Monday, 29 August 2022

TLFG: 30 August - 4 September 2022

Welcome one and all to this week's TLFG.

How was your week? How many games did you cram in? 

I think that between Friday and Monday it was possible to see as many as eight!

Personally I didn't see anything following my trip to Actonians last Sunday as I've been working most of the time and training for a couple of half marathons I've got coming up next month.

On the subject of running, TLFG reader Liam B from Putney travelled to South Africa and successfully completed the Comrades Marathon on Sunday.

If you've never heard of it, it's actually two-and-a-bit marathons, which sees you have to run approximately 90km in 12 hours or less.

If you take any longer than that then you get disqualified - I'm pleased to say Liam finished the course with 15 minutes to spare!

Having seen both his parents treated at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, which specialises in cancer treatment, he decided to raise some money for it so if you have any spare cash sloshing about then he'd love to have it - he's currently less than £50 away from £1,000 which would be a great amount to hit - donate here.

Tickets for Crystal Palace v Brentford are on sale to non-members

Back to football now and the week ahead again looks exciting with lots of great games to choose from.

For the first time in ages, tickets to watch a Premier League game at Crystal Palace have gone on sale to non-members.

The derby on Tuesday against Brentford should be decent, so take your chance while you can.

I'm all set to watch QPR U21s play their counterparts from Sheffield United on Tuesday lunchtime and hopefully I'll see something on Saturday too - if nothing else, I'll get to see my daughter's first match since June in the morning.

Lastly this week, many thanks to Mark H from Tennessee, USA who donated to TLFG's coffee drinking fund - much appreciated.


THE WEEK AHEAD

The highlights of the next few days include games in the Premier League, EFL, FA Cup, FA Women's National League and many other games in our local non-league and women's competitions.

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
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.


Tuesday 30 August

Premier League
Crystal Palace v Brentford @730pm - after all the fun of the Bank Holiday weekend, the action doesn't let up with this decent looking derby taking place at Selhurst Park. Both sides are sitting snugly in midtable after reasonable starts to their campaigns and it should be a pretty close-run thing. Last season, both games between them ended 0-0 and it could well happen again. Usually tickets for Palace's Premier League games are restricted to members but this game has gone on general sale
Fulham v Brighton & Hove Albion @730pm - the last two games between these sides also ended in 0-0 draws but I think that's unlikely this time. Although the Cottagers have started way better than many thought they would, Brighton have been even more of a surprise with 10 points from their first four games. When I looked, a small amount of tickets still seemed to be available

Championship
QPR v Hull City @745pm - after a couple of underwhelming performances, the R's dug deep on Saturday to win 3-2 at previously unbeaten local rivals Watford. The result lifted them to eighth. Next up are Hull, another former Premier League side, who have begun very well indeed and sit just one point behind leaders Reading. The hosts have only lost one of their last five against the Tigers but it won't be easy for them here. Tickets
Watford v Middlesbrough @8pm - on paper, many would've expected this to be a match between two title contenders. It's early days of course but, with one win in six, Boro have been disappointing. That first win came on Saturday when they beat Swansea 2-1. Games between these two are normally tight with the last five games only generating six goals. The Hornets will also be celebrating 100 years at Vicarage Road on Tuesday and have all kinds of events planned - there are a few tickets left so don't miss out

EFL Trophy
AFC Wimbledon v Aston Villa U21 @7pm - the much maligned EFL Trophy or Papa John's Trophy as the sponsors would like it to be known returns this week. This competition used to be the preserve of League One and League Two clubs but in 2016 it was announced that 16 U21 sides from Premier League and Championship clubs would also take part. This annoyed many of the usual participants, not least the Dons who barely advertised such fixtures and encouraged their supporters to stay away. They're still far from enamored by it and tickets are available for £12

Professional Development League
QPR v Sheffield United @1pm - if you'd like to see two games on Tuesday then the R's U21 side have made it possible. Being played at Hanwell Town's ground, just off the A40 and a short walk from Perivale Tube station, this is hopefully where I'll be if I get out of work on time. I'm not sure if there'll be a charge but it won't be more than £5
Charlton Athltic v Coventry City @2pm - if you're located on the other side of town, then this match at Dartford's ground might be more to your liking. As with all U21 games, check all the details before you travel as they are susceptible to change at quite short notice

CCL Division 1
British Airways v Bedfont @745pm - there's a groundshare derby right next to Heathrow. It's more important than normal as The Orchard was badly damaged by fire a few weeks ago but the repairs have been swift and they're both back in action

FA Women's National League Division 1 SE
Actonians v QPR @745pm - if I wasn't working early on Wednesday morning, I'd be at Rectory Park. This West London derby has become quite a thing over the last few years with a decent rivalry developing between these neighbouring clubs. The hosts are a dedicated women's and girls' club run by volunteers with players who pay their own subs to take part, whilst QPR are linked to the men's club and have a much bigger support base to draw from. Despite this, the margins are fine with only a point separating them as they both finished in the top five last season. Annoyingly, it's often scheduled against a QPR men's game so the league need to sort that out next year. Tickets are £5 in advance or on the gate

