Sunday, 22 December 2013

TLFG 23 December 2013 - 5 January 2014

Greetings one and all and welcome to the Christmas/New Year special double issue.

This is possibly the best time of year to be in London to watch football as there are games crammed into every nook and cranny and most are either local derbies or top-of-the-table clashes.

For the occasion I've produced two match maps so you can see what's on more clearly.

Have a good dig through and choose wisely, occasionally you might be able to see two games in a day.

Earlier in the week I headed down to Champion Hill where I introduced a Dutch football fan (who I've mentioned in previous weeks) to the joys of non-league football.

On offer was the Isthmian League Premier Division fixture between title contenders and recent rivals Dulwich Hamlet and Maidstone United.

The sides both got promoted last season from the division below after being and neck and neck for most of the campaign and they're both threatening to do it again this term.

Dulwich have a burgeoning fan base while Maidstone, a former Football League side, are the biggest club in the division. Consequently a large crowd of 817 turned out for this crucial game in south-east London, this despite the fact it was a midweek match shortly before Christmas and constant drizzle blighted things.

The first half was pretty open with chances at both ends but it was the hosts who took the lead. They then doubled their advantage soon after the break and largely controlled proceedings from then on to send most of the crowd home happy.

I really enjoy my trips to Champion Hill and would recommend anyone visiting London to go there if you want to experience non-league football in the capital - the ground is one of the best at this level, the fans are vocal and friendly, the football's pretty good and it's one of the most centrally located and easy to get to. 

TRAVEL ADVISORY
If you're travelling to a game on Boxing Day, public transport will be greatly reduced. Travelling by Tube should be fine in most cases but most National Rail services will not operate so plan before you travel or buy match tickets.

The following clubs in the top five divisions will be harder to get to than usual:

AFC Wimbledon - Norbiton and Kingston stations will be closed so get the District Line to Wimbledon and then the 57 bus. Don't hang around after though as the Wimbledon branch of the District Line will be shutting at 630pm.

Brentford - Brentford station will be closed so get the Piccadilly Line to South Ealing and walk down or get the 65 bus.

Charlton Athletic - Charlton station will be closed so get the Jubilee Line to North Greenwich (there is no service between Finchley Road and Waterloo so perhaps go via Stratford) and then bus 161, 472 or 486.

Dartford - Dartford station is closed. Sadly there is no Tube station anywhere near so I'd give this a miss as it will require a combination of buses to get from central London.

Tottenham Hotspur - White Hart Lane station will be closed so take the Victoria Line to Seven Sisters and then either walk or get the 149, 259, 279 or 349 buses.

Watford - Watford Junction and Watford High Street are closed so take the Metropolitan Line to Watford and then it's about a one-mile walk.

Hope this helps.

GET INVOLVED
As always, please remember to let me know what you've been up to and 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.

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


LATEST TICKET NEWS
Each week at TLFG we attempt to compile a list of what's on general sale to non-members at London's Premier League clubs and for other notable matches (click on the team name for details).

Wednesday 5 March, 8pm - Denmark, international friendly, Wembley

Nothing currently available

Wednesday 29 January, 745pm - West Ham United, Premier League (on sale 6 Jan)
Saturday 8 February, 3pm - Newcastle United, Premier League (on sale 13 Jan)

Tickets are only available to season-ticket holders, members and their guests

Wednesday 1 January, 3pm - West Ham United, Premier League
Saturday 11 January, 3pm - Sunderland, Premier League

Wednesday 29 January, 745pm - Manchester City, Premier League
Sunday 9 February, 130pm - Everton, Premier League 
Thursday 26 December, 3pm - Arsenal, Premier League
Saturday 28 December, 1245pm - West Brom, Premier League
Saturday 18 January, 3pm - Newcastle United, Premier League
Tuesday 21 January, 745pm - Manchester City, League Cup semi-final (on sale 2 Jan)
Saturday 1 February, 1245pm - Swansea City, Premier League (on sale 31 Dec)
Saturday 22 March, 3pm - Manchester United, Premier League
Saturday 5 April, 3pm - Liverpool, Premier League
Saturday 3 May, 3pm - Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League


TICKET DEALS
The Christmas/New Year fixtures are often some of the biggest of the season so deals are rare at this time of year. The FA Cup third round, however, often provides a good source of cheap tickets but sadly only two London clubs are at home this time.

Arsenal are hosting their biggest rivals Spurs so there'll be no discounts there but Championship club Charlton Athletic are offering entry for only £10 as they take on League Two title contenders Oxford United on Saturday 4 January.

On Boxing Day, Isthmian League club Wingate & Finchley are giving you the chance to do a 'double' by offering half-price admission (£5) to their derby match against Hendon if you go to the early kick-off between Enfield Town and Wealdstone and bring your ticket stub with you.

