Sunday, 15 August 2021

TLFG: 16-22 August 2021

Greetings and welcome to this week's TLFG.

I'm at work at the moment and really pushed for time so it's a bit of holding piece from me which I will hopefully flesh out tomorrow.

There are some really great FA Cup ties at the weekend which I haven't yet had a chance to write about but they're all on the maps so have a dig around and see what you find.

Have a great week.         

UPDATE - I've now had a chance to fill things out in the Daily Digest so hopefully you'll find it useful.                                           

THE WEEK AHEAD

The highlights of the next few days include games in the Premier League, the EFL, the next round of the 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 16 August

Premier League 2
There's a really fine selection of U23 games today with West Ham v Arsenal at the London Stadium topping the bill. Tickets are only £5 for adults and can be bought online. Elsewhere, Crystal Palace face Leeds at Selhurst Park and a little to the north of London, Tottenham entertain Chelsea at Stevenage. All details are on the match map above

ECL Division 1 South
Barkingside v Frenford @745pm - if you'd rather put some money into the non-league economy instead, there's an interesting local derby at Cricklefields to be enjoyed
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Tuesday 17 August

Championship
Millwall v Fulham @745pm - after playing QPR on the opening day, the Lions face another derby against the title favourites. The Bermondsey club are unbeaten so far but have drawn both league games whilst the Cottagers crushed Huddersfield 5-1 on Saturday to go top. Tickets

League One
AFC Wimbledon v Gillingham @745pm - the Dons welcomed a full crowd to the new Plough Lane on Saturday as they and Bolton served up a thrilling 3-3 draw. The Gills conceded an 89th-minute goal to lose 1-0 here last season. Tickets

Professional Development League
QPR v Hull City @1pm - earlier in the day there's an U23 match at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. I've had it confirmed that it's free to get in but any donations to the club's community trust will be gratefully received

Southern League Premier Division South
Hendon v Hayes & Yeading United @745pm - the best non-league option of the day is this derby at Silver Jubilee Park. Both clubs made really impressive starts to their seasons on Saturday with Hayes beating Swindon Supermarine 3-0 and Hendon recording a very impressive 4-0 away win at Truro. Tickets are £10.50 if bought in advance and £11 on the gate

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Wednesday 18 August

SCEFL Premier Division
Erith Town v Erith & Belvedere @745pm - there are some good options in the ninth and 10th tiers on Wednesday but this derby is the standout one in my humble opinion. Both have made decent starts to the season are in the top five after three games

Essex Senior League
Woodford Town v West Essex @745pm - a staggering crowd of over 800 packed into Woodford's new ground on Friday night for its first match. If you weren't able to go you've got another chance on Wednesday. The visitors arrive on the back of a spectacular 8-1 win over Sporting Bengal United so should provide stiff opposition

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Thursday 19 August

MCFL Premier Division
CB Hounslow United Reserves v Indian Gymkhana @tbc - for hardcore football addicts I'm aware of only one game on Thursday and it's taking place at Green Lane near Heathrow

UPDATE - there is now also a friendly between District Line and Northern Line as they prepare for the new London Underground League season. The match is at Wadham Lodge in Walthamstow at 3pm

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Friday 20 August

Premier League 2
There's another really decent selection of U23 football on Friday night where the blockbuster fixture between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge tops the card. Tickets are £5 and can be bought online. Elsewhere, Arsenal play Crystal Palace at Boreham Wood's ground and Fulham face West Brom at their training ground

FA Cup Preliminary Round
Walton & Hersham v Guildford City @745pm - for something far more meaningful, the next round of the FA Cup gets underway with this all CCL fixture between two Surrey clubs

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Saturday 21 August

Premier League
Crystal Palace v Brentford @3pm - there's only one top-flight game in London on Saturday and it's a derby. Many might view this as an early six-pointer as both were among the favourites to go down. However, the Bees impressive win over Arsenal in their first game might have changed a few minds. Amazingly this is the first time the sides have played each other in any competition since 1978! Tickets are only on sale to members

Championship
QPR v Barnsley @1230pm - after slightly faltering performances against Millwall and Leyton Orient in their first two games, Rangers notched an impressive 3-0 win at Hull on Saturday which moved them joint top on goal difference. However, that top spot is shared by a whopping 10 clubs as all 100% records have already gone. One of those teams is Barnsley who did very well last season and will be a threat here. Tickets
Fulham v Hull City @3pm - just down the road at Craven Cottage, the team at the top of the table will look to pile further misery on Hull after putting five past Huddersfield themselves on Saturday. This could conceivably be combined with the game at QPR if you have access to a bike or an e-scooter both of which are available to hire in the local area. Cars, buses and trains probably won't get you there in time as the traffic and parking situation will be problematic. Tickets

