Sunday, 16 February 2014

TLFG: 17-23 February 2014

Hello there and welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

Once again it's been a bad week weatherwise with heavy rain and floods decimating the fixture list in many of our local leagues.

In a desperate attempt to keep their seasons on track, teams are having to really cram the games in. Consequently there are over 100 matches in the London area this week - how many ever get played is anyone's guess.

I've been particularly pushed for time this week so TLFG's Top 10 is having the week off. There are some cracking games to look forward to so have a good look through the match map below and enjoy your football watching.

One final point this week from me - many congratulations to Harrow Borough who pulled off a stunning 4-1 victory over Isthmian League leaders Maidstone United on Saturday. Great result lads, keep it up!

If you're going to see a game, whether you're a local or a visitor, please let me know what you've been up to. 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.

Got any questions about visiting London? Don't hesitate to ask - be they football or more general travel/touristy queries.

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

Nothing currently available

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

Saturday 15 March, 3pm - Newcastle United, Premier League
Sunday 30 March, 130pm - Everton, Premier League

Thursday 27 February, 805pm - FC Dnipro, Europa League

Saturday 22 February, 3pm - Southampton, Premier League
Saturday 8 March, 3pm - Hull City, Premier League
Saturday 5 April, 3pm - Liverpool, Premier League
Saturday 3 May, 3pm - Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League

We've got a bit of a Football League Super Saturday to look forward to on 15 March as Millwall host Charlton Athletic in the Championship and Leyton Orient take on Brentford in League One. Both are derbies, will be close to sell outs and almost certainly have a big bearing on things at either end of their respective divisions. The kick-offs are staggered too so it's possible that you could even go to both. If there are no engineering works on the Tube that weekend the journey from Leyton to South Bermondsey can be done in 37 minutes if you leave on the 1407 Central Line train and make your way to south-east London via Stratford and London Bridge. Tickets for the Millwall game go on general sale on Monday 17 February while the Leyton Orient ones are on sale now.

Millwall v Charlton Athletic - Saturday 15 March, 3pm, Championship (on sale 17 Feb)
Leyton Orient v Brentford - Saturday 15 March, 1215pm, League One

Watching the big clubs' youth and reserve teams often provides pretty good value. This week Crystal Palace, Fulham and Watford all have matches either in the U21 leagues or FA Youth Cup. The Hornets' game against Liverpool in the latter competition is taking place at Vicarage Road so is probably the pick of what's on. Details for all can be found on the match map (see below).

At the end of February, tickets for Tottenham's Europa League tie against FC Dnipro have been reduced to £20 for adults, a significant saving.

Also way into the future, the annual football Varsity match between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge will be taking place at Craven Cottage on Sunday 6 April. It takes place on the same day as the more famous televised boat race which begins shortly after the match on the Thames which passes the ground. For £15 you'll get to see one of the oldest football fixtures in the world (this will be the 130th meeting) and then be able to watch the opening mile of the boat race from the vantage point of Craven Cottage's Riverside Terrace - your £15 also gets you some free food and drink!

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

I often receive emails from readers asking how to get tickets for matches which have sold out. The only official way to do this is to go through a ticket re-sale site like StubHub or viagogo which are fully endorsed by the clubs involved. 

These sites work by letting season-ticket holders re-sell their unwanted tickets on a match-by-match basis and it is the ticket holder who sets the price. For a sold out match they will often be able to command a large premium but conversely you'll often be able to pick up tickets for less popular matches at a significant discount. 

I know some football supporters find these sites totally abhorrent and I understand their reasons but I guess it's better to have an official way of performing transactions like this rather than risk buying a counterfeit or even non-existent ticket from a less trustworthy or even criminal source.

Apart from the ticket deals mentioned above, if you're on a tight budget and still want to see some football then check out some non-league football.

The vast majority of the clubs TLFG covers play at this level and provide good entertainment week-in-week-out at great prices. The overwhelming amount of sides charge £10 or less to get in, with many no more than a fiver. 

Several also offer half-price admission for season-ticket holders and members of Premier League and Football League clubs all year round.

Non-league football is also a great way to get kids into watching the sport live with many clubs letting them in for free. 

Check your local club's website to see what they have to offer.

There are over 100 matches in the London area over the next week so there's plenty to choose from whatever your budget.

However, with bad weather frequent at the moment, 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
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures

View London match map 17-23 February 2014 in a larger map

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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