Sunday, 23 December 2012

TLFG: 24 December 2012 - 6 January 2013

Hi there and welcome to the festive edition of TLFG.

As is becoming the custom here, a bumper issue to cover the whole Christmas/New Year period has been produced so you can plan ahead and I can have a bit of time off!

Again, a hectic work and home schedule has kept me from watching any live action so I haven't got anything specific to write about this week.

One thing that has kept me thinking recently is the lack of interactivity this blog receives - I'd really like to hear what matches you've been watching or where you're planning on going.

I also love trying to answer your questions about what's on and where etc.

There's also plenty of space in the comments section to post your own match recommendations so please do.

If there's anything else you'd particularly like to see let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Anyway, have a great couple of weeks and enjoy the football!

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 6 February, 730pm - Brazil, international friendly, Wembley

Nothing currently available

Wednesday 9 January, 745pm - Swansea City, League Cup (on sale 28 Dec)

Saturday 29 December, 3pm - Swansea City, Premier League
Saturday 5 January, 3pm - Blackpool, FA Cup
Saturday 12 January, 3pm - Wigan Athletic, Premier League
Wednesday 30 January, 8pm - West Ham United, Premier League
Saturday 23 February, 1245pm - Stoke City, Premier League

Wednesday 26 December, 3pm - West Bromwich Albion, Premier League
Saturday 5 January, 3pm - West Bromwich Albion, FA Cup
Monday 14 January, 8pm - Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League
Tuesday 29 January, 745pm - Manchester City, Premier League (on sale 3 Jan)

Tuesday 1 January, 3pm - Reading, Premier League
Saturday 5 January, 3pm - Coventry City, FA Cup
Saturday 9 February, 1245pm - Newcastle United, Premier League

Tuesday 1 January, 3pm - Norwich City, Premier League
Saturday 19 January, 3pm - QPR, Premier League
Saturday 2 February, 3pm - Swansea City, Premier League (on sale 1 Jan)

Of the games above, adult tickets for Chelsea's League Cup semi-final first leg against Swansea are only £25 so if they make it to general sale they could well be worth having.

In the Football League, Leyton Orient have knocked £5 off the price of all their adult tickets for their festive fixtures against Swindon Town (26 Dec) and Walsall (29 Dec).

Also, don't forget that all London clubs that are playing at home in the FA Cup third round on 5 January are offering discounts. The game between West Ham United and Manchester United is probably the most eye-catching but has now sold out. Admission to the other all Premier League tie between QPR and West Brom ranges from £25-35. It's £20 at White Hart Lane for Tottenham's game against Coventry, whilst you can get access to Fulham v Blackpool from £15 if bought in advance. There are also deals in place at Charlton, Crystal Palace and Millwall.

UPDATE (25/12/12): On Boxing Day, Isthmian League club Wingate & Finchley are running a 'Pay What You Want' scheme for Premier League, Football League and Conference season-ticket holders for their derby match against Hendon. They are at pains to stress that there is no minimum charge so you could go for free if you're feeling particularly Scroogelike.

Also, Millwall season-ticket holders will get in for half-price (£3.50) at Fisher for their games against Cray Valley (27 Dec) and Holmesdale (29 Dec).

Over the next two weeks there are over 150 matches taking place in the London area. Normally you might expect even more than this but many clubs playing at Step 5/Level 9 and below don't play as often as the bigger clubs with the Essex Senior League taking the whole Christmas and New Year period off (returning on 5 January).

Don't be too disappointed though, the rest of the games are largely derbies and other big games and we also have the FA Cup third round as well.

With all that in mind, I've done two match maps to make it easier to find a game. If you've never used them 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.

Turquoise pin - Wednesday (Boxing Day) fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures

View London match map 24-30 December 2012 in a larger map

Green pin - Tuesday (New Year's Day) fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures

View London match map 31 December 2012 - 6 January 2013 in a larger map

Bad weather will almost certainly see a few postponements as the weeks progress so, as always, check with clubs before you travel. Please also let me know if any of the details are wrong or missing.

As two weeks are covered in this blog, an attempt has been made at two sets of TLFG Top 10s. I hope you find them useful.


