Sunday 30 June 2024

TLFG: 1-7 July 2024

Greetings one and all and welcome the first TLFG of the 2024/25 pre-season.

It's been just over four weeks since my last piece of 2023/24 so here we go again.

Did you get to any of the Surrey games that have filled the gap over the last month?

I made it to the match against the Chagos Islands at Dorking Wanderers' ground three weeks ago.

It was a lot of fun, with the sides swapping the lead before Surrey eventually ran out 4-2 winners.

It's now all about friendlies for the next month.

Many people understandably dislike games at this time of year but I love them.

Charlton travel to Dartford on Saturday

The games are often played in warm sun, between random teams who would never normally play and in grounds that you might never have cause to visit at any other time.

My plan is to travel down to Surrey to watch QPR U21s play the highly ambitious Farnham Town at their place on Saturday.

Paul Johnson's side romped to the CCL Premier South title last season and should be among the frontrunners in the eighth tier Isthmian League South Central in 2024/25.

I then hope to head up to Silver Jubilee Park on Sunday to watch Actonians' first friendly under their new management team.

Before all that, we've got a General Election to entertain us on Thursday.

As usual, I'll be working at my local polling station, handing out ballot papers and enforcing electoral law!

Have a great week everyone - it's great to be back.


This week we've got matches featuring sides from the third tier and below with League One Charlton Athletic the first of the 'bigger' clubs to get underway.

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 1 July

Edgware & Kingsbury v Hadley @730pm - aside from a few unofficial games in June, pre-season in London gets underway with this match at Silver Jubilee Park. The hosts had a very difficult 2023/24 and finished second from bottom in the ninth tier CCL Premier North. Thankfully only the bottom club went down so they live to fight another day. Fellow north London club Hadley play a level above in the Southern League and only missed a play-off spot by four points so they'll be hoping to improve on that

Tuesday 2 July

Wingate & Finchley v Sporting Bengal United @745pm - both of these sides had seasons to remember last year. Wingate, one of the smallest clubs in the Isthmian Premier, made it to the play-offs before narrowly losing 1-0 to eventual winners Enfield Town. SBU made it to the Essex Senior League play-offs and won them to enjoy consecutive promotions from the 10th to eighth tiers - some achievement. This is being played at the Football Pad in Barnet
Bedfont Sports v Hanwell Town @745pm - two west London clubs do battle by Heathrow airport. Another side to enjoy a play-off run, Bedfont Sports fell just short of a return to the Isthmian League. Two levels above, the Geordies struggled to hold on to their Southern League Premier South status but they managed it and should start as favourites here
AFC Whyteleafe v Croydon @8pm - the Leafe won the SCEFL Division 1 title last season to claim a place in the ninth tier. The Trams flirted with a play-off place in the same division but ultimately fell short. A local derby on the south side of town
Langley v Farnham Town @730pm - the brilliantly nicknamed MerryMakers managed a top-eight finish in the 10th tier CCL Division 1 last season. On Tuesday they travel to the neutral venue of Walton & Hersham's ground to play the CCL Premier South champions. Farnham are investing a lot in their team and have ambitious plans

Wednesday 3 July

Carshalton Athletic v Sutton United @730pm - the only game I'm aware of on Wednesday is this women's friendly at Colston Avenue. This is the first match for the Robins' new women's team who will be playing in the seventh tier this season. Local rivals Sutton play in the fifth tier so should provide a stern test

Thursday 4 July

Erith Town v Sporting Bengal United @730pm - like SBU, the Dockers enjoyed promotion from the ninth tier via the play-offs. They both now find themselves in the Isthmian League albeit in different regional divisions
Frenford v Concord Rangers @745pm - further north in the Ilford area, Essex Senior League club Frenford welcome Concord who hail from Canvey Island. The Essex club had a terrible 2023/24 and suffered their second consecutive relegation meaning they've gone from the sixth to eighth tiers in quick time. This will be the first time they've competed at this level since 2010


Friday 5 July

Cobham v Farnborough @745pm - fancy a bit of Friday night football? Yes? Then get on down to the Reg Madgwick Stadium to see the ninth-tier Hammers welcome National League South opposition. The Yellows finished just outside the play-off places in the sixth tier so they'll no doubt want to go one better this time
Barking v AS London @745pm - a world away from leafy Surrey, the Blues begin their pre-season campaign against the newly named AS London at Mayesbrook Park. Previously known as Park View, the north London club play in the 10th tier Eastern Counties League


Saturday 6 July

Dartford v Charlton Athletic @2pm - after pushing hard for promotion to the National League in 2022/23, it all went wrong for the Darts last season and they ended up getting relegated to the Isthmian Premier. Their preparations for this campaign begin with the high-profile visit of League One side Charlton. The Addicks finished the season strongly under new boss Nathan Jones and they'll be worth keeping an eye on as the months go by. Tickets are £10
Walton & Hersham v Wealdstone @2pm - the Swans enjoyed three consecutive promotions to make it all the way up to the seventh tier Southern League. They were on course to make the play-offs again last season but for some reason manager Scott Harris ended up departing late in the campaign and saw numerous players go with him (now mostly at Kingstonian). How they recover from this will be very interesting to see. The Stones, on the other hand, had some managerial shuffles themselves as they held on to their fifth-tier status. Now led by former Portsmouth and West Ham player Matty Taylor, they'll be looking for at least a top-10 finish
Cray Wanderers v SE Dons @1pm - after a lot of hard work, London's oldest club will begin life at their new Flamingo Park home in Sidcup. They're going to open it with this match against SE Dons who are switching from Sunday football to enter the pyramid in the 10th tier. With a big online presence, the visitors have thousands of fans and it will be interesting to see what sort of crowds they're able to generate
AFC Whyteleafe v Bromley XI @2pm - after playing local rivals Croydon in midweek, the Leafe next welcome a squad from League Two new boys Bromley. The Ravens' first team don't officially begin their friendlies until next Saturday so expect this to be a young side
Edgware & Kingsbury v Hendon @130pm - there's a groundshare derby at Silver Jubilee Park where the ninth tier E&K will look to get one over the seventh tier Greens to win the Jeffrey Over Memorial Cup
Fisher v Dulwich Hamlet @130pm - the Fish will already have a game under their belts when they welcome fellow south-east Londoners Dulwich to Rotherhithe. The Hamlet play two levels above their opponents, who used to share Champion Hill with them, so will hope for a strong showing

Sunday 7 July

Actonians v Billericay Town @2pm - it's all about women's football on Sunday with the top games taking place close together in north-west London. After another top-six finish in their fourth-tier division, the A's parted ways with boss Kieran Beesley. It came as a bit of surprise as things were going well and sadly it also means the departure of teenage star striker Tori St Clair, who travelled with him from Oxford, and his partner Isi Meade who was superb in defence. My sources tell me a new management team are in place so it will be intriguing to see what they produce against third tier opposition from Essex. This match is being played at Silver Jubilee Park rather than Actonians' normal Rectory Park home
London Bees v Ebbsfleet United @2pm - just up the road at The Hive complex, the hosts are preparing to begin life down in the fourth tier. The last few years have been really disappointing for the Bees who have suffered two relegations as they've fallen down from the Championship. With a new manager in place and renewed optimism, they have the potential to do well. Ebbsfleet finished fourth in their fifth-tier division last season 

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!

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