Sunday 14 July 2013

TLFG: 15-21 July 2013

Hello one and all and welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

As we move into the third full week of pre-season many more teams are set to join in meaning there's quite a lot of matches on offer.

What have you been to see so far? Personally I've been kept at home by childcare which means I haven't seen anything.

I was all set to head to the Beveree to see Isthmian League club Hampton & Richmond Borough host a QPR XI on Friday evening but my little darling decided to play up just as I was about to leave so I had to stay home.

Despite Rangers' resounding 4-0 win, I'm told by a rather cynical journalist friend who attended that it was a 'borefest' so I didn't miss out.

If you've never been to the Beveree I really would recommend you check it out. It's regularly listed among fans' favourite non-league grounds and is pretty easy to get to located as it is not far from Hampton station (about 40 minutes from Waterloo).

On Saturday morning I volunteered at my local parkrun event on Wormwood Scrubs which meant standing in the baking sun for over an hour marshaling and taking race photos, which meant getting a pass to watch football from her indoors was next to impossible.

If you've never heard of parkrun, I would like to go off topic briefly to explain what it is.

Every Saturday at 9am, people gather at various parks and other venues all over the country and around the world to take part in organised, timed 5km runs.

It is completely free to enter with everything paid for by sponsors. All you have to do is register online once, print off an individual barcode and then turn up at any event of your choosing from one week to the next (racehopping is something I've just started to do). All events, in turn, are run completely by volunteers so there is a really friendly atmosphere.

I could go on but don't want to completely bore the non-runners among you. Just give it a go if you're vaguely tempted and believe me when I say that everyone is welcome whether you can do 5km in 14 minutes or 41.

On the subject of volunteers, non-league clubs are usually on the look out for people to help them spruce up their grounds at this time of year. Historic east London side Clapton are one such club so if you're free on Saturday 27 July get in touch with them for more details or visit your local club's website to see if they need anyone.

Clapton's Old Spotted Dog ground in Forest Gate
More generally, non-league teams are always looking for people to help out in a wide variety of roles throughout the year. If you need an incentive, it could be a fun way of getting work experience or boosting your CV.

Anyway, that's enough about my week. Remember to let me know what you've been up to and if you're interested in reviewing a ground within the London area for this blog then get in touch. Also keep the general 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.

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 14 August, 8pm - Scotland, international friendly, Wembley
Friday 6 September, 8pm - Moldova, World Cup qualifier, Wembley (on sale 16 July)

Saturday 3 August:
Galatasaray v FC Porto, 2pm
Arsenal v Napoli, 420pm
Sunday 4 August:
Napoli v FC Porto, 2pm
Arsenal v Galatasaray, 420pm

Nothing currently available

Saturday 10 August, 3pm - Lazio, friendly

Monday 5 August, 8pm - Real Betis, friendly
Saturday 10 August, 3pm - Parma, friendly

Saturday 10 August, 530pm - RCD Espanyol, friendly

Saturday 10 August, 3pm - Pa├žos de Ferreira, friendly

There are 70 matches in the London area this week. However, this number could change as friendlies, particularly involving non-league teams, are often arranged, cancelled or have their venue changed at quite short notice. Therefore, always check with clubs before you travel. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games 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 map page to make sure you get all the information.

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 15-21 July 2013 in a larger map

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.


1. Brentford v Celtic - having come unstuck in last season's League One play-off final the Bees have a busy week at Griffin Park with London rivals Millwall visiting on Tuesday and Scottish champions Celtic on Saturday. The west London side have apparently spent well over £100,000 luring the Parkhead club down south and consequently need a crowd of over 9,000 to break even. With huge numbers of Celtic fans expected, the match has been made all ticket (i.e. no ticket sales on the day). Therefore if you want to go you need to book by 4pm on Friday 19 July.  (Friendly, 20 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

