Monday, 15 December 2014

TLFG: 15-21 December 2014

After all the excitement of last week, the last few days have been very sedate with late shifts ending any hopes of watching any live football.

The week ahead will see me try and put together TLFG's Christmas and New Year Special and go to QPR v West Brom on Saturday.

Generally, it's not a particularly riveting week on the football front with, apart from a couple of big non-league games, very few blockbusters to look forward to. I guess the football planners are saving everything up for the festive period when we get a huge selection of Christmas crackers.

You never know though - in a week when upsets took place in BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor, we could get some stonking games. Here's hoping Santa brings us a few early gifts. Enjoy! 

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 80 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
Claret pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures


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. Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United - it says something about the matches on offer this week that this one tops the bill. On paper a League Cup quarter-final should whet the appetite but more often than not, in modern times, it's been seen by Premier League sides as a chance to give a few reserves a run out. I'm hoping that that won't be the case here as this trophy is one that both sides have a really good chance of winning. In the league only a point separates the sides so it should be close. (League Cup quarter-final, Wednesday 17 December, 745pm. Ticket info)

2. West Ham United v Leicester City - in east London we've got a game of great significance at either end of the table. The Hammers have had a superb season and their fans are probably pinching themselves that they're still in the top four. If they beat bottom club Leicester handsomely and Manchester United lose at Villa then they will go third. As mentioned, the Foxes are bottom and winless since September so are well and truly there for the taking. (Premier League, Saturday 20 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. Millwall v Bolton Wanderers in the Championship we've got a bit of Friday night football between two sides who are battling to avoid the drop. The Lions flew out of the blocks and briefly topped the table but they've now won just two of their last 16 games to sit 20th, five points above the relegation zone. Bolton made an iffy start but have been performing well of late and are unbeaten in six - it should be another close one. (Championship, Friday 19 December, 745pm. Ticket info)

4. AFC Wimbledon v Mansfield Town - nothing in League One this week so next up we've got a chance to see the Dons in action. Neal Ardley's side have had a good week with back-to-back wins over Wycombe in the FA Cup and York in the league. They also drew Liverpool at home in the FA Cup, a tie that will be shown live on TV. On Saturday they host Mansfield who have only won one of their last 11 league games and have a poor record against the Kingsmeadow club. A win here could get Wombles fans dreaming of a play-off place. (League Two, Saturday 20 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Barnet v Chester - despite being held to a goalless draw by Conference South side Concord on Saturday (replay on Tuesday), the Bees are still well on course for the Conference title. After a two-game winless wobble in November, they won the next two to maintain a seven-point lead at the top. Their great season opened with a 5-0 away win against Chester who have since recovered to sit snugly in midtable. Head to The Hive to see if Martin Allen's side can keep up the momentum. (Conference Premier, Saturday 20 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Welling United v Ebbsfleet United - what a dramatic few days it's been for these local rivals. On Wednesday Wings manager Jamie Day decided to quit after over five years in the post and head east to join Ebbsfleet, a team playing in the division below, believing that have better long-term prospects. The timing of his departure raised even more eyebrows as it was just three days before the two sides were due to meet in an eagerly anticipated FA Trophy tie. It finished 1-1 and now the sides must meet again for the replay. (FA Trophy first round replay, Tuesday 16 December, 745pm. Ticket info)

7. Bromley v St Albans City the Ravens had no such trouble getting past Leiston in their Trophy tie on Saturday and extended their winning streak to four matches in the process. With no replay to worry about, they now have a week to prepare for this tricky league match against the Saints. It's a match they need to win if they want to keep up with Conference South leaders Boreham Wood who took full advantage of Bromley's cup commitments to move six points clear. With three wins from four, St Albans are well in the hunt for a play-off spot themselves and held Bromley to a 2-2 draw earlier in the season. (Conference South, Saturday 20 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

8. Harrow Borough v Lewes - unlikely to be one for the purists, we've got this relegation six-pointer in the Isthmian League. Harrow are deliciously unpredictable and are capable of pulling off sensational results in very unlikely circumstances - often pushing the big teams hard and losing regularly to far more modest opposition. On Saturday this was demonstrated brilliantly by their 3-3 draw at leaders Margate. Sussex club Lewes were in the Conference Premier until 2009 but it's been downhill ever since and now the Rooks are perched just above the trapdoor into Step 4/Level 8 football. It is a slightly false position though as they do have games in hand on most sides around them but they've got no reason to be complacent. (Isthmian League Premier Division, Saturday 20 December, 3pm. Club info)

9. Barking v Haringey Borough this game needs little promotion as it pits second against first in the Essex Senior League. Haringey will start as overwhelming favourites though as they've already opened a whopping 13-point lead and are scoring nearly four goals a game! On the bright side for Barking they have two games in hand so if they win these and Saturday's match then they'll only be four points behind. With all this in mind, it looks like Mayesbrook Park could possibly play host to a title decider in December!  (Essex Senior League, Saturday 20 December, 3pm. Club info)

10. AFC Croydon Athletic v Worcester Park we finish this week with the pick of the games in Step 6/Level 10. At the moment it's potentially a three-horse race in the Combined Counties League Division 1 with Farleigh nine points clear at the top ahead of these two who both have enough games in hand to draw level if they win them. A win here could potentially knock the other one out. Of the three, only Croydon have the facilities to be promoted so I guess it would be good to see them win. (Combined Counties League Division 1, Saturday 20 December, 2pm. 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, 7 December 2014

TLFG: 8-14 December 2014

Two games, two countries, two days - it's been quite a weekend for me.

