Monday, 9 April 2012

TLFG: 10-15 April 2012

One of the biggest weekends of the football calendar is coming to a close and I hope it's been a good one for you.

With 80 matches taking place between Friday and today there was plenty on offer for all. Did you make it to a match everyday? Did you complete a Monday triple? Let us all know.

Personally I only made it to the one game on Saturday afternoon. I had been weighing up my options on Friday night when a Bedfont Town fan flagged up their match against Slough Town in the Evostik League Southern Division One Central the following day.

With Slough still very much in the hunt for the divisional title and the two clubs located only a few miles apart, I thought why not?

A large Virgin Atlantic plane soars into the air over The Orchard
Readers of TLFG may remember I paid a visit to Bedfont Sports back in October. The two clubs' grounds are literally side by side so remembering how to get there wasn't a problem.

You might also recall that the two clubs are located at the eastern end of Heathrow airport's southern runway so the entertainment at these games isn't provided solely by the players.

Bedfont Town's pitch is at its closest point only around 600m from the runway and by the time some of the larger aircraft manage to get off it they can't be much more than 200 feet above the ground so you get unusually close.

I wouldn't admit to being a plane spotter but I find watching huge lumps of metal roaring into the sky at close quarters quite an awesome experience as a number of the visiting supporters seemed to as well.

If it wasn't for the planes I would possibly have fallen asleep because the first half was really poor - neither side managed a shot on target. However, it got a bit tastier after the break. The Rebels managed to get their act together and scored twice either side of a red card to one of their centre-backs as they edged to victory. The hosts pulled a goal back through a late penalty (video here) but it wasn't enough.

The 2-1 win moved Slough to within a point of leaders St Neots Town and today's results saw them draw level so the final few games in that division look like being a tense affair.

If you're coming to London over the next few weeks and want to see a game, here's what international and Premier League tickets are on general sale (click on the team name for more info):

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

16 April - Wigan Athletic 8pm, Premier League

2 May - Newcastle United 745pm, Premier League

21 April - Wigan Athletic 3pm, Premier League
6 May - Sunderland 2pm, Premier League (on sale Tue 10 Apr)

11 April - Swansea City 8pm, Premier League

29 April - Blackburn Rovers 4pm, Premier League

After the feast of last week's 99 matches there's a virtual famine this time round with only 55 to choose from (the midweek schedule is much reduced). The biggest games in the capital in the coming days are the two FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley but with fixtures running out it's really hotting up at both ends of the table in all our various leagues too. Here are this week's match maps:

Green pin - Tuesday fixtures 
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday 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.

Here are a few games I think are worth a particular mention, some of which might have a bigger significance than you may have been aware of. If I don't include a match you think should be highlighted, post the details in the comments section below.


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR v CHELSEA (Sunday 15 April, 6pm)
Wembley Stadium plays host to both FA Cup semi-finals this weekend, with Liverpool v Everton taking place on Saturday afternoon. I've highlighted this one as it involves two London clubs. At the time of writing, Spurs are fourth and Chelsea sixth in the Premier League so the FA Cup represents the only bit of domestic silverware each of them could win this season. The Blues' form is definitely better at the moment but they could only draw 0-0 with Tottenham at Stamford Bridge a couple of weeks ago. Extra-time looks likely. TICKET INFO

The Hammers seem to be playing big match after big match at the moment as they strive to get back into the Premier League. Sadly their home results (seven without a win) are letting them down in a big way with a defeat against Reading and a battling draw against Birmingham in their last two games. Brighton are the next team scheduled to visit and they too are among the chasing pack. If the Sussex club manage to win at Reading on Tuesday night then I fear for Sam Allardyce's side on Saturday. TICKET INFO

BRENTFORD v NOTTS COUNTY (Saturday 14 April, 3pm)
Just over two weeks ago the Bees' play-off hopes looked to have ended but five straight wins and a draw since then have put them right back in contention. The sixth-placed team that they have to catch come to Griffin Park on Saturday. The gap between the two is currently only three points so there is little to separate Uwe Rosler's side from Keith Curle's. The last time these sides played back in October it finished 1-1 and I expect another close game here. TICKET INFO

