier League and EFL clubs, a foreign international side and also plenty of games featuring non-league sides too - there are over 100 matches in total so there's plenty to choose from.

Getting details on all games taking place this week has been a challenge, especially the lower down you go. Several clubs have published nothing at all, incorrect information and/or have not responded to requests for clarification - so there could be one or two matches I've missed. 

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 - magenta pin
Thursday fixtures - purple pin
Friday fixtures - black pin

Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin

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 15 July

Carshalton Athletic v Cray Valley PM @745pm - the Robins made a spectacular return to the seventh tier last season, finishing as runners-up in the Bostik Premier. On Monday they entertain CVPM who celebrated their centenary year by winning the Southern Counties East League and getting to the FA Vase final - it will be interesting to see how they fare at the higher level


Tuesday 16 July

Barnet v Crystal Palace @745pm - our first chance of the summer to see a bit of Premier League talent should come at The Hive as National League Barnet take on the Eagles. Just back from their training camp in Switzerland, this match is listed as a first-team game for Roy Hodgson's side so you should expect to see at least a few familiar faces. Adult tickets are still available for a very reasonable £10
Boreham Wood v Queens Park Rangers @730pm - just a bit further to the north another National League side play host to Championship club QPR. New boss Mark Warburton saw his side beaten 3-1 by Austria Vienna on Friday night and will hope for a good response here. Adult tickets are £15
Dartford v Gillingham @745pm - the Darts have also landed a juicy friendly against their local League One side. A short train journey should deliver a few away fans for this derby - adult tickets are £10
Wealdstone v Colchester United @730pm - almost four years ago the Stones made it to the first round of the FA Cup where they hosted the then League One U's. The pro club's abilities shone through and they eventually won 6-2. The hosts will welcome them once again on Tuesday with the gap between them now a tad reduced following Colchester's relegation to League Two. This will also be new boss Dean Brennan's first home game since taking charge of Wealdstone. Adult tickets are £8

A bit further afield
Stevenage v Peterborough United @745pm - League Two plays League One in this all EFL affair at the Lamex Stadium. A short trip on the train from Kings Cross is all that's required to get to this one
Ebbsfleet United v Charlton Athletic @730pm - after seeing off local National League South side Welling United on Saturday, the Addicks travel a bit further east and up a division in class for this match against Ebbsfleet. A very healthy crowd of 2,052 enjoyed the match at Park View Road so I would hope for another decent attendance here
Maidenhead United v Kuwait @745pm - one of the most unusual games of the summer takes place at York Road on Tuesday as the Magpies welcome the national team of Kuwait who are here on tour. Having already beaten Marlow and Hungerford Town, the team ranked 156th in the world should face a tougher test at Maidenhead's historic ground. If you can't make it on Tuesday, they're also playing QPR's U23 side at the club's Harlington training ground on Saturday
Woking v Wycombe Wanderers @745pm - sides from satellite towns on the periphery of London meet at the Laithwaite Community Stadium on Tuesday. Two divisions separate the clubs but with the Cards drawing with Oxford United on Saturday, it should be close again
Basingstoke Town v Luton Town @745pm - the Hatters continue their preparations for life back in the Championship with a trip to eighth tier Basingstoke. The Hampshire club suffered relegation last season and haven't played at this level for many years

Wednesday 17 July

Dagenham & Redbridge v Charlton Athletic @730pm - the matches come thick and fast for the Addicks this week but at least they're not having to travel far as they head across the river to Essex. The Daggers suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Chelmsford City on Saturday and will need to be at their best to get anything out of this game. Adult tickets are available from £10
Hornchurch v Leyton Orient @745pm - the District Line looks like being busy on Wednesday night as a little to the east of Dagenham we have another derby. The Urchins begin the season without the AFC which used to precede their name as they return to the one they began using in 1961. This will be the O's first game since drawing 2-2 with Hull City in Spain just over a week ago
Tooting & Mitcham United v Reading XI @745pm - the Terrors responded well to relegation to the eighth tier but didn't quite have enough to make the Bostik League South Central play-offs and they'll hope to go that little bit further this year. On Wednesday they welcome a development squad from Reading for what they hope will be a good workout


Thursday 18 July

Glebe v Welling United @745pm - there are a handful of games on Thursday with this one topping the bill. Both hailing from south-east London, this derby should draw a reasonable enough crowd with the visitors, who play three levels above their hosts, starting as strong favourites

