Sunday, 27 July 2014

TLFG: 28 July-3 August 2014

Greetings sports fans and welcome to TLFG.

Pre-season is now well under way and this week sees three of our local top-flight sides return to the capital to play a varying quality of opposition.

It's also the opening weekend of the Combined Counties League as competitive football also makes its return.

I'm not sure I'm going to get to see a game until the opening day of the Premier League in about three weeks time when I've managed to get a ticket for QPR's season opener against Hull City.

Having decided to forego a season ticket this year, I only went for membership and feared I might miss out in the scramble for tickets as the Premier League brings loads more fans to games.

Luckily my friends and I were on the ball and got in quick for game one and got some fairly easily for a very decent price of £30 (including a members' discount of £5). Given the negative ticket pricing stories emanating from QPR in recent years, I was pleasantly surprised by this.

Not long now!

Here's hoping the game is a lot better than our last two first-day matches in the Premier League - both ended in heavy home defeats to Bolton and Swansea, sides like Hull, who we would've thought we'd have had a chance against.

The rest of my week has been spent continuing to work towards Non-League Day on 6 September.

My main task has been putting the match map together. If you consider that compiling the weekly one I do for this blog takes about four hours, then doing one which covers the whole country is a mammoth task but one I find ultimately very satisfying. It is afterall, the key feature of NLD's website.

Said website will hopefully launch in the next few days and then we'll be into the final phase when things start to get really interesting...

That's it from me. Don't forget, you can get all the latest ticket information for our local clubs and other big games taking place in the capital on the 'Match Ticket Info' page .

GET INVOLVED
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 within the London area for this blog then get in touch. You might also want to have a go at writing a 'Top Ten' one week. 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.

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.


LATEST TICKET NEWS
Please follow this link or click on the tab at the top of the page for all the information you need about how to get a ticket, what's currently available to non-members at London's biggest clubs and any other special offers or promotions which might be running.


THE WEEK AHEAD
There are over 90 matches in the London area over the next seven days so there's plenty to choose from whatever your budget.

However, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or venue has been changed. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found in the following match map. If you've never used it 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 left side of the map page to make sure you get all the information.

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 (e.g. clubs in the Conference South).

MATCH MAP
Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday fixtures
Magenta pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures


View London match map 28 July-3 August 2014 in a larger map

Next up is this week's TLFG match recommendations where I list a few games which I think could be worth a watch. If I miss one that you think should get a mention then add your own in the comments section below.

TLFG TOP 10

1. The Emirates Cup - Arsenal have been hosting four team pre-season tournaments on and off since the Makita International Tournament in 1991. In 2007 the popular Emirates Cup we have today got under way and has been contested every year since (bar 2012 because of the Olympics). This year's challengers to the Gunners are Benfica, Monaco and Valencia. There are two games a day over the weekend. As it stands, the Sunday has sold out and only a few are left for Saturday when it's Valencia v Monaco and Arsenal v Benfica.  (Saturday & Sunday 2-3 August from 2pm. Ticket info)

2. Brentford v Crystal Palace - the Bees have made a cracking start to pre-season with three consecutive wins over increasingly tougher opposition, scoring 11 goals in the process. On Tuesday they welcome Spanish club Osasuna before this London derby against the Eagles on Saturday. Tony Pulis guided Palace to a solid midtable finish in the Premier League last season and should be hard to beat again. I expect this to be quite a decent game and tickets are available from just £8. (Saturday 2 August, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. Leyton Orient v Queens Park Rangers - this really should also have been a Championship v Premier League London derby but the O's blew a 2-0 half-time lead in the League One play-off final in May to miss out on promotion. Instead we've still got an attractive battle of east versus west on Tuesday night. Russel Slade's side are unbeaten in their three games so far while QPR have enjoyed one win and one defeat from a trip to Germany. This is a first-team game for the Premier League side but given they're also playing at Southend 24 hours later, there's likely to be a fair amount of squad rotation going on. (Tuesday 29 July, 745pm. Ticket info)

4. Watford v Udinese - the fact that both clubs are owned by the Pozzo family is probably the main reason why this fixture has been arranged. It pits the Championship Hornets against the team from Italy's Serie A. Watford have crammed in seven games since the start of the month and are unbeaten but the Bianconeri are the highest calibre opponents they will have faced. The most notable thing about this match is that it's only £3 to get in with all profits going to charity. (Saturday 2 August, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Millwall v Real Mallorca - I can't think of many better ways to begin a weekend of football watching than a night in balmy Bermondsey watching the Lions take on former Copa del Rey winners Real Mallorca. Ian Holloway's side finished only four points above the relegation zone last season whilst the Los Bermellones avoided the drop into Spain's third tier by just one point as they also had a season to forget. Tickets are available at a flat price of £10. (Friday 1 August, 745pm. Ticket info)

6. Barnet v Wycombe Wanderers - these two looked almost certain to be playing each other in the Conference this season. Wycombe began the final day of the League Two campaign in the relegation zone, three points adrift of safety.However, they pulled off a 3-0 win at bottom club Torquay while Bristol Rovers lost 1-0 at Mansfield to go down in their place on goal difference. Although Barnet didn't struggle to stay up last season, they did miss out on promotion by a comfortable margin. They've also suffered some bruising defeats in pre-season, most recently a 5-1 drubbing by Brentford at home on Tuesday. This game could be quite tight. (Saturday 2 August, 3pm. Ticket info)

