Sunday 9 March 2014

TLFG: 10-16 March 2014

Hi there and welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

At last it seems as if the terrible recent weather is behind us. With rivers receding, the sun coming out and pitches drying, the immediate future looks positive.

I enjoyed a bit of time off over the last week but any thoughts I had of going to a game or two fizzled out as other things came up which took priority. Hopefully you got to see something.

A few TLFG readers are in town from overseas this week so I hope they enjoy their stay and maybe they'll send a picture or two for me to include on here...

One change to the blog I've made this week is a new tab for all the latest ticket info. I felt each piece was getting a bit too long so although the resource will still be available, it will just be in a different place. I hope this works for you.

Although it's in the ticket section, I also really want to highlight the FREE ENTRY/PAY WHAT YOU WANT scheme being offered by Sutton United for their match against Basingstoke on Saturday. It's also a bit of a community day so should be a lot of fun.

Finally, as mentioned last week, over the next few months I really would like to give this blog a bit of a spruce up and at the very least get a logo designed. If you'd like to help me with this then please get in touch - I will pay although my design fund isn't huge.

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.

Please follow this link or click on the tab at the top of the page for all the information you need about how to get a ticket, what's currently available to non-members at London's biggest clubs and any other special offers or promotions which might be running.

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

However, in case of bad weather, 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 10-16 March 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 Arsenal - undoubtedly the match of the week, this is arguably THE London derby. Although not the closest rivals geographically, they have possibly the most bitter rivalry (other fans may quibble). The Gunners are historically the stronger of the two and this season things are currently no different with Spurs trailing them by six points. Tim Sherwood's side suffered a humiliating 4-0 drubbing at other big rivals Chelsea on Saturday and have an important Europa League match against Benfica on Thursday so this match isn't arriving at a particularly welcome time. With two defeats already against their old foes this campaign, it will take something special for Spurs to claim all three points. (Premier League, Sunday 16 March, 4pm. Ticket info)

2. Fulham v Newcastle United - the only other top flight game in London this week takes place at Craven Cottage. After Saturday's morale-crushing defeat at fellow strugglers Cardiff, time is rapidly running out for Fulham. Already on to their third manager of the season, things are looking bleak with latest appointment Felix Magath having only gleaned one point from his first three games. The Magpies, on the other hand, appear to be through their mini slump and have won their last two so could be dangerous. One thing to give Fulham fans a bit of hope - Newcastle have lost on their last four visits. (Premier League, Saturday 15 March, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. Millwall v Charlton Athletic - this weekend is laden with big derbies with this clash between two of south-east London's finest no exception. These two play closer together than Arsenal and Spurs but their rivalry isn't quite as intense. The Lions are usually seen as Charlton's main rivals but West Ham are the bigger enemy for the hosts. Despite this, there is still likely to be quite an atmosphere especially when you consider that both are scrapping for their lives to avoid relegation. Historically, Millwall have a much better head-to-head record and won 1-0 at The Valley back in September. Although the Addicks are currently bottom, four points behind Millwall, they do have four games in hand so it should be close. (Championship, Saturday 15 March, 3pm. Ticket info)

4. Leyton Orient v Brentford - the match they've all been waiting for is almost here. Neck-and-neck for most of the season in the race for the title, these two London rivals meet for what could be a pivotal game. The rivalry between these two isn't particularly fierce because they come from opposite sides of town and rarely do either of them have much to play for. However, the stakes are high here. Orient were the early season leaders but allowed Wolves and Brentford to catch up. Since then all three have taken it in turns to have a go at being top. At the moment it's Wolves' turn, Orient are second and Brentford third, with only three points between them. A win for the hosts in this one is particularly important though as, at the time of writing, they've played two games more than the others. Lose and they could begin to get left behind.  (League One, Saturday 15 March, 1215pm. Ticket info)

5. AFC Wimbledon v Chesterfield - the Dons' chances of claiming a play-off spot received a blow on Saturday when they lost at home to York. The result leaves them eight points off the pace and eight points above the relegation zone - about as midtable as it gets. Things aren't going to get any easier on Tuesday when leaders Chesterfield visit. The Spireites have a slim one-point lead over Scunthorpe and Rochdale so you'd think they'll be going all out to win here. (League Two, Tuesday 11 March, 745pm. Ticket info)

6. Bromley v Dover Athletic - things have gone a bit pear shaped for Bromley over the last week. First they drew with Bath (not too bad) but then lost to Sutton and Chelmsford. Luckily for them, second-placed Eastleigh failed to fully capitalise but they did close the gap to five points. With two games in hand, the Hampshire club can still go top so the Lilywhites can ill afford to slip up again. In Dover they face stiff opposition. Currently seventh, they have games in hand on most teams above them so are very much promotion contenders too. Last time out, Bromley won 2-0. (Conference South, Tuesday 11 March, 745pm. Ticket info)

7. Kingstonian v AFC Hornchurch - both sides have topped the Isthmian League at some point this season but both have gone off the boil in a fairly similar fashion of late. With one going up automatically and the next four playing off, these two in fifth and sixth need to begin stringing a run of wins together to avoid missing out. Both did win on Saturday so they've made a start. (Isthmian League Premier Division, Saturday 15 March, 3pm. Ticket info)

8. Thurrock v Witham Town - although seventh and fifth at the time of writing, both have a few games in hand which if won could potentially put them second and first respectively so this is a pretty big match. Witham have been waiting in the wings to usurp VCD Athletic as leaders for some time but three drawn games has seen them fail to fully emerge from the chasing pack. They do still have four games in hand though, enough to put them top by a point if they win them all. One of those games is this one against Thurrock who held them to a 2-2 draw earlier in the season. (Isthmian League Division 1 North, Tuesday 11 March, 745pm. Ticket info)

9. Walton Casuals v Peacehaven & Telscombe - former leaders against current leaders, that's what we have to look forward to on Saturday. Casuals had a great start to the season but began 2014 badly, sliding down to eighth some eight points off the play-off places. Since then, newly promoted Peacehaven have gone from strength to strength with their 15-game unbeaten run putting them seven points clear. Worryingly for Walton, the Sussex club also score lots of goals and put five past them last time they locked horns. (Isthmian League Division 1 South, Saturday 15 March, 3pm. Ticket info)

10. Hanwell Town v Ampthill Town - last up this week we've got a clash of two of the top three in the Spartan South Midlands League. Although this is a cup match, it will hopefully give some indication as to who might come out on top in the league. At present Hanwell trail top club Ampthill by seven points but have six games in hand. Less than a month ago, the two were paired in the FA Vase and Ampthill won 3-1. Time for some revenge?  (Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division Cup, Tuesday 11 March, 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.

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