Sunday, 4 May 2014

TLFG: 5-11 May 2014

Hello there and welcome to TLFG, it's great to have you here.

Another week has gone by and a load more has happened with most notably the Football League's regular season coming to an end.

Generally it's been an okay year for London's eight clubs at this level. One has definitely been promoted, two more are in the play-offs and all the others avoided relegation.

In the Premier League though, it wasn't so good for Fulham. They've struggled all season and although they had a chance of staying up, they got thrashed 4-1 at Stoke on Saturday to see their 13-year stay in the top flight come to an end with a game to spare.

It will be very interesting to see how they fare in the Championship and what impact it will have on their attendances. It's been the view of many outsiders that Fulham's core support is actually quite small with their crowds often boosted by tourists and neutrals looking to see some Premier League action. The Cottagers' away following is often noticeably lacking for a club at that level so with the big opponents no longer coming to town, they may struggle to get people through the gate.

In the Conference South it was a very disappointing week for our two local sides. Bromley and Sutton United both made it to the play-offs but both lost convincingly over two legs to Ebbsfleet and Dover respectively.

The Isthmian League play-offs also took place. These games only feature one leg with the team finishing highest getting home advantage. Two clubs from the TLFG catchment area qualified and they played each other in one of the Premier Division games. Kingstonian were runners-up this year but came unstuck against AFC Hornchurch who will now travel to Lowestoft Town for the final on Monday. Come on you Urchins!

Below this there are still a few leagues to end and trophies to be won. Have a good look through this week's match map to see what tickles your fancy.

That's it from me. Don't forget, you can get all the latest ticket information for our local clubs and other big games taking place in the capital on the 'Match Ticket Info' page .

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 only just over 20 matches in the London area over the next seven days as the season winds down for the summer.

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 5-11 May 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. Normally I do a top 10 but there are so few games this week that I've reduced it to five. If I miss one that you think should get a mention then add your own in the comments section below.


1. Crystal Palace v Liverpool - the week begins with an important game at Selhurst Park. The result here will have a huge bearing on who ultimately wins the Premier League. The Eagles, of course, are in midtable with nothing to play for but the Reds are joint top with Manchester City and must win to keep their hopes of glory alive. Liverpool are of course the favourites but Palace are more than capable of giving them an uncomfortable evening and have beaten them on their last two visits.  (Premier League, Monday 5 May, 8pm. Ticket info)

2. Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa - up at White Hart Lane on the final day of the season we have this game between sides at pretty much mirror opposite ends of the table. Effectively, because of goal difference, neither have much to play for unless teams near them receive the biggest thrashings in Premier League history. Spurs need a point to guarantee sixth while Villa should be sure of at least 17th, avoiding the drop, but could even make it to 11th. The visitors' record against Spurs over the last two seasons in all competitions, though, is abysmal having played four, lost four, scored none and conceded 12!  (Premier League, Sunday 11 May, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. FA Vase final - the third of the three showpiece FA finals takes place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. The FA Cup is for most clubs in the top 10 levels of the game, the FA Trophy is reserved for those at levels 5-8 and the FA Vase for those at levels nine and 10. This year's final is between Sholing from Hampshire and West Auckland Town from County Durham. Over the last five years, clubs from the north-east have dominated this competition so West Auckland will start as favourites. They also have recent experience having made the final two years ago. On that occasion they lost to Dunston UTS so will hope to go one better. This is a great chance to see a game at Wembley and with little else on in London that day I suggest you get down there. (FA Vase final, Saturday 10 May, 3pm. Ticket info)

4. FA Youth Cup final second leg - there's also silverware at stake at Stamford Bridge on Monday where Chelsea entertain near neighbours Fulham. Unlike the senior team, the Cottagers' U18 side are one of the best in the country and consequently take a 3-2 first leg aggregate lead into this one. The unfortunate thing about this game is that tickets are cheap and readily available but the deadline for buying them has now passed with none available on the day. (FA Youth Cup final second leg, Monday 5 May, 745pm. Ticket info)

5. London Senior Cup final - given that this blog is about London football I had to highlight this game. This season's final is between Metropolitan Police and AFC Wimbledon. The Met play in the Isthmian Premier some three divisions below the League Two Dons but have home advantage. Wimbledon will probably only field a development side but some first teamers could be included given their season has finished. These two also contested the final four years ago and we got a cracker with the Met prevailing on penalties after a 4-4 draw! (London Senior Cup final, Tuesday 6 May, 730pm. 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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