Monday 8 July 2019

TLFG: 8-14 July 2019

Greetings to TLFG and our guide to week two of pre-season.

Sourcing all the fixture information has been tough with several sides not publishing the details so there's been a bit of chasing, hence the delay in publication.

Consequently I might have missed a few games so apologies for any errors or inaccuracies.

After seeing Arsenal spoil us by putting out an XI at Boreham Wood last week, there are no Premier League sides in action this week but there are plenty of EFL sides instead.

I'm going to have to keep this intro brief this week as I'm really short of time but all the important stuff is below.

Thanks to Stewart and all TLFG readers who have/would like to donate 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 EFL clubs and also plenty of games featuring non-league sides too - there are over 90 matches in total which is great for so early in pre-season.

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 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

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 8 July

Walton & Hersham v Knaphill @745pm - there's a not a lot on on Monday but this finds itself at the top of the bill because it's being played at a proper ground. For some reason this has been moved to Bedfont Sports, near Heathrow, which is rapidly becoming the hardest working stadium in the south east with matches almost everyday thanks to its 4G pitch


Tuesday 9 July

AFC Wimbledon v Bristol City @745pm - after entertaining Brentford on Friday night, the Dons welcome some more Championship opposition to Kingsmeadow. Adult tickets start at £10
Dulwich Hamlet v Colchester United @745pm - the Hamlet entertain League Two opposition from Essex as they prepare for their second season in the National League South (NLS). Adult tickets are £12
Wingate & Finchley v Stevenage @745pm - Isthmian League side W&F are another team to enjoy a visit from an EFL side on Tuesday. Adult tickets are usually £12 at Summers Lane
Bromley v Welling United @745pm - there's a south-east London derby to be enjoyed at Hayes Lane where the hosts should start as favourites
Dartford v Ebbsfleet United @745pm - it's a similar story at Princes Park but on paper the visitors should be stronger

A bit further afield
Billericay Town v Southend United @745pm - NLS side Billericay do battle with their local EFL club in an all-Essex affair
Oxford City v Oxford United @745pm - the Oxford derby, need I say more?

Wednesday 10 July

A bit further afield
Hitchin Town v Stevenage @745pm - with all our local teams playing friendlies on random 3G pitches with little in the way of spectator facilities, your best option would appear to be this Hertfordshire derby. Adult tickets are £9 if bought in advance online


Thursday 11 July

Beckenham Town v Dulwich Hamlet @745pm - there are a handful of games on Thursday with this one topping the bill. Both hail from south-east London and I'm told the ambitious Becks have one of the best pitches in the capital

Friday 12 July

Fisher v Millwall XI @745pm - the Fish host the Lions in a local derby. I believe the Millwall community team run and maintain Salter Road so the links between the clubs are strong. Adult tickets at Fisher are normally £8
Enfield Town v FC United of Manchester @745pm - two fan owned clubs meet for this friendly in north London. The visitors are on a whirlwind tour of the south and will also play at Lewes on Saturday

A bit further afield
Braintree Town v West Ham United U23 @745pm - the Hammers send an academy side into deepest Essex to take on the similarly nicknamed 'Iron' on Friday night. Adult tickets are £10

Saturday 13 July

Barnet v Wycombe Wanderers @3pm - there's a paucity of really eye-catching games this weekend with this one between two old rivals just about coming out on top. The Bees, aside from a good FA Cup run, had a disappointing season in the National League last season and will hope to impress against a side who narrowly avoided relegation from League One. Adult tickets are £10
Welling United v Charlton Athletic @3pm - the Wings welcome their local rivals for this annual pre-season game at Park View Road as the Addicks prepare for life back in the Championship. Adult tickets at Welling are usually £12

A bit further afield
Crawley Town v Swansea City @3pm - there's an all EFL affair not far from Gatwick Airport so if you're reading this somewhere overseas you can easily jet in for this one! To top it all, it's Crawley's Fun Day and all tickets to the match are just £1 - bargain!!!
Havant & Waterlooville v Portsmouth @3pm - it's a big day for H&W as they get to play host to neighbouring League One side Pompey. Adult tickets are £10 and available on the gate
Woking v Oxford United @3pm - the Cards won promotion back to the National League via a nervy play-off final. They play their first home game of pre-season against League One side Oxford. Presumably a 'lively' atmosphere is expected as segregation between rival fans is to be enforced. Adult tickets are £10
St Albans City v Stevenage @3pm - the visitors continue their tour of local clubs with another short trip to NLS side St Albans. Clarence Park is one of my favourite non-league grounds so I'd always recommend a visit
Folkestone Invicta v Gillingham @3pm - if the weather's good, a trip to the seaside for this Kent derby could be well worth doing
Bedford Town v Luton Town @3pm - after a good workout at Welwyn Garden City on Saturday, the Hatters travel to another nearby non-league club as they prepare for their return to the Championship
Ebbsfleet United v Tottenham Hotspur U23 @3pm - Spurs send an academy side to Kent for what will hopefully be an entertaining fixture
Ramsgate v Crystal Palace U23 @3pm - if you don't fancy getting off at Ebbsfleet, stay on the train and head for the coast to watch the Eagles' youngsters in action

Sunday 14 July

GTR Railway Friendly Flexi League
South Western Railway v Brighton Train Crews @2pm - as there's nothing else on, why not give some railway football a go? Two teams of drivers, guards and various others go head-to-head in this league match which comes just beyond the midpoint of the Flexi League season. The main reason to recommend this to groundhoppers is that it's being played at Fisher's ground in Rotherhithe and the hosts will have some rather fine enamel pin badges for sale

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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