I had a big birthday a month ago and I'd promised to gorge myself on football during some time off. For one reason or another it never happened. 

Luckily I had some more holiday to take this week. My initial idea was to head down to south Wales to see QPR's game at Swansea City but I thought better of it and with my other half wanting to go away I had another look at the week's European fixtures.

On Monday afternoon I put the wheels in motion to go and see Fiorentina v Juventus in one of Italy's big games on Friday night.

Tickets were still available so I booked the flights and hotel only to find that online booking of match tickets wasn't open to the likes of me. Gutted! Not to be thwarted I emailed the club who, credit to them, swiftly replied in English with a booking form which I simply had to fill in and send back with a scan of my passport. I duly did this and had an e-ticket shortly after. Joy!

Florence is a great place to visit - compact and with lots to see, do, eat and drink. In December there's virtually no-one around so you can stroll straight in to top attractions like the Uffizi Gallery rather than queue almost endlessly as you have to do at peak times.

With all the traditional cultural stuff done, I left my wife and daughter in a restaurant overshadowed by the Palazzo Vecchio and headed off to the Stadio Artemio Franchi. 

video
Fiorentina's ultras create some pre-match atmosphere on the Fiesole Curve

Given the rivalry between the two teams, being alone and unsure of where I was going I was a little nervous. With a strong police and carabinieri presence throughout the city all day and a helicopter circling overhead, I was a bit anxious to say the least. 

I had also planned to leave really early to make sure I got there with plenty of time to get through the two security checkpoints and make sure of my seat as I'd heard talk of it being a bit of a free-for-all inside. However, this didn't happen and I only had about an hour to get there.

Apparently the buses weren't running so everyone would have to walk to the ground -  about 25 minutes east of the historical centre. I was told the route would be easy to find as thousands of others would be heading the same way. Somehow I managed to get almost all the way there virtually alone! 

The atmosphere outside the stadium about 25 minutes before kick-off was subdued and everything seemed pretty orderly. I made it through the security checks with the minimum of fuss and made my way to the top of the Maratona Centrale where my seat was located at the foot of the tower for which the stadium is renowned.

It was at this point that the fun began as the rumoured seat free-for-all was in full effect! With all seats seemingly filled, many fans were just perched against the railing at the back of the stand. Disappointing but not a disaster, I'll stand and get on with it I thought. Then I discovered that if I did this I'd only be able to see one end of the pitch. Now I would've put up with this if my ticket hadn't cost an eye-watering 90 euros! If anyone ever tells you the Premier League is pricey then tell them Serie A pushes it pretty close. My ticket wasn't even close to being the most expensive either.

So with all this in mind I ran back down to ground level with the thought of climbing up the gangway from the front. This only succeeded in getting me another place to stand but with a great view of everything. Sadly and unsurprisingly I was soon moved on by a steward. Instead I tried going up another gangway and finding my proper seat. 

I found the row, near the back, and then made my way awkwardly along it treading on a few toes before coming out at the other end in exactly the same place as I'd started! With the teams now coming out I decided to just create myself a seat at the end of the row as others had also done and sat on the wet concrete step with a plastic carrier bag underneath my posterior in case it rained again. Once sat down I realised I had a full view of the pitch - phew.

The game itself was typically tight and ended in a 0-0 draw. The Fiorentina fans and their ultras on the Fiesole Curve put on a good show and Juve fielded a few modern day football legends like Buffon and Pirlo to name but two, oh and it rained fairly solidly on what is a largely uncovered stadium. Was it worth 90 euros? For a football fanatic like me definitely and I'd strongly recommend anyone else to give it a go, just get there early and be prepared for bad weather.

Game two took place 17 hours later back in London where QPR took on Burnley in a big relegation six-pointer at the bottom of the Premier League. 

QPR's Charlie Austin goes in search of an opening goal at a chilly Loftus Road
It wasn't the thriller that the Leicester game had been the week before but Rangers ground out another priceless victory, this time by a margin of 2-0. Former Burnley striker Charlie Austin caught the eye again with a goal, an assist and a rather silly red card for two bookable offences for which there were few complaints.

The main reason I wanted to get to this game was to take part in the half-time pitch presentation marking the achievements of all those who took part in the charity walk to West Ham a couple of months ago. We raised over £17,000 in the end so the QPR Tiger Cubs will hopefully enjoy another good year.

Well that was quite a lot of waffle from me, much of it about my non-London activities. Hope I didn't bore you too much and enjoy your week of football watching.  

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 80 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
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures



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. Chelsea v Sporting Lisbon - the Blues suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday at Newcastle and will be glad to have the chance to bounce back almost immediately with this midweek European game. They have, however, already won Group G so might not select a full-strength team against second placed Sporting who really need something to make sure of progressing themselves. The Portuguese side are currently fourth in their league and won 3-1 at Boavista on Friday so should be capable of pushing for a point. (Champions League, Wednesday 10 December, 745pm. Ticket info)

2. Arsenal v Newcastle United - the pick of the domestic matches this week is this intriguing game at the Emirates between two sides with identical records this season. Only goal difference sees the Gunners ahead of the Magpies in sixth as they both push for a top-four spot. The hosts did well to beat Southampton in their last home game but came unstuck at Stoke on Saturday and could well be susceptible to a Newcastle side who have won six of their last eight including that impressive win against Chelsea on Saturday. (Premier League, Saturday 13 December, 530pm. Ticket info)

