Sunday 18 September 2022

TLFG: 19-25 September 2022

After the postponement of last weekend's games, football resumed on Monday.

Domestically it was a good week for Arsenal and Spurs who continued to fly the flag for London in the Premier League - their wins over Brentford and Leicester City respectively kept them a point apart in first and third.

Chelsea saw new boss Graham Potter take charge of his first match and it ended in a disappointing 1-1 against RB Salzburg in the Champions League.

There was further disappointment for the Blues in the Women's Super League which finally got underway this weekend.

Despite being reigning champions and the team everyone feared, they were the only one of the four London clubs in the WSL to lose their opening fixture as they went down 2-1 at newly promoted Liverpool.

Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham all picked up three points in their first matches.

The other huge talking point of the week was the queue to see the Queen lying-in-state at Westminster.

It began on Wednesday evening and ends tomorrow at 0630.

Queuing times peaked at around 24 hours as it snaked back to Southwark Park, not far from Millwall's ground.

From the footballing community, David Beckham impressed many with his commitment to queue for around 12 hours unlike some other notables who were allowed to 'push-in'.

Dominika Netschova goes close for Actonians at Plough Lane

Work and football commitments meant I had no chance of doing it and with me having to work on the day of the funeral too, I'll probably miss the cortege as it heads through West London on its way to Windsor on Monday.

So what football did I get to watch?

I headed south on Sunday to the new Plough Lane to watch Actonians take on AFC Wimbledon in their latest FA WNL game.

The Dons finished last season strongly and I've got them down as title contenders this season so it was no surprise to find the visitors on the backfoot for most of this game.

They competed well enough throughout but didn't really fashion any clear chances.

Goalless at half-time, it was still all to play for but a scrappy goal midway through the second half which found its way in off an Actonians defender or two broke the deadlock.

Half chances came and went but Wimbledon's keeper barely had a touch as chances went narrowly wide or got blocked by her defence.

A second found the net at the end of a fast counter attack down the right and despite eight minutes of injury time, there was no way back for the visitors and it ended 2-0.

Actonians are still ruing the abandonment of their opening game against Chesham which they were winning with ease and are still awaiting the league's decision on what will happen.

With only one point from four completed games, the table looks disheartening but three of those came against three of the top four so they're due some easier games soon.

I ran to the THS with TLFG reader Liam on Tuesday

Once again, I and other fans received a handshake from the captain who came up into the stand at full-time to thank us for our support.

Next weekend I'm running the Ealing Half Marathon to raise funds for the club's youth section and continued my preparations by going on a long run with TLFG reader Liam up to the THS on Tuesday night - we got soaked in the rain but it was a lot of fun.

Actonians are one of only three clubs in their division who have no link to a senior men's club and have to work hard to get the finance they need to continue.

Rather than donate to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund, I'd really appreciate it if you could sponsor myself and fellow Dad Peter as we try and target £1,000 to help keep our daughters playing football.

It was also great to meet TLFG reader 'Balham' at Sunday's game - he's been a big supporter of this blog for several years. Thanks a lot young man.


There's a men's international break this week so the highlights of the next few days include games in the Women's Champions League, EFL, FA Cup, FA Trophy, FA Vase, FA Women's Super 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.

Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - turquoise pin
Friday fixtures - black pin

Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange 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.

Tuesday 20 September

UEFA Women's Champions League
Arsenal v Ajax @730pm - with it being a men's international break this week, this important women's game at Boreham Wood tops the bill on Tuesday. The Gunners started their WSL season on Friday with an emphatic 4-0 win over Brighton. Their Dutch opponents, who also finished second in their league last season, recorded a similar win against Fortuna Sittard so this should be a very interesting contest. Tickets are available from just £8 if bought in advance - they increase on the day

EFL Trophy
Leyton Orient v Sutton United @7pm - there are a couple of games in this competition on Tuesday but this derby is definitely the better of the two. It pits the current leaders of League Two against last year's beaten finalists. Tickets are £10

FA Cup Second Qualifying Round Replays
Fisher v Welling United @745pm - I mentioned last week how the ninth-tier Fish had done really well to get this far but I didn't think they'd get through this. Well, they picked up a remarkable 0-0 draw at Park View Road to bring the sixth-tier Wings back to Salter Road for one of the biggest matches since they re-formed in 2009
Hayes & Yeading United v Farnborough @745pm - the visitors pipped H&YU to promotion last season, after beating them in an ill-tempered play-off final at Beaconsfield Road. With this in mind, I've no doubt the west London club will really relish beating them here as they attempt to reach the First Round for the fourth consecutive season

Southern League Premier South
Harrow Borough v Hendon @745pm - this derby game is of even more importance than usual as both clubs have made very poor starts in the league. Harrow were without a game on Saturday but the Greens picked up a morale-boosting win over Wingate & Finchley in the FA Cup

Isthmian League South East
Beckenham Town v Cray Valley PM @745pm - the Becks caused one of the shocks of the day on Saturday as they won 2-1 at NLS side Dartford in the FA Cup. With the good form they're in, I thought they had a chance but thought a draw was the best they could've hoped for. On Tuesday they return to league action against a fellow south-east London club who bowed out of the cup to Hanwell


Wednesday 21 September

Isthmian League Premier
Cray Wanderers v Hastings United @745pm - after narrowly avoiding relegation last season, London's oldest club have begun well. Fourth at the time of writing, they're just three points off top spot. Hastings are new to this level after winning promotion last season and are starting to get some results after a slow start

