Sunday, 7 April 2013

TLFG: 8-14 April 2013

Hi there, welcome back to TLFG. How was the Easter break for you? Did you see many matches or manage to do a groundhop 'triple' on Easter Monday? Let us know in the comments section below.

As a QPR fan, it was a very disappointing weekend. I didn't go to Fulham but it sounds as though we could have at least had a point despite going 3-0 down. Enough about that, it's all about the Wigan game today. Sadly I start work at kick-off time so one of my friends will be enjoying a free trip to Loftus Road this afternoon. If ever there was a must win game it's this one.

Rangers aside, I did manage a trip to see my other football love - Harrow Borough.

As a teenager I lived close to their Earlsmead ground and became an avid follower going home and away for a five-year period from 1988-93 which probably saw me do not as well as I could've done in both my GCSE's and A-Levels. I was obsessed as our little group traveled round the grounds of the south-east in what are still some of my most enjoyable times as a football fan.

Since going to university and moving away, my attendance has become far less frequent but I still try and go at least once a year.

This season's visit took place on Easter Saturday when local rivals Hendon rolled into town.

The Greens come second in the Boro's derby pecking order behind Wealdstone but it's a far more sporting and pleasant occasion than when either face the Stones. There used to be a bit of an edge to these games when I started going but that's largely faded as the success and supporter base of both sides has eroded.

Harrow captain Rob Wolleaston (red #8) prepares to head home the opener
As regular readers know, Hendon have been homeless for a while now and play all their home games at Wembley FC. Groundshares often hit clubs' attendances and for non-league sides it can be particularly damaging. Next season the Greens will actually be moving in with Harrow putting them another couple of miles from their spiritual home at Claremont Road so who knows what will happen to their crowds then.

The match itself was scrappy but entertaining in its own way. Harrow raced into an early lead and contained the higher ranked Hendon fairly well. The second half saw the visitors create some really great chances which they somehow missed. With the game in injury time it looked like Boro might hold on for three crucial points until a late goalmouth scramble saw Gary McCann's side steal a point.

Harrow went on to play Wealdstone a couple of days later in front of a crowd of 841. The vast majority of those present were there to see the Stones. This compares quite starkly to the Harrow v Hendon game which drew only 207.

I ran into a Hendon fan at the match who I'd met before and I mischievously suggested to him that the upcoming groundshare could ultimately lead to a merger of the two clubs. Rather than him laugh it back in my face, he shrugged and readily conceded that it could become a reality. Harrow & Hendon FC anyone?

As I said, let me know what you've been up to. Also keep the correspondence coming, I enjoy answering your questions and offering advice if I can.

You can contact TLFG through 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

FA CUP SEMI-FINAL
Saturday 13 April, 515pm - Millwall v Wigan Athletic, Wembley (on sale 5 Apr)

FA VASE FINAL
Saturday 4 May, 3pm - Spennymoor Town v Tunbridge Wells, Wembley

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

ARSENAL
Nothing currently available

CHELSEA
Nothing currently available

Friday 26 April, 7pm - Sunderland, U21 Premier League

QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Saturday 20 April, 3pm - Stoke City, Premier League

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

Wednesday 17 April, 745pm - Manchester United, Premier League
Saturday 20 April, 3pm - Wigan Athletic, Premier League
Saturday 4 May, 3pm - Newcastle United, Premier League

Outside the Premier League, Millwall have reduced prices for their upcoming Championship games against Watford (16 April) and Blackburn Rovers (23 April). It's now just £15 for adults and £10 for U16s.

Watching some of the capital's top youth sides in action often provides excellent value for money.

West Ham United host Tottenham Hotspur in the U21 Premier League at Upton Park on Monday 8 April.

I can't remember the precise cost of tickets for this but it'll be no more than £5 for adults, possibly only £3.

If non-league football is your thing or you'd like to try it out, Wingate & Finchley are hosting a Community Day on 13 April when Kingstonian are the visitors. Entry prices to this Isthmian League match will be totally at your discretion as the club are running a 'Pay What You Like' scheme so you could get in for free (although I'd be very disappointed if you were that tight).

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 well over 100 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 FA cup semi-finals as well.

Details on all of them can be found in the following match maps. 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 map 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 8-14 April 2013 in a larger map

Sometimes games get postponed so, as always, check with clubs before you travel. If games do get called off, they can sometimes be rearranged for later the same week or the week after so extra matches may get added. Please let me know if any of the details are wrong or missing.

Next up is this week's TLFG match recommendations where I list a few games which I think could be worth a watch. Add your own in the comments section below.

