Sunday, 27 June 2021

TLFG: 28 June - 4 July 2021

Greetings one and all and welcome to the first full TLFG of pre-season.

After a quietish few weeks, the action starts to properly get going over the next few days.

Aside from the huge Euro 2020 game at Wembley on Tuesday, its mainly friendlies between some of our smaller local clubs that take centre stage.

As I highlight below, it's really important that you confirm all the details before you set off as venues can often change at short notice or fixtures fall through completely.

It's also quite possible that new fixtures could come up at short notice - let me know if you hear of anything.

THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include games in Euro 2020 and a number of non-league friendlies.

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
Thursday fixtures - purple pin
Friday fixtures - black pin



WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue 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 28 June

Friendlies
England Fans v Germany Fans @8pm - the week's action begins in Northolt where rival supporters meet for this friendly ahead of the huge Euro 2020 clash at Wembley the following day. After thrashing their Scottish counterparts 10 days ago, England will probably fancy their chances at Rectory Park where admission is free
Spelthorne Sports v Farnborough @745pm - if you'd rather see a game between two non-league sides, head to Sunbury where Combined Counties League club Spelthorne welcome Farnborough from two levels above

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Tuesday 29 June

Euro 2020 Second Round
England v Germany @5pm - the biggest match of the week takes place at the national stadium on Tuesday where two of international football's biggest rivals meet once again. I say rivals - it's a pretty one way thing by all accounts with Germany having far more history with sides like France, Italy and The Netherlands but it's still a pretty big deal. In my perception, Germany/West Germany have dominated but the head-to-head doesn't prove this - in fact my research shows it's actually even with 13 wins and three draws apiece since 1930. However, since 1990 it has been a bit more one-sided and crucially England have only beaten them twice in competitive matches -  a 1-0 win at Euro 2000 and the famous 5-1 World Cup qualifier in Munich a year later. Given Gareth Southgate's cagey approach to games, it's likely to be close again. Tickets are like gold dust and will be very expensive 

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Thursday 1 July

Friendly
Bedfont Sports v Spelthorne Sports @745pm - the Spelly make the short journey to Bedfont for their second game of the week. The hosts were due to play on Tuesday but called it off so as not to clash with the England game. If you're new to groundhopping in London, this ground is most notable for being about 400m from the runway at Heathrow so it's ideal for plane spotting too

A bit further afield
Just beyond the M25 we have a couple of friendlies featuring TLFG clubs that might appeal. Harrow Borough begin their pre-season campaign with a trip to Virginia Water whilst Fisher head north to Cheshunt

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Friday 2 July

Friendlies
Chertsey Town v Walton & Hersham @745pm - 2019 FA Vase winners Chertsey host a derby against the Swans down in leafy Surrey
Colliers Wood United v Alfold @730pm - a short bus ride from Putney will bring you to CWU's Wibbandune ground where SCFL club Alfold provide the opposition

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Saturday 3 July

Friendlies
Carshalton Athletic v Walton Casuals @3pm - the pick of the day's action is this all-seventh tier encounter between sides from the parallel Isthmian and Southern Leagues. I'm not certain if pre-booking is required but it often proved to be the case last year with the Robins selling out many of their Covid limited-capacity games. Click here for tickets
Haringey Borough v Romford @3pm - I always enjoy my visits to Coles Park. Situated on White Hart Lane not far from Spurs, Haringey have made huge strides in recent years. One of the main reasons behind the significant growth in their supporter base has been their amazing offer of free season tickets which are available once again for this campaign. Click here for details of that deal and ticket info for this match
Staines Town v Farnborough @3pm - the visitors make their second trip of the week to the TLFG zone. The Swans' Wheatsheaf Lane is a well appointed venue with great facilities, although I haven't been for about 30 years when it all looked very different!
Tooting & Mitcham United v Tooting Bec @3pm - there's a cracking groundshare derby to look forward to at Imperial Fields in south London. The only slight drawback is that it's not being played on the main pitch so the spectator facilities won't be as good as they could be
Southall v Shepherds Bush @11am - the 'All are celebrating their 150th year this season and entertain ambitious new start-up Shepherds Bush who include former Brentford and QPR striker DJ Campbell among their ranks. This match is being played at Brunel University

A bit further afield

Non-League Diversity Football Festival
Just beyond the south-eastern boundary of the M25, you come to Gravesend where Punjab United will be hosting this tournament between themselves, Leicester Nirvana, Sporting Bengal United and Sporting Khalsa - the action gets underway at 130pm




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.

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