7. Sutton United v Cambridge United - the hosts' pre-season campaign comes to a close with this game against League Two club Cambridge United. Paul Doswell's side have experienced a mixed bag of results over the last few weeks with three wins, a draw and two defeats. On Saturday they recorded a tidy 1-0 win at Isthmian League title contenders Maidstone United and next face Conference club Aldershot in another testing game. Cambridge have packed in seven games over the last two weeks suffering only one defeat to Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk so they should prove to be challenging opponents. (Saturday 2 August, 3pm. Club info)

8. Kingstonian v Dover Athletic - the K's had a fine season last time out, finishing second in the Isthmian League. Sadly they came unstuck in the play-offs, a result which saw long-serving manager Alan Dowson resign. Despite this disappointment, Kingstonian are fancied to do well again this year and are seen as London's best hope of winning the title. Dover are back in the Conference Premier after some fine late-season form guided them through the Conference South play-offs. The Whites should provide a good yardstick for the K's to measure themselves against as they also won the Isthmian League five years ago. (Saturday 2 August, 3pm. Ticket info)

9. Thurrock v Ebbsfleet United - in the division below Kingstonian, Thurrock are seen as being the best that the Greater London area has to offer. Ebbsfleet who play just across the Thames in Kent have been installed as Conference South title favourites so in essence we have two teams who should be in positive spirits preparing for what I think is fair to call a derby. Although two divisions currently separate them, they were both Conference South clubs in 2010/11. Both games that season ended in a draw. (Tuesday 29 July, 745pm. Club info)

10. Greenwich Borough v Dartford - last up this week we have this groundshare derby. Southern Counties East League side Greenwich play four divisions below Dartford but began an eye-catching groundshare at the Conference Premier club's fine Princes Park last season. This was primarily due to some wealthy new owners taking over at Borough. This summer they have made further headlines by signing former Brentford and Millwall striker Gary Alexander whilst they also failed in an attempt to bring in former Dutch star Edgar Davids. The Darts only avoided relegation last season courtesy of a reprieve so perhaps they'll have to watch their backs!  (Sunday 3 August, 1pm. Club info)

If you have any questions or want advice about watching football in London, you can contact TLFG using the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or email.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

TLFG: 21-27 July 2014

Hi there and welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

It's been a hot and steamy old week in London with hot days and thundery nights, very tropical.

There were also lots of games on, some of which drew capacity crowds.

The much anticipated friendly between AFC Wimbledon and Chelsea didn't disappoint as the League Two side raced into a 2-0 lead before three late goals (two from John Terry) proved to be their undoing.

A strong Arsenal side also drew a large attendance at Boreham Wood who were opening their new West Stand.

Did you go to a game? This week's schedule is absolutely packed with games but all our Premier League sides are off on foreign tours so it will be lower league clubs that take centre stage and the top clubs' reserve and youth sides.

The Non-League Day preparations have also continued this week with the main event being the release of the Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern League fixtures.

Personally, this level of non-league football is the one I most identify with and enjoy. The clubs are a good size and admission remains at £10 or under which to me is crucial.

I've also done my first press interview of the new campaign for the Non League Paper and we've had a number of discussions with some other potential partners.

The hard work of getting all the matches on to the match map is the next challenge - it's simple enough but very time consuming with several hundred having to be added.

This afternoon we've got our biggest planning meeting yet as we move into the final six weeks of the campaign.

On the day itself I'm pretty certain I'll be off to Dulwich Hamlet v Hampton & Richmond Borough - a great host club, decent opponents and it's easy to get to.

Over the previous four years I've been to Hayes & Yeading United, Tooting & Mitcham United, Wealdstone and Harrow Borough so it will be good to visit another club and see how they do it.

That's it from me. Don't forget, you can get all the latest ticket information for our local clubs and other big games taking place in the capital on the 'Match Ticket Info' page .

GET INVOLVED
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 within the London area for this blog then get in touch. You might also want to have a go at writing a 'Top Ten' one week. 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.

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.


LATEST TICKET NEWS
Please follow this link or click on the tab at the top of the page for all the information you need about how to get a ticket, what's currently available to non-members at London's biggest clubs and any other special offers or promotions which might be running.


THE WEEK AHEAD
There are over 90 matches in the London area over the next seven days so there's plenty to choose from whatever your budget.

However, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or venue has been changed. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found in the following match map. If you've never used it 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 left side of the map page to make sure you get all the information.

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 (e.g. clubs in the Conference South).

MATCH MAP
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday fixtures
Magenta pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures


View London match map 21-27 July 2014 in a larger map


Next up is this week's TLFG match recommendations where I list a few games which I think could be worth a watch. If I miss one that you think should get a mention then add your own in the comments section below.

TLFG TOP 10

1. Brentford v OGC Nice -  the friendly of the week sees Championship newcomers Brentford host Ligue 1 outfit Nice. After finishing runners-up to Wolves in League One last season, the Bees find themselves back in the second tier for the first time since 1993. Their pre-season began with a solid 3-1 win at Boreham Wood and they will travel to Barnet before hosting their first home game against Les Aiglons. The club from the Cote d'Azur narrowly avoided relegation from the French top flight last season so should provide interesting opposition. (Saturday 26 July, 4pm. Ticket info)

2. Dagenham & Redbridge v Colchester United - the Daggers have two home games this week but I've gone for this one over the match against MK Dons as it's an Essex derby. As usual, the League Two club have a packed pre-season schedule and will have played six times by the time of this match. They've made a disappointing start so far with four defeats from five against primarily non-league opposition. This week's games are against League One sides so hopefully they'll up their game. (Saturday 26 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. Barnet v Brentford - as recently as 2009 these two were rivals in League Two. The last five years have seen Barnet slide back into the Conference while Brentford have risen to the heady heights of the Championship meaning three divisions now separate them. Since Barnet's move to The Hive, only eight miles now lies between them so I think it's fair to call this a derby. Recent games have been tight with Brentford usually sneaking home by a one-goal margin. (Tuesday 22 July, 745pm. Ticket info)