League One
Charlton Athletic v Wigan Athletic @3pm - the Addicks have had quite a tough start and are still looking for their first league win. The Latics haven't been tearing up any trees either but they did record a useful 1-0 win over Rotherham on Saturday. Tickets

National League
Bromley v Grimsby Town @520pm - the fifth tier National League is the final competition to get going and there are several good looking games on offer. I've highlighted this one purely because of its late kick-off which will allow you to combine it with an earlier kick-off like the match at QPR or maybe a game more locally like Beckenham Town's FA Cup game against Hastings. MATCH OFF

FA Cup Preliminary Round
Barking v Ilford @3pm - the first tie to jump off the page for me was this east London derby at Mayesbrook Park. If you don't know the geography of the area they are literally neighbouring districts. The hosts play a level above Ilford so should start as favourites
Uxbridge v Cray Valley PM @3pm - CVPM had their best ever run in the FA Cup last season as they made the First Round, beating several higher-ranked clubs along the way. Uxbridge are celebrating their 150th season so it would make it extra special for them to have a run
Beckenham Town v Hastings United @3pm - I went to the Becks' tie in the previous round so I'm going to focus on them again. After beating Colliers Wood, they now entertain one of the biggest clubs in the draw at this stage. At the time of last season's curtailment, Hastings were top of the Isthmian League South East so will provide a very tough test for Beckenham. They also drew a crowd of almost 1,000 for their season opener against Herne Bay so they should be expected to bring a healthy travelling support

MCFL Premier Division
FC Soma v Sporting Hackney @tbc - for hardcore groundhoppers, this match is taking place at the Bannister Sports Centre in Harrow. The last time I went there was to compete in the Middlesex Schools Cross Country Championships in the early 1990s. I was something like a third reserve, several people dropped out and I came 48th out of 50 in a rather humiliating afternoon of athletic activity! As for this match, Soma are new to this level. Kick-off times are hard to get hold of in this division but they tend to be at 2pm, 230pm or 3pm - check with either of the clubs for the latest before you travel

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Sunday 22 August

Premier League
Arsenal v Chelsea @430pm - after very contrasting fortunes in their opening fixtures, it's hard to see much beyond an away win here. Having said that, I didn't give Spurs a hope against Manchester City and look what happened there! Tickets are not on general sale

FA Cup Preliminary Round
Kensington & Ealing Borough v Romford @3pm - over on the west side of town, at Hanwell Town's ground, one of the only 10th-tier teams left in the competition will play host to a side from two levels above them. With three wins out of four so far, Kensington have begun brightly whilst Romford scraped past lower division opposition in the last round and on Saturday lost their first league game 7-0. There is real cupset potential here and it's where I'm hoping to spend my afternoon
Erith & Belvedere v AFC Croydon Athletic @4pm - the Deres have made a fantastic start to the season, winning their first three league games and upsetting Tooting & Mitcham in the FA Cup. Next up they face the Rams who play in the parallel fifth tier Combined Counties League. They haven't started nearly as well so could have a challenging afternoon

FA Women's National League Southern Premier
London Bees v Crawley Wasps @2pm - The Hive, also home to Barnet, plays host to this game in the women's third tier. London Bees suffered relegation from the Championship last season and began with another defeat at Keynsham Town on Sunday. Crawley recorded a solid 3-0 win over Cardiff so they should fancy their chances. UPDATE - apparently this match is now against Keynsham, not Crawley

FA Women's National League Division 1 South East
Kent Football United v QPR @2pm - in the fourth tier, KFU prepare to host their first home game of the season following a narrow 2-1 defeat at AFC Wimbledon. It looks like they might have to be at the top of their game as newly promoted QPR started their season with a 6-0 win over Stevenage

London & South East Women's Regional League
Dulwich Hamlet v New London Lionesses @2pm - despite playing way down in the fifth tier, Dulwich have the potential to draw the biggest women's crowd of the afternoon so if you're looking for a bit of atmosphere then it shouldn't be quiet at Champion Hill MATCH POSTPONED - Dulwich have now arranged a friendly against West Ham United U21s. It's still at 2pm and free to get in

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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