1. Arsenal v West Ham United (POSTPONED) - we begin with a London derby. Apparently the Gunners are a club in crisis but three consecutive wins have put them back in the Premier League's top four so I don't know what they really have to complain about. The Hammers are winless in three but should give their hosts a tough game - they haven't beaten Arsenal in their last 10 attempts though.  (Premier League, 26 Dec, 3pm. Ticket info)

2. Queens Park Rangers v Liverpool -  last season this fixture produced one of the matches of the season as relegation threatened QPR came from two goals down with 13 minutes to go to win 3-2. It was an inspirational performance which kick-started their season and saw them stay up by a whisker on the final day. Rangers are in even deeper trouble this time round and go up against a Liverpool side who are suffering some inconsistency. The Reds crushed Fulham on Saturday and should win here but we said that last year too.  (Premier League, 30 Dec, 4pm. Ticket info)

3. Dagenham & Redbridge v Southend United - this is in the top 10 primarily because it's a derby between two Essex clubs. The Daggers are having a better time in League Two this season, sitting comfortably in midtable. The Shrimpers, however, are pushing for an automatic promotion place so have plenty to play for.  (League Two, 26 Dec, 1pm. Ticket info

4. Dartford v Ebbsfleet United - another derby is yours for the taking at Princes Park on Boxing Day, this time of the Kent variety. The hosts start as big favourites as they continue to push for promotion. Ebbsfleet, on the other hand, are fighting for points at the other end of the table. If you've not been to this ground before, it's one of the best at non-league level. (Conference Premeir, 26 Dec, 1pm. Ticket info)

5. AFC Hornchurch v Billericay Town - there's more derby fun to be enjoyed in the Conference South where these two Essex rivals meet for the fourth time this season (the visitors are two wins to one up so far). Last season Billericay beat the Urchins to the Isthmian League title but they joined them at the higher level via the play-offs. Only a point currently separates them in the table so the stakes are high.  (Conference South, 29 Dec, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Sutton United v Welling United (POSTPONED) - elsewhere in the division we've got a south London derby. These two met in the Conference South play-off semi-finals last season which the Wings won over two legs. Sutton aren't doing so well this time round but are climbing the table after a couple of wins. Welling are third with games in hand on the top two and look good having won their last six. (Conference South, 29 Dec, 3pm. Ticket info)

7. Harrow Borough v Wealdstone - the Harrow derby is a fixture I always look for. The hosts are traditionally the underdogs and will start this one very much as second favourites. This is mainly because they are going through their annual fight against relegation while the Stones would be top if they won their games in hand. For a game at this level, it's a big one. (Isthmian League Premeir Division, 26 Dec, 3pm. Club info)

8. Aveley v Grays Athletic (POSTPONED) - the big games come thick and fast in Essex over the next few days. Not only are these two local rivals, they're both very much in the hunt for promotion to the Isthmian Premier. Although Maldon & Tiptree seem to have sealed the title already (!) only a point separate these two who stand fourth and second respectively.  (Isthmian League Division 1 North, 26 Dec, 3pm. Club info)

9. Walton & Hersham v Walton Casuals (POSTPONED) - the clubs' names say it all really, yup you guessed it another derby. The hosts are having a much better season than their opponents who are currently rooted to the bottom of the table. However, a win here could lift them up a place.  (Isthmian League Division 1 South, 26 Dec, 3pm. Club info)

10. Erith & Belvedere v Erith Town (POSTPONED) - this match has got so much going for it. Not only does it pit two local rivals against each other, they are also neck and neck in the race for the Kent League crown. The visitors are currently two points ahead so it should be a cracker. (Kent League Premier Division, 26 Dec, 1pm. Club info)


1. Chelsea v Queens Park Rangers - THE west London derby has its latest playing early in the New Year. Struggling Rangers always raise their game when they play the Blues and usually run them quite close, except that is when they last met at Stamford Bridge in April. Chelsea thrashed them 6-1 leaving many Hoops fans to think relegation was inevitable (somehow they avoided it). With only one win this season, QPR should lose here again but they did draw and arguably had the better chances when the two met in September. (Premier League, 2 Jan, 745pm. Ticket info)

2. West Ham United v Manchester United - one of the ties of the FA Cup third round. For some reason the powers that be at Upton Park saw fit to slash prices for this game and consequently tickets have officially sold out. The Hammers' record against Sir Alex Ferguson's teams in recent seasons has been pretty poor with defeats by three or four goal margins quite common. I'm expecting a bit more from the east London club this time. (FA Cup, 5 Jan, 515pm. Ticket info)