4. Dartford v Gillingham - the Gills' tour of south-east London continues with a trip to Princes Park on Tuesday. Having been held to a 1-1 draw by Welling on Saturday, they face a similar challenge from fellow Conference outfit Dartford here. The Darts have lost twice against Football League opponents in recent days but only by narrow margins. This game against Peter Taylor's League One side will be their last home game before the new season so will hope to get a decent result. (Tuesday 22 July, 745pm. Ticket info)

5. Boreham Wood v Cambridge United - after hosting a strong Arsenal side on Saturday, this match is going to seem like a bit of comedown. The Wood opened their new stand against the Gunners and put on a good show in front of a big crowd as they lost 2-0. It will be great if a few people who turned up to watch that game are tempted to return to Meadow Park for the visit of League Two Cambridge who are the lowest ranked side they've played in pre-season so far. United, however, have been banging in goals for fun recently and held La Liga club Espanyol to a 2-2 draw on Saturday. (Tuesday 22 July, 730pm. Club info)

6. Thurrock v Portsmouth - one of the more unusual match-ups of the summer sees Isthmian League Division 1 North club Thurrock host League Two Pompey. Four divisions currently separate the clubs but it should be many more when you consider Portsmouth were a Premier League side as recently as 2010. Terrible financial mismanagement robbed them of that status and they plunged down the pyramid, even flirting with relegation to the Conference last season. Thurrock have also had a traumatic time of late, suffering back-to-back relegations in 2011/12 and 2012/13. They steadied the ship last season and almost went back up and will hope for better this time. (Tuesday 22 July, 745pm. Ticket info)

7. Sutton United v West Ham United XI - the U's have enjoyed successful run-outs against youthful sides from Chelsea and Reading so far so it will be interesting to see how they fare against a development side from West Ham. With the first team on tour in New Zealand, don't expect to see any household names on show but you could see a star of the future as they look to emerge from the Hammers' famous academy system. (Wednesday 23 July, 745pm. Club info)

8. Wealdstone v Watford U21 - the Stones romped to a 4-0 win over local rivals Harrow Borough on Saturday suggesting they could give this Hornets side a tough evening. Wealdstone have struck up a good relationship with Watford, a club they used to groundshare with, in recent seasons so a reasonable turnout should be expected. One or two first-team players could even make the visitors' squad as they don't have any other games on around then. (Wednesday 23 July, 745pm. Ticket info)

9. Harrow Borough v Arsenal XI - after their dreadful start against Wealdstone, Boro will have to really up their game as they face back-to-back matches against a good St Albans City side and this development squad from Arsenal. Glamour friendlies like these often don't prove much on the field but provide a vital source of income to the host clubs. It was a game like this that inspired me to set up Non-League Day originally. If you're an Arsenal fan who can't make it over to New York for the first team game, please give this one a try instead. (Saturday 26 July, 3pm. Club info)

10. Millers Challenge Invitational - pre-season mini tournaments are becoming ever more popular and over in Essex we've got this fine looking event this weekend. Aveley play host as four neighbouring clubs from the Isthmian League go head-to-head over two days. Rather than being a knockout competition with semi-finals, this takes on an Emirates Cup format with points awarded for wins, draws and goals scored. East Thurrock United, Grays Athletic and Romford provide the opposition with games kicking off at 1pm and 330pm on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available game-by-game, by the day or all weekend. (Saturday & Sunday 26-27 July from 1pm. Match info)

If you have any questions or want advice about watching football in London, you can contact TLFG using the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or email.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

TLFG: 14-20 July 2014

Greetings readers, welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

I hope you're well and in the mood for some football as things are really starting to hot up this week.

Once tonight's World Cup final is out of the way, all the big stars start filtering back to their clubs (via a beach somewhere) and start spicing up some pre-season friendlies.

One or two players whose teams went out in the group stage may even be back in training by now and could feature for Arsenal and Chelsea in their friendlies at lower league London opposition at the weekend (more on that below).

Last week I mentioned how I was about to enter the scrum for QPR season tickets - well it turned out that all four of the people I go with decided against it so none of us got one and they all sold out.

It's membership for us instead and I hope the club make it worthwhile and tier it in someway so new fans drawn in by Premier League status don't suddenly find themselves on an equal footing with people who have been members for years. Other clubs like Arsenal and Tottenham manage this but QPR are notorious for failing to reward loyalty and I fear we may be shortchanged again.

The Non-League Day preparations have also continued. The big event this week was announcing our official charity partner for this year's campaign - Prostate Cancer UK.

We were initially drawn to them by their 'Men United' campaign, fronted by comedian Bill Bailey, and the partnership they have with the Football League and its clubs. Here's hoping it will be a tie-up that works well for all parties.


Tomorrow sees the release of the Isthmian League fixtures and there's one team I'm really hoping end up at home on the day. I won't say who but they are one of the best clubs at that level and have missed out on all four previous occasions - they deserve a go and I'm told they'll make a real effort to get extra people in.

That's it from me. Don't forget, you can get all the latest ticket information for our local clubs and other big games taking place in the capital on the 'Match Ticket Info' page .

GET INVOLVED
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 within the London area for this blog then get in touch. You might also want to have a go at writing a 'Top Ten' one week. 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.

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.


LATEST TICKET NEWS
Please follow this link or click on the tab at the top of the page for all the information you need about how to get a ticket, what's currently available to non-members at London's biggest clubs and any other special offers or promotions which might be running.


