Sunday, 18 August 2013

TLFG: 19-25 August 2013

Hello there one and all and welcome to the wonderful world of TLFG.

With the season already a couple of weeks old, I finally got to go to a game.

After watching dismal display after dismal display last year, I made it back to Loftus Road to see how QPR would fare against Ipswich Town in the Championship.

Harry Redknapp has spent the last few weeks offloading a lot of last season's costly flops, mainly on loan, in a bid to build a team better equipped to deal with the rigours of this division.

They came into this game having beaten Sheffield Wednesday, drawn at Huddersfield Town and seen off Exeter City in the cup.

I felt Ipswich would be tough but Rangers did look the better side throughout and with some high profile players still around the place (e.g. Joey Barton, Junior Hoilett etc) they seemed to have the edge.

However, it looked like the Suffolk club would grind out a draw until the final minute when a young substitute called Tom Hitchcock, who had cost the club nothing in transfer fees, came off the bench to snaffle a winner.

Former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher shows his support for Non-League Day

It certainly silenced the visiting supporters who made a point of vociferously chanting 'Who are ya?' when he entered the fray! Said supporters also gave QPR keeper Rob Green an unpleasant afternoon because of his connections to their arch rivals Norwich. He kept it together well, though, and made a couple of tidy saves while keeping a clean sheet. At the final whistle he turned and gleefully celebrated in their direction, even hurling the match ball into their midst.

After failing to see QPR win at all last season, it was great to get that feeling of post-victory joy back.

In other news, Non-League Day preparations have continued for me again this week.

After receiving the backing of Garth Crooks and Aaron Hughes last week, we followed that up with words of support from former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher and former England manager Graham Taylor among others.

Next week we hope to be able to announce some another big names so stay tuned to our social media channels or visit our website to find out who.

I finished off my week by spending part of my Saturday evening at BBC Broadcasting House near Oxford Circus in London as a guest on this week's Non League Football Show hosted by Caroline Barker.

The programme has been a big supporter of Non-League Day from the off and hopefully my appearance will help keep the momentum going.

A fellow guest on the show, who might not wished to be mentioned, in a conversation afterwards estimated that NLD has probably generated around £500,000 for non-league football around the country so far which is an amazing amount. Long may it continue!

Don't forget we also want plenty of fan photos so if you're going to a game, heading off on holiday or just relaxing at home we'd love to receive a picture of you in either one of our t-shirts who holding up one of these.

There's still plenty to do but ultimately it's all about gaining publicity so make sure you tell your friends or if you've got your own website or blog and would like to support us by displaying one of our banners then I'd really appreciate it.

It's less than three weeks away!

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, Twitter or even by good old email.

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).

Friday 6 September, 8pm - Moldova, World Cup qualifier, Wembley
Friday 11 September, 8pm - Montenegro, World Cup qualifier, Wembley
Tuesday 15 October, TBC - Poland, World Cup qualifier, Wembley

Nothing currently available

Saturday 24 August, 2pm - Leicester City, U21 Premier League (must buy in advance)

Tuesday 10 September, 745pm - Oman, friendly

Saturday 24 August, 1245pm - Arsenal, Premier League
Saturday 14 September, 3pm - West Bromwich Albion, Premier League
Saturday 5 October, 3pm - Stoke City, Premier League
Saturday 23 November, 3pm - Swansea City, Premier League

Sunday 25 August, 4pm - Swansea City, Premier League
Thursday 29 August, TBC - Dinamo Tbilisi, Europa League (on sale 21 Aug)
Saturday 14 September, 3pm - Norwich City, Premier League
Saturday 28 September, 1245pm - Chelsea, Premier League

Tuesday 27 August, 745pm - Cheltenham Town, League Cup
Saturday 31 August, 3pm - Stoke City, Premier League
Saturday 21 September, 3pm - Everton, Premier League (on sale 20 Aug)

There's a bit more action in the U21 Premier League this week with Chelsea and West Ham hosting games at Stamford Bridge and Upton Park.

Details for West Ham's derby against Spurs on Friday have been hard to come by (they usually charge about £3) while Chelsea are asking £5 for adults and £3 for everyone else to watch their fixture against Leicester City on Saturday afternoon. The only slight snag with this excellent deal is that tickets will not be on sale on the day and must be bought in advance.

Looking further ahead, the next round of the League Cup at the end of August sees several London clubs playing at home.

The best deal is to be found at West Ham who are charging only £10 for adults, if bought in advance, as they entertain Cheltenham Town.

QPR host Swindon Town with tickets starting at £15. It's also Watford v Bournemouth (£10 - on sale 23 August) and Leyton Orient v Hull City (£15 - on sale 24 August).

A rather quirky fixture has been announced by Crystal Palace. The Eagles are hosting the Oman national team in a friendly on Tuesday 10 September at Selhurst Park. Tickets for this are £10 in advance or £12 on the day.

If you know of any other deals I may have missed or your club is running a promotion let me know.

There are over 100 matches in the London area this week. With all our local sides now in full competitive action there's absolutely loads to choose from with several FA Cup replays taking place alongside all the league action.

As always, check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or venue has been changed. 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.

