Sunday 2 July 2023

TLFG: 3-9 July 2023

Greetings one and all and welcome to the second week of pre-season here in London.

It might not surprise you to learn that I didn't attend any live sporting events this week, although saying that, I did make it my daughters' sports day.

I don't know about you, but I always dread these and the pressure to do the parents' race in particular.

I usually always do take part but I always come last despite being quite fit and sporty - I'm not a sprinter, give me 20km and I'll probably manage a podium finish.

Thankfully help was required walking the nursery children back to the school and my wife took part instead, claiming a very impressive bronze in the egg and spoon race. 

One of the biggest games of the week takes place at Meadow Park - tickets

Have you taken part yet this summer? Did you win or join the glorious failures club with the likes of me?

Getting back to the football, this week's biggest games are mainly in midweek with four EFL sides in action over the next seven days.

My first game is hopefully going to be Actonians' pre-season opener against Real Bedford on Sunday although I might try and watch Harrow's game at Haringey on Saturday too but it's the school fete that afternoon.

Lastly this week, many thanks to long-time reader Nick G from London for his donation to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund - I really, really appreciate it.


There are friendlies to be enjoyed every day this week with EFL sides Charlton Athletic, Leyton Orient, Norwich City and Watford all in action in and around London.

Dulwich Hamlet welcome German opposition Altona 93 to Champion Hill for a friendly with a European flavour.

There's also an international friendly between WUFA member Chagos Islands and the Falkland Islands at South Park FC in Reigate on Monday.

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 3 July

Athletic Newham v New Salamis @tbc - there's not much on on Monday in London but this is definitely the pick of the action. The ninth-tier hosts enjoyed a 2-1 win at Harpenden Town in their first pre-season game on Saturday whilst the visitors, who play a level above, triumphed 4-1 at Wembley. However, I've not been able to confirm the venue or kick-off time for this one - hopefully all will become clear on Monday  

A bit further afield
Chagos Islands v Falkland Islands @730pm - just to the south of London, there's a bit of international football in Reigate where South Park FC play host to representative teams from these islands. Tickets are £3

Tuesday 4 July

Barnet v Norwich City @730pm - one of the biggest games of the week takes place at The Hive on Tuesday. The Bees enjoyed a top-five finish in the National League last season but lost to local rivals Boreham Wood in the play-offs. Championship club Norwich had a hugely underwhelming season, finishing 13th following their relegation from the Premier League. Tickets are £12
AFC Croydon Athletic v Bridon Ropes @730pm - the new Zaha/Stormzy era began with a 2-0 win over VCD Athletic on Saturday. Next up the Rams face Bridon Ropes who play a level below them
Barking v Hashtag United @745pm - the Blues recorded a solid 4-1 win over 10th-tier Lewisham Borough in their opening friendly at the weekend. Things should get significantly tougher here when they welcome a team from two levels above them
Bedfont Sports v Beaconsfield Town @730pm - back in the ninth tier Combined Counties League after a desperately disappointing season in the Isthmian League, Bedfont Sports will hope to bounce back as soon as the possibly can. After an entertaining 2-2 draw with local rivals Hanworth on Saturday, they welcome Southern League Beaconsfield who play two levels above them
Erith Town v SC Thamesmead @730pm - the Dockers announced recently that they'll be groundsharing with SC Thamesmead this season, hence the reason for this match

A bit further afield
Ascot United v Slough Town @745pm - just to the west of London, in the shadow of one of the country's most illustrious race courses, the recently crowned FA Vase and Combined Counties League champions are preparing for their first season in the Isthmian League. Fellow Berkshire club Slough, who play two levels above, should provide a stern test


Wednesday 5 July

Boreham Wood v Watford @730pm - there's another chance to see a Championship side in action on Wednesday at Meadow Park where the Hornets kick-off their pre-season campaign. Like Norwich, Watford had a very disappointing season and will look for much better this time round - although how many managers they get through is anyone's guess. The Wood made the National League play-offs last season and will hope to challenge again. Tickets are £15

Thursday 6 July

Brook House v Kensington Dragons @730pm - this is the only game I'm aware of on Thursday and it takes place at Alec Reed Academy in Northolt. Tenth tier Brook House should start as marginal favourites against their 11th tier opponents


Friday 7 July

QPR U21 v US Air Force U21 @3pm - the most eye-catching game of the day probably won't be open to the public as it's taking place at the R's brand spanking new training ground at Heston. I've listed it here as I don't know for sure one way or another if you will be able to get in but given the opposition, I think it's even more unlikely than normal on security grounds
Erith & Belvedere v Punjab United @715pm - competing for the Martin Tarrant Trophy, Park View Road looks like the place to be on Friday night with live DJs, dance troops, candy floss, face painting, ice cream and more! To top it all it's only £3 to get in

A bit further afield
Billericay Town v Leyton Orient @745pm - there are a few games around the periphery of London with this one featuring the League One O's topping the bill


Saturday 8 July

Dartford v Charlton Athletic @3pm - the Addicks took a strong side to Welling United on Saturday, won 4-0 and drew a huge crowd of 2,765 to Park View Road. The Darts play at the same level as the Wings and will be hoping for a similar turnout at Princes Park. Tickets are £10
Dulwich Hamlet v Altona 93 @3pm - there should also be a big crowd at Champion Hill where the Hamlet welcome their old friends from Germany. The south-east London club headed out to Hamburg five years ago for the reverse fixture and won 4-1 but they were a better side then. Also, both sides are celebrating their 130th anniversaries this year. Tickets are £12.80
Aveley v Dagenham & Redbridge @3pm - after winning the Isthmian League play-offs, the Millers find themselves in the National League South. On Saturday they welcome local rivals D&R who play one level above them
Wealdstone v Bracknell Town @2pm - after seeing their game against Rayners Lane called off at short notice, the Stones have managed to get Southern League title contenders Bracknell to step in at the last minute. Still being played at Rayners Lane's ground, it follows the 11am game between Broadfields United and Leverstock Green


Sunday 9 July

Actonians Reserves v Leatherhead @2pm - with the A's first team having had their match against Real Bedford cancelled, the reserves now become the only show in town on Sunday. Having won the double for the last two seasons, they're a pretty decent side in their own right and are now about to play their first season in the women's sixth tier alongside Brentford's first team. The visitors finished bottom of this division last season so should be beaten. It's taking place on one of the 3G pitches in Gunnersbury Park, is free entry and it's where I plan to be

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.

Has this blog been helpful? Donate to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund here 


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