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Wednesday 31 August

Premier League
Arsenal v Aston Villa @730pm - the Gunners maintained their 100% record with a win over Fulham on Saturday to keep themselves two points clear at the top. On Wednesday they welcome a Villa side who are struggling. With one win in four, fans are starting to grumble about Steven Gerrard and his team. Tickets are only available to members
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur @745pm - over in Stratford, the London Stadium should be pretty much full for this big derby. There's little love lost between these two old rivals, with the clubs even fighting for the rights to take over this ground after the 2012 Olympics. With three wins and a draw from their seven visits to play the Hammers here, Spurs have a good record. Tickets are sold out but some might appear on the club's ticket exchange

EFL Trophy
Charlton Athletic v Gillingham @7pm - with only one defeat from six and a place in the Third Round of the EFL Cup secured, the Addicks have made a good start to their campaign. The same can't be said of the Gills who suffered relegation to League Two last season and have only managed one win at the lower level so far. Tickets are £15
Sutton United v Chelsea U21 @745pm - one team who do take this competition seriously are Sutton who were just seconds away from winning it last season before a very late goal saved Rotherham and saw them win it in extra-time. They start this year against the Blues' youngsters - a match which could draw quite a big crowd as many Chelsea fans live in the area. Tickets are available 

CCL Premier Division South
Colliers Wood United v Cobham @730pm - if you fancy a non-league game instead, pop down to Wibbandune and check out CWU. The hosts have begun the season well and are currently joint top with local rivals Raynes Park Vale and also Badshot Lea. Cobham have only managed one win so far, so another three points would appear to be there for the taking

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Thursday 1 September

FA Women's National League Division 1 SE
Ashford Town (Middlesex) v AFC Wimbledon @745pm - the home team won promotion to the fourth tier last season after really impressing in the London & South East Regional League. They played their first game of this campaign on Sunday and were denied by a late equaliser as they drew 3-3 with Cambridge United. The Dons somewhat surprisingly lost 1-0 at home to a QPR side who'd looked very out of sorts in their 4-2 defeat to Cambridge City last weekend. It will be very interesting to see which way this goes
London Seaward v Hashtag United @745pm - the hosts, who play in Walthamstow, are one of only two clubs with a 100% record at this stage. Hashtag finished as runners-up last season and sit just behind Seaward after thrashing newly promoted Wymondham 10-0 on Sunday. I'm not sure if tickets are available in advance but £5 is the going rate at this level

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Friday 2 September

Essex Senior League
Woodford Town v Takeley @745pm - the Woods can often be relied on to provide some Friday night football and this week they've delivered again. With four points from three games, they've made a steady start. The same can't be said of the visitors who often find themselves among the title contenders but have lost all three
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Saturday 3 September

Premier League
Brentford v Leeds United @3pm - the Whites secured their place in the top flight with a nervy last-day win at Brentford in May. With only one defeat from four, including a fine 3-0 win over Chelsea, the Yorkshire club are looking far more impressive as they've moved into the top five. Leeds appear to be a bit of bogey club for Thomas Frank who has managed only one win from the five played against them since he took over in 2018. Tickets are only available to members
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham @3pm - having played Liverpool, Arsenal and a big local derby against Brentford in their first four games, the Cottagers' tough start to the season continues with this very challenging visit to the THS. With only one win in 11 against the club from N17, Fulham will do well to get anything out of this one. Tickets are only available to members

Championship
Millwall v Cardiff City @3pm - after a promising start to the season, the Lions are now three without a win and down to 16th. It's a similar story for Cardiff too, who aren't pulling up any trees either. Apart from anything else, the atmosphere generated by two of the division's more 'boisterous' sets of supporters should be interesting to experience. Police had to intervene when things kicked off in the Millwall end at the reverse fixture a year ago. Tickets are available

League Two
Leyton Orient v Tranmere Rovers @3pm - the undefeated O's have made a dream start to the season and top the division after six games. Putting three past Colchester last weekend and scoring another four against Hartlepool on Saturday, they're doing things in some style too. Midtable Tranmere have taken seven points from their last three visits to Brisbane Road so there's no room for complacency. Tickets are available
Sutton United v Harrogate Town @3pm - according to my sources, the U's have only played their Yorkshire opponents seven times and have lost only one of them. In fact, Sutton have won the last four and although only a point currently separates them, I'm going for another home win here. Tickets are available

Premier League 2
This season, there has been a notable new trend to schedule more U21 games on Saturday afternoons rather than in their more normal midweek slots. Last weekend West Ham put a game on at 12pm which allowed fans the opportunity to see two games in an afternoon. However, the majority of clubs are playing their matches later in the afternoon which, to me, impinges a bit on local non-league clubs which is disappointing. This Saturday's offerings see Arsenal play Blackburn Rovers at Boreham Wood at 1pm (entry is usually free) and Crystal Palace host Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park at 2pm - tickets are usually £5 but I haven't seen any details yet