THE WEEK AHEAD
There are over 70 matches in the London area over the next seven days so there's plenty to choose from whatever your budget.

However, in case of bad weather, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or venue has been changed. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found in the following match map. If you've never used it 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 left side of the map page to make sure you get all the information.

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 (e.g. clubs in the Conference South).

MATCH MAP
Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday fixtures
Magenta pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures


View London match map 14-20 July 2014 in a larger map


Next up is this week's TLFG match recommendations where I list a few games which I think could be worth a watch. If I miss one that you think should get a mention then add your own in the comments section below.

TLFG TOP 10

1. AFC Wimbledon v Chelsea -  the friendly of the week is a derby between two south-west London clubs - one from League Two, the other from the Premier League. Most fans reading this blog will remember when both of these sides were in the top flight with the last match between the two seeing the Blues beat the Dons 3-1 at Stamford Bridge in February 2000. A lot has changed since then and technically AFC Wimbledon are a different club but many of the fans remain so Saturday should be quite an occasion. To be clear, Chelsea are treating this as a first XI fixture so expect a strong side. Only a few tickets remain so buy in advance. (Saturday 19 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

2. Boreham Wood v Arsenal - next up is this other appealing contest between two clubs from the north of town. The Wood have a special relationship with the Gunners which sees the Premier League side play the lions share of their reserve and women's teams games at Meadow Park. On the last two Non-League Days, Arsenal have also loaned Boreham Wood their luxury team bus to transport their squad to away games. This Saturday's match is being used to officially open their new West Stand with Arsene Wenger set to name a very strong squad in honour of the occasion. Again, tickets are selling well so buy in advance. If you can't make this, Boreham Wood are also hosting Championship club Brentford on Thursday. (Saturday 19 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. Dartford v Millwall - the Darts should have been playing Conference South football this season but saw their relegation reversed when other clubs fell into financial difficulties. Yesterday they began pre-season with a 1-0 win at neighbours Thurrock. On Tuesday things should get a lot tougher when Ian Holloway's Millwall come to town. This will be the Championship club's first game of the summer and they'll look to do well in what also has a derby feel to it. Despite a decent crowd being expected, it's pay on the gate with no tickets being sold in advance (Tuesday 15 May, 745pm. Ticket info)

4. Welling United v Gillingham - just down the road in Welling, the Wings welcome their second Football League team of the summer to Park View Road. Having seen off Charlton Athletic 2-0 on Saturday, they next welcome League One outfit Gillingham who play a little outside London in north Kent. The Gills will be paying visits to most senior non-league clubs in the county over the next few weeks and started with a solid 3-1 win at Folkestone on Saturday. They travel to Bromley ahead of this one so will have two games under their belt by the time this one comes round. Not much ticket info is readily available for this but the Charlton game was £13 in advance, £15 on the day. (Saturday 19 July, 3pm. Club info)

5. Barnet v Luton Town - both these sides have seen better days and are almost certainly playing in divisions beneath where they really should be. Last season they competed as rivals for the Conference title - the Bees never really got going and missed the play-offs while the Hatters ran away with it after four years of previous disappointments. Back in League Two, the former top-flight side should bring a sizeable following to the Hive for this match on Sunday afternoon. The Bees opened their pre-season with a 1-0 loss at home to Peterborough and also welcome League Two Stevenage on Tuesday. (Sunday 20 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Wealdstone v Dagenham & Redbridge - it will be an interesting season for the Stones who have been gradually gaining momentum like a locomotive over the last two or three years. After reaching an FA Trophy semi-final and missing out in two play-off campaigns, they finally bagged the Isthmian League title in April to climb up to the Conference South. Back in the '80s Wealdstone were the best non-league club in the country but never made it into the Football League. All kinds of problems resulted from the sale of their ground in the early '90s and they fell several rungs down the non-league ladder. Now they're almost back to the heady heights they once competed at and play their first home game of the summer against the Daggers from League Two. Thus far Gordon Bartlett's side have managed back-to-back wins at Leverstock Green and Burnham while Dagenham have lost two of their three friendlies albeit against theoretically stronger opposition. (Tuesday 15 July, 745pm. Club info)

7. Sutton United v Reading U21 - after holding a Chelsea U21 side to a 0-0 draw on Saturday, Sutton next face an U21 team from Championship club Reading. A bumper crowd of over 1,700 watched that one and they'll hope to get another decent attendance for this one. Sutton are currently fourth favourites for the Conference South title after missing out in the play-offs last season. Head down to Gander Green Lane to see if they're worth a punt. (Saturday 19 July, 3pm. Club info)

8. Hampton & Richmond Borough v Brentford XI - the Beavers had to settle for third place in the Geoff Harvey Memorial Vase at Corinthian Casuals this weekend. After suffering a semi-final loss to Merstham on Saturday, they came back to drub the hosts 5-1 in today's third place play-off. Next up is the almost perennial visit of a Brentford side to the Beveree. This is not being classed as a first team game by the visitors so don't expect too many regulars. (Tuesday 15 July, 745pm. Club info)

9. Thurrock v Charlton Athletic XI - with the first team on tour in Spain, don't expect household names in the Charlton squad for this one either. Thurrock opened their pre-season with a narrow loss to Dartford who play three divisions above them. An Addicks reserve side will probably be of a similar standard so another close game could ensue. (Wednesday 16 July, 745pm. Ticket info)

10. Harrow Borough v Wealdstone - I don't like to feature the same team twice in a Top 10 but I'm going to break my rule to squeeze in the only all non-league match recommendation of the week. Yes, it's Harrow derby time again. The Stones' promotion made it look as if this would be the first season for many years that their wouldn't be a Harrow derby but the clubs have come together to put on this 'friendly' instead. Little love is lost between the fans of these clubs with Wealdstone's blue horde far outnumbering Boro's hardy regulars. As I've previously mentioned, the vitriol seems a lot stronger from the Stones fans and I've never really understood why as they've historically had much the better of things. I'm hoping to get to this one. (Saturday 19 July, 3pm. Club info)

If you have any questions or want advice about watching football in London, you can contact TLFG using the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or email.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

TLFG: 7-13 July 2014

Hi there one and all and welcome to the second TLFG of the 2014/15 season.