3. Brentford v Blackburn Rovers - these two had been climbing the table ominously over the last few weeks but then both suffered defeats on Saturday. Despite this they are still both in the top seven of what is a very tight division. This is another big occasion for the Bees who, don't forget, haven't played at this level for over 20 years and they'll want to do well against former Premier League winners Blackburn. The last time they managed to beat Rovers was in 1988 when they edged a seven-goal thriller by 4-3, it would be nice if they repeat that. (Championship, Saturday 13 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

4. Dagenham & Redbridge v Tranmere Rovers - we've got a relegation six-pointer in League Two to look forward to on Saturday. The Daggers made a pretty poor start to the season and looked to have hit rock bottom when they exited the FA Cup at the hands of non-league Southport. However, since then they've won their next two league fixtures to begin the climb away from the bottom two. Rovers start the game in the relegation zone but the green shoots of recovery have started to sprout for the Merseyside club too who are unbeaten in two. The clubs have only met twice before and Dagenham have yet to win. (League Two, Saturday 13 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Dartford v Solihull Moors - the Darts proudly flew the non-league flag in the FA Cup second round on Sunday but they were comprehensively seen off by former Premier League side Bradford City as they failed to achieve a cupset. This weekend they're back in knockout action in the first round proper of the FA Trophy as they begin the journey down a perhaps more realistic road to Wembley. However, on this occasion the Conference Premier strugglers could become the victims of a cupset themselves as they host Solihull who are one of the top teams in the division below. The Moors have only lost one league game since August so should be a real threat. (FA Trophy first round, Saturday 13 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Wealdstone v Hayes & Yeading United - in another tie we have this tasty looking west London derby. Both sides have enjoyed better days with the Stones formerly Conference and Trophy double winners back in the '80s while H&Y were a Conference Premier side themselves until the end of the 2011/12 season. The two now find themselves in the lower half of the Conference South only a point apart. The hosts are enjoying their best run of results so far this season with four wins from their last five. Hayes can't say the same with Phil Babb's men badly needing a win to raise morale. When the two last met on Non-League Day back in September, Hayes won 2-1. (FA Trophy first round, Saturday 13 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

7. Bromley v Leiston - the other tie in the Greater London area sees two promotion-chasing sides do battle at the Fortress Stadium. The Ravens will start as favourites as they currently sit second in the Conference South. Looking to trip them up will be Isthmian League upstarts Leiston who are well on course for a play-off spot after a good start to their season. The Suffolk club have made great strides in recent seasons and are at the highest level they've ever been. With only one defeat in 10, they'll arrive at Hayes Lane with little fear and nothing to lose. (FA Trophy first round, Saturday 13 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

8. Enfield Town v Hendon - in the Isthmian League Cup we've got another derby between two north London clubs who are in great form. Enfield had a slow start but have now lost only two of their last 14 fixtures as they've progressed in cup competitions and climbed to eighth in the table just five points from the play-off places. The Greens, on the other hand, have continued to confound. Without a ground of their own and with a meagre budget, they're still in with an outside shot of the title. Things didn't go well on Saturday though as they were humbled 4-1 by Bognor to bring their 13-match unbeaten run to an end. (Isthmian League Cup second round, Tuesday 9 December, 745pm. Ticket info)

9. Erith & Belvedere v Beckenham Town - two of the leading lights in the Southern Counties East League go head-to-head at Park View Road on Saturday. E&B enjoyed promotion from this division two years ago but failed to establish themselves in the Isthmian League and came straight back down. Their response has been to get really stuck in and win like it's going out of fashion. With only one defeat from 16 they top the table but still haven't shaken off Phoenix Sports who look like pushing them all the way. Beckenham are a top five side themselves and will need to be treated with respect after almost forcing a draw in the reverse fixture earlier in the season. (Southern Counties East League, Saturday 13 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

10. Sun Sports v Harefield United - up near Watford, Sun Sports are one of three teams sharing the lead of the Spartan South Midlands League. On Saturday they lost the crucial match against title rivals Berkhamsted which would've been quite a blow given they've played more games than the sides immediately around them. On Tuesday they welcome Harefield United who make the short journey from Preston Park looking to inflict further pain. In their last meeting at the beginning of November, Sun Sports won 3-1 to make progress in the FA Vase. (Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, Tuesday 9 December, 745pm. 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, 30 November 2014

TLFG: 1-7 December 2014

Welcome one and all and thanks for paying a visit to TLFG.

It's been quite a weekend for my beloved West London with all four of my local teams recording victories - oops, sorry Chelsea only managed a draw at Sunderland but they're still the best team in the country right now so it's still been a decent weekend for the area.

I'm pleased to report that of those four games, QPR's against Leicester was the most entertaining with the two relegation threatened sides registering 51 shots as Rangers edged to a thrilling 3-2 win. One of the best things about this is that German TLFG reader and Arminia Bielefeld fan Sebastian was there to enjoy it with one his friends who had come over to also watch Borussia Dortmund's midweek game at Arsenal, a match which was 'more like a friendly' in his opinion.

Sebastian and friend at the Emirates for Arsenal v Borussia Dortmund
There was also some exciting news from long-time Dutch reader Paul who I helped research his 'Match Days' book, about watching football in London, this time last year. After having his book published, last weekend he got it inducted into the Charlton Athletic club museum. The Addicks are Paul's favourite English team and he came over to watch their game against Millwall as part of his visit. Well done Paul!