National League
Bromley v Eastleigh @3pm - both sides endured a disappointing Bank Holiday with defeats at Dagenham & Redbridge and Barnet respectively, missing their chance to move into the top three. The Ravens have won their last three against the Hampshire club, conceding only one in the process
Dagenham & Redbridge v Notts County @3pm - the Daggers' win against Bromley moved them into the top half but staying there will be tough as the visitors are one of only two unbeaten teams after six games

National League South
Welling United v Oxford City @3pm - the Wings bounced back superbly from their loss to Chelmsford by beating fellow south Londoners Dulwich Hamlet on Monday. The win sees them eighth after six games. The Hoops have made a fine start and come into this in fifth after having played only five games

FA Cup First Qualifying Round
With the preliminary rounds out of the way, the qualifying rounds now begin - effectively this is the third round of this season's competition. At this point, all the clubs in the seventh tier join the draw alongside the winners from the previous two rounds. The winners of each tie receive £2,250 and the losers £750. Here are a few ties that I like the look of:

Aveley v Potters Bar Town @3pm - currently joint leaders of the Isthmian League after winning four of their first five games, it will be interesting to see how this pans out. The match is being played at Parkside which is one of the finest stadiums in the country at this level
Cray Valley PM v Hastings United @3pm - two years ago, CVPM made it all the way to the First Round, beating National League side Maidenhead United in the process. Currently eighth in the Isthmian League South East, they're up against the side who won the division last season but have struggled since going up - there is some cupset potential here
Walton & Hersham v Beaconsfield Town @3pm - the Swans are a club on the up after enjoying back-to-back promotions which have lifted them to the eighth tier. Now back in the Isthmian League, they've started well again and should be able to give Beaconsfield, from the level above, a tough afternoon
Edgware & Kingsbury v Grays Athletic @3pm - as a ninth-tier club, E&K are one of the lowest ranked teams left in the competition. They beat AFC Dunstable in the last round, who play at the same level as Grays, so they've got every chance of causing a further cupset here
Fisher v Spelthorne Sports @3pm - the Fish have made a terrible start in the league and have yet to win a game but in the FA Cup it's a different story as they've beaten not one but two Isthmian League clubs to get to this stage, something they've only done once before. Fellow ninth-tier club Spelthorne have never got beyond this round either so there's lots at stake
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Sunday 4 September

Premier League
Chelsea v West Ham United @2pm - the week comes to an end with another derby at Stamford Bridge. Compared to a lot of teams, the Hammers have a reasonable record here, often drawing and picking up the odd win in recent years. However, their form has been disappointing in the opening weeks of the season and they'll do well to get anything from this one. Tickets are only available to members

National League
Wealdstone v Woking @12pm - there's a very rare bit of Sunday football at Grosvenor Vale in Ruislip where the Stones have been selected for live TV coverage by BT Sport. After a pre-season which saw many gloomy predictions from fans on social media, Stuart Maynard's side have taken many by surprise and find themselves in third after six games with a win at Oldham Athletic the highlight. The Cards haven't begun quite so well but are doing okay and did the double over them last season. Given Woking's location just outside the M25 in Surrey, this is pretty much a derby too

FA Women's National League Division 1 SE
AFC Wimbledon v Hounslow @2pm - with the visitors apparently struggling to register players, it remains to be seen if this match goes ahead. We're two weeks into the season and the west London club have yet to play a game as their troubled existence continues. If it does take place, it will be played at Carshalton Athletic UPDATE - MATCH OFF
Hashtag United v Actonians @3pm - if it doesn't go ahead, this is without doubt, the highest quality women's option this weekend. Hashtag, who are now groundsharing at Aveley's impressive ground, could well be top by the time this kicks off. The visitors will definitely start as underdogs but managed to inflict one of only two defeats the Essex club suffered in the league last season

London & South East Women's Regional League
Dartford v Fulham @2pm - as the only team in the division to be associated with a Premier League club, the Cottagers are one of the sides to watch in this year. I've noticed a significant increase in focus by the club's media team and they're taking a more prominent role in the club's overall output. The history of the club is a bit convoluted with dissolutions, re-formations and new names but it's fair to say that they were one of the biggest women's clubs in the land with league titles and FA Cup wins at the start of this century when they were fully professional. Having won their opening two games this season, they're off to a good start


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.

2 comments:

  1. Big fan of the blog - thanks for doing this! Just wanted to point out that Chelsea vs West Ham was moved at late notice to Saturday 3pm, instead of Sunday 2pm

    ReplyDelete
  2. My 8yr old cousins are visiting this weekend and want to see a football match this was extremely helpful! Thank you so much for putting this together mate!

    ReplyDelete