It's been quite a week at the World Cup with some very memorable games and notable individual performances. Who do you think will win? Who do you want to win? Personally I'd like to see the Dutch do it as they've never won it before and, personally, I think they've been the most entertaining of the remaining four so far.

Have you seen any pre-season games yet? There haven't been many to choose from but I'm sure some of you have ventured out to get your football fix.

Personally my focus has turned once again to Non-League Day preparations.

This year's event will take place on Saturday 6 September and the pressure's on to make it the most successful it's ever been.


Just two months to go!

Discussions with our new charity partner (name to be announced soon) and crafting an accompanying press release have kept me busy while the announcement of the Conference and FA Vase fixtures mean we now know the first batch of clubs who will be hosting on the day.

In the London area Barking, Barnet, Broadfields United, Bromley, CB Hounslow United, Croydon, Epsom Athletic, Fisher, Glebe, Holmesdale, Oxhey Jets, Raynes Park Vale, Seven Acre & Sidcup, Staines Town and Sutton United are all at home. Hopefully they'll get some good crowds in.

The next lot of fixtures, including the Isthmian League, are due out on 14 July - I can hardly wait.

Next up for me is the scramble for a QPR season ticket which begins at 10am tomorrow (Monday). Here's hoping it will be worth buying this year.

That's it from me. Don't forget, you can get all the latest ticket information for our local clubs and other big games taking place in the capital on the 'Match Ticket Info' page .

GET INVOLVED
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 within the London area for this blog then get in touch. You might also want to have a go at writing a 'Top Ten' one week. 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.

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.


LATEST TICKET NEWS
Please follow this link or click on the tab at the top of the page for all the information you need about how to get a ticket, what's currently available to non-members at London's biggest clubs and any other special offers or promotions which might be running.


THE WEEK AHEAD
There are over 40 matches in the London area over the next seven days so there's plenty to choose from whatever your budget.

However, in case of bad weather, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or venue has been changed. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found in the following match map. If you've never used it 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 left side of the map page to make sure you get all the information.

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 (e.g. clubs in the Conference South).

MATCH MAP
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday fixtures
Magenta pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures


View London match map 7-13 July 2014 in a larger map


Next up is this week's TLFG match recommendations where I list a few games which I think could be worth a watch. If I miss one that you think should get a mention then add your own in the comments section below.

TLFG TOP 10

1. Welling United v Charlton Athletic -  the friendly of the week is a derby between two south-east London clubs - one from the Conference Premier, the other from the Championship. After spending this weekend playing in a tournament in Belgium, the Addicks first pre-season game back on home soil will be this one at Park View Road. It will be a chance to see what changes new boss Bob Peeters has made since taking over at the end of May. Welling had a very satisfactory return to the top level of the non-league game last season and will hope to smoothly bed in their new signings to make a good start this time. (Saturday 12 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

2. Barnet v Peterborough United - this game isn't a derby but the clubs are strongly connected by one man - Barry Fry. One of the most colorful characters in the English game, Fry came to prominence as Barnet manager in the '80s and early '90s when he took them into the Football League for the first time. These days he's director of football at League One Posh, hence the arrangement of this game. Barnet missed a place in the Conference Premier play-offs by seven points last season and boss Martin Allen will be under pressure to secure a top-five finish. (Saturday 12 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. Sutton United v Chelsea U21 - among the favourites for the Conference South title, Sutton usually manage to put together an entertaining package of pre-season games and this year their first home match is against a team of up-and-comers and maybe one or two Chelsea first teamers who didn't go to the World Cup. A similar fixture last year drew a large crowd and saw a big win for the visitors. Tickets are available for £10 and can be bought in advance if you want to avoid queuing. (Saturday 12 May, 3pm. Ticket info)

4. Staines Town v Reading U21 - the Swans had a pretty decent 2013/14 finishing eighth in the Conference South. This year the bookies give them virtually no chance of winning the title which suggests they probably think they'll be stuck in a relegation dogfight instead. See if this looks like being the case when they welcome the youngsters from nearby Championship club Reading.  (Saturday 12 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Walton Casuals v Fulham U21 - by their recent standards Walton had a great season last time. They even made the early running in the Isthmian Division 1 South but were caught by the chasing pack and finished a creditable ninth. The pick of their pre-season games is this one against Fulham whom club chairman Tony Gale represented over 250 times, presumably making the arrangement of this game a lot easier. Casuals have failed to win either of their first two friendlies so will probably find the going tough here too. (Saturday 12 July, 3pm. Club info)

6. Dulwich Hamlet v Bromley - Dulwich suffered a disappointing end to their season in the Isthmian Premier as they went from briefly leading to finishing just outside the play-offs in what was a thrilling campaign for the neutral. Their first friendly is against fellow south-east Londoners Bromley who endured a fairly similar fate in the Conference South - blowing an 11-point lead before tamely bowing out in the play-offs. The Ravens head to Champion Hill with a game under their belts already after they lost 1-0 at home to League Two side Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday. (Saturday 12 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