Also if you're unfamiliar with the English league structure I indicate the level at which an individual league sits in the national 'pyramid' with the Premier League at the top (Level 1) and various minor leagues at the bottom (Level 10). Typically a top level game will see crowds of anywhere between 20,000-60,000. These figures will gradually decline as you go down the leagues until you get to Levels 8-10 where attendances of 150 or less are most common.

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 19-25 August 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.


At the time of writing, we don't yet know how Chelsea have done against Hull in their season opener but anything other than victory will be a considerable upset. Villa, on the other hand, defied the odds to win 3-1 at Arsenal in their first game but they are wildly unpredictable at Stamford Bridge. Over the last four seasons they've managed one fine win and a decent draw but the other two games saw them get absolutely stuffed. Last season they lost the corresponding fixture 8-0 and in 2009/10 got on the wrong end of a 7-1 drubbing. Overall you have to favour the Blues. (Premier League, Wednesday 21 August, 745pm. Ticket info)

A short stroll from Stamford Bridge, we have this game at Craven Cottage. Following their undoing by Villa, the Gunners travel to west London for this tricky derby. Martin Jol's side are a match for anyone when playing at home and are improving on their travels too as Sunderland found out on Saturday. With a win under their belts and Arsene Wenger's side looking shaky, the perceived underdogs could be in for another good afternoon. (Premier League, Saturday 24 August, 3pm. Ticket info)

The match of the weekend in the Football League takes place at Vicarage Road where the top two (at the time of writing) go head-to-head. Both sides have made impressive starts with Forest the only team in the Championship to be able to boast a 100% record from their three games, with no goals conceded. The Hornets lost their perfect record on Saturday but fought back from being 2-0 and 3-1 down to draw 3-3 at Reading. In essence it's a game between the division's best attack and it's best defence - quite a prospect. (Championship, Sunday 25 August, 115pm. Ticket info)

As has been well documented, Brentford blew their chance of promotion to the Championship in pretty spectacular fashion last season with a last-minute defeat in their final match of the regular season and then defeat in the play-off final against Yeovil. They'll be desperate to make it up automatically this season and they've made a satisfactory start with five points from three games putting them in the top six. On Saturday, West Midlands club Walsall come to Griffin Park also with their unbeaten record intact and with a place in the top four. You'd expect the Bees to shade this with their home advantage. (League One, Saturday 24 August, 3pm. Ticket info)

The O's enjoyed a good season last time, finishing seventh to narrowly miss out on the play-offs. This time Russell Slade's team have come flying out of the blocks winning all three of their league matches and also their first round League Cup tie, scoring 12 goals in the process. Unsurprisingly they now find themselves at the top of League One and have become the team to beat. Crewe are the next team scheduled to visit and they've been the model of inconsistency this season with one win, one draw and one defeat. Looks like another three points for the hosts. (League One, Saturday 24 August, 3pm. Ticket info)

Following their relegation from the Football League, the Bees have begun life in the Conference Premier pretty well. Two wins and a draw from their first three games means they are currently ranked second with only one goal separating them from leaders Cambridge United. However, only a solitary goal is ensuring they stay just above Saturday's visitors Nuneaton who have had a similar start. Barnet are far more used to being in this sort of position but maybe Kevin Wilkin's side can upset them. (Conference Premier, Saturday 24 August, 3pm. Ticket info)

For a seventh tier match this is one of the most high profile of the season. The Harrow derby always draws a decent crowd, albeit mainly Stones fans whose club is historically and currently the more successful of the two. Boro will start this very much as the underdogs but at home they have a chance. Neither side have made a particularly good start to the campaign, with both having yet to win any of their three games. This could be the hosts' best chance of beating the old enemy for a while. (Isthmian League Premier Division, Saturday 24 August, 3pm. Ticket info)

I recommended you go and watch the original playing of this FA Cup tie on Saturday and the thrilling 3-3 draw which ensued is making me strongly suggest you go to the replay. E&E have won all four of their games to sit atop the Combined Counties Premier Division table while the Leafe are a top six club over in the parallel Southern Counties East League. It's got to be the E's for me. (FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round replay, Wednesday 21 August, 745pm. Club info)

After winning the Kent Invicta League title last season, Phoenix have taken to life in the SCEFL like a duck to water. Having won their first three games, their biggest test so far is set to appear in the form of Tunbridge Wells, last season's FA Vase finalists. They may already be five points behind in the table but they do have a game in hand on Phoenix. They warmed up for this game on Saturday by beating Pagham 4-2 in the FA Cup. (Southern Counties East League, Saturday 24 August, 3pm. Club info)

Last up this week we have this Spartan South Midlands League Division 1 game between these two sides. The hosts enjoyed a decent start to life at this level last season, finishing ninth. They are there or thereabouts again this time round but out of relative mediocrity have sprung Sun Postal Sports who have thrashed all before them to rise to the summit of the table. In fact they have scored a staggering 19 goals in just three games meaning Southall will have to be at the top of their game to stand a chance. (Spartan South Midlands League Division 1, Wednesday 21 August, 745pm. 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.

1 comment:

  1. Harrow Borough vs Wealdstone and Barnet vs Nuneaton town is tomorrow.