Sunday, 10 August 2014

TLFG: 11-17 August 2014

It's been another busy old week at TLFG Towers.

Apart from the usual crafting of this piece there's also been the continued preparations ahead of Non-League Day (NLD).

We named our first NLD t-shirt competition winner. I hope to do the same this Friday so send in your pictures of support.

Colin from Southport sent in a picture of Tilly the TIY mascot
If you want to help make the NLD campaign a success, we really need help with publicity so if you run a website or blog and can put one of our banners on it then I'd greatly appreciate it.


Aside from all this, it's a big week on the pitch with the Premier League season finally getting under way and the FA Cup beginning its long journey to Wembley.

If you're in London for the whole weekend then this great cup competition has fixtures taking place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday so you can gorge yourself on Extra Preliminary Round football and begin your very own 'Road to Wembley'. One TLFG reader famously did this a couple of years ago and wrote this fine book

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 almost 90 matches in the London area over the next seven days so there's plenty to choose from whatever your budget.

However, 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
Magenta pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures

View London match map 11-17 August 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. If I miss one that you think should get a mention then add your own in the comments section below.


1. Arsenal v Crystal Palace - after three months of waiting, the Premier League makes its return on Saturday. The Gunners are currently seen by the bookies as the second best team in London and should have a decent season having recruited well over the summer. Palace did really well on their return to the top flight last year, finishing 11th. Tony Pulis will ensure a well organised side travel to the Emirates for this televised game but they'll do well to get a point. (Saturday 16 August, 530pm. Ticket info)

2. West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur - a little earlier in the day we have this London derby. These two clubs' fans don't get on well and neither do their executives after the recent fight for the Olympic Stadium which the Hammers eventually won. Spurs are predicted to have a better year than their hosts but lost all three meetings against Sam Allardyce's side last season so will have to be on their guard. (Saturday 16 August, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. Fulham v Millwall - we have another London derby in the Championship. After suffering relegation from the Premier League, the Cottagers are expected to do well with a play-off place their minimum target. They didn't begin well on Saturday though, losing 2-1 at Ipswich. They're unlikely to find this one easy either as Millwall recorded a solid 2-0 win over Leeds and have sold out their allocation of tickets meaning almost 4,000 excitable Lions fans will be heading their way. It's the first time these clubs have played since 1999 - on that occasion Fulham won 4-1. (Saturday 16 August, 3pm. Ticket info)

4. Barnet v Bristol Rovers - there's not much going on elsewhere in the Football League so next up we have a Conference Premier match between two promotion contenders. Barnet begun their campaign with a stunning 5-0 away win at Chester which propelled them to the top of the table. On Tuesday they welcome Rovers who are spending their first season in non-league football since the 1920s after being relegated from League Two. Following the promotion of Luton last season, they are the biggest club in the division by some way and are seen by many as the team to beat. On Saturday they were held to a goalless draw by Grimsby, another of the big boys. (Tuesday 12 August, 745pm. Ticket info)

5. Staines Town v Boreham Wood - in the division below we've got a game between two TLFG clubs who got off to positive starts on Saturday and consequently both sit in the Conference South's top five. The Swans missed the play-offs by six points last year and are fancied to have a similar season this time round. Their win at Whitehawk on Saturday, who probably should challenge for a play-off spot, will give them hope of doing well. They also beat Boreham Wood home and away last season. (Saturday 16 August, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Kingstonian v Dulwich Hamlet - the K's lived up to their billing as Isthmian League title contenders on Saturday as they notched an impressive 5-2 win at Enfield Town. The week ahead will really test their credentials as they play back-to-back home games against Dulwich and AFC Hornchurch who are also well fancied for promotion. I've gone for the Dulwich game as they also won on Saturday, have a much larger travelling support and are located much closer to Kingston than Hornchurch so there's a bit of derby feel to it. If you're looking for something to do with the kids, U16s get in free so it could make for a decent holiday treat. (Monday 11 August, 745pm. Ticket info)

7. Thurrock v Needham Market - in the Isthmian League Division 1 North we've got another early-season clash between two sides who are expected to challenge for honours. Thurrock and Needham Market both got off to winning ways on Saturday to the delight of their supporters. The hosts should be playing at a higher level after losing their Premier Division place to an administrative error the season before last while Needham Market have been close to going up several times in recent years.  (Saturday 16 August, 3pm. Ticket info)

8. Egham Town v Kettering Town - in the parallel Southern League Division 1 Central, Egham claimed three points as they edged an opening day nine