TLFG reader Paul meets Charlton boss Bob Peeters
Thanks so much for taking the time to send in your pictures, I really appreciate it and I'm glad you enjoyed watching our teams.

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 80 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
Claret pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures




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. Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - there are some big old games in London this week and I rank this derby as the biggest of them. In terms of rivals, these two probably rank as number two most hated on each other's scales although that is debatable. The Blues historically hold the upper hand and this season shouldn't see much change as they are currently top and unbeaten. Despite a dodgy September and October, Spurs have fought back with three wins from four in November to put themselves back in the race for a Champions League spot. However, it's still going to take something special for them to win at Stamford Bridge  - they've failed on the last 27 visits! (Premier League, Wednesday 3 December, 745pm. Ticket info)

2. Arsenal v Southampton - the Saints have made a dream start to the season, climbing to second, but many felt they hadn't been properly tested. On Sunday they hosted reigning champions Manchester City and lost comfortably to slip to third. Next up they travel to another of the big boys - Arsenal. When they met at the Emirates in September, Ronald Koeman's side enjoyed a 2-1 win but that was in the League Cup which the Gunners often take less than seriously as they can normally afford to. This season they've been pretty average across the board dropping points in the Premier League and Champions League and could find this a bit of a struggle too. (Premier League, Wednesday 3 December, 745pm. Ticket info)

3. Queens Park Rangers v Burnley promoted from the Championship last season, it's no surprise that these two find themselves in the bottom three at the time of writing. QPR began badly but have improved greatly over the last month and got a well needed and deserved 3-2 win over fellow strugglers Leicester on Saturday. The Clarets have also hit form of late, taking an impressive seven points from their last three games. Last season's fixture produced a thrilling 3-3 draw so hopefully we'll enjoy another cracker here. (Premier League, Saturday 6 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

4. Fulham v Watford - the Cottagers' revival under Kit Symons continued on Saturday with a 2-1 win at Brighton as they moved further away from the relegation zone. Next up they have a derby on Friday night against the Hornets who are starting to slip into freefall after previously topping the division. Four straight defeats have seen them slip to seventh and the table is so tight that they could find themselves firmly in midtable should they lose here. Amazingly these two haven't played that regularly over the course of history which might explain why Watford haven't won at Craven Cottage since 1998. (Championship, Friday 5 December, 745pm. Ticket info)

5. Welling United v Bristol Rovers - while Barnet have been amassing an eight-point lead at the top of the Conference, Bristol Rovers have been climbing up the table to third. The Pirates suffered the indignity of relegation from the Football League last season to become the biggest club in non-league football by a country mile. When they failed to win any of their opening three games people began to wonder how bad things would become. However, they've turned things around and are now unbeaten in six. This run has culminated most recently in back-to-back wins over Barnet and Welling so the Wings have much to fear from this almost immediate return fixture. (Conference Premier, Saturday 6 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Wealdstone v Staines Town - we've got a massive relegation six-pointer at the bottom of the Conference South on Saturday. At present six points separate the two but Staines, the lower of the two, have two games in hand so their records are pretty even. The Stones, freshly promoted as Isthmian League champions, began really badly and found themselves winless after nine games. They've picked up four wins since the middle of September but that's still nowhere near good enough as they've failed to pull convincingly away from the bottom two. The Swans' season has almost run in reverse with a fairly decent start followed by a huge dip in form which saw them lose nine on the trot. There's a lot to play for here and you feel defeat for the visitors could be pretty terminal for their chances of surviving. (Conference South, Saturday 6 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

7. Hanwell Town v Kettering Town west London club Hanwell have surprised many this season following their promotion from the Spartan South Midlands League. Topping the Southern League Division 1 Central at times this term, they are still doing superbly to be third after 19 games. If they still harbour ambitions of winning the title then beating league leaders Kettering, who are seven points ahead, is almost essential. (Southern League Division 1 Central, Saturday 6 December, 3pm. Club info)

8. Haringey Borough v Waltham Forest - we've got a top-four clash in the Essex Senior League to look forward to on Saturday. Haringey have had a season that most teams dream about losing only one of their 16 league games and scoring 65 goals in the process (an average of just over four goals a game). Such form has seen them open a seven-point lead at the top, something which is starting to look unassailable. Near neighbours Waltham Forest are next to visit and will hope to become only the second team to beat them. It doesn't bode well though as they lost the reverse fixture 3-0 back in August. (Essex Senior League, Saturday 6 December, 3pm. Club info)

9. Hanworth Villa v Erith & Belvedere after being shut for a couple of weeks the road to Wembley re-opens again this weekend as the FA Vase returns at its third round stage. Hanworth Villa have done pretty well in league and cup competitions over the last two or three years but they've found the going decidedly tough in the Combined Counties League Premier Division this season which they currently prop up. E&B, on the other hand, are on fire and are currently top of the parallel Southern Counties East League. An away win looks likely but this is a big cup game so anything could happen. (FA Vase third round, Saturday 6 December, 3pm. Club info)

10. Colliers Wood United v Lingfield there are only two ties in the London area and this is the other one. Strangely it's between teams from the same two leagues as above. In this one Colliers Wood, the Combined Counties League side, are the higher ranked so I'd have to favour them to go through. (FA Vase third round, Saturday 6 December, 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, 23 November 2014

TLFG: 24-30 November 2014

Hi there and welcome to TLFG.