7. Thurrock v Dartford - little more than the span of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge separates these two clubs so although they play in different counties this is a derby. When this blog started out in 2011 they used to face each other in the Conference South, now three divisions separate them after Dartford's promotion to the Conference Premier and Thurrock's double relegation to the Isthmian League Division 1 North. It would only be two if Dartford hadn't been reprieved from relegation themselves this summer following financial problems at other clubs. They are expected to struggle again so a morale boosting performance at Ship Lane is almost a must. (Saturday 12 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

8. VCD Athletic v Ebbsfleet United - VCD joined the Isthmian League last season and topped the Division 1 North pretty much from start to finish, stunning many along the way. They now find themselves in the Premier Division and have landed a challenging friendly against Conference South title favourites Ebbsfleet who hail from just a few miles to the east. Is their fairytale likely to continue? Find out if the omens look good on Saturday. (Saturday 12 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

9. The Geoff Harvey Memorial Vase - this mini tournament is one of the highlights of pre-season, certainly if you live in south-west London. Hosted by Corinthian Casuals and contested by four teams over a weekend it usually provides some decent entertainment. Alongside the hosts we also have returning champions Kingstonian, fellow Isthmian Premier side Hampton & Richmond Borough and Division 1 South outfit Merstham. The semi-finals see Corinthian Casuals play Kingstonian and Hampton take on Merstham on Saturday ahead of a third-place play-off and final on Sunday. Day and weekend tickets are available, although you can just turn up for the final as I did last year. Give it a go! (Saturday and Sunday 12 & 13 July. Game 1 at 11am, Game 2 at 3pm. Ticket info)

10. Southall v London Tigers - these two play several hundred metres apart either side of the A40 over on the west side of town. Southall currently play in the tenth tier of English football and groundshare at Hanwell Town but they are ambitious and could well compete alongside London Tigers in the Spartan South Midlands Premier in the not too distant future. (Saturday 12 July, 3pm. Club info)


If you have any questions or want advice about watching football in London, you can contact TLFG using the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or email.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

TLFG: 30 June - 6 July 2014

Hello there and welcome back to TLFG after our close-season break.

A lot has happened in the seven weeks we've been away, not least QPR's triumphant play-off campaign which culminated in that dramatic last-minute Bobby Zamora winner at Wembley just over a month ago.

That was possibly the best moment I have personally experienced in my 30 years of following the R's. Promotions, great victories and wonderful goals all feature but this topped the lot because it came completely against the run of play, at the death against a Derby side who were totally dominating the game. 

When things look so totally hopeless and your team manage to pull a winner out of the bag in such a high stakes game, it's almost miraculous - not many fans will experience that. Suffice to say I went completely mental and could feel my heart pounding and the blood coursing through my veins in a way I never had before. Let's just hope we make a better job of staying up than we did last time!


Elsewhere there have also been highs after big lows for several other local clubs as Dartford, Hayes & Yeading United and Wingate & Finchley all enjoyed reprieves from relegation after other clubs ran into financial trouble. 

Sadly Leyton Orient didn't join Brentford in the Championship after letting a 2-0 lead slip against Rotherham in the League One play-off final at Wembley, eventually losing on penalties.

So what we hope will be another exciting season is now beginning. A couple of really early pre-season games have already taken place and there are a few more this week for which there's a map below.

This is one of the most fun times of year as teams who would never normally face each other actually do. Weird and wonderful match-ups are produced, strange and alien venues are sometimes used and never to be seen again triallists appear and then vanish as quickly as they emerged.

Enjoy the next few weeks and if you fancy turning semi-professional yourself now is the time. Most non-league clubs hold open trials at this time of year so if you think you're good enough to make a few quid out of the game then have a look at their websites and see who's recruiting.

GET INVOLVED
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 within the London area for this blog then get in touch. You might also want to have a go at writing a 'Top Ten' one week. 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.

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.


LATEST TICKET NEWS
Please follow this link or click on the tab at the top of the page for all the information you need about how to get a ticket, what's currently available to non-members at London's biggest clubs and any other special offers or promotions which might be running.


THE WEEK AHEAD
There are only around 15 matches in the London area over the next seven days as we are gently reintroduced to the possibility of watching live football in the capital. In my opinion there is only really one stand-out game that I would recommend and that sees Conference South side Bromley host League Two's Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday. It is listed as a full first team game on the Daggers' website so give it a go.

In case of bad weather, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or venue has been changed. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found in the following match map. If you've never used it 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 left side of the map page to make sure you get all the information.

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 (e.g. clubs in the Conference South).

MATCH MAP
Purple pin - Thursday fixtures
Magenta pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures


View London match map 30 June - 6 July 2014 in a larger map 


If you have any questions or want advice about watching football in London, you can contact TLFG using the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or email.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

TLFG: 12-31 May 2014

Hello there and welcome to the last edition of TLFG for the season.

I can't believe it's that time again already but here we are. As I write this the final round of Premier League games has just got under way and there's little at stake for most London clubs with none in contention for the title or battling to avoid the drop.

Below this we're well into the Football League's play-off season with the first legs of all the semi-finals (bar York v Fleetwood) having been completed.

QPR and Leyton Orient, the two London clubs involved, managed to draw their away legs at Wigan and Peterborough to put them in a decent position ahead of the second legs this week.

Personally I'm off to the QPR v Wigan game on Monday. The last time Rangers made the play-offs in 2003 I actively avoided going because I simply couldn't take the tension. On this occasion my attitude has completely changed and I'm not sure why.

