Sunday, 22 September 2013

TLFG: 23-29 September 2013

Hi there and welcome along to the latest edition of TLFG.

As is becoming increasingly the case, my time to write seems to be becoming shorter each week so I'm going to keep this bit brief (hooray I hear you say).

After my trip to QPR v Birmingham on Saturday, I managed to squeeze in another visit to the Theatre of Shattered Dreams (aka Loftus Road) on Wednesday to see the almost derby game against Brighton.

Most newspapers described this 0-0 draw as being quite dull for the neutral but I enjoyed it nonetheless!

Yesterday Rangers got back to winning ways at Yeovil to go three points clear at the top of the Championship. After failing to see them win all last season, I'm already feeling drunk on all the points we've accrued already. Long may it continue.

Brighton's former Man Utd goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak organises his defence at Loftus Road
Aside from this, my highlight of the last seven days was suggesting to some of TLFG's Dutch readers, who were in London on a football-watching trip, to go and pay a visit to Isthmian Premier club Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday.

I received the following feedback this morning: "It was amazing!!! Met up with some fans and had the best day!!! What a great club!!! Thanx!"

I aim to please so if you want a similar recommendation or have any other questions about watching football in London please don't hesitate to ask.

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.

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 11 October, 8pm - Montenegro, World Cup qualifier, Wembley
Tuesday 15 October, 8pm - Poland, World Cup qualifier, Wembley

Nothing currently available

Sunday 6 October, 11am - Manchester City, U21 Premier League (must buy in advance)

Nothing currently available

Tuesday 24 September, 8pm - Everton, League Cup 
Saturday 5 October, 3pm - Stoke City, Premier League
Saturday 23 November, 3pm - Swansea City, Premier League

Sunday 10 November, 12pm - Newcastle United, Premier League

Tuesday 24 September, 745pm, Cardiff City, League Cup
Saturday 19 October, 530pm - Manchester City, Premier League
Saturday 2 November, 3pm - Aston Villa, Premier League (on sale 24 Sep)
Saturday 23 November, 530pm - Chelsea, Premier League
Thursday 26 December, 3pm - Arsenal, Premier League
Saturday 22 March, 3pm - Manchester United, Premier League
Saturday 5 April, 3pm - Liverpool, Premier League
Saturday 3 May, 3pm - Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League

The best value this week is to be found in the next round of the League Cup.

Once again West Ham have the best deal in place as they welcome fellow Premier League side Cardiff City. It's £15 in advance and £20 on the day.

Over at Craven Cottage we have another all Premier League tie between Fulham and Everton and there's a flat rate of £20.

Lastly, Watford entertain Norwich City with tickets ranging from £15-£20.

In about three weeks time, Fulham's Craven Cottage ground will play host to an international friendly between Australia and Canada with tickets ranging from £15-25.

At the end of October, League One side Brentford are running another one of their 'Pay What You Can' promotions for the visit of Shrewsbury Town. Tickets are on sale now, with a minimum price of £1.

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

There are over 80 matches in the London area this week including ties in the next round of the FA Cup in addition to all the usual league matches.

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
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures

View London match map 23-29 September 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.


Without doubt, the biggest match of the week in London takes place at White Hart Lane on Saturday lunchtime. These two giants of London football have cultivated a pretty tasty rivalry over the last few years with many Blues fans regarding Spurs as their most disliked rival. Arsenal are still the number one pet hate for Tottenham supporters, but Chelsea come a close second for a lot of them. With both sides currently in the Premier League's top four and with top spot potentially up for grabs the atmosphere should be intense. (Premier League, Saturday 28 September, 1245pm. Ticket info)

If a highly charged atmosphere is what you're after and you can't or don't want a ticket for the above, then why not give this Championship game a try? Neither side have made a great start to the season but that won't really matter as two clubs with some of the 'liveliest' sets of fans in the country clash at the Den. As above, both sides probably have more hated rivals but they don't really get on that well. With Leeds losing their last two and Millwall winning theirs, it could well be a home win. (Championship, Saturday 28 September, 3pm. Ticket info)

