Sunday, 17 March 2013

TLFG: 18-24 March 2013

Again it's been a week devoid of football for me, other than a bit I caught on the telly and off the top of my head I can't even remember what that was!

One thing that has cheered me over the last few days is the correspondence I'm getting from people who are visiting London and want advice about what's on in the weeks and months ahead.

This is the primary reason TLFG exists, to be a source of help and information so don't feel shy if you want to know something.

If you're coming to London over the next few days you might be surprised and maybe even disappointed to know that there is no Premier League or Championship action taking place because of the international break.

In fact there's no League One football either as both our sides are playing away.

So, like on Non-League Day back in October, it's a great time to check out some of London's less well known sides. If you want any advice or suggestions get in touch or have a look at our top 10 recommended games below.

Anyway that's enough about my week, let me know where you've been or where you're going either in the comments section below or via Facebook or Twitter.


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 29 May, 8pm - Republic of Ireland, international friendly, Wembley

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY
Monday 25 March, 730pm - Brazil v Russia, Stamford Bridge

UEFA WOMEN'S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL
Thursday 23 May, 730pm - tbc v tbc, Stamford Bridge

FA TROPHY FINAL - GRIMSBY TOWN v WREXHAM
Sunday 24 March, 3pm - Wembley Stadium

ARSENAL
Monday 25 March, 7pm - CSKA Moscow, NextGen Series (U19s)

CHELSEA
Thursday 4 April, 805pm - Rubin Kazan, Europa League
Saturday 6 April, 3pm - Sunderland, Premier League

Monday 1 April, 8pm - Queens Park Rangers, Premier League

QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Sunday 7 April, 410pm - Wigan Athletic, Premier League

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
Sunday 7 April, 205pm - Everton, Premier League
Sunday 21 April, 130pm - Manchester City, Premier League

Wednesday 17 April, 745pm - Manchester United, Premier League
Saturday 20 April, 3pm - Wigan Athletic, Premier League

Outside the Premier League, Watford have reduced prices for their upcoming Championship game against Burnley on Good Friday 29 March at 3pm.

There are also a few youth games taking place this week which often provide excellent value for money.

Arsenal and Manchester United are renowned for producing fine young players and their two respective U21 sides meet at Barnet's Underhill ground on Monday night (18 Mar) - to make it even more interesting it's FREE TO GET IN.

Elsewhere, in the NextGen Series for U19s, Tottenham Hotspur take on Sporting Lisbon at Leyton Orient's Matchroom Stadium on Wednesday 20 March.

Next Monday (25 Mar), Arsenal play CSKA Moscow in the same tournament with the match taking place at the Emirates Stadium. With tickets priced at just £4 adults and £2 for kids you won't get a much cheaper chance to go to one of the best stadiums in the country.

If you're aware of any deals taking place at clubs near you please let me know so I can help to promote them.

Over the next week there are over 70 matches taking place in the London area so there's plenty to choose from. We've got London derbies, top of the table clashes, relegation 'six-pointers' and two cup finals as well.

UPDATE (20/3/13): After being contacted by the Amateur Football Alliance I've now also added a handful of games from the top division of the Southern Amateur League and also one of the Alliance's regional cup finals - all are being played on Saturday. As far as I'm aware, these games are all free to get into.

Details on all of them can be found in the following 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
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures


View London match map 18-24 March 2013 in a larger map

Bad weather may cause a few postponements as the week progresses so, as always, check with clubs before you travel. Please also let me know if any of the details are wrong or missing.

Next up is this week's TLFG Top 10 match recommendations where I list a few games which I think could be worth a watch.

TLFG TOP 10

1. AFC Wimbledon v Morecambe -  in the absence of Premier League, Championship and League One football from London this week, the mighty Dons take centre stage. Wimbledon have, as predicted, been struggling all season but of late they've started to come good. Saturday's crucial 1-0 win at fellow strugglers Aldershot was their third in a row meaning they're eighteenth some five points above the relegation zone. Morecambe are the model of inconsistency sitting slap bang in the middle of the table having drawn their last two. A spirited showing by the hosts should bring them another three points. (League Two, 23 Mar, 3pm. Ticket info)