We're almost a third of the way through the season already and I guess you can tell as the weather in London this week has been poor to say the least.

Quite a few non-league games have fallen by the wayside over the last few days and we could lose some more over the next 72 hours.

One of those was one I was seriously considering going to - the east London derby between Clapton and Ilford. Despite the best efforts of volunteers the pitch remained unplayable and the game was called off not long after 1pm.

The closest I came to a game on Saturday was Arsenal's match against Manchester United as I spent part of morning taking part in the 5km parkrun event in Finsbury Park which the Emirates Stadium casts its shadow over - well it would've done if it wasn't so grey and drizzly.

I've mentioned parkrun here several times before and, if you're a runner, I can't encourage you enough to take part. With 35 events taking place at 9am every Saturday morning all over the London area alone, there's no real reason not to especially when it's also free to enter. You don't even have to pre-register but you get more out of it if you do. So far I've got a free running shirt for completing 50 runs and also won a free pair of running shoes for being a regular runner and volunteer at my local event.

If, like me, you like to football groundhop then you'll also enjoy the 'racehopping' nature of parkrun - the ultimate Saturday for me is to combine the two with a run in the morning and match in the afternoon. Do it!

On the subject of groundhopping, Charlton's 1215pm kick-off against Ipswich on Saturday means you could combine it with a number of other games. Meridian VP are just down the road while public transport should just about be able to get you to Dulwich Hamlet, Thamesmead Town, Erith & Belvedere or Erith Town.

Anyway, that's it from me. Enjoy your week and don't forget that 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 80 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
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures




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. Arsenal v Borussia Dortmund - the main game in town this week pits two of the biggest names in English and German football against each other. Both have won league titles and made the Champions League final over the 10 years but at the time of writing both are struggling. For the last two decades, a place in the Premier League's top four has been pretty much a given as far as the Gunners are concerned so the fact that they're currently eighth 15 points off top spot is almost unthinkable. With that in mind, Dortmund's current malaise is even more shocking. Given all their recent achievements, they find themselves in the Bundesliga's bottom three with only three wins from 12 games. However, they have been invincible in Group D of the Champions League so far where they've won all four games including a 2-0 win over Arsenal back in September. (Champions League, Wednesday 26 November, 745pm. Ticket info)

2. West Ham United v Newcastle United - both these sides are probably suffering nosebleeds right now, so high are they in the table. After the iffy starts they made, with fans demanding the heads of Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew respectively, the fact they are now both in the top six is quite an achievement. Since getting into the top four after an impressive win over Manchester City, the Hammers have run into a wall and are now winless in three against average opposition. The Magpies, on the other hand, are the league's form team with five wins on the bounce. The Geordies also tend to do rather well at the Boleyn Ground with only three defeats in their last 10 visits. (Premier League, Saturday 29 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. Queens Park Rangers v Leicester City - promoted from the Championship last season, it's no surprise that these two find themselves in the bottom three going into this one. QPR began badly but have improved greatly over the last month. Sadly for them that has coincided with fixtures against some of the best sides in the country so only four points have been picked up when it would probably have been a lot more so they're still bottom. The Foxes had a much better start but haven't won for over two months so are exactly the type of team QPR need to be playing right now. Whoever loses this game will almost certainly go down. (Premier League, Saturday 29 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

4. Charlton Athletic v Ipswich Town - England's second tier is incredibly tight at the moment with only nine points separating the top 12 teams. The Addicks and Tractor Boys find themselves in this elite group at the moment so there's plenty to play for. Charlton, although down in eighth, are the hardest team to beat in the division with only two defeats from 18 while Ipswich's five-game unbeaten run has seen them climb to fourth. A good game looks highly likely between these two former Premier League clubs. (Championship, Saturday 29 November, 1215pm. Ticket info)

5. Barnet v Macclesfield Town - there's very little floating my boat in the lower two divisions of the Football League so I recommend this Conference blockbuster instead. Both desperate to return to League Two, the Bees and Silkmen had made their way into the top four. Barnet extended their lead at the top to nine points on Saturday as they drew at third placed Woking while Macclesfield climbed to fourth with a win over Alfreton. The Cheshire club should be further boosted by the knowledge that they've won their last three against Barnet including the reverse fixture last month.  (Championship, Saturday 22 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Staines Town v Poole Town - it's FA Trophy time again this weekend and strangely there's only one tie taking place in the whole London area. The Swans have had a torrid time in the Conference South this season and would have lost 10 league games in a row on Saturday if they hadn't got a morale boosting 1-0 win over Bishop's Stortford. On Saturday they run into a team champing at the bit to replace them should they be relegated. Poole are currently top of the Southern League and have won their last seven in all competitions. The sides also met last season in an FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie. On that occasion Staines came out on top but only after a replay. (FA Trophy third qualifying round, Saturday 29 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

7. Dulwich Hamlet v Kingstonian - much has been written about Dulwich over the last year as they have grown both on and off the pitch. Having won promotion from the Isthmian League Division 1 South they recorded a top-six finish in the Premier Division last season. This year they look set to repeat it being fifth at the present time. They are also the second best supported club behind only former Football League club Maidstone United. If they could become the kind of club Kingstonian were 15 years ago then I'm sure they'd be overjoyed. The K's, at that time, were a Conference club who enjoyed back-to-back FA Trophy wins at Wembley in front of thousands of fans. Since then things have gone backwards and, although they were runners-up last season, they've become a midtable Isthmian Premier side. This is still a south-London derby though and should produce a competitive game - it ended 1-1 at Kingsmeadow earlier in the season. (Isthmian League Premier Division, Saturday 29 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