Maybe it's because I'm that much older, wiser and a bit more jaded. Maybe it's because our last spell in the Premier League was such a joke. Don't get me wrong, I'll be overjoyed if we make it up but if we don't I won't be devastated - in all honesty, we are a Championship club while someone like Derby or Brighton are probably better set to sustain top-flight football.

Anyway back to the blog. This edition covers everything for the rest of May as there really isn't that much on. To bulk things up, it has become the trend at this time of year to also include some Step 7/Level 11 football from the Middlesex County and Essex Olympian Leagues. I've also added a few matches from the FA Women's Super League. Beware though, games at Step 7/Level 11 can move or have kick-off times changed and confirming such info is often tricky. There are also a few friendlies, testimonials and charity games.

Also, despite the match being played just outside the M25, I received a request from the Amateur FA asking to help them promote the title deciding match in the Southern Amateur League between Winchmore Hill and Old Wilsonians. It's being played in Potters Bar and it's free to get in so if you're in north London on Tuesday evening, this could be one for you.

Anyway that's it from me for the summer, enjoy your World Cup and hope to see you back here again in July when the pre-season friendlies get going.

GET INVOLVED
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 within the London area for this blog then get in touch. You might also want to have a go at writing a 'Top Ten' one week. 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.

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.


LATEST TICKET NEWS
Please follow this link or click on the tab at the top of the page for all the information you need about how to get a ticket, what's currently available to non-members at London's biggest clubs and any other special offers or promotions which might be running.


THE WEEK AHEAD
There are only around 30 matches in the London area over the remainder of the month as the season winds down for the summer.

However, in case of bad weather, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or venue has been changed. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found in the following match map. If you've never used it 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 left side of the map page to make sure you get all the information.

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 (e.g. clubs in the Conference South).

MATCH MAP 12-18 MAY
Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday fixtures
Magenta pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures


View London match map 12-18 May 2014 in a larger map

MATCH MAP 19-31 MAY
Turquoise pin - Wednesday 21 May fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday 24 May fixtures
Red pin - Sunday 25 May fixtures
Yellow pin - Monday 26 May fixtures
Green pin - Wednesday 28 May fixtures
Magenta pin - Friday 30 May fixtures
Purple pin - Saturday 31 May fixtures


View London match map 19-31 May 2014 in a larger map


Next up is this week's TLFG match recommendations where I list a few games which I think could be worth a watch. If I miss one that you think should get a mention then add your own in the comments section below.

TLFG TOP 10


Monday 12 May
Queens Park Rangers v Wigan Athletic - the week gets off to a great start with this Championship semi-final second leg. The two sides played out a 0-0 draw at the DW Stadium in the first leg on Friday meaning it's all to play for at Loftus Road. The league match between the two about six weeks ago saw Rangers edge to a 1-0 win although Rob Green was in great form in goal to ensure that scoreline. It's likely to be tight again. The match has sold out.

Tuesday 13 May
Leyton Orient v Peterborough United - the following night we've got the second leg of the League One play-off semi-final. The first leg ended 1-1 so again there's all to play for at Brisbane Road. The previous time these sides played at the Matchroom Stadium back in February, Posh won 2-1. There were only 400 tickets left on Friday so they've probably gone by now but check with the club to be sure.

Saturday 17 May
FA Cup final - this year's Wembley showpiece pits Arsenal against Hull City. Famously, the Gunners haven't won a trophy since 2005 when they won the FA Cup on penalties against Manchester United. Apart from promotions, Hull have never won any of the major trophies so they will start as underdogs. However, they will have absolutely nothing to lose and will face an Arsenal side under enormous pressure to win. History doesn't bode well for the Tigers though who have lost 10 of their last 11 games against the north London club. 

Sunday 18 May
Conference Premier play-off final - the following day at the national stadium, Cambridge United face Gateshead for a place in the Football League. The U's haven't played in the fourth tier since 2005 while the Tynesiders haven't been there since 1960. Matches between these two are usually pretty close with both recording a win against each other during the regular season. Ticket info

Saturday 24 May
Championship play-off final - at this stage we don't know who will be there but this is one of the biggest matches of the season worldwide in terms of the 'prize money' that's at stake. A place in the Premier League is worth tens of millions of pounds so there's plenty at stake. Tickets are usually hard to come by for non-members but this might not be the case if Wigan make it so check with the clubs later this week for more info. UPDATE 13/5/14 - we now know that Derby County will play Queens Park Rangers

Sunday 25 May
League One play-off final - as above we don't know who will contest this match but tickets might be a little easier to come by so check with the clubs. UPDATE 18/5/14 - Leyton Orient will play Rotherham United

Monday 26 May
League Two play-off final - as above we don't know who will contest this match but tickets might be a little easier to come by so check with the clubs. Update 18/5/14 - Burton Albion will play Fleetwood Town

Wednesday 28 May
Nigeria v Scotland - the first of two attractive World Cup warm-up games taking place at Fulham's Craven Cottage. Nigeria, the reigning African champions, are going to Brazil to contest a group consisting of Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran so will feel at least a second-placed finish is possible. Scotland didn't make it and lost their last meeting 2-1 back in 2002. Ticket info

Friday 30 May
England v Peru - it's also World Cup warm-up time at Wembley where the Three Lions play their final game on home soil before heading off to Miami for a couple more games. This is the first time England have hosted Peru and would hope to win against a side who finished seventh out of nine in the South American qualifiers which are played out in a league format. Unsurprisingly tickets are still available. Ticket info

Saturday 31 May
Italy v Ireland - last up this season we've got a very interesting looking friendly at Craven Cottage. Italy are of course going to Brazil and will be in England's qualifying group. Sadly Ireland aren't but they usually given Italy a good game. They've played four times over the last five years and have only lost one of them. A balmy evening next to the Thames, a lively crowd and some decent football - it could be a fine way to end a season of football watching. Ticket info

If you have any questions or want advice about watching football in London, you can contact TLFG using the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or email.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

TLFG: 5-11 May 2014

Hello there and welcome to TLFG, it's great to have you here.

