Sunday, 16 September 2012

TLFG: 17-23 September 2012

After a week of fairly relentless media build-up, Saturday afternoon arrived meaning it was time for the latest instalment of QPR v Chelsea or Anton Ferdinand v John Terry.

Would there be pre-match handshakes? Would there be trouble away from the pitch?

In the end, handshakes with Terry and Ashley Cole were avoided by Ferdinand and aside from a bit of booing by the respective fans when one of the three got the ball that was about it.

Generally the atmosphere was simply that of a derby. There was lots of noise, a bit of macho posturing and some unimaginative and fairly standard insults.

Unless I missed it, there was nothing particularly distasteful being sung or said and that was to everyone's credit. Although I didn't see it, I've read reports that some Chelsea fans actually displayed a banner of support/remembrance for a young QPR fan who died in a holiday accident recently.

I've experienced far more toxic atmospheres at Loftus Road, usually when a certain club from south east London pay us a visit.

Chelsea prepare to defend a corner during the derby at QPR
The game itself, from a QPR fan's perspective was very encouraging. The new signings looked good and made a big impact. To go from losing our last home game against Swansea 5-0 to holding the current league leaders and champions of Europe to a 0-0 draw says a lot.

Overall it was a fair result - there were chances at both ends. Chelsea should probably have had at least one penalty while Bobby Zamora should've done better for QPR when one-on-one with Petr Cech. I and those with me thought it was a decent game and I've seen various pundits say the same. However, Yasser (a Chelsea supporting acquaintance from Twitter who I finally met after several attempts) described it as a 'drab affair'. A spoilt man indeed!

On the Non-League Day (NLD) front things are getting busier. There's now less than four weeks to go so please help us get the message out there.

If you have your own blog or website, please think about adding one of our banners to it. You can also keep up to date with what's going on by 'liking' our Facebook page and/or following us on Twitter and inviting your friends to do the same. Thanks if you do.

On Friday I went to Parliament to meet Clive Betts MP, chair of the All Party Football Group. Apart from anything else, he's going to try and table an Early Day Motion for us in the Commons meaning little old NLD will get a mention in Hansard which is quite significant.

I'm also working on tying up the official backing of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in the search for more recognition for NLD.

By the middle of the week, all FA Vase replays should be completed meaning we'll have a full list of games that are taking place on the day.

News of special deals and events at clubs are also starting to filter through. In the TLFG area alone clubs are running football tournaments, offering free admission and there are groundhops too so keep your eyes peeled for further details.


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 26 September, 745pm - Coventry City, League Cup

Tuesday 25 September, 745pm - Wolverhampton Wanderers, League Cup

Friday 5 October, 7pm - Chelsea, U21 Premier League
Saturday 20 October, 3pm - Aston Villa, Premier League
Saturday 3 November, 3pm - Everton, Premier League
Sunday 18 November, 4pm - Sunderland, Premier League

QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Wednesday 26 September, 745pm - Reading, League Cup

Sunday 23 September, 4pm - Queens Park Rangers, Premier League
Sunday 7 October, 3pm - Aston Villa, Premier League
Saturday 20 October, 1245pm - Chelsea, Premier League

WEST HAM UNITED
Saturday 22 September, 3pm - Sunderland, Premier League
Tuesday 25 September, 745pm - Wigan Athletic, League Cup
Saturday 6 October, 530pm - Arsenal, Premier League
Saturday 20 October, 3pm - Southampton, Premier League 

Aside from these there are also tickets going for England's World Cup qualifier against San Marino at Wembley Stadium on 12 October.

This week is a pretty exciting and busy one in the capital. There are over 80 matches taking place including some big derbies and games in the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup. 

With all that in mind, here's this week's 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 page to make sure you get all the information.

MATCH MAP
Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday fixtures
Magenta pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures



View London match map 17-23 September 2012 in a larger map


As always, please check with the host club whether a match is still taking place before you travel. Please also let me know if any of the details are wrong or missing.

Here's a list of few games that I think could be worth watching in the week ahead:

TLFG TOP 10

CHELSEA v JUVENTUS (Wednesday 19 September, 745pm)
After the derby at QPR on Saturday, Chelsea face another big match just four days later as they begin the defence of their European title. The draw hasn't been kind as Juventus are one of the toughest opponents they could have possibly got for an opening fixture. The Italians won their 28th league title last season and have made a decent start to this campaign having put four goals past both Napoli and Udinese to win the Italian Super Cup and their first Serie A match of the season. The Blues will need to hit the ground running to come out on top in this one. TICKETS: SOLD OUT

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR v QPR (Sunday 23 September, 4pm)
A tough run of games for QPR culminates with another derby against Spurs at White Hart Lane on Sunday. At the time of writing, neither side have managed a win in the Premier League so far this season. Rangers are still very much a work in progress as they bed in a number of new players and there were dramatic signs of improvement against Chelsea. The pressure for success if far greater for new manager Andre Villas-Boas at Spurs and rumours are already circulating about disquiet in their camp. Last season the north London club comfortably saw off their west London opponents at home but came unstuck at Loftus Road. If Spurs struggle at Reading and then have a tough game against Lazio in midweek, the Hoops could get something from this. TICKET INFO