8. Erith & Belvedere v Phoenix Sports - these two both enjoyed fine away wins in the FA Vase on Saturday as they continued their great seasons. At the time of writing they fill the top two spots in the Southern Counties East League and with games in hand on the teams below them could well turn the title battle into a two-horse-race. On Saturday they continue their cup exploits but at a more local level as they meet in the second round of the Kent Senior Trophy. E&B are eight points ahead in the league but Phoenix have played three fewer games and are unbeaten. Who will win? It's too close to call. (Kent Senior Trophy second round, Saturday 29 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

9. Ashford Town (Middlesex) v Windsor - the Tangerines had a season to forget last year as they slipped out of the Southern League following some dismal performances which saw them finish bottom. This year they are having to rebuild in the Combined Counties League and they're doing a good job sitting second at the present time. Given they have two games in hand on top club Cove, they've got a real title shot. On Tuesday night they welcome Windsor who are a top five club themselves so we could have a decent game on our hands. (Combined Counties League Premier Division, Tuesday 25 November, 745pm. Club info)

10. Banstead Athletic v Farleigh Rovers - in the division below we have a game between two of the current pacesetters. Farleigh are top and Banstead are fourth but there's only five points between them and the hosts have two games in hand. In fact when you factor in games in hand, the top four might all as well be on level points it's that close. The strange thing about this division is that some of its top clubs (Farleigh and Worcester Park) don't, to my knowledge, have the facilities to get promoted so it always surprises me when they do so well. (Combined Counties League Division 1, Saturday 29 November, 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, 16 November 2014

TLFG: 17-23 November 2014

Hello there and welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

I'm pleased to report that over the last few weeks, readership of this blog appears to have grown steadily. If you're new, then thanks for taking the time to have look and if you've recommended TLFG to someone then you're a top person and I really appreciate it. As for the rest of you, what can I say? Legends, the lot of you. I wouldn't do it if I didn't know you were there.

So how has your 'international break' been? Did you go and watch England at Wembley on Saturday or one of the friendlies we were also blessed with here in London town? Did you take the opportunity to visit a non-league club instead or did you watch nothing at all? Let me know, I want details.

The week ahead is littered with some absolute crackers but unless you're a member of some of our top clubs it's pretty much another international break for casual football watchers as tickets won't be available to them at any Premier League or Championship match over the next seven days.

Nothing unusual about that for our top-flight clubs but the games are of such magnitude in the second tier too that you need a ticket booking history with said clubs at the very least if you want to have any hope of getting in.

So if you are in town and just want to turn up and watch a game, then the highest ranking fixture you'll be able to get into will be the relegation battle between Leyton Orient and Crewe Alexandra in League One.

There are also some ties in the FA Cup and FA Vase, plenty of county cup action and some other non-league derbies too - a pretty decent selection in my view.

Anyway, that's it from me. Enjoy your week and don't forget that 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, 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
Claret pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures



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. Arsenal v Manchester United - at the top of the bill this week we have this heavyweight clash between two former Premier League champions who are a shadow of their former selves. At the moment both reside outside the top five behind the likes of Southampton, West Ham and Swansea. Who would've thought that a couple of years ago? Putting this aside, these games are usually among the high points of the season, producing some decent entertainment. It will be a particularly big evening for Danny Welbeck who recently joined Arsenal after being discarded by United and is having little difficulty scoring since his arrival both for club and country. I've got a good feeling about the Gunners going into this one and they're due a win having not beaten the Red Devils in the last six attempts. (Premier League, Saturday 22 November, 530pm. Ticket info)

2. Crystal Palace v Liverpool - the last time these two met in May it produced arguably the match of the season. With just 11 minutes to go, title-chasing Liverpool held an almost unassailable 3-0 lead against a midtable Palace side with little to play for. However, the hosts pulled one back, the Reds collapsed and eventually had to settle for a 3-3 draw, a result which went a long way to robbing them of the Premier League crown. This time round Palace are sitting just above the relegation zone and with new boss Neil Warnock in charge should be really fired up. Liverpool have been poor of late and could be there for the taking. They also have a poor record at Selhurst Park where they haven't won (against the Eagles) since 1997. (Premier League, Sunday 23 November, 130pm. Ticket info)

3. Brentford v Fulham once again it's a really big week for all our local clubs in the Championship. To kick-off we've got this west London derby on Friday night. Until really quite recently, a league match between these two would have seemed a distant dream with the Bees down in League Two and Fulham living it up in the Premier League. Not now though as steady progress by the Bees has seen them climb to sixth in the second tier while the Cottagers have fallen from the top flight and were at the bottom of the pile after a dreadful start. Putting Kit Symons in charge has stopped the rot and now the club from SW6 are climbing the table fast, having gone unbeaten in six. The Bees are also in great form with three wins on the bounce against Derby, Forest and Millwall so this could be a cracker. (Championship, Friday 21 November, 745pm. Ticket info)

