Football

The London Football Guide: TLFG: 12-18 September 2022

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TLFG DAILY DIGEST

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 12 September

Isthmian League Premier

Aveley v Potters Bar Town @745pm – the week begins with a clash of the top two in the Isthmian League. Both sides have won four of their first five league games but crucially they met in the FA Cup last week and PBT came out on top

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Tuesday 13 September

League One

Charlton Athletic v Forest Green Rovers @745pm – the Addicks have continued the inconsistent form they showed for much of last season and are 12th after seven games. FGR finally made it up from League Two but have only managed two wins and are in the bottom four. Tickets

League Two

AFC Wimbledon v Northampton Town @745pm – the Dons have also had an unspectacular start to life back in the fourth tier and face a tough evening against the Cobblers who are up in fifth. Tickets

National League

Barnet v Dorking Wanderers @745pm – with two defeats from their last three, the Bees have slipped to seventh. The visitors have lost even more form and are getting worryingly close to the relegation zone

Boreham Wood v Maidenhead United @745pm – the Wood are currently London’s top-ranked club in this division and are just three points off top spot. Maidenhead ended a three game losing streak by drawing with FC Halifax Town

National League South

Dulwich Hamlet v Hemel Hempstead Town @745pm – there’s an early season relegation six-pointer at Champion Hill where two clubs in the bottom four fight it out for a crucial three points

Southern League Premier Division South

Harrow Borough v Hendon @745pm – it’s a similar story at the Rogers Family Stadium but in this case it’s a derby too

FA Trophy First Round Qualifying

Beckenham Town v Heybridge Swifts @745pm – after seeing Saturday’s opening round postponed following the death of the Queen, the action has all been shifted to midweek instead – a period that had been initially reserved for replays. For me, this is the tie of the round as it pits two of the best teams in the eighth tier against each other. Beckenham are two points clear at the top in the Isthmian South East whilst Heybridge are one of three clubs sharing the lead in the North

Essex Senior League

Redbridge v Enfield @745pm – two of the top four meet at Oakside for what could ultimately be an important match in the title race. The Motormen are currently second but have the games in hand to go top whereas Enfield have played even fewer games but won them all and look impressive. They’re also still in the FA Cup so might have an eye on that as they prepare to host Billericay on Saturday

SCEFL Premier

Stansfeld v Rusthall @745pm – Erith & Belvedere are currently top and are also in action on Tuesday but this match between two of the top four looks marginally more interesting. Stansfeld are new to this level but have made a fine start and are second

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Wednesday 14 September

UEFA Champions League

Chelsea v RB Salzburg @8pm – new boss Graham Potter takes charge of his first Blues game on Wednesday night and it’s in the Champions League. Defeat to Dinamo Zagreb last week cost former manager Thomas Tuchel his job so Chelsea have some ground to make up. Although only playing in the Austrian league, Salzburg are top and unbeaten and also drew with AC Milan in their Champions League opener

Championship

Millwall v QPR @745pm – tickets for Chelsea will be hard to get but there are still some available for this usually combative derby. Only a point separates them in the table and it should be close again. Tickets

FA Trophy First Qualifying Round

Hadley v Sevenoaks Town @745pm – the best non-league option of the night is this cup tie at Brickfield Lane. Hadley are new to the eighth tier and they’re struggling, this could well be tough for them

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Thursday 8 September

UEFA Europa League

Arsenal v PSV Eindhoven @8pm – the Gunners started their Europa League campaign with a 2-0 win at FC Zurich just as news about the Queen’s death was breaking. With their weekend game against Everton being called off, they go straight back into European competition with this one. PSV began with a draw against Bodo/Glimt and are in the top four in the Netherlands. Tickets are for members only

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Friday 9 September

FA Women’s Super League

Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion @730pm – with the opening weekend of the new WSL season postponed by the Queen’s death, this will now be the first game of the campaign. Being played at Boreham Wood’s ground, this match has already sold out

Essex Senior League

Woodford Town v Redbridge @745pm – the Woods welcome what could be the leaders come Friday night. A win for the hosts could see them push well into the top five themselves

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Saturday 17 September

Premier League

Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City @530pm – at the time of writing there is still some doubt as to whether this match or any involving pro clubs will take place because of a possible lack of police resources ahead of the Queen’s funeral. If it does, Spurs will start as strong favourites because the Foxes have had a nightmare start and are bottom with no wins from six games. Tickets are not available to non-members

