Sunday 2 September 2012

TLFG: 3-9 September 2012

I'm back on home turf this week so I'm in a position to resume normal TLFG service. It's been a busy week for London football with loads of games and quite a few transfers going through at some our top clubs ahead of deadline day. Are you happy with your team's signings?

Despite various other commitments I managed to squeeze a game in on Monday as I made my first visit of the season to Summers Lane, the home of Wingate & Finchley.

Regular readers will know that I often end up here as my Non-League Day colleague Mike is a volunteer at the north London club.

On offer this particular afternoon was the visit of Carshalton Athletic for a Ryman League Premier Division game. Both sides were winless going into the match so a classic wasn't expected.

The hosts are one of the smaller clubs in the division so their start to the campaign wasn't a huge surprise but the Robins are reputed to have one of the biggest budgets and appeared to be underachieving even at this early stage.

The view from Carshalton's bench during the first half
A couple of half chances either way looked like being the only talking points of the first half until Anderson Pinto collided with Carshalton keeper Nick Hamman while going for a cross shortly before the interval.

The promising young midfielder, who had hit the bar with an early effort, was left flat on his back and required treatment from paramedics before being taken away in an ambulance. The match was delayed  for around 35 minutes but I'm happy to report that he made a full recovery and scored Wingate's winner in Saturday's victory at Thurrock.

With this bit of drama out of the way the Blues composed themselves and went on to edge to a 1-0 win courtesy of the dependable Leon Smith's goal on the hour.

For all the money that is supposed to have been spent on the Carshalton side, owner/manager Paul Dipre will have seen little evidence that his side are anywhere near being title contenders as they already trail early leaders Hampton & Richmond Borough by 10 points.

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).

Nothing currently available

Nothing currently available

Saturday 15 September, 3pm - West Bromwich Albion, Premier League
Saturday 29 September, 3pm - Manchester City, Premier League
Saturday 20 October, 3pm - Aston Villa, Premier League
Saturday 3 November, 3pm - Everton, Premier League
Sunday 18 November, 4pm - Sunderland, Premier League

Nothing currently available

Thursday 13 September, 7pm - Barcelona, NextGen Series
Sunday 23 September, 4pm - Queens Park Rangers, Premier League
Sunday 7 October, 3pm - Aston Villa, Premier League

Saturday 22 September, 3pm - Sunderland, Premier League 
Saturday 6 October, 530pm - Arsenal, Premier League 

Aside from these there are still tickets going for England's World Cup qualifiers against Ukraine and San Marino at Wembley Stadium on 11 September and 12 October while the Republic of Ireland's friendly against Oman at Craven Cottage on Tuesday week has availability too.

In the Championship we've also got the derby between Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace coming up on Friday 14 September at 745pm and tickets are on general sale for that as well.

Over the next seven days there are more than 70 matches happening in the London area. This week is slightly different because there's an international break so there's no Premier League or Championship football taking place. This means it's a great time to check out some of the capital's smaller sides. Aside from all the various leagues that are in action, we've also got another big weekend of FA Cup football to look forward to. The historic competition has now reached the first qualifying round stage with ties on Saturday and Sunday for you to choose from. 

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.

Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures

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:


BARNET v GILLINGHAM (Saturday 8 September, 3pm)
It's David against Goliath in this League Two game on Saturday as early season results have left the hosts rooted to the bottom and the visitors one point clear at the top. What is becoming the Bees' annual struggle against relegation seems to have set in early this season with only one point gleaned from their opening four fixtures. The Gills on the other hand have won three and drawn one and also knocked Championship club Bristol City out of the League Cup at Ashton Gate. Sadly from a London point of view, I've listed this match mainly because it gives you a chance to look at the in-form Kent side who should bring considerable support to Underhill. TICKET INFO

DARTFORD v NEWPORT COUNTY (Tuesday 4 September, 745pm)
After making a disappointing start to life in the Conference Premier, the newly promoted Darts have won three games on the bounce to climb to a respectable 12th place in the table. One of the bookies' favourites for relegation, those successes over Kidderminster, Cambridge United and Alfreton will have boosted team morale greatly ahead of Tuesday's visit by league leaders Newport. The Welsh side looked impressive in winning their opening five matches but lost 2-0 against Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground on Saturday. Dartford will no doubt be happy with a draw but could their current momentum carry them to victory? Head down to Princes Park and find out. TICKET INFO

BROMLEY v BATH CITY (Saturday 8 September, 3pm)
Bromley had a far from stellar campaign last season and they've made a pretty dismal start this time too being winless in five with just two points to their name. As above, this game is listed more because of the visitors than the hosts with Bath top of the Conference South at the the time of writing. City had a really poor 2011/12 and ended up getting relegated from the Conference Premier with games to spare. This was partly due to the fact that they remained a semi-professional outfit in a league which is increasingly becoming professional throughout. The Conference South is clearly much more to their liking and 10 points from 15 has left them sharing the lead with Dorchester and Salisbury. The Ravens shouldn't be too overawed though as those five dropped points proves they are beatable. CLUB INFO

WELLING UNITED v STAINES TOWN (Saturday 8 September, 3pm)
Regular readers will know that a lot was expected of Welling this season but they've made a faltering start with only six points from five games. Staines are only a place ahead in 14th but have played a game less. Although both clubs fall in TLFG's catchment area this isn't really classed as a derby of any great significance so why list it I hear you ask. With it being an international break all the same conditions that exist on Non-League Day apply here and because Welling are away next month they are operating a promotion to try and get fans of bigger clubs through their turnstiles this weekend. If you're a season-ticket holder at a Premier League or Football League club you'll get in for a reduced rate of £7 adults, £5 concessions, £1 under-12s with an adult. TICKET INFO

HARROW BOROUGH v ST ALBANS CITY (Saturday 8 September, 3pm)
As you'll see from my profile, Harrow are my first love when it comes to non-league football having spent my teenage years living just a short walk from their ground. This Saturday they welcome St Albans to Earlsmead for this FA Cup tie. These two used to play each other regularly in the Isthmian League but in recent years the Hertfordshire club managed to climb to the giddy heights of the Conference Premier before sliding back down two divisions into the parallel Southern League Premier Division. This match is of particular significance as it represents the return of David Howell who managed Boro for seven years, taking them to the FA Cup first round and Ryman Premier play-offs in his final season (2010/11) before departing to St Albans in shock fashion on the eve the new campaign. Consequently Harrow fans will want to see their side win just that little bit more than usual. CLUB INFO

WEALDSTONE v BIGGLESWADE TOWN (Saturday 8 September, 3pm)
Harrow's biggest rivals Wealdstone are also in FA Cup action on Saturday when they entertain the Waders. The Bedfordshire club play in the Southern League Division One Central, one level below the Stones so will start as underdogs. However, they have made a fine start to the season and are currently fourth in the division, unbeaten and have a game in hand on their rivals. Despite this, Gordon Bartlett's side should still have enough to see them off as they have only lost once in five outings and drew with Whitehawk, one of the pre-season favourites, on Saturday. TICKET INFO

WINGATE & FINCHLEY v ROYSTON TOWN (Saturday 8 September, 3pm)
Two clubs from the same divisions as above meet in this FA Cup tie too. On this occasion though, I feel there is a much greater chance of an upset. As I mentioned earlier, Wingate aren't one of the strongest sides in the Ryman Premier while Royston are currently joint top of the Southern League Division One Central having won all their games. They were also crowned Spartan South Midlands League champions last season so they have real momentum behind them. TICKET INFO

CHIPSTEAD v MAIDSTONE UNITED (Saturday 8 September, 3pm)
With both sides currently on level points and just a place apart in eighth and ninth in the Ryman League Division One South table I've gone for this as I expect it to be a close one. Since moving back to Maidstone over the summer and into a new ground of their own, the Stones' attendances have averaged an impressive 1,261 for the three league and cup games played there. Hopefully the glamour of the FA Cup will lure a good few of them to Chipstead and we'll get a competitive game in front of a sizeable crowd. TICKET INFO

VCD ATHLETIC v HORSHAM (Saturday 8 September, 3pm)
After successfully tipping VCD Athletic to do well against Whitstable in the last round of the FA Cup, the Kent League side could do well against another side from the Ryman South here. The Vickers have got off to a great start so far winning four of their five league games and picking up two wins in the cup as well. Horsham suffered relegation from the Ryman Premier last season and aren't in devastating form this time round either. In the last round of the cup they needed a replay to beat Raynes Park Vale who play at a similar level to VCD but aren't as good. CLUB INFO

Last up this week we have this local derby between two clubs from south-east London. Strangely it takes on 'derby' status because neither side have their own ground and they share with two clubs who are close together (Holmesdale and Bromley respectively) so the rivalry probably won't be as intense as it could be. There is also a gulf of two divisions which suggests Cray should win but the FA Cup is a great leveller particularly at this stage of the competition so anything's possible. 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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