4. Charlton Athletic v Millwall - the following day it's south-east London derby time. Less than four miles separate these two but strangely neither see each other as their biggest rivals with clubs further away holding that honour. Nonetheless, they're probably number two on each other's list so there should be a decent atmosphere. Over the course of history, the Lions have much the better record with the Addicks winless against them since 1996. It could be different this time though as Charlton have lost only two of their 17 league games this season and are well in the hunt for a play-off spot. Millwall are just two points above the relegation zone but, roared on by their fans, usually give these sort of games a really good go. (Championship, Saturday 22 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Watford v Derby County - the Hornets were top of the Championship a couple of weeks ago but back-to-back defeats have seen them slip to fifth in what is a very tight division. On Saturday they welcome current leaders Derby who they will draw level with if they win. The two have also scored plenty of goals this season - both average the best part of two a game so I'll go for a 2-2 draw. (Championship, Saturday 22 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Leyton Orient v Crewe Alexandra - the O's frequently made the Top 10 last season as they pushed for the League One title. It sadly didn't happen for them, they lost in the play-offs and have had a bit of a shocker so far with three wins from 17 leaving them in the bottom four. On Saturday they have an early relegation six-pointer against Crewe. Unfortunately they're running into Alex at the wrong time. Like Fulham, they were utterly hopeless at the start of the campaign but have now taken 11 points from their last six games to climb off the bottom and become one of the form teams of the division. Contrast this with Orient who have taken five points in the same period and lost to fellow strugglers Gillingham this weekend. A huge game for Mauro Milanese's side. (League One, Saturday 22 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

7. AFC Wimbledon v York City it's all about the FA Cup on Tuesday in Kingston where this first round replay takes place. The original tie ended in a 1-1 draw and there's little to choose between them when it comes to current league form with both earning a fairly paltry five points from their last five games. The reward for winning is a trip to Wycombe Wanderers which is pretty much a derby for the Dons. Other point to note - all adult tickets have been reduced to £10. Bargain! (FA Cup first round replay, Tuesday 18 November, 745pm. Ticket info)

8. Bromley v Sutton United it's all about Boreham Wood in the Conference South at the moment and you could go and watch their match against Gosport Borough which should be good but I personally think this will be a bigger match. In this division, these two south London clubs are the geographically nearest rivals each other have got. Although the aforementioned Wood are top, Bromley are only five points behind in third and have a game in hand. Sutton are usually right up there too but are struggling by their standards and are down in 16th. It should still be a good occasion though so I strongly recommend it. (Conference South, Saturday 22 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

9. Sun Sports v Stanway Rovers the last two games I've gone for this week are in the FA Vase which has reached the second round stage. Sun Sports have come out of nowhere, relatively speaking, over the last year or so. Prior to last season they were also-rans in the Spartan South Midlands League Division 1 before winning it by a seven-point margin. This year the Watford club have gone from strength-to-strength climbing to the top of the Premier Division. On paper this should make them one of the current favourites for Vase glory but Stanway will provide tough opposition. Hailing from Colchester, they're a top-five club from the parallel Eastern Counties League and have a more prestigious record in the competition having made it all the way to fifth round in 2008. (FA Vase second round, Saturday 22 November, 3pm. Club info)

10. Erith Town v Phoenix Sports the other tie in the London area which really catches my eye is this south-east London derby. If you can't get a ticket for Charlton v Millwall then head down the road to the Badgers Sports Ground in Eltham where Erith currently reside. Both clubs play in the Southern Counties East League and both have been among the title contenders over the last year or two and Phoenix still are. However, little has gone right for Erith this term with only three wins from 18 league games. One bright spot was their 0-0 draw at Phoenix so they know they've got a chance. (FA Vase second round, Saturday 22 November, 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, 9 November 2014

TLFG: 10-16 November 2014

When I put this together last week I cautioned that there might be a delay in getting this up as I might be away, well it never happened and I decided to stay here in Blighty.

I am a little disappointed but I took the decision that dragging a toddler and Mum around Europe watching football probably wasn't going to work and I chose to stay put.

One option I had strongly considered was a trip to Turkey to see a game - one of my long term football ambitions. I've been to the country several times but never seen one of the local sides in action.

Istanbul looked particularly tempting this weekend with Fenerbahce and Kasimpasa both at home and Istanbul BB hosting Besiktas in a derby - all three games were nicely spread over the weekend so I could have seen them all. But how to get tickets? Usually info was quite easy to come by but this year it strangely wasn't.

Then I discovered this thing called passolig - in essence, a new fan card which every supporter has to have in order to get into games. You simply by your ticket online or in a participating shop and it gets loaded on to your card and it's scanned on arrival. Apparently it's all fairly easy, even for tourists.

However, the locals don't like it one bit. They feel spied on and there are other political objections which make the whole thing even more murky. As a result, fan groups are boycotting games so I felt uncomfortable about getting involved and decided not to go.

I also considered going to Ankara and seeing a lower division match where such a scheme isn't in place but in the end lethargy got the better of me.

One day it will happen...

Aside from that, I'd like to give a special mention to Bromley and Dartford who put on a great show in the FA Cup first round on Saturday. I picked it as one of the ties of the round, unlike London's very own Evening Standard newspaper which studiously ignores non-league football as much as possible, and it didn't disappoint. Congratulations to the Darts who edged to a thrilling 4-3 win in front of over 4,000 fans - the seventh highest first-round crowd nationwide.

It's also international week in London which means no Premier League or Championship football. To make up for it, not only do we have England in Euro 2016 action but also two very interesting friendlies between Argentina and Croatia and USA and Colombia. There's also a great selection of non-league games too so there's plenty to choose from.

One last point - Google Maps migrated to a new system this week so the match map below might look a bit different and not work quite as well. I prefer the old set-up but sadly I have no choice and this new one should suffice.

