Sunday 16 July 2023

TLFG: 17-23 July 2023

Greetings one and all and welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

Since watching Actonians Reserves last Sunday, I've had a quiet week on the live football front.

As a non-league fan, one of the highlights of the last few days has been the release of the fixtures in the so-called trident leagues - Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern - which means we now know where all our teams will be heading in the top eight tiers so you can get planning your trips.

I'm hoping to finally get to watch my first match in Scotland next month as I secured tickets for Celtic's pre-season game against Athletic Bilbao on 1 August - officially it's a testimonial for James Forrest.

QPR make their first visit to the new Plough Lane on Saturday - tickets

I had tickets to watch Celtic once before but travelled all the way up to Glasgow to watch them play Motherwell shortly before New Year about 20 years ago, only to see the match snowed off!

The week ahead sees the Women's World Cup get underway in Australia and New Zealand and my eldest daughter is set to take part in a feature about it on Friday.

She and her team-mates have to report to Actonians HQ for 6am to appear on ITV News presumably during Good Morning Britain.

England's record goalscorer Ellen White is set to be in attendance and there'll be free food for the kids as they've got to be there all morning!

Whether she gets on TV remains to be seen but she should get to meet a Lioness whatever happens.

Lastly this week, many thanks to Chris H and Stefan F for their donations to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund - I really, really appreciate it.


There are friendlies to be enjoyed every day this week with Crystal Palace and West Ham United both representing the Premier League again.

Several EFL clubs will be in action too whilst many pro clubs will be sending out development teams to play non-league clubs as well.

Outside London, I've included some extra games featuring pro clubs that might be of interest 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

In the following section, I list 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 17 July

A bit further afield
Southall v Kings Langley @730pm - there's nothing on within the M25 but just beyond its western fringe, the 'All welcome Southern League club Kings Langley to their new home at Burnham FC
Maidenhead United v Bermuda @7pm - if you go a little further west, then this women's game with an international flavour might be more to your liking. This one is being played at Holyport FC

Tuesday 18 July

Sutton United v Millwall @745pm - with back-to-back wins over Havant & Waterlooville and Reading, the U's have had a good week. Things should get considerably tougher on Tuesday, though, when they face Championship opposition. The Lions began their pre-season preparations with a 2-0 win at Gillingham on Saturday. Tickets are £12
Boreham Wood v Chelsea XI @730pm - after playing fairly strong teams from West Ham and Brentford last week, the Wood next welcome a side from Stamford Bridge. With the first team playing a match in the USA two days later, this is likely to be no more than an U21 team. Tickets are £15
Enfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur U21 @730pm - the Towners narrowly lost 1-0 to QPR's youngsters on Saturday and will hope to push this Spurs side close too. Tickets are £10

A bit further afield
Gillingham v Charlton Athletic @745pm - several EFL clubs are in action in the home counties on Tuesday night. For me, the pick of the games is this sort of derby between the League Two Gills and the Addicks from the division above. Tickets are £12


Wednesday 19 July

A bit further afield
Crawley Town v Crystal Palace @745pm - there are a small number of non-league friendlies in London on Wednesday but nothing particularly mouthwatering. The most eye-catching action takes place just outside the capital with Premier League Palace's game in Sussex being the most notable. Tickets are £10 but there aren't many left

Thursday 20 July

AFC Croydon Athletic v Lingfield @730pm - on Saturday the Rams suffered their first defeat of the Zaha/Stormzy ownership era. Losing 2-0 to Sevenoaks from the level above was no disgrace though. On Thursday they welcome a team from the same level and will hope to return to form
VCD Athletic v Ramsgate @745pm - these sides were both in the Isthmian South East last season and both suffered play-off heartbreak at opposite ends of the table. Ramsgate finished second and didn't get promoted whilst VCD lost to local rivals Phoenix Sports to get relegated. The visitors have spruced up their facilities in recent seasons, have really invested in getting the local community involved and should be ones to watch again this year


Friday 21 July

Erith Town v Welling United U23 @745pm - the Dockers host the only game in town on Friday as they welcome a young side from one of their neighbouring clubs

A bit further afield
Oxford United v Swansea City @730pm - the biggest game elsewhere sees a couple of EFL sides do battle at the Kassam Stadium. The visitors, who play in the Championship, should start as favourites. Tickets are £12


Saturday 22 July

AFC Wimbledon v QPR @3pm - unbeaten in three games and yet to concede a goal, pre-season has begun well for the Dons. Next up they face the R's who are just back from a tour of Austria. Gareth Ainsworth's side lost 3-0 to Slavia Prague but then beat Austrian second-tier club Vorwarts Steyr 2-1. I think the last time these two played was a pre-season game five years ago when QPR scored a very late goal to win 1-0 at Kingsmeadow - this will be their first visit to the new Plough Lane. Tickets are £14
Dagenham & Redbridge v West Ham United @3pm - we've got an east London derby at the Chigwell Construction Stadium which looks well worth a watch. It is listed as a first-team game on West Ham's website but coming just four days after they play Spurs in Australia, you'd expect David Moyes to rest a few players. Tickets are £15
Wealdstone v Charlton Athletic @3pm - last season the Stones kept their heads above water to survive another year in the fifth tier. They'll hope to build on that this season and face a decent test here in the form of the League One Addicks. Tickets are £10
Dartford v Gillingham @1pm - the Gills continue their pre-season campaign against local opposition with a tricky trip to Princes Park. The Darts travelled all the way up to Gateshead to play 2012 FA Vase winners Dunston UTS on Saturday and drew 2-2. Tickets are £10
Barnet v Chelsea XI @3pm - the Bees drew 1-1 with MK Dons as part of their Community Day on Saturday. Next up they take on a young Blues side who will look to impress whilst the first team continue their US tour. Tickets are £12
Bromley v Millwall from 1130am - the Ravens have kicked off pre-season with two highly entertaining draws against Dulwich Hamlet and a young Fulham side. On Saturday they face two sides from fellow south Londoners Millwall in an U18 and U21 doubleheader. The Lions' U18s will play Bromley's U21s at 1130 before their U21s take on the hosts' senior team. Tickets are £15

A bit further afield
Reading v Southampton @3pm - this would appear to be the pick of the games in the matches just outside London. Both sides had terrible 2022/23 campaigns and got relegated - Southampton slipped out of the Premier League whilst the Royals ended up in League One. The Royals suffered this fate more for their off-field performance rather than what happened on it with several points deducted for financial failings. Sadly those problems haven't gone away and the club are still in a mess - it's almost a case of see them in action while you still can. Tickets are £10 in advance of £15 on the day

Sunday 23 July

London Bees v Southampton WFC @130pm - it's all about women's football on Sunday with the third-tier Bees the highest ranked team on show. Southampton WFC are the original women's club from the Hampshire city and have no connection to the men's team - they play in the fourth tier
Charlton Athletic U21 v Actonians @3pm - after losing a very entertaining match against Millwall 3-2, the A's next travel to south-east London to play the Addicks' youngsters. I've had it confirmed that spectators will be allowed in to Charlton's training ground from 245pm which is quite a rarity in my experience
Dulwich Hamlet v AFC Wimbledon @2pm - there's a decent looking south London derby at Champion Hill too. As mentioned last week, the Dons are seen by many as favourites to win their fourth-tier division this season whilst the Hamlet will hope to push for promotion from the fifth

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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