2. Dagenham & Redbridge v Crystal Palace - one club which fared much better in last season's play-offs were Crystal Palace who saw off Watford for a place in the Premier League. The Eagles begin their pre-season campaign with a trip to east London to play League Two's Daggers. Wayne Burnett's side have already played four friendlies and will have taken that to six by the time Ian Holloway's charges arrive so could well be in better physical shape. With tickets starting at just £10 this could be a fine opportunity to see some top-flight footballers put through their paces on the cheap. (Friendly, 20 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. AFC Wimbledon v Charlton Athletic - over at Kingsmeadow we have a League Two versus Championship duel to look forward to between these two London clubs. Both have played twice so far in pre-season and both are currently unbeaten, although the Dons have drawn one whilst the Addicks have banged in seven without reply in their two and will probably win here too. (Friendly, 17 July, 745pm. Ticket info)

4. Barnet v Ipswich Town - the last few months have been pretty turbulent for Barnet who ended last season by losing their Football League status and moved out of their ground of over 100 years following a dispute with the local council. Over the summer the north London club have moved to a new ground (The Hive) in the nearby borough of Harrow and on Saturday will play their first match there against a visiting team. Mick McCarthy's Ipswich, from the Championship, provide the opposition on this historic occasion.  (Friendly, 20 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Staines Town v Wycombe Wanderers - another Football League club that are expected to send a first XI to non-league opponents are League Two side Wycombe. After finishing 15th last season, the Chairboys are being tipped for another season of midtable obscurity. Hoping to give them a rough ride on this occasion are Conference South club Staines who beat local rivals Woking 3-2 on Saturday. The other notable feature is that the clubs are managed by former Wimbledon team-mates Marcus Gayle and Gareth Ainsworth respectively.  (Friendly, 16 July, 730pm. Ticket info)

6. Sutton United v AFC Wimbledon - having hosted representative sides from Arsenal and Fulham over the last few days, Sutton next welcome a Dons first XI to Gander Green Lane. Although they lost the opening two matches, it was by only a one-goal margin on both occasions so I expect this one to be close too. Come and see if Sutton live up to their billing as one of the favourites for the Conference South title or maybe see why the visitors are among the favourites to slip out of the Football League.  (Friendly, 20 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

7.  Thurrock v Dagenham & Redbridge - the hosts have been making the headlines for the wrong reasons this week following an FA decision to reject an appeal to overturn a three-point deduction for fielding an ineligible player. The said points deduction was enough to drop Thurrock into the Isthmian Premier relegation zone, reprieving Carshalton Athletic and sending the Essex club down a level. Apparently the club are now taking things to arbitration so the situation still hasn't been fully resolved. On Tuesday the players will hope to put this all behind them as they play host to Dagenham who come from a few miles up the road. (Friendly, 16 July, 745pm. Club info)

8. Boreham Wood v Arsenal XI - as promised in this blog last week, a full West Ham first-team squad traveled to Meadow Park to become the Wood's first opponents of the summer. The Premier League side ran out 3-0 winners on what was a big night for the Hertfordshire club. On Saturday they turned things around by beating Conference Premier club Luton 1-0 and this weekend they welcome an Arsenal XI for what will probably be another money-spinning fixture. Although the Gunners' main stars will be somewhere in the Far East at the time of this game, the side they do send will probably still provide good entertainment as anyone at Sutton on Friday can attest. (Friendly, 20 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

9. Kingstonian v Tottenham Hotspur XI  - if it's a glimpse of Spurs' up and coming starlets that you're after, I wholeheartedly recommend a trip to Kingsmeadow on Thursday night where it's only £7 to get in. The Premier League club sent a side down here a year ago and edged to a 2-1 win. The K's were one of the finest non-league clubs in the land at the turn of the century winning the FA Trophy in 1999 and 2000 but fell on hard times shortly after. Probably a place in the Isthmian Premier play-offs is the best they can hope for this season. (Friendly, 18 July, 745pm. Ticket info)

10. The Geoff Harvey Memorial Vase - last up we have this four-team tournament which pits Corinthian Casuals, who host, against south-London rivals Carshalton Athletic, Dulwich Hamlet and Kingstonian. On semi-final Saturday, Corinthian Casuals play Kingstonian at 11am while the other two meet at 3pm. There is then a third-place play-off at 11am on Sunday with the final at 3pm. It's £8 a day or £12 for a weekend ticket with accompanied under-12s getting in for free. (20 & 21 July, 11am & 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.

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