BARNET v HEREFORD UNITED (Friday 13 April, 745pm)
Two of the bottom three sides in League Two meet in this big 'six-pointer' at Underhill on Friday night. The hosts are currently better off, some three points above Macclesfield and Hereford who fill the relegation spots. Both sides lost their matches on Easter Monday so neither will be in particularly high spirits ahead of this game. If the thrill of an important match alone isn't enough to get you up to north London on Friday night then maybe the reduced entry fee of £10 will. TICKET INFO

SUTTON UNITED v DARTFORD (Saturday 14 April, 3pm)
Both clubs ended the Easter period with wins which means Sutton are now on the verge of sealing a place in the Blue Square Bet South play-offs while Dartford are still in with an outside chance of winning the title. Either way these are two of the division's best teams and they still have plenty to play for. Astonishingly when they met for the reverse fixture in March, the Darts won 6-1. Don't expect the same thing to happen this time but a big crowd and lively game is almost a certainty. TICKET INFO

HARROW BOROUGH v WEALDSTONE (Wednesday 11 April, 745pm)
If you're looking for a game on the west side of London on Wednesday and don't fancy going to QPR then I highly recommend this one. As derby matches go in the Ryman League this is one of the biggest with one of the most intense rivalries between clubs at this level that I have ever experienced. The amount of enmity that some Stones fans have for Boro is quite astounding given that their's is the bigger and far more successful club. The match is of even greater significance than normal as both sides are scrapping for points at opposite ends of the table. The form guide says Wealdstone should win but Dave Anderson's side are incredibly unpredictable at present and come into this on the back of two consecutive away wins so shouldn't be written off. As with many non-league clubs in the area, all Premier and Football League season-ticket holders get in for half price (£5). CLUB INFO

CRAY WANDERERS v LEWES (Saturday 14 April, 3pm)
Elsewhere in the Ryman Premier these two continue their fight for promotion. In this division the top team go up automatically while the next four play-off. Cray and Lewes currently sit fifth and sixth respectively with only goal difference separating them. Both sides enjoyed wins on Easter Monday but the form guide would probably favour the Rooks as the hosts have recently lost home games to Harrow and Leatherhead who are battling against the drop. Also of note - Cray Wanderers are the oldest currently active football club in London having been founded in 1860. CLUB INFO

WEALDSTONE v AFC HORNCHURCH (Saturday 14 April, 3pm)
Cup commitments earlier in the season have caused a fixture backlog which will mean this match will be Wealdstone's fourth in a week and again it's another biggie. At the time of writing, the Stones are five points adrift of the play-off places but have two games in hand. If they beat Harrow that gap will reduce to two and a win here could put them in the top five. However, the Urchins have already booked their place in the play-offs and are still very much in the hunt for the league title being just two points behind leaders Billericay who they drew with on Monday. The same ticket discount Harrow are offering for Premier and Football League season-ticket holders applies here. TICKET INFO

DULWICH HAMLET v WHITEHAWK (Saturday 14 April, 3pm)
In the division below, the race for the title looks to be going down to the wire. Dulwich are currently top while their Sussex opponents are third just five points behind, while Bognor who lost on Monday are sandwiched in between. If the hosts win this it could leave them five points clear with just two games to go while an away victory could put the top three within two points of each other so a lot rests on the result. CLUB INFO

UXBRIDGE v LEIGHTON TOWN (Saturday 14 April, 3pm)
The Reds enjoyed a great run of 10 straight wins in the league and cup back in October/November which made them look like a good bet for promotion from the Evostik League Southern Division One Central. Their form became a lot more ordinary after that and threatened to keep them in midtable for the remainder of the campaign. However, five wins out of their last six league matches has suddenly put them back into the top four. Automatic promotion is out of their reach so keeping hold of their play-off spot is what it's now all about. With only three games to go a win here could put them on the verge of clinching it. CLUB INFO

If you have any questions or 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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