Sunday, 11 December 2011

TLFG: 12-18 December 2011

I only managed to get to one game this week - the local derby between North Greenford United and Harrow Borough in the Middlesex Senior Cup on Tuesday night.

Despite being brought up in this part of London, I'd never been to Berkeley Fields prior to this season but this was my second visit of the current campaign. After a desperate dash from Greenford station I made it just in time for kick-off (some of you may wonder why - the things I do for you dear readers).

I'm actually quite a fan of North Greenford's ground - it's small but very tidy and well kept. I would show you photos but my night time photography skills are pretty poor. I did try the video function on my camera for the first time but caught no action of significant value.

The game itself was settled by a brilliant individual goal by debutant James Awofisan 20 minutes from time as the hosts caused an upset by beating their higher ranked opponents 1-0. Harrow only had themselves to blame for some wasteful for finishing and could and probably should have been 3-0 up before conceding. A trip to Wingate & Finchley lies in wait for the victors in the next round.

The story of my night didn't end there though. On my way back to the station I found a nice camera lying on the pavement so if you lost yours somewhere in Greenford on Tuesday night, it can now been claimed from Acton police station where I handed it in (the local one was closed).

Did you go to any games this week? Let us know in the comments space below or on the TLFG Facebook page.

Next up I'll give you a run down of what tickets are currently on general sale at London's Premier League clubs (click on the team name to go through to their ticket page):

26 December - Wolverhampton Wanderers 3pm, Premier League 

26 December - Fulham 1pm, Premier League
31 December - Aston Villa 3pm, Premier League

14 December - Odense BK 805pm, Europa League
17 December - Bolton Wanderers 3pm, Premier League
21 January - Newcastle United 3pm, Premier League

21 December - Sunderland 8pm, Premier League
2 January - Norwich City 3pm, Premier League

3 January - West Bromwich Albion 745pm, Premier League

All the above information is correct at the time of writing but be quick to act especially if you want Arsenal tickets - theirs rarely go on general release. The week ahead is slightly busier than the last with 75 fixtures taking place. Several clubs are offering significantly discounted tickets to get people in before Christmas (details of which you will find below).

Here are this week's match maps:

Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Magenta pin - Friday fixtures

Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures

With so many games to choose from, here are a few which I think deserve an extra mention:


I don't need to do too much to sell this one as two of the biggest clubs in the country go head-to-head in Monday night's televised Premier League game. The Blues are 10 points behind current leaders City so will have to go all out to win if they want to keep their faint hopes of title glory alive. Given the visitors exited the Champions League in midweek, I was under the impression they'd hit a bit of a rocky patch but they've won their last three (against Bayern Munich, Norwich and Arsenal) and have scored nine in the process. It could be another tough night for Andre Villas-Boas.

West London is the place to be this week if you want to watch the Premier League's top two. QPR have a pretty poor record against United (most teams do) having beaten them only six times in 47 attempts. However, it's nearly 16 years since this fixture last took place and the Rs fans will be well up for trying to create the kind of atmosphere which clearly unsettled Chelsea and made Manchester City look human earlier in the season. It's also only a couple of weeks until QPR celebrate the 20th anniversary of their famous 4-1 win over United at Old Trafford which was screened live as this one will be. Almost certainly an away win but you never know...

The first of this week's ticket special offers is available for this Championship fixture. The Hammers are currently second but have lost two in a row going into this one. Recognising that people have to make budgetary considerations at this time of year and that the Tykes aren't the most mouthwatering opponents to watch on a chilly December afternoon, they've decided to lop well over 50% off the price of tickets meaning you can get into this one for just £15 (£5 for under-16s). The club have designated this match as a 'Christmas Cracker' and I tend to agree.

Special offer number two is available at Underhill on Friday night where you can enjoy some League Two action for only £10 (£5 concessions). The Bees haven't won a league game since their last Friday evening performance so will hope the day is auspicious. The Robins are currently third in the table and will provide formidable opposition having won their last five in all competitions. Notably, however, their last defeat came at home to Barnet in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy so there's hope for the north Londoners.

Not satisfied with only two special deals, a third is being offered by the Darts for this massive Blue Square Bet South game. If you're a season-ticket holder at any Premier League or Football League club you can get in to this huge fixture between third and first on Tuesday night for £1, yes just a quid! If you've not been before, Dartford's Princes Park ground is one of the best in non-league football with some fine modern facilities. If you're on that side of London, I thoroughly recommend you go along.

This local Essex derby ensures the Urchins make the TLFG Top 10 for the second week running. Having held higher division Farnborough to a 0-0 draw in the FA Trophy on Saturday, they'll fancy their chances of taking three points from this. The Millers made the Ryman League Premier Division play-offs the season before last but have returned to the pack of teams which struggle since then. A win for the hosts could see them go top.

Most recent chat about football in this part of north London has been dominated by Enfield Town who recently opened a new ground and are having a great run in the Ryman League. Elsewhere though, the Es have been making fine progress in the Essex Senior League and currently top it having won 12 of their 16 games. The visitors on Saturday aren't doing too badly either and lie four points behind in fourth. The sides last met on the opening day of the season and fought out a 0-0 draw so this is likely to be close again.

Elsewhere in the Essex Senior League we have an East End derby where groundsharers London APSA and Clapton meet. The Tons actually own the ground but are the 'visitors' on this occasion. Both teams find themselves towards the wrong end of the division so there's plenty to play for. The Old Spotted Dog ground is one that all groundhoppers have to visit as there a few like it anywhere else. Within walking distance of Forest Gate station this is your chance to watch one of the newest clubs (1993) in London play one of the oldest (1878).

This Saturday affords London football watchers the chance to take another look at the seemingly invincible Kent League leaders Herne Bay. In recent weeks they've beaten TLFG sides Fisher and Hanworth Villa and they come into this as one of the only teams in the country with an unbeaten league record. It doesn't really look that good for Holmesdale then. The one glimmer of hope is The Bay's loss to Sevenoaks in the Kent Senior Trophy on Saturday but it's a pretty weak one.

Last up this week I've gone for this Combined Counties League Division One game as it's a derby. Roughly speaking these clubs lie at either end of Heathrow airport's runway. Both also find themselves having to share grounds as neither have one of their own. The Blues currently reside at Bedfont Town which is a short stroll from Hatton Cross station so I recommend this if you rely on public transport to get to games. As for who will win, the table suggests the fourth-placed visitors who have won five of their last six. 

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  1. I would take issue with your comment that Berkeley Fields is a "very tidy and well kept" ground. Unfortunately there is a woman there who exercises her dog by walking round the spectator standing area and does not clean up after it. That's why they've lost a paying customer. Fortunately I spotted it during the daylight hours.

  2. I know exactly the woman and canine in question (not personally though). I thought they were quite an endearing feature but if there's no poop and scoop being applied then it's a disgrace. Poor show.