Sunday, 5 January 2014

TLFG: 6-12 January 2014

Happy New Year one and all and welcome to the first TLFG of 2014.

I hope the festive period treated you well and you got to see or play in a game or two.

For the first time in many years, work commitments saw me spend Christmas Day and Boxing Day at home so I was able to see a game on the latter. 

With several games called off I headed up to north London to watch Wingate & Finchley play Hendon in an Isthmian League derby match.

Regular readers will know I'm a fairly frequent visitor to Summers Lane as my Non-League Day right-hand man Mike Bayly is community development manager at the club so it was as his guest that I attended.

Wingate defend a first-half corner as they pinch an undeserved victory
The match became one of the most one sided I had seen in a long time with Hendon creating chance after chance throughout the game but it was Wingate who stole all three points with a goal from debutant Adam Bolle shortly before half-time. As a great man once said, "It's a funny old game".

Aside from that, rain and other commitments mean that's been it for me over the last two weeks but I did of course watch the much anticipated Arsenal v Tottenham game on TV as many others did. Were you lucky enough to be there? 

By the way, I'd like to give a big hats off to Isthmian League club Thamesmead Town who, aside from Arsenal and Barnet, were one of only three sides to get a game on in the whole of London on Saturday. They produced a thrilling 3-3 draw with Billericay Town and were rewarded with a bumper crowd of 146, well above their average of 85. Well done them.

This week looks like being a great one for watching non-league football in the capital. Two of the biggest matches at that level take place on Friday night (Welling v Dartford) and Sunday afternoon (Kingstonian v Dulwich) pretty much unopposed by anything else, meaning that you can go and watch your favourite club on Saturday and then hop off to either or both of these on the other days. If your Saturday is also open, then you could complete an odyssey of south London football by going to Bromley v Eastbourne Borough which is a game of some significance in the Conference South.

Lastly this week I'd like to give a mention of thanks to two websites who have driven a lot of traffic TLFG's way of late. Firstly the great which is one of the best online guides to the city there is and also which provides information to Chinese students living in London. Many thanks, I really appreciate it.

As always, please 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 might also want to have a go at writing a 'Top Ten' one week. I also very much welcome photos of your football travels.

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter 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).

Wednesday 5 March, 8pm - Denmark, international friendly, Wembley

Nothing currently available

Wednesday 29 January, 745pm - West Ham United, Premier League (on sale 6 Jan)

Tickets are only available to season-ticket holders, members and their guests

Saturday 11 January, 3pm - Sunderland, Premier League
Saturday 1 February, 3pm - Southampton, Premier League

Wednesday 29 January, 745pm - Manchester City, Premier League
Sunday 9 February, 130pm - Everton, Premier League 
Saturday 18 January, 3pm - Newcastle United, Premier League
Tuesday 21 January, 745pm - Manchester City, League Cup semi-final
Saturday 1 February, 1245pm - Swansea City, Premier League
Tuesday 11 February, 745pm - Norwich City, Premier League (on sale 7 Jan)
Saturday 22 March, 3pm - Manchester United, Premier League
Saturday 5 April, 3pm - Liverpool, Premier League
Saturday 3 May, 3pm - Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League

On Saturday 11 January, Championship club Watford have reduced adult tickets to a flat rate of £20 for the visit of Reading which has something of a derby nature to it.

In the U21 Premier League, it's £3 for adults as Fulham host Arsenal at their Motspur Park training ground on Thursday 9 January at 7pm. A day later in the same competition, it's West Ham v West Brom at Rush Green Stadium in Romford. I'm not certain of the price but it's likely to be similar.

Championship strugglers Charlton Athletic are offering entry for only £10 as they take on League Two title contenders Oxford United in their swiftly re-arranged FA Cup third round tie on Tuesday 14 January.

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

There are 80 matches in the London area over the next week, with at least one game a day, so there's plenty to choose from whatever your budget.

With bad weather becoming more frequent, please make sure you 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.

It should also be noted that the top four levels are for fully professional teams. Level 5 has a mixture of professional and semi-professional teams, while Levels 6-10 will see most players paid but it will vary from no more than travel expenses at the bottom, right up to several hundred pounds a week at the top (e.g. clubs in the Conference South).

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 6-12 January 2014 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. There are often many more games that are worthy of a mention but I simply don't have the time or space to squeeze them all in so add your own in the comments section below.


1. Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace - we kick-off this week with a London derby. Both clubs are under new management and both have shown early promise. Their objectives are of course very different with Spurs targeting a Champions League place and Palace simply survival. The hosts come into this on the back of a disappointing 2-0 FA Cup defeat at bitter rivals Arsenal but have won three of their last four league games and will definitely start as favourites. The Eagles got a fine FA Cup win at West Brom on Saturday and have taken four points from their last three league games which isn't bad for a club in the bottom three. When they last met on the opening day of the season, Tottenham edged to a 1-0 win. (Premier League, Saturday 11 January, 3pm. Ticket info)

2. Fulham v Sunderland - also in the Premier League we've got a relegation scrap to look forward to. The Cottagers, also under new management, are another club to be showing signs of improvement. With two wins in three they've moved out of the drop zone and could climb the table still further with a win over the division's bottom club. The Mackems looked dead and buried recently but a run of only one defeat in five has kept them in touch with the rest of the pack. Fulham to win but not by much. (Premier League, Saturday 11 January, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. Watford v Reading - dropping down a division I would also class this as a derby. Although 30 miles separate these clubs, Watford are Reading's geographically nearest rivals in this division. Historically they also have a very tight head-to-head record with Watford just one win ahead over the 113 times they've played. Although the Hornets are five points behind the Royals, current form suggests they could well win here as the visitors a winless in five in all competitions. (Championship, Saturday 11 January, 3pm. Ticket info)

4. Brentford v Port Vale - talking of form, the hottest team in London right now are Brentford. When manager Uwe Rosler was headhunted by Wigan Athletic recently, many thought the Bees would suffer but under Mark Warburton they've gone from strength to strength. With 12 wins from their last 13 league games, the other being a draw, they've overhauled Leyton Orient and Wolves to go three points clear at the top. On Saturday they welcome Port Vale who have promotion ambitions of their own. Currently eighth, just two points away from the play-off spots, they should present a reasonable challenge. (League One, Saturday 11 January, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Dagenham & Redbridge v Fleetwood Town - when it comes towards the end of the season both of these sides could well be in with a shout of a play-off place. They're both currently in the top 10 with Fleetwood filling the last play-off spot some four points ahead of the Daggers. If the hosts are to be considered real contenders then they'll really have to win here. The clubs have only met three times before, the last time in August when Fleetwood won 3-1. (League Two, Saturday 11 January, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Welling United v Dartford - this game should've been played over New Year but it fell victim to the bad weather. Luckily for anyone free this week, this big south-east London derby has been re-arranged for Friday night. A really good rivalry has developed between these clubs over the years with probably the biggest meeting between them for sometime coming in the Conference South play-offs a couple of seasons ago. Dartford came out on top and got promoted. Last year, Welling upped their game and won the Conference South title to join them in this year's Conference Premier. Dartford had a good debut season but have struggled badly this time, with a draw in an FA Trophy tie against Forest Green being their best result in their last 13 games. Welling, on the other hand, are sat snugly in midtable and enjoyed a 2-1 win at Dartford on Boxing Day. The omens look bad for the Darts but anything can happen in a derby. (Conference Premier, Friday 10 January, 745pm. Ticket info)

7. Bromley v Eastbourne Borough - there's a top six Conference South clash to look forward to on Saturday as the almost invincible Bromley look to extend their already mighty 10-point lead at the top. With a very similar record to Brentford, the Lilywhites have been in imperious form since October when they lost to south London rivals Sutton at Gander Green Lane. Since then only Ebbsfleet United have stopped them winning during an 11-game run which has seen them score 24 and concede just three. Eastbourne are a whopping 20 points behind but, such is Bromley's dominance, that's good enough for sixth with only goal difference keeping them out of the play-off places. The other fact to slightly worry fans of the Hayes Lane club is that Eastbourne have won six of their last seven games against them. (Conference South, Saturday 11 January, 3pm. Ticket info)

8. Kingstonian v Dulwich Hamlet - the big game of the weekend in the Isthmian League takes place at Kingsmeadow on Sunday. As it stands this represents a game between third and second in what is a very tight title race. Depending on how results go elsewhere in midweek and on Saturday, either of these sides could potentially go top with a win. There is also a bit of a south-London derby feel to this one too so there should be a significant crowd hopefully bolstered by a number of you who will have this as their only match option within London on the day. I am genuinely excited about the potential of this match and am really disappointed that work will prevent me being there. It could be a great way to top off a weekend of football watching in the capital. (Isthmian League Premier Division, Sunday 12 January, 3pm. Ticket info)

9. Hanwell Town v Ampthill Town - if memory serves me correctly, this is a re-arranged game from earlier in the season. Both currently find themselves in the Spartan South Midlands League top three with Ampthill seven points clear of third-placed Hanwell but only because they've played six games more. Although this is a Premier Division Cup match, it will hopefully give some indication of who might come out on top come the end of the campaign. POSTPONED

10. Hillingdon Borough v Harefield United - last up this week we've got another Spartan South Midlands League game. Although they are both only in midtable, they play only a couple of miles apart pretty much on the same road so this is very much a derby. They are also close in the league table so as Level 9 matches go, this will hopefully be worth a watch. POSTPONED

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. Yeah a few of us made it down to Thamesmead. Nice little club and absolutely cracking game. No wonder attendance is usually so low thou, its in the middle of nowhere. Good one to tick off mind.

  2. Glad you made it down there. Its remoteness is very off-putting and is the main reason I've never been. I don't think the locals have been that receptive in the past either. I did hear a story that the club once sent out several thousand flyers offering free entry to a specific game and only three people turned up. I don't know if it's true but I can believe it.