Friday 23 September

Professional Development League
There are a couple of good U21 options on Friday lunchtime which should make it easy to see two games in a day on Friday. Both QPR and Watford have games kicking off at 1pm at Loftus Road and Vicarage Road respectively. UPDATE - the Watford match is now being played at Kings Langley

Isthmian League South Central
Chertsey Town v Basingstoke Town @745pm - originally scheduled for Tuesday night, this match has been shifted to Friday. A win for the Curfews will keep them in the top four

FA Vase Second Round Qualifying
Woodford Town v Stanway Rovers @745pm - the next round of the FA Vase gets underway on Friday night. There is also a tie at May & Baker but this one between two Essex Senior League teams appeals to me a bit more. Woodford are currently fourth so should start as favourites

Saturday 24 September

FA Women's Super League
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur @130pm - the biggest match of the weekend is the women's North London Derby at the Emirates. I've seen adverts for this all over the internet and even at Tube stations and apparently they're getting on for 50,000 ticket sales which is a huge WSL record. Spurs also started their season with a win but they will begin as underdogs here. Tickets are available from £12

League Two
Sutton United v Salford City @3pm - if it has to be a men's game for you then the highest level match on offer in the capital on Saturday is this fourth-tier fixture. The U's are ticking along nicely enough in 10th but a big enough win for the visitors could see them break into the top three. Tickets

National League
Bromley v Oldham Athletic @3pm - the Ravens won their big game against Maidstone by a fairly comfortable 3-0 margin on Saturday to move into the play-off places. Former top-flight club Oldham are playing their first season in non-league football and are still finding their feet. A useful 3-2 win over Eastleigh should see them arrive in good spirits
Dagenham & Redbridge v Barnet @3pm - the Daggers got back to winning ways with a confidence boosting 4-1 win over bottom club Altrincham on Saturday and can now look ahead to this derby against a Bees side who are really struggling with consistency
Wealdstone v Southend United @3pm - the Stones recorded their fourth consecutive draw on Saturday but are still just five points behind leaders Chesterfield in sixth. The Shrimpers are only a point above the relegation zone and will be very keen to get something here

National League South
Welling United v Havant & Waterlooville @3pm - game of the day in sixth tier sees two of the top five do battle at Park View Road. Like the Wings, Havant had a tough game against lower-division opposition in the FA Cup on Saturday but made it through 

Isthmian League Premier
Hornchurch v Cray Wanderers @3pm - there are a number of games in midweek which could significantly alter how big a match this is but wins for both sides could mean they're joint top by kick-off. As it stands they're third and fourth so it should be pretty decent one way or another

FA Trophy Second Round Qualifying
Walton & Hersham v Southall @3pm - this competition is for clubs in the fifth to the eighth tiers - there are a handful of ties in the London area but with the greatest of respect, none of them are that sexy. This game between two Isthmian South Central sides who are both in the top seven is probably the best on offer

FA Vase Second Round Qualifying
Balham v Colliers Wood United @3pm - there are actually some better looking ties in the Vase which is for clubs in the ninth and 10th tiers. First up is this derby between two south London clubs who used to groundshare. Although geographically these areas are very close together on the Northern Line, both sides play in stadia away from their heartlands. To further confuse things, this match has been switched to CWU's ground
Broadfields United v North Greenford United @3pm - there's another derby to be enjoyed in the north-west of the capital where two CCL North clubs meet. The hosts, who groundshare at Rayners Lane, haven't made it past this round since 2019
Romford v West Essex @3pm - the current groundshare tenants of Barking take on the former ones in this game between two Essex Senior League clubs. The visitors have made a superb start to the season, are two points clear at the top and should be expected to take the honours here


Sunday 25 September

FA Women's Super League
Chelsea v Manchester City @4pm - regarded as two of the 'Big Three' in the WSL, it came as something of a surprise to see them both lose to unfancied teams in their opening games. The Blues lost 2-1 at newly promoted Liverpool whilst City lost a cracking game 4-3 at Aston Villa. With a number of big-name departures over the summer, many thought the visitors might find things tougher than normal so I'm expecting Chelsea to bounce back here. Tickets are sold out
West Ham United v Manchester United @3pm - a little earlier in the day at Dagenham & Redbridge's ground, the Hammers welcome the side most likely to usurp Manchester City and break into the division's elite group. Like Arsenal, United managed a 4-0 win in their opening game against Reading and they should have too much for their hosts even though they managed to pick up three points against Everton. Tickets

FA Women's Championship
London City Lionesses v Durham @12pm - after finishing as runners-up to Liverpool last season, LCL will probably feel a little disappointed to be down in seventh. However, it's incredibly early days and a win will almost certainly move them into the top four

FA Women's National League Cup Determining Round
Watford v Norwich City @2pm - all these matches were supposed to be played last weekend but were postponed because of the Queen's death so here we are again. Watford crushed Cheltenham 6-0 in the league on Sunday to move up to fourth in the third tier. Norwich, on the other hand, went to Loftus Road and beat QPR 2-0 to stay joint top of the fourth tier. In case you were wondering, this match 'determines' whether a club continues in the FA WNL Cup or they drop into the FA WNL Plate instead
QPR v Ipswich Town @2pm - the R's will look to bounce back and cause a bit of an upset when they welcome third tier Ipswich to Hanwell Town's ground. The visitors have won their last two in the league and will start as favourites

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!

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.

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