Elsewhere that day, the aforementioned Dulwich Hamlet are also offering half-price admission (£5) to their game against Grays Athletic to season-ticket holders, members and December match ticket-stub holders from Crystal Palace and Millwall. Fans of those clubs, if they qualify, can also get a concessionary price of only £2. While all under-12s go free.

Also at Champion Hill, on Saturday 28 December, Fisher are offering half-price admission (£3.50) to Premier League and Football League season-ticket holders and anyone in Christmas fancy dress for their Southern Counties East League game against Greenwich Borough. They've created this fantastic poster to help promote the deal:

Get yourself to Fisher for some festive football fun
If you know of any other deals I may have missed or your club is running a promotion let me know.

There are well over 150 matches in the London area over the next two weeks so there's plenty to choose from whatever your budget.

With bad weather becoming more frequent, 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 23-29 DECEMBER 2013
Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday (Boxing Day) fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures


View London match map 23-29 December 2013 in a larger map




MATCH MAP 30 DECEMBER 2013 - 5 JANUARY 2014
Turquoise pin - Wednesday (New Year's Day) fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures


View London match map 30 December 2013 - 5 January 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. As there are so many at this time of year, I've decided to do a day-by-day listing with some of the most eye-catching games highlighted. Click on the match for ticket and club info. There are often many more games that are worthy of a mention but I simply don't have the time or space to squeeze them all in so add your own in the comments section below.

TLFG CHRISTMAS CRACKERS

Monday 23 December
Arsenal v Chelsea - massive derby between two Premier League title contenders

Wednesday 26 December
West Ham United v Arsenal - east versus north derby match in the Premier League
Watford v Millwall - derby match approaching a sell-out in the Championship
Brentford v Swindon Town - two promotion chasers meet in League One
AFC Wimbledon v Southend United - kind of a derby, tickets selling fast
Barnet v Luton Town - top five clash in Conference Premier
Dartford v Welling United - big local derby in Conference Premier
Bromley v Ebbsfleet United - derby and top three clash in Conference South
Hampton & Richmond Borough v Kingstonian - local derby in Isthmian Premier
Enfield Town v Wealdstone - two old rivals meet in the Isthmian Premier
Walton Casuals v Walton & Hersham - derby in Isthmian Division 1 South
Chertsey Town v Egham Town - local derby in Southern League Division 1 Central

Saturday 28 December
West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League relegation 'six-pointer'
Staines Town v Sutton United - Conference South play-off hopefuls in sort of a derby
Tooting & Mitcham v Peacehaven & Telscombe - Isthmian Div 1 leaders pay a visit

Sunday 29 December
Chelsea v Liverpool - two of the Premier League's top five do battle
Watford v QPR - local rivals meet in a near sell-out Championship game

Wednesday 1 January
Fulham v West Ham United - derby and massive relegation dogfight
Dagenham & Redbridge v AFC Wimbledon - local derby in League Two
Welling United v Dartford - big derby in Conference Premier between two local rivals
Wealdstone v Harrow Borough - big derby in the Isthmian Premier
VCD Athletic v Thurrock - current top two in Isthmian Division 1 North

Saturday 4 January
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - huge local rivals meet in FA Cup third round
Charlton Athletic v Oxford United - potential upset on the cards in this FA Cup tie
Barnet v Alfreton Town - top five clash in Conference Premier
Thurrock v Witham Town - two of the top three in Isthmian Division 1 North

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.

9 comments:

  1. been at dulwich v maidstone too. nice game

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad you enjoyed it Daniel.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I´ll go to Charlton - Brighton & Hove on the 26th of December. One of the best grounds in London, The Valley! If you'd like to meet, let me know (I'm the Dutch guy with whom James attented the Dulwich - Maidstone game!)

    ReplyDelete
  4. hi Paul, sorry i was more or less without internet over christmas, hope you enjoyed it. guess i'll watch Wimbledon v Plymouth tomorrow, the English club I know best (see my blog although it's in German). Have you been there yet? today lets see, checking now. btw i know you are focused on league football, but apart from Dulwich there is another non-league club not to miss out, Clapton FC who have an amazing small fan base

    ReplyDelete
  5. mhh might me Carshalton Atheltic v Bognor Regis Town today - never been there

    ReplyDelete
  6. It is West Ham United, Premiere League today.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Blog to be praised.

    John Phanchalad at JP Digital Tech have a very good track record

    in digital media marketing. For more you can visit on

    http://johnphanchalad.com/merry-christmas-from-john-phanchalad/

    ReplyDelete
  8. Do you need a FIFA World Cup 2014 schedule & live score update apps? Football World Cup 2014 Schedule & Live Score update apps. It is very nice apps. Its totally free for Android user!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I would like to invite you all to our Football Community called Clubtray Football on http://www.clubtray.com/football

    ReplyDelete