Monday 5 September 2022

TLFG: 5-11 September 2022



Sunday was a long day so apologies for the late publication of this week's guide.

Thankfully there's not a lot on today (Monday) so you should still have plenty of time to plan for later in the week.

So Sunday - well it began with me running the Big Half, a half marathon which starts near Tower Bridge and finishes next to the Cutty Sark.

I've been wanting to do it for several years but always get injured in the build up.

With this in mind, my training was fairly minimal so I wasn't as fit as I could have been.

Actonians travelled to title favourites Hashtag United on Sunday

Thankfully I kept going all the way round and made it home in under two hours which is always my minimum target.

It was the first of two half marathons I'm running this month with the aim of raising a few quid for the girls team my daughter plays for - Actonians.

After having a freshen up, I got on the Tube and headed east to watch the first team play their latest FA WNL match against title favourites Hashtag United.

Hashtag are a well funded and well run club who have started a new groundshare at Aveley's very impressive Parkside ground.

It's been around for a few years now but I haven't ever visited it because it's a real mission to get to without a car.

However, with the company of Actionians media officer Neil H I committed to undertake the journey.

On a good day, it's a case of getting the District Line to Elm Park and then the 372 bus to a stop that's about a 10-15 minute walk to the turnstile.

However, on Sunday there were roadworks so we ended up alighting the bus with the best part of a two-mile trek to the ground.

And what a walk it was - we took in a traveller camp, a landfill site and got to walk along busy A and B roads with cars racing past us every few seconds!

After all that, we made it to the ground 10 minutes late and thankfully we hadn't missed anything.

Actonians began to get outplayed as the first half wore on and two goals in the closing stages gave Hashtag a 2-0 lead at the break.

After a few stern words, the visitors were much improved after the interval and quickly pulled a goal back.

Saldy they shipped a third soon after but fought back again to make it 3-2 thanks to a free-kick from the highly impressive Natsumi Kanno, one of two Japanese players to recently join the side.

Hopes of an improbable comeback were dashed late on when the hosts added a fourth and it duly ended 4-2.

It wasn't a surprising result but there was a lot of disappointment in the Actonians camp.

It took three hours to get home (shocking when you think it's only about 25 miles) but it was made far easier by the entire Actonians squad coming to thank us for attending, shaking our hands and promising to do better next time.

This is my first season as a committed follower of women's football, it's early days, there have been highs and lows but little touches like this will keep me coming back for more.


The highlights of the next few days include games in the Champions League, Europa Conference League, Premier League, EFL, FA Cup, 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.

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

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 5 September

Isthmian Development League
Monday is dominated by youth and development football with a couple of U23 games at Carshalton Athletic and Haringey Borough being the best on offer. There are games at U18 level too but confirming the details has been difficult so I've left them off the map.


Tuesday 6 September

Premier League International Cup
After a Covid-enforced hiatus, the PLIC is all set to return this season. If you've not heard of it before, it features top U21 sides from England and around Europe but every fixture is played here over the course of the season. Arsenal are playing Feyenoord at Boreham Wood whilst Crystal Palace entertain Hertha Berlin at Dulwich Hamlet. I'm not sure about admission details for Arsenal but their youth games at this venue are often free. Palace are charging £4 for their match - card only on the gate

Premier League Cup
Charlton Athletic v Nottingham Forest @2pm - if you want to see two games in a day then there's a lunchtime kick-off at Dartford's ground for this other U21 match

FA Cup First Qualifying Round Replays
Beckenham Town v East Grinstead Town @745pm - two of the early pacesetters in the Isthmian League South East produced an entertaining 2-2 draw in the initial tie on Saturday but back on home turf, you have to fancy the Becks to progress here
Spelthorne Sports v Fisher @745pm - neither side have enjoyed a great start to their league campaigns and they ended up drawing 1-1 in Rotherhithe on Saturday. The Fish have knocked out two teams from higher divisions in the previous rounds and they might just have enough to prevail here


Wednesday 7 September

UEFA Champions League
Tottenham Hotspur v Marseille @8pm - Spurs make their return to UEFA's top competition with this group game against the side who finished as runners-up in France last season. The north London club made the final in 2019 but haven't got anywhere close since. They've started this season well but so have their visitors so it will be really interesting to see how this pans out. Tickets are only available to members and their guests or those able to pay a small fortune for hospitality

UEFA Youth League
Tottenham Hotspur v Marseille @2pm - the clubs' U19 sides meet earlier in the day at Spurs' training ground. A small number of free tickets are available by telephone - 0344 844 0102, option 2

FA Cup First Qualifying Round Replay
Cray Wanderers v Bognor Regis Town @745pm - after drawing 2-2 on Saturday, London's oldest club will have to do it all again on Wednesday when fellow Isthmian League Premier Division club Bognor make the journey up from West Sussex

ECL Division 1 South
Tower Hamlets v Sporting Bengal United @745pm - after spending some time away in south-east London, the hosts are back at the Mile End Stadium alongside their old rivals SBU. Both clubs have their roots in the local Bengali community and these derbies are worth a watch

Thursday 8 September

UEFA Europa Conference League
West Ham United v FCSB @8pm - after enjoying a fine run to the semi-finals of last season's Europa League, the Hammers return to UEFA competition again. After making it past Viborg, they welcome FCSB (the club formerly known as Steaua Bucharest) from Romania for this group game. Tickets are available

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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