Friday 19 July

A bit further afield
Crawley Town v Brighton & Hove Albion @745pm - there's nothing in London of any note on Friday so I recommend heading south for this Sussex derby near Gatwick Airport where you should also get to see some Premier League players put through their paces. Adult tickets are £10
Colchester United v Ipswich Town @730pm - there's also a derby at the JobServe Community Stadium where Paul Lambert takes his recently relegated Ipswich side back to one of his former clubs. Adult tickets are £15
Welwyn Garden City v MK Dons @745pm - after recently hosting Luton Town, WGC next welcome Paul Tisdale's League One side for another prestigious friendly. Adult tickets are £5

Saturday 20 July

Bromley v Crystal Palace @3pm - the pick of the day's games is this south-east London derby between the National League Lilywhites and Roy Hodgson's top flight side. This match is listed a first-team game on the Eagles' website so it could be worth buying tickets in advance
Barnet v Peterborough United @3pm - with a number of our bigger local clubs playing away on Saturday, the Bees find themselves high up the bill for the second Saturday running as they host League One side Peterborough. Adult tickets are £10
Dagenham & Redbridge v Southend United @3pm - there's a decent looking Essex derby at Victoria Road on Saturday which should draw in a few fans. The Shrimpers play two divisions above the hosts so will start as favourites. Adult tickets are available from £10
Dartford v Leyton Orient @3pm - the Darts enjoy another visit from EFL opposition when E10's finest head down to Princes Park. Adult tickets are £10
Dulwich Hamlet v Tottenham Hotspur U23 @3pm - the Hamlet have spent a very enjoyable few days in the north west, enjoying back-to-back victories over Chester and Marine. They next welcome Bromley for a derby in midweek before pitting themselves against some of the best young players in the country at Champion Hill. Adult tickets are £12
Wealdstone v Watford U23 @3pm - there will also be a representative side from another Premier League club at Grosvenor Vale on Saturday afternoon where adult tickets are £8

If you want to see two matches in an afternoon then there are doubleheaders taking place at Aveley and Bedfont Sports on almost exactly opposite sides of London. At Parkside, Aveley play Waltham Abbey at 1pm before tenants Grays Athletic entertain Enfield Town at 330pm. At the Recreation Ground, near Heathrow, FC Deportivo Galicia take on Broadfields United at 12pm before Bedfont Sports meet Beaconsfield Town at 3pm. As far as I'm aware, all matches are separate and you'll probably have to pay twice if you want to watch both but please check the details with the clubs before you set off

A bit further afield
Fulham v Brighton & Hove Albion @3pm - on paper the game of the day is almost certainly this one with Championship title favourites Fulham taking on Premier League opposition. For some reason this is being played at Aldershot Town's ground. Adult tickets are £10 and can be bought on arrival
Gillingham v Charlton Athletic @3pm - there's another match for the Addicks on Saturday but this should be the toughest of the lot as they make a short journey into Kent to play League One opposition. Adult tickets are £15
Oxford United v Queens Park Rangers @3pm - mention of the U's brings back very bad memories for any QPR fans born before 1980 and able to remember the Milk Cup Final defeat of 1986. Having beaten some of the best clubs in the country, including Chelsea and the then almost invincible Liverpool, en route to the final - cup glory seemed a formality for Jim Smith's side. However, it wasn't to be as his players froze and Oxford ran out very comfortable 3-0 winners. Competitive games between the two have been thin on the ground as both clubs have moved up and down the divisions and it's just over 20 years since QPR beat Oxford 1-0 at Loftus Road in a league game. Only a division separate these sides now and there could easily be an upset again. Adult tickets are £12
Wycombe Wanderers v Brentford @3pm - all three west London Championship clubs will be heading out of town on Saturday with the Bees also heading up the M40 to face League One opposition. Adult tickets are £12
Stevenage v Portsmouth @3pm - the host's busy programme of pre-season games continues with this challenging fixture against Pompey who made the League One play-offs last term. Adult tickets are £12

Sunday 21 July

A bit further afield
Gillingham v Millwall @1pm - there's only one match on in the south-east that I'm aware of but it's a good one as these two old rivals do battle at the Priestfield. If you want to go, fast trains taking around 45 minutes leave from St Pancras and Victoria and it's a pretty easy walk from the station. If you are visiting London and looking for a fun family afternoon out then I would perhaps caution against this one as there has been trouble between fans in recent years. Adult tickets are £15

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 or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.

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