Championship

Millwall v Blackpool @3pm – at the time of writing, both sides are locked in midtable just a point apart. The Lions have won their last four against the Lancashire club at The Den and should start as marginal favourites here. Tickets
QPR v Stoke City @3pm – if the R’s beat Millwall in midweek then they could well find themselves back in the top six coming into this. The Potters are another club to have disappointed in the opening weeks of the season and are already onto a new manager after Alex Neil replaced Michael O’Neill. Tickets
Watford v Sunderland @3pm – arguably the best of the options in the second tier is between these two who are currently in the top eight. The Mackems haven’t won at Vicarage Road since 1999 but then they’ve only played there four times since. Tickets

League Two

Leyton Orient v Walsall @3pm – the O’s have had a dream start to the season and sit three points clear at the top with an unbeaten record. Walsall are down in 13th and haven’t won at Brisbane Road on their last 10 visits – that should become 11 on Saturday. Tickets
Sutton United v Hartlepool United @3pm – the U’s haven’t started quite as well as last year but they’re still just a point off the play-offs after seven games. Hartlepool need to improve their form or they could be heading back to non-league football. Tickets 

Premier League 2

As it stands there are three U21 games in the London area on Saturday with Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur all hosting games at various grounds. Check all the details on the day to make sure they’re still happening

National League

Bromley v Maidstone United @3pm – the pick of the action in the fifth tier is this game between two Kent clubs. Maidstone should bring a significant following for what is effectively a derby

FA Cup Second Round Qualifying

The next round of the FA Cup hits London this weekend and there are a number of really decent ties, here’s my selection of what I believe are the best ones:

Dartford v Beckenham Town @3pm – the Darts play two levels above the Becks and should, on paper, start as favourites. However, they’re not in great form and Beckenham are. If the tie was being played at Eden Park Avenue, then I’d really fancy the underdogs’ chances but we’ll see…

Dulwich Hamlet v Margate @3pm – after many lean years in the FA Cup, the Hamlet finally made it to the First Round in 2019. The following year they made it to the Fourth Qualifying Round but last year they got dumped out by eighth tier Bedfont Sports in one of the shocks of the round. Margate should be a tougher proposition than Bedfont and might fancy their chances given Dulwich’s poor form

Welling United v Fisher @3pm – there’s another south-east London derby at Park View Road. Fisher play three levels below the Wings and are in poor form in the league but they keep upsetting teams in the cup – surely this is one match too far for them but this competition causes strange things to happen

Hendon v Wingate & Finchley @3pm – there’s also a derby on the north side of town between two far more even sides from parallel seventh tier divisions. The Greens have a proud FA Cup history but Wingate have never made the First Round. Will this be their year?

Walton & Hersham v Chatham Town @3pm – I really like the look of this one between two teams who both won promotion to the eighth tier last season and have both begun really well – they are fourth in their respective divisions. The Swans have got some good crowds in the FA Cup over the last year and I expect another strong showing here

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Sunday 18 September

Premier League

Brentford v Arsenal @2pm – when these sides met at the start of last season, the Bees humiliated the Gunners but this time it should be different, at least much closer. Mikel Arteta’s side are top but their defeat to Manchester United, a side Brentford thrashed, shows they have weaknesses. In the compact GTech Community Stadium, we could have quite a game on our hands. Tickets are not available to non-members

Chelsea v Liverpool @430pm – straight after this, three or so miles to the east, we’ve got this even bigger game between two of the country’s giants. Despite their huge reputations, neither have started well with their sixth and seventh places well below expectations. Last season, the clubs played four times and all ended in draws with penalties required on the two occasions they met in cup competitions. Given their current form, a draw looks likely again. Tickets are not available

FA Women’s Super League

West Ham United v Everton @3pm – with the WSL start delayed by a week, this match at Dagenham & Redbridge’s ground is the best on offer in the capital. The Hammers finished sixth last season and will do well to break into the elite group of teams that dominate the league. Adult tickets start at a rather pricey £13

FA Women’s Championship

Crystal Palace v Southampton @1230pm – it’s a big day below the Super League as several teams play their matches at their main stadiums. Palace are top of the Championship after two games and welcome the Saints to Selhurst Park for this one. Adult tickets are £10
Charlton Athletic v Birmingham City @2pm – if you’ve been to Selhurst Park before, why not try out The Valley instead where the Addicks’ women take on the Blues who’ve just come down from the Super League. Adult tickets are £10

FA Women’s National League Division 1 SE

AFC Wimbledon v Actonians @2pm – in the fourth tier, the Dons welcome Actonians to Plough Lane and this is very much where I intend to be, having not watched a match here before. Adult tickets are £5
QPR v Norwich City @2pm – finally, not to be left out, the R’s are also opening Loftus Road to their women’s side. This match ended 2-1 to the hosts when they met here last season. Adult tickets are also £5

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