Anyway, that's it from me. Enjoy your week and don't forget that 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 80 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
Claret pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures




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. England v Slovenia - as already mentioned, it's international week and topping the bill we have the Three Lions' latest Euro 2016 qualifier at Wembley. So far it's gone really rather well for Roy Hodgson's side as they've won all three of their previous Group E matches. Next up are Slovenia who are currently second in the group after wins over Switzerland and Lithuania. The sides have only met twice before with England winning both but only by a one-goal margin so it should be close. (Euro 2016 qualifier, Saturday 15 November, 5pm. Ticket info)

2. Argentina v Croatia - very little seems to have been made of the fact that two of the world's best teams are playing at West Ham's Boleyn Ground on Wednesday night - I found out about it almost by accident. The last I heard, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi was in La Albiceleste's squad so with tickets starting at £25 it could be well worth a watch. Their head-to-head record from three games is one win each and a draw. (International friendly, Wednesday 12 November, 745pm. Ticket info)

3. USA v Colombia - London's mini World Cup also includes this intriguing match-up on Friday at Craven Cottage. Both sides had a better time in Brazil than many had predicted, playing some gutsy and attractive football. The star names are mainly in the South Americans' squad and if fit, we should get to see the likes of Radamel Falcao (unlikely) and James Rodriguez. Apparently tickets are selling well and at £20 I'm not surprised. (International friendly, Friday 14 November, 745pm. Ticket info)

4. AFC Wimbledon v Dagenham & Redbridge - all that international football means there's no action in the top two tiers of the domestic game so next up we have this London derby in League Two. These two have met six times over the last three seasons and it's the Dons who hold the upper hand, having only lost once. That was, however, the last time they played back in January. Wimbledon are having a better season than the Daggers thus far but both have only won one of their last five league games. I can't see the hosts losing. (League Two, Saturday 15 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Dartford v Welling United - after their thrilling FA Cup win over Bromley on Saturday, the Darts are thrown straight back into action on Tuesday night with this crucial league match against fellow strugglers and massive local rivals Welling. For some reason, the Conference decided to schedule both league matches between these two before Christmas and in midweek which is weird to say the least. The last one, at the end of September, produced an entertaining 2-2 draw and I hope we'll get an equally good game here. (Conference Premier, Tuesday 11 November, 745pm. Ticket info)

6. Boreham Wood v Maidenhead United - the Wood moved to the top of the Conference South on Saturday after stealing a dramatic late win over Wealdstone in their derby match. Just two days later they host Maidenhead who are pushing for a play-off spot themselves after a five-game unbeaten run. The most notable thing about the visitors so far this season has been their ability to field striker DJ Campbell who was the second highest English goalscorer, after Wayne Rooney, in the Premier League in the 2010-11 season when he played for Blackpool. Injury and involvement in a match-fixing scandal (he has since been fully exonerated) have derailed things for him of late but hopefully he'll bounce back soon. (Conference South, Monday 10 November, 745pm. Ticket info)

7. Metropolitan Police v Dulwich Hamlet - there seems to be an FA competition taking place every weekend at the moment and this Saturday we've got the FA Trophy. The draw has produced this interesting looking tie between the sides currently ranked sixth and fifth in the Isthmian League. The Met have become a decent side since their promotion in 2011 and have enjoyed good league and cup performances which is impressive given their fairly low average attendance of 195. Dulwich on the other hand are one of the fastest growing clubs in the capital with their crowds up nearly 40% on last season to nearly 1,000. They met in the league three weeks ago and ground out a 0-0 draw. (FA Trophy second qualifying round, Saturday 15 November, 3pm. Club info)

8. Thurrock v AFC Hornchurch - it's derby time in the Isthmian League Cup on Tuesday as these Essex rivals meet at Ship Lane. It's been a turbulent few seasons for these two with two relegations for Thurrock and one promotion and a relegation for the Urchins. Both look set for more upheaval this year with Mark Stimson's side among the frontrunners in the Isthmian League Division 1 North and Hornchurch bottom of the Premier Division. Despite being in different divisions, only three places separate them so there's little in it. (Isthmian League Cup second round, Tuesday 11 November, 745pm. Ticket info)

9. Barking v FC Romania - east London club Barking are one of the first sides I can remember seeing play when I started to watch Harrow Borough in the late '80s. Indeed, the town have had a team in place in one form or other since 1880 so are one of the oldest in the area. Following the death of their chairman in 2006, the club had to start again in the Essex Senior League where they sit third in the table today. On Wednesday they welcome relative non-league newcomers FC Romania who are making rapid strides up the pyramid since their formation from scratch in 2006. Made up primarily of Romanian migrants they play good technical football and are second in the league. (Essex Senior League, Wednesday 12 November, 745pm. Ticket info)

10. AFC Croydon Athletic v Banstead Athletic - another two sides to have experienced more despair than joy in recent years meet on Saturday. The Rams rose as high as the Isthmian League Premier Division in 2010/11 but the whole Mazhar Majeed affair led to their club falling apart and eventually going out of existence midway through the following season. The fans reformed the club and entered it in the Combined Counties League some three divisions below. They had to groundshare at local rivals Croydon during their first season but have now moved back to their old home in Thornton Heath for this campaign where it's going quite well. At present they are fourth, just two points behind leaders Banstead who they play here. (Combined Counties League Division 1, Saturday 15 November, 3pm. 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.