Another week has gone by and a load more has happened with most notably the Football League's regular season coming to an end.

Generally it's been an okay year for London's eight clubs at this level. One has definitely been promoted, two more are in the play-offs and all the others avoided relegation.

In the Premier League though, it wasn't so good for Fulham. They've struggled all season and although they had a chance of staying up, they got thrashed 4-1 at Stoke on Saturday to see their 13-year stay in the top flight come to an end with a game to spare.

It will be very interesting to see how they fare in the Championship and what impact it will have on their attendances. It's been the view of many outsiders that Fulham's core support is actually quite small with their crowds often boosted by tourists and neutrals looking to see some Premier League action. The Cottagers' away following is often noticeably lacking for a club at that level so with the big opponents no longer coming to town, they may struggle to get people through the gate.

In the Conference South it was a very disappointing week for our two local sides. Bromley and Sutton United both made it to the play-offs but both lost convincingly over two legs to Ebbsfleet and Dover respectively.

The Isthmian League play-offs also took place. These games only feature one leg with the team finishing highest getting home advantage. Two clubs from the TLFG catchment area qualified and they played each other in one of the Premier Division games. Kingstonian were runners-up this year but came unstuck against AFC Hornchurch who will now travel to Lowestoft Town for the final on Monday. Come on you Urchins!

Below this there are still a few leagues to end and trophies to be won. Have a good look through this week's match map to see what tickles your fancy.

That's it from me. Don't forget, you can get all the latest ticket information for our local clubs and other big games taking place in the capital on the 'Match Ticket Info' page .

GET INVOLVED
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 within the London area for this blog then get in touch. You might also want to have a go at writing a 'Top Ten' one week. 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.

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.


LATEST TICKET NEWS
Please follow this link or click on the tab at the top of the page for all the information you need about how to get a ticket, what's currently available to non-members at London's biggest clubs and any other special offers or promotions which might be running.


THE WEEK AHEAD
There are only just over 20 matches in the London area over the next seven days as the season winds down for the summer.

However, in case of bad weather, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or venue has been changed. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found in the following match map. If you've never used it 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 left side of the map page to make sure you get all the information.

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 (e.g. clubs in the Conference South).

MATCH MAP 5-11 MAY
Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures


View London match map 5-11 May 2014 in a larger map


Next up is this week's TLFG match recommendations where I list a few games which I think could be worth a watch. Normally I do a top 10 but there are so few games this week that I've reduced it to five. If I miss one that you think should get a mention then add your own in the comments section below.

TLFG TOP 5

1. Crystal Palace v Liverpool - the week begins with an important game at Selhurst Park. The result here will have a huge bearing on who ultimately wins the Premier League. The Eagles, of course, are in midtable with nothing to play for but the Reds are joint top with Manchester City and must win to keep their hopes of glory alive. Liverpool are of course the favourites but Palace are more than capable of giving them an uncomfortable evening and have beaten them on their last two visits.  (Premier League, Monday 5 May, 8pm. Ticket info)

2. Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa - up at White Hart Lane on the final day of the season we have this game between sides at pretty much mirror opposite ends of the table. Effectively, because of goal difference, neither have much to play for unless teams near them receive the biggest thrashings in Premier League history. Spurs need a point to guarantee sixth while Villa should be sure of at least 17th, avoiding the drop, but could even make it to 11th. The visitors' record against Spurs over the last two seasons in all competitions, though, is abysmal having played four, lost four, scored none and conceded 12!  (Premier League, Sunday 11 May, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. FA Vase final - the third of the three showpiece FA finals takes place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. The FA Cup is for most clubs in the top 10 levels of the game, the FA Trophy is reserved for those at levels 5-8 and the FA Vase for those at levels nine and 10. This year's final is between Sholing from Hampshire and West Auckland Town from County Durham. Over the last five years, clubs from the north-east have dominated this competition so West Auckland will start as favourites. They also have recent experience having made the final two years ago. On that occasion they lost to Dunston UTS so will hope to go one better. This is a great chance to see a game at Wembley and with little else on in London that day I suggest you get down there. (FA Vase final, Saturday 10 May, 3pm. Ticket info)

4. FA Youth Cup final second leg - there's also silverware at stake at Stamford Bridge on Monday where Chelsea entertain near neighbours Fulham. Unlike the senior team, the Cottagers' U18 side are one of the best in the country and consequently take a 3-2 first leg aggregate lead into this one. The unfortunate thing about this game is that tickets are cheap and readily available but the deadline for buying them has now passed with none available on the day. (FA Youth Cup final second leg, Monday 5 May, 745pm. Ticket info)

5. London Senior Cup final - given that this blog is about London football I had to highlight this game. This season's final is between Metropolitan Police and AFC Wimbledon. The Met play in the Isthmian Premier some three divisions below the League Two Dons but have home advantage. Wimbledon will probably only field a development side but some first teamers could be included given their season has finished. These two also contested the final four years ago and we got a cracker with the Met prevailing on penalties after a 4-4 draw! (London Senior Cup final, Tuesday 6 May, 730pm. Ticket info)


If you have any questions or want advice about watching football in London, you can contact TLFG using the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or email.