Monday 11 July 2022

TLFG: 11-17 July 2022

So the women's Euros are off and running and I think it's fair to say they've produced some decent entertainment.

On Friday night, I paid my first visit to Brentford's new ground to see Denmark to take on Germany - one of the true powerhouses of women's football.

After a short ride on the 237 bus down from Shepherds Bush, my daughter and I were greeted by friendly stewards and tooled up with a clapper and a flag (the jury's out on clappers but kids tend to love them and they make a great free souvenir).

Quick service at the food & drink kiosk further boosted my favourable impression of the evening and then we were in.

A packed stadium enjoys Germany v Denmark

The Brentford Community Stadium is great for what it is - compact, modern and with great transport links, you can't really go wrong.

However, it is small and doesn't look like it can hold 17,000 people - not great for the Premier League but absolutely perfect for this tournament.

This match and the other three it's due to host are all sold out and the atmosphere is really good.

Once things got underway, it was terribly one sided with Germany having nuemrous chances before they finally broke the deadlock in the 21st minute.

The second half was even worse as they found the next on three further occasions.

The eight time former winners were favourites here but Denmark offered very little indeed and don't look like making the quarter-finals.

On Sunday I extended my run of women's games to two by heading out to Northolt to watch Actonians play their first pre-season friendly against the recently renamed Selsey who play in a parallel division of the fourth tier.

I got there late but I was informed Ash and Neil H, two stalwarts of the West London football-watching scene, that is was still 0-0.

It was a tight game but the hosts ultimately picked up a deserved 2-1 win, despite playing without a recognised goalkeeper for most of the second half.

Actonians began pre-season with a 2-1 win over Selsey

Having been inspired by the physical prowess on the field, I decided to run home via the canal and bit off a bit more than I could chew - 15km in the heat wasn't a great idea but I made it.

More women's football beckons for me this week as I had back to Brentford on Tuesday for the crucial Germany v Spain match which should go a long way to deciding who finishes top of Group B.

It's an even bigger night in our household as my daughter will be one of the player escorts or mascots as they were known in my day.

Sadly her direct involvement with the players looks like it will be much reduced for this tournament presumably for Covid reasons, which is a bit of a shame.


The highlights of the next few days include the UEFA Women's Euro 2022, pre-season games featuring Premier League, EFL, many of our local non-league sides and a few women's teams too. 

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 - turquoise pin
Thursday fixtures - purple pin
Friday fixtures - black pin

Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin
Monday fixtures - yellow 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 11 July

Carshalton Athletic v Chipstead @745pm - the week begins with this match in south London between two Isthmian League clubs. The Robins managed a solid 12th-place finish in the Premier Division last year and will start as favourites against the Chips who play a level below


Tuesday 12 July

UEFA Women's Euro 2022
Germany v Spain @8pm - one of the biggest matches of the opening round takes place at Brentford's ground on Tuesday evening. Germany have the best record in the competition's history whilst Spain are the current bookies' favourites. Both scored four during convincing wins in their opening games so it could be a classic, with one of them likely to play England in the next round. Tickets are sold out but check UEFA's website for the latest

Boreham Wood v West Ham United @7pm - after entertaining a strong Brentford side on Saturday, the Wood next welcome a squad from the Hammers. The visitors are also sending a team to Ipswich the same night so they won't be at full strength here. Tickets are available in advance
Dartford v Millwall @745pm - after suffering a 6-1 defeat at home to Charlton on Saturday, the Darts welcome potentially even stronger opposition in the form of Championship club Millwall. Nearly 3,000 fans packed into Princes Park on Saturday so it should be pretty busy here too. Tickets are only £10 and you're strongly advised to buy in advance
Dulwich Hamlet v Sutton United @745pm - these two old south London rivals must have played many times over the years but I'm struggling to find a more recent competitive match between them than an FA Cup match in 2011 which the U's won 5-1. Since then, Dulwich and Sutton have both enjoyed two promotions, meaning that the latter are now an EFL side. Tickets are available
Hampton & Richmond Borough v Charlton Athletic U23 @745pm - after letting in a late equaliser to draw 1-1 with Hayes & Yeading on Saturday, H&R play their first pre-season game back on home soil on Tuesday. The Addicks youngsters should provide a decent test for Gary McCann's men. Tickets are available
Enfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur U21 @7pm - when the Towners moved to their current ground in 2011, just after I launched this blog, Spurs sent a side to officially open it. Fast forward nearly 11 years and they're coming back for a highly anticipated fixture. Tickets are available
AFC Wimbledon v Sutton United @8pm - if you want a women's game, then head to Carshalton Athletic where one of the favourites for the FA WNL Division 1 SE title welcomes a local rival for a derby

A bit further afield
Colchester United v Charlton Athletic @730pm - if you're prepared to head out of London, then this match in Essex between sides in League Two and League One could be for you. They don't play that often but over the years, they've managed to end up even on the head-to-head with seven wins apiece and four draws. The last match in 2016 ended in a 1-1 draw. Tickets are available
Maidstone United v Leyton Orient @745pm - the Stones won the NLS last season to return to the fifth tier. On Tuesday they welcome a squad from the O's. According to the east London club's website, they're sending a side to Potters Bar Town the same night so you'll have to pick which one is better for you. Tickets are available on the gate
Woking v Swindon Town @7pm - after an entertaining 3-2 win over Arsenal U23s, the Cards next welcome Swindon to the Laithwaite Community Stadium. The Robins made it to the League Two play-offs last season so should start as favourites
Farnborough v AFC Wimbledon @715pm - the hosts won the Southern League play-offs last season to make it into the NLS. Sadly for the Dons, they suffered relegation to League Two and should be keen to put that disappointment behind them. Tickets are available 