TLFG TOP 10 

1. Chelsea v Manchester City - two of the country's biggest clubs meet at Wembley in this FA Cup semi-final. Formwise, there's little to choose between these two at the moment and both know quite a bit about winning this trophy with both having done it in the last two years. Unbeaten in four against the Blues (including the Community Shield), City probably have the edge but the Stamford Bridge club do so well at Wembley that it's hard to see past them. Extra-time is almost a certainty. (FA Cup, 14 April, 4pm. Ticket info)

2. Millwall v Wigan Athletic - in the other semi-final the day before you have a far less glamorous tie but one which ensures a less fashionable team will reach the final. If you don't know, Millwall are a Championship team so they've done really well to make it this far. It's not unusual for them though, having made it to the final in 2004 too. Wigan, on paper, should be the favourites but given their battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League this could be a dangerous distraction. The Lions have nothing to lose and will almost certainly win the vocal war in the stands too so we could see an upset. Unusually, tickets are still available too. (FA Cup, 13 April, 515pm. Ticket info)

3. Brentford v Portsmouth - in League One we have this match which is of great significance at both ends of the table. The Bees have been in and around the top six all season and still have very realistic aims of winning automatic promotion. Having drawn at Coventry on Saturday they currently lie fourth, five points from second but with two games in hand. In theory, struggling Pompey should be seen off with ease but they have form when it comes to escaping the drop and are currently five games without defeat. A big crowd is expected with the match being made 'all-ticket' so buy in advance if you want to go. (League One, 13 April, 3pm. Ticket info)

4. Dartford v Grimsby Town - these two sides met in the FA Trophy semi-finals recently with Grimsby coming out on top. Since then the Mariners' hopes of winning the Conference title have ended but they're still very much in the race for a play-off spot. Mathematically Dartford could still make the end of season promotion shoot out too but it would be a miracle. Even if they don't, it's been a fine first season in this division for the Princes Park club who somehow started the campaign as one of the favourites for relegation. (Conference Premier, 9 April, 745pm. Ticket info)

5. Welling United v Weston-Super-Mare - in the division below, Welling are on course to join their neighbours Dartford in the Conference Premier next season. Currently eight points clear at the top of the Conference South it's looking good for the south-east London club. However, they lost their huge clash against second place Salisbury on Saturday who also have a game in hand. Weston-Super-Mare are hungry for points themselves with their latest 3-0 win over Bromley lifting them to fourth. The seaside club also beat Welling in the reverse fixture at the end of February so they will be dangerous. (Conference South, 13 April, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Wingate & Finchley v Kingstonian - there aren't any standout fixtures for me in the Isthmian Premier this week so I'll give this match a second mention. If you missed it in the ticket section above, Wingate are running a 'Pay What You Like' scheme for this game. They did it earlier in the season on Non-League Day and came close to tripling their crowd. Hopefully this Community Day will do equally well. Both sides are also in need of points too as they look to avoid the drop/get a play-off place so it should be a good match too. (Isthmian League Premier Division, 13 April, 3pm. PAY WHAT YOU LIKE)

7. Grays Athletic v Maldon & Tiptree - the top two in the Isthmian Division 1 North meet in the match of the weekend at this level. M&T topped the table for months and had a commanding lead which appeared to have left the rest of the pack fighting for play-off scraps but amazing things have happened of late. The leaders began to stutter, drawing and losing the odd game here and there while Grays have gone on a 14-game winning run. Consequently Grays are now six points clear at the top but M&T have a game in hand. With only a handful of matches to go, this could virtually decide who wins the title. (Isthmian League Division 1 North, 13 April, 3pm. Ticket info)

8. Whyteleafe v Erith & Belvedere - fourth host first in the Kent League in this one. Erith have been top for months but a bad Easter period which saw them take only a point off two of their nearest rivals has seen their lead cut to only four points. Although they managed a morale boosting 4-0 win over Sevenoaks on Saturday, there's little margin for error as they travel to a tough Whyteleafe side for this game. The Leafe have crushed several midtable sides in recent weeks but have come unstuck against fellow top four sides Erith Town and VCD Athletic. They did, however, beat E&B at Park View Road earlier in the season so they can't be written off. (Kent League, 13 April, 3pm. Ticket info)

9. Hanwell Town v Aylesbury United - Dunstable Town are within touching distance of clinching the Spartan South Midlands League title but they can, theoretically, still be caught. Aylesbury United are currently second but are 15 points adrift within 15 available. If they manage to somehow bridge this gap, they are also going to have to hammer everyone as they also trail in the goal difference stakes by 43 (102 to 59). Hanwell, who narrowly avoided the wooden spoon last season, have had a good season and are currently fifth. Although the title is beyond them, a top three finish isn't so they should be well up for this one too. (Spartan South Midlands Premier, 11 April, 745pm. Club info)

10. Cockfosters v Hoddesdon Town - last up this week we have this top three clash in the Spartan South Midlands League Division 1. Hoddesdon have been top for a while now but there position is insecure. They might be three points clear of London Lions and five above Cockfosters but the chasing clubs have five games in hand. It is therefore imperative for all concerned in this game that they win. The hosts will fancy their chances though, having beaten Hoddesdon twice already this season in the league and cup. (Spartan South Midlands League Division 1, 11 April, 745pm. Club info)

UPDATE (10/4/13): If you fancy a bit of amateur football on Saturday then head to Chigwell for the Amateur Football Alliance Senior Cup final between Old Salesians and Old Minchendenians. It kicks off at 3pm and ADMISSION IS FREE. If you want to make a day of it, the ladies' final is at the same ground at 1030am. Details on the match map above.

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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