Sunday, 11 March 2012

TLFG: 12-18 March 2012

Not a lot to personally report this week mainly thanks to a power failure which blighted my Saturday afternoon plans.

With a sub-editing shift lined up at West London Sport I had planned to go to the early kick-off between Sporting Hackney and Kodak (Harrow) over on the legendary Hackney Marshes in the shadow of the growing Olympic Park.

I don't usually cover Step 7/Level 11 football in this blog but my Non-League Day colleague Mike and I had received many cordial invitations from the east London club and as we were both free decided to go.

Sadly on arrival at Shepherd's Bush station I was advised that the crucial part of the London Overground network between Gospel Oak and Stratford was down because of the aforementioned power failure. Undeterred I headed up to Willesden Junction in case things improved but they didn't and I had to call things off. Mike did make it and had a great time and even went as far as to say he was 'rather smitten' by his Hackney experience. So it sounds as if they're worth a visit.

If you're based outside London and are planning a trip, here's what tickets are currently on general sale for some of the bigger matches that are coming up in the capital:

2 June - Belgium 515pm, Wembley Stadium, international friendly

Nothing currently available

18 March - Leicester City 205pm, FA Cup
7 April - Wigan Athletic 3pm, Premier League

21 April - Wigan Athletic 3pm, Premier League

11 April - Swansea City 8pm, Premier League

17 March - Bolton Wanderers 530pm, FA Cup
21 March - Stoke City 745pm, Premier League
9 April - Norwich City 3pm, Premier League

Next up we have 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

Please let me know if there are any errors or omissions and always make sure you check with a club on the day whether a match is still taking place.

If you thought there was a lot on last week, there's even more to choose from this time round with 84 matches scheduled to take place in London over the next seven days. As well as the normal league matches we've also got action from the Champions League, FA Cup and FA Trophy plus some regional cup fixtures and a few games which were re-arranged after the recent cold spell. Here's a selection of a few that particularly stand out:


ARSENAL v NEWCASTLE UNITED (Monday 12 March, 8pm)
The week gets under way with this big Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium. Both sides start the game with ambitions of securing a place in next season's Champions League with the Gunners currently occupying the much coveted fourth spot. The Magpies have massively overachieved this season with very few expecting them to still be in the running at this point with a win here leaving them just two points adrift of their London opponents. The current form guide massively favours the hosts but Newcastle know they can win here having done so by 1-0 last season. Tickets: SOLD OUT

CHELSEA v NAPOLI (Wednesday 14 March, 745pm)
This match on Wednesday represents England's last chance of getting a team through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. It looks like a tough ask though as the Blues trail their Italian rivals 3-1 after the first leg. However, a 2-0 win is not out of the question for Roberto Di Matteo's team who have won both matches since he took over a week ago. If he manages to mastermind victory here, it will do his chances of getting the job full time a power of good. Tickets: SOLD OUT

The FA Cup quarter-finals roll into town on Saturday meaning these two are just 90 minutes from Wembley. Both have an illustrious history in the competition and have won it 12 times between them but plenty of time has past since either last triumphed. As someone who grew up in the '80s and '90s  the FA Cup seemed like Tottenham's tournament so I was staggered to find that they haven't won it for 21 years. As the current top-ranked team left, you'd expect them to win here and go the whole way. Ticket info.

MILLWALL v SOUTHAMPTON (Saturday 17 March, 3pm)
The Lions welcome Championship leaders Southampton back to the Den just a few weeks after they last met in the FA Cup. On that occasion the sides drew 1-1 before Millwall recorded a surprise 3-2 win at St Mary's in the replay. The Saints haven't lost since and are now three points clear of West Ham and Reading at the top of the table. With Millwall only seven points above the relegation zone, both teams will need the points as they look to consolidate their positions at either end of the division. Ticket info.

LEYTON ORIENT v BRENTFORD (Saturday 17 March, 3pm)
This League One match stands out primarily because it's a good old fashioned 'East v West' London derby. The Bees' outside hopes of a play-off place took a knock on Saturday when they lost at home to Sheffield United so midtable looks to be their likely finish. Orient have more to worry about though, sitting as they do just six points above the bottom four without a win in five. Although Brentford have a much better head-to-head record in these games, winning 5-0 earlier in the season, they haven't won at Brisbane Road since 1995 so an 'upset' is quite possible. Ticket info.

Recent back-to-back wins over Morecambe and Bradford City seemed to mark a change in fortunes for the Daggers as they climbed out of the League Two relegation places. Now just over a week later, they're rooted  to the foot of the table having lost to Swindon Town and AFC Wimbledon whilst the results of fellow strugglers Northampton have gone the other way. If the Essex club are to retain their Football League status then this falls into the 'must win' 'six-pointer' category without any doubt. To encourage people to come along, all under-18s can get a terrace ticket for just £1. Ticket info.

WEALDSTONE v NEWPORT COUNTY (Saturday 17 March, 3pm)
The biggest non-league match in London this week takes place in the north-west suburb of Ruislip where Ryman League club Wealdstone look to pull off an upset in this FA Trophy semi-final second leg. The Stones gave a good account of themselves in Wales on Saturday in the first leg but were a little unfortunate to lose 3-1 against a team from two divisions above them. However, the spirit still appears to be high in the underdogs' camp and the fact they haven't lost at home since mid-November gives them cause for confidence. With Barrow and Dartford having come unstuck at Grosvenor Vale in previous rounds, Newport will have to be disciplined to make it to Wembley. Given the large crowd expected, this match has been designated ALL TICKET so you'll have to buy in advance of the day if you want one. Ticket info.

SUTTON UNITED v CHELMSFORD CITY (Saturday 17 March, 3pm)
If that game's not for you, you could do a lot worse then head down to the Borough Sports Ground to see two of the best teams in the Blue Square Bet South continue their respective scraps for a play-off place. The top five clubs seemed to have pulled away and set up their own mini-league recently but three defeats in four for City have given sixth-placed Dover a glimmer of hope. Sutton who came up last season are looking more solid and could well be on course for back-to-back promotions. With leaders Woking having dropped some unlikely points of late even they could be caught in the remaining 10 games meaning there's plenty to play for here. Ticket info.

ERITH & BELVEDERE v HERNE BAY (Saturday 17 March, 3pm)
Regular readers will know that Herne Bay are the team to beat in the Kent League and they took another giant stride towards the title with a 1-0 win over their nearest challengers Erith Town on Saturday. This coming weekend they travel to Welling United's ground to play third placed Erith & Belvedere. The Deres also had a good weekend picking up a fine 2-1 win at VCD Athletic. This is of even greater significance because VCD are the only side to have beaten Herne Bay this season in the league and also beat them in a League Cup match in midweek. With 10 games to go, a win here is essential if Erith & Belvedere want to keep their already faint hopes of the title alive. Club info.

NORTHWOOD v HAREFIELD UNITED (Tuesday 13 March, 745pm)
Last up this week I recommend you check out this local derby in the Middlesex Charity Cup. The clubs' grounds are pretty much parallel to each other and just 2.5 miles apart. The Woods are the more senior team and on paper should win but with local pride and a place in the semi-finals at stake it could go either way. Northwood's management have also decided to cut admission prices for this one to just £5 for adults and it's FREE for under-16s. Ticket info

If you have any questions or need advice about watching football in London you can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via Facebook, Twitter or email

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