There's another London derby on Monday night with west playing east. There's no great animosity between these two but there's plenty to play for in this League One fixture. The Bees missed out on promotion to the Championship last season after losing in the play-offs and were then rightfully installed as one of the favourites to go up this time. They've made a satisfactory start and a win here will put them in the top six. A victory, though, could be rather tough to get as the O's are the most in-form team in the Football League having won their opening seven matches and are unsurprisingly two points clear at the top. Head down to Griffin Park on Monday to see if they can keep their sensational run going.  (League One, Monday 23 September, 745pm. Ticket info)

Edgar Davids' side got their Conference Premier campaign off to an impressive start but have run into a rough patch of late, going four league games without a win. As a result they've slipped out of the leading pack and down to eighth. Salisbury have done pretty much the reverse, starting really badly but now stringing the wins together. Having won five of their last seven, City leapfrogged Barnet into the play-off places on Saturday and with form like that you'd have to fancy them here. (Conference Premier, Saturday 28 September, 3pm. Ticket info)

After a stuttering start to the season, Wealdstone finally got themselves to the summit of the Isthmian League table on Saturday after a tidy 2-0 win over struggling Thamesmead. They were helped to get there by local rivals Harrow Borough who pulled off a minor miracle to come back from 4-1 down to draw 4-4 at then leaders Maidstone. The Stones currently have the lead only on goal difference and if they want to put a bit of headway between themselves and Kingstonian then they'll need a good result here. Last season Lewes had a dreadful time and came close to a relegation which few had foreseen. This time things couldn't be much more different. After 10 games only Wealdstone and themselves are unbeaten. An extra draw for Lewes means they're two points behind, a gap which puts them sixth in what has turned out to be a very competitive division.  (Isthmian League Premier Division, Monday 23 September, 745pm. Ticket info)

The game of the weekend in the Isthmian League Division 1 North sees the current leaders host the team in third. VCD have an even better record than Leyton Orient having won their first nine league matches this season. That run did, however, come to an end on Saturday when they drew 0-0 at Needham Market. M&T on the other hand haven't started too badly either with only one defeat in their opening nine so this should be quite a contest. (Isthmian League Division 1 North, Saturday 28 September, 3pm. Club info)

There's a table-topping game in the Essex Senior League too. This time the leaders are the visitors but only by virtue of playing a game more than Enfield. Both sides have won all their games this season (five and six respectively) and are averaging close to three goals a game each. Looks like a game with potential. (Essex Senior League, Saturday 28 September, 3pm. Club info)

It's FA Cup second qualifying round weekend and because of their groundshare with Harrow, the Greens will play this tie on Sunday afternoon. Isthmian Premier club Hendon will start as underdogs as they play a level below Stortford who ply their trade in the Conference South. The visitors have also made a decent start to their season while Hendon have been somewhat more inconsistent. There is good cupset potential here though and it should be noted that Gary McCann's side made it to the first round proper last season before narrowly losing to then League Two side Aldershot Town. (FA Cup, Sunday 29 September, 3pm. Ticket info)

Although nowhere near as big or bitter as some of the rivalries highlighted above, there is some 'history' between these two Essex clubs and their fans. Back in 2011 a derby match between the two ended in what a local paper described as a '100 person brawl' which is astonishing and almost unheard of for a game at this level. The scenes of that day are unlikely to be repeated here but there's bound to be plenty of passion on show with a place in the next round of the FA Cup up for grabs. (FA Cup, Sunday 29 September, 130pm. Ticket info)

The cup exploits of Southern Counties East League side Whyteleafe make the top 10 again this week. On Saturday they knocked Epsom & Ewell out of the FA Vase to complete a cup double over them having seen them off in the FA Cup too. This Saturday they're back in FA Cup action and welcome Isthmian League Division 1 North outfit Chatham who play a level above them in the national system. The Kent club haven't started too well this season and could be there for the taking.  (FA Cup, Saturday 28 September, 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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