Wednesday 13 July

Sutton Common Rovers v Whitehawk @745pm - after seeing their match against Crawley cancelled last week, SCR will hope for more luck against a side from a parallel division of the Isthmian League

A bit further afield
Stevenage v Peterborough United @730pm - just to the north of London, there's an all-EFL clash that could take your fancy. The hosts narrowly avoided relegation from League Two last season, whilst Posh weren't so lucky and finished in the Championship's bottom three. Tickets are available


Thursday 14 July

Shepherds Bush v Harrow Borough @745pm - the side from W12 formed last season and immediately won promotion from the 12th tier Middlesex County League Division 1, despite playing way out near Uxbridge at Brunel University. This match is at Rectory Park in Northolt and I think it will be their home for the coming season. Harrow play four divisions above but I think it's widely recognised that Shepherds Bush are way too good for the level they play at - it should be interesting


Friday 15 July

Boreham Wood v Chelsea U23 @7pm - the Wood always put a good pre-season together and following on from Brentford and West Ham, Chelsea send a side to Meadow Park. Tickets are available
Hendon v Arsenal XI @730pm - a few miles to the south on the same train line, the Greens play host to a young Gunners team. Their last home friendly ended in a 4-0 loss to Wealdstone so they'll be hoping for better this time. Tickets are available

A bit further afield
Colchester United v Millwall @730pm - after hosting Charlton earlier in the week, the Jobserve Community Stadium welcomes the Lions for some Friday night football. Tickets are available
Ebbsfleet United v West Ham United U23 @7pm - the Fleet suffered play-off heartbreak last season and should be among the frontrunners in the NLS again. Tickets are available

Saturday 16 July

UEFA Women's Euro 2022
Denmark v Spain @8pm - Group B concludes with its final round of games on Saturday night. After losing their opening fixture to Germany 4-0 on Friday, the Danes face an uphill struggle to qualify and a lot will depend on the midweek round of games on Tuesday to see if they have any chance coming into this. Tickets are sold out but check UEFA's webiste for the latest

AFC Wimbledon v Ipswich Town @230pm - one of the highlights of pre-season will see the Dons play their male and female counterparts from Ipswich in an eye-catching doubleheader with the women's game starting at 445pm. Tickets
Leyton Orient v Tottenham Hotspur U21 @2pm - after playing at Enfield Town on Tuesday, Spurs' youngsters head south to take on the O's in what should be a considerably tougher fixture. Tickets
Sutton United v Charlton Athletic @3pm - last season was full of painful near misses for the U's - letting in a last-minute equaliser in the EFL Trophy Final and missing a play-off spot by one point. Despite this, they wouldn't have expected getting anywhere near either of these positions at the beginning of their debut season in League Two. If they can challenge again, I'm sure they'll be more than happy with that. The Addicks will hope for a play-off push in League One after a rather underwhelming campaign. Tickets
Barnet v Peterborough United @3pm - the Bees have had a couple of tough seasons but Dean Brennan managed to keep them up in 2021/22. How they'll do this year is anyone's guess but the Irish manager doesn't lack drive and really impressed during his time at Wealdstone. As yet, I've seen no ticket details
Wealdstone v Charlton Athletic U23 @12pm - despite having fewer resources, the Stones finished above Barnet in the National League table and they'd love nothing more than to repeat that feat over their old rivals this season. Tickets
Dulwich Hamlet v Arsenal U23 @3pm - after welcoming Sutton to Champion Hill on Tuesday, it's the turn of a Gunners side to visit on Saturday. Big crowds are the norm here so you're strongly advised to buy in advance 
A bit further afield
Reading v West Ham United @3pm - prior to heading to Scotland to play Rangers at Ibrox, the Hammers make the relatively short trip to Berkshire to play Championship club Reading in one of the biggest games of pre-season so far. Tickets
Gillingham v Portsmouth @1pm - within easy reach of south-east London, the Priestfield is always worth considering if nothing in the capital takes your fancy. On Saturday they've landed a reasonable game against former Premier League club Pompey. I haven't found anything about tickets on their website yet
Maidenhead United v Brentford B @3pm - York Road is easy to get to by train from Paddington and is well worth a visit as it is the oldest ground in continuous use by the same team, with Maidenhead playing there since 1871. The Bees' second string play some attractive stuff so this could be good. Tickets
St Albans City v Stevenage @1pm - there's a Hertfordshire derby at Clarence Park which is one of my favourite non-league grounds on the periphery of London. Tickets
Hemel Hempstead Town v Morpeth Town @3pm - one of the more unusual match-ups of the day sees HHT welcome 2016 FA Vase winners Morpeth who hail from Northumberland. According to my sources in the north-east, the clubs have bonded over the installation of artificial pitches - go figure!
Sunday 17 July

Actonians v Maidenhead United @2pm - it's all about women's football again on Sunday. The hosts welcome the Magpies to Rectory Park for a match between sides from parallel divisions in the fourth tier. Last week it was free admission 
Fulham v London Bees @230pm - the Cottagers play in the fifth tier so should expect a challenging afternoon at Motspur Park against the third-tier Bees MATCH OFF

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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