MILLWALL v BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION (Saturday 22 September, 3pm)
With Nottingham Forest, Cardiff City and Brighton all making multiple visits to the capital there are a lot of decent Championship games taking place this week. I've gone for this one as Millwall are currently the top ranked club in town and Brighton are the top ranked of the visitors. Apart from that, Brighton is also only a short journey from London so this will have the touch of a derby feel to it. On paper, the Seagulls should win this as they've had a much better start - three points here could well put them top. TICKET INFO

SUTTON UNITED v BROMLEY (Saturday 22 September, 3pm)
Nothing takes my fancy elsewhere in the Football League so I'm going to concentrate on FA Cup fixtures for the rest of the top 10. The competition has now reached the Second Qualifying Round, the point at which Conference North and South clubs enter the draw. First up we've got this all Conference South match between these two south London rivals. Neither will probably have wanted a draw like this, especially the hosts who have had a poor start to the season (they are winless in eight). Last year both sides had decent cup runs - Bromley got to the First Round before losing at Leyton Orient while Sutton went a round further before bowing out to Notts County. As mentioned, form suggests an away win here but that often goes out the window in the FA Cup. TICKET INFO

ENFIELD TOWN v BISHOP'S STORTFORD (Saturday 22 September, 3pm)
These two sides can be found close to either side of the M25 to the north of London meaning that even though Stortford isn't in TLFG's catchment area, this still has the feel of a derby to it. Enfield used to be one of the finest non-league clubs in the country but financial problems and mismanagement caused a schism and in 2001 a supporters group founded a new club - 'Enfield Town'. The old Enfield continued but eventually went into liquidation in 2007 leading to the creation of 'Enfield 1893' giving us two rival clubs again. Since then Enfield Town have been more successful and now sit proudly in the Ryman League Premier Division a level below Saturday's Conference North opponents. The fact Stortford are in the Conference North is something that mystifies most at first glance but they are just unfortunate enough to be that little bit more north than 22 other clubs at this level. Both sides have had similar starts to the campaign so it should be close. CLUB INFO

WEALDSTONE v LOWESTOFT TOWN (Saturday 22 September, 3pm)
Two of the pre-season favourites for the Ryman League title go head-to-head at Grosvenor Vale in this interesting looking FA Cup tie. Although the Stones have only lost once this season, they have drawn a game or more than they would probably have liked and are eighth at the time of writing. In Saturday's big game, Lowestoft, who were second, drew at leaders Hampton & Richmond causing them both to slip down a place or two. Nonetheless this should be a decent game with a decent crowd so check it out if you're not too far from the Ruislip area. TICKET INFO

HENDON v LEWES (Saturday 22 September, 3pm)
There's another all Ryman Premier affair at Vale Farm too. Both these sides were just pipped to a place in the play-offs on the final day of last season so you might expect them to be doing well this time too. However, that has not been the case so far. The Greens are currently winless in six and sit second bottom while Lewes have only won twice to languish in midtable some eight points off championship pace. Both will view this as chance to kick-start their seasons so will hopefully really go for it. As an aside, both these clubs are well known for being run by supporters' trusts so go and give them your support too. TICKET INFO

AVELEY v MARGATE (Saturday 22 September, 3pm)
Having watched Hampton and Lowestoft cancel each other out on Saturday, Margate took full advantage by beating Enfield Town and nipping into top spot on goals scored. Four wins and two draws means it's been a superb start to the campaign for the Kent seaside club who usually finish around fifteenth. Aveley, on the other hand, aren't doing too badly either. Last season they suffered relegation from the Ryman Premier but green shoots of recovery seem to be sprouting under new boss Justin Gardner who was brought in from Bethnal Green United. Having watched his former club several times, I know they like to attack and the 21 goals Aveley have scored in seven games this season is testament to that. Possible cupset. CLUB INFO

ASHFORD TOWN (MIDDX) v ST ALBANS CITY (Saturday 22 September, 3pm)
It's also a case of Step 4 versus Step 3 over at the Robert Parker Stadium too. This time it's an all Southern League game with fifth in the Central Division against fifth in the Premier Division. In the last round Ashford made heavy weather of beating Step 5 club Dunstable Town, coming through only after a replay. City, however, made relatively light work of Harrow Borough in a game which had a bit of a back story to it. Overall though, both sides have made very positive starts so this could go either way. TICKET INFO

WALTHAM FOREST v HAMPTON & RICHMOND (Saturday 22 September, 3pm)
This contest has a little of the David versus Goliath about it. Although there are much lower ranked teams than Waltham Forest still left in the competition, their chances against Hampton look slim on paper. As already mentioned, the visitors have had a fine start to their campaign with only goals scored keeping them off the top of the Ryman Premier. The Stags, by contrast, play at a level below, have made a slow start and still don't have a ground of their own. If they do win, it will be one of the results of the round. 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.

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