2. Barnet v Cheltenham Town - a big week looms for another one of the League Two relegation candidates as the Bees host Fleetwood on Tuesday and then face promotion-chasing Cheltenham at the weekend. Edgar Davids' side are hard to predict - they string a few results together and then they suffer a big dip in form. At the moment they've lost three out of four and only goal difference separates them from the dreaded bottom two. Also if, like me, you've never been to Barnet's historic Underhill ground you should try and get to this. They're moving to a new ground next season and there's only three home matches after this one - it should also be noted that the Fleetwood game will be the last ever under lights. (League Two, 23 Mar, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. FA Trophy final: Grimsby Town v Wrexham - despite being a non-league match, the biggest crowd of the weekend for a game in London will be at Wembley Stadium on Sunday for this cup final. If you don't know, the FA Trophy is a knockout competition for sides playing at the top four levels of the non-league game. There has been some question in recent seasons whether it is losing its appeal to the biggest clubs as they channel all their efforts into getting into the Football League, however, this line-up suggests otherwise. Grimsby and Wrexham are both former members of 'the 92' and consequently two of the best supported. Both are also currently top five clubs who have topped the table in recent weeks. A decent match and a sizeable crowd look likely. If you've never been to Wembley, this is an excellent opportunity with tickets available for £30. (FA Trophy, 24 Mar, 3pm. Ticket info)

4. Sutton United v Salisbury City - the race for automatic promotion from the Conference South could take a crucial turn at Gander Green Lane on Saturday as former leaders Salisbury pay a visit. The Wiltshire side held top spot for some time earlier in the season but their campaign looked like it had begun to come off the rails until a solid 3-0 win at Weston-Super-Mare on Saturday ended a six-game winless streak. With top club Welling six points clear and only one side going up without recourse to the play-offs, defeat here could effectively end the race. Sutton were having a stinker but then turned things round to look much more like the play-off contenders they were last season. Sadly any hopes of getting back up among the leading pack seem to have diminished after back-to-back defeats. Another loss here could prove terminal to their hopes too so there's plenty to play for. (Conference South, 23 Mar, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Thurrock v Lowestoft Town - there isn't a standout game for me in the Isthmian Premier this week so I've gone for this one as it means a lot to both sides. Despite losing comfortably at home to leaders Whitehawk on Saturday, Thurrock have stayed outside the relegation zone. Lowestoft, on the other hand, put five past Hampton & Richmond to cut the gap on second-placed Wealdstone to just two points. In fact, the visitors haven't lost a match since November so I can't see them coming unstuck here. (Isthmian League Premier Division, 19 Mar, 745pm. Ticket info)

6. Grays Athletic v Tilbury - this is a slightly strange one to include as neither team originate from within the M25. However, the Gravelmen are currently playing their games in the Romford area (strangely while Romford are playing nearer Grays). This match is very much a derby and, if recent seasons are anything to go by, a pretty heated one at that. To top it all both sides are in the top eight (second and eighth respectively) so it should be a good match. (Isthmian League Division 1 North, 19 Mar, 745pm. Ticket info)

7. Uxbridge v Ashford Town (Middlesex) - this Southern League match is one of several games taking place this week which I would describe as 'Heathrow derbies' given their proximity to the UK's biggest airport. Others include Bedfont Sports v Hanworth Villa and Staines Lammas v Feltham. The Uxbridge game is at a higher level though and pits two very evenly matched midtable teams together. When the sides last met in November, they produced an eight-goal thriller which Saturday's hosts won 5-3. (Southern League Division 1 Central, 23 Mar, 3pm. Club info)

8. Epsom & Ewell v Guernsey - the big games have been coming thick and fast in the Combined Counties League of late and we've got another sizeable one on Tuesday. How many teams at this point in the season can be ninth in the table, 24 points off top spot and still be seen by many as title favourites? One such side are Guernsey who on paper are the best team in the division but have suffered a huge amount of postponements leaving them with nine games in hand on top club Egham Town. Cruelly it seems this fixture backlog and a lack of match sharpness will catch up with them as witnessed by a very second rate display against Egham in their last match back in February. Epsom & Ewell, on the other hand, were top recently but a run of three games without a win has seen them slip back to second some six points behind the Sarnies who have three games in hand. Defeat for either will leave their title ambitions hanging by a thread. (Combined Counties League Premier Division, 19 Mar, 745pm. Club info)

9. Oxhey Jets v Hanwell Town - once again the Jets make the top 10 with this derby against Hanwell. Although they have nearer rivals, this game sees two of the division's top five go head-to-head. So far this season there have been four meetings between the two in the league and various cups and Hanwell are yet to win so you know where the smart money lies. Also it's another chance for the budding scouts among you to run the rule over Oxhey's top scorer Lewis Putman who has so far scored 63 goals this season. (Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, 19 Mar, 730pm. Club info)

10. Middlesex Premier Cup final: Feltham v Southall - the season's first county cup final arrives on Wednesday night. I'm not sure of the precise requirements for entry but it seems to be mainly Level 10/Step 6 sides against the reserve teams of other more senior clubs. Anyway, this year's final is between two Step 6 sides from the Combined Counties and Spartan South Midlands Leagues respectively. For me, Southall probably start as favourites but you never know. The game is being played at North Greenford United's ground and costs £5 adults and £3 concessions. (Middlesex Premier Cup final, 20 Mar, 745pm. Directions)

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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