3. Crystal Palace v Stoke City - Ian Holloway's Eagles are currently third in the Championship and have only lost one of their last 10 games. This is just the kind of opponent the Premier League Potters would've hoped to avoid in the third-round draw but that's what the FA Cup is all about. Stoke shouldn't be underestimated though as Tony Pulis has gone about making them a decent side once again - eight games without defeat is testament to this. Could be a cracker. (FA Cup, 5 Jan, 3pm. Ticket info

4. Watford v Charlton Athletic - in Championship terms this is a derby. The Hornets are having a fine time of things at the moment and moved into the top six with a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday. The Addicks are more concerned with avoiding the drop and after a fine run of results seemed to have pulled them away, two defeats on the spin have got them looking over their shoulders again. (Championship, 1 Jan, 1pm, Ticket info)

5. Brentford v AFC Bournemouth - after the disappointment of having their sold-out match against Stevenage rained off, the Bees will hope to make the most of the festive period to keep themselves firmly in the hunt for promotion from League One. The visitors currently sit on the fringe of the play-off places so a good contest should ensue. (League One, 1 Jan, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Barnet v Aldershot Town - this League Two encounter isn't likely to be one for the purists among you as it features two of the division's strugglers. Consequently there's a lot to play for. One place and two points separate the sides who have both generated 13 points from their last 10 games. It couldn't be much closer. (League Two, 1 Jan, 3pm. Ticket info)

7. Bromley v Sutton United - in the Conference South there's a south London derby to be enjoyed on New Year's Day. The hosts are struggling at the moment but the table is so tight that a couple of wins could change everything. With only eight points between the play-off and relegation places, Sutton could also get right back into the promotion race if they have a good festive period. (Conference South, 1 Jan, 3pm. Ticket info)

8. Kingstonian v Hampton & Richmond Borough - these two giants of the south-west London non-league scene do battle on 1 January. Hampton have been playing at a higher level for the last few years so this is the first time they've met in the league for a while. After getting off to a flying start they've slid from top to eighth, below the K's who have won four on the trot in all competitions. The smart money must be on the hosts. (Isthmian League Premier Division, 1 Jan, 3pm. Ticket info).

9. Dulwich Hamlet v Tooting & Mitcham United - a bit further to the east we have this game between two south London rivals. Dulwich are going for the title once again in this division while Tooting have been struggling after suffering relegation last season. Form is likely to go out the window as these two old rivals battle for the local bragging rights. (Isthmian League Division 1 South, 1 Jan, 3pm. Club info

10. Molesey v Guernsey - two of the Combined Counties League's top six provide the entertainment at Walton Road on 5 January. For weeks now I've been expecting the team from the Channel Islands to go top but it still hasn't happened and Egham Town have hung on. The Green Lions do have five games in hand but the gap is now 10 points so they won't be able to make many errors. Although the Moles should provide decent opposition, they are currently on a run of three straight defeats so it looks like being tough for them. (Combined Counties League Premier Division, 5 Jan, 3pm. Ticket 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.


  1. Shame the rain and tube strikes has ruined any plans to watch footie on boxing day.

  2. That's a real shame JF. Are you sure you can't be persuaded to go anywhere else or are you totally marooned?

    All set for QPR v West Brom myself.

  3. Many thanks for a fantastic blog and updates throughout 2012. You ask why there is a lack of interaction - it could be perhaps that your blog does not not elicit opinions, as it is mostly factual. I find it extremely useful and use it whenever I am planning to go to a game in London. I know several friends who also use it. Please keep up the great work. Happy New Year!

    1. PD - Thanks a lot for your kind comments. I've often thought of this as an 'info' blog too and consoled myself that that was the reason why there was so little interaction.

      My calls to action, when they do come, are obviously not strong enough or are buried in the text where people miss them.

      Happy New Year to you too.

    2. you are missing the clapton home game mate

    3. SC - which Clapton game do you mean? I have the one of 5 Jan.

  4. Hey JD. Had a great day at Dulwich vs Tooting on new years day... cracking game, stadium and atmosphere...(and only £4 with student card)

    Will be at Clapton on the 5th...

    Great blog btw.

    1. JF - that's great to hear. I'm also really pleased you're going to Clapton. It'll be very different to Champion Hill which will seem like Wembley compared to the Old Spotted Dog but it has a magic of its own. In my opinion it should be a rite of passage for all London football fans to see a game there :-)

  5. I agree completely... so much character. Loved that flicker link you sent a while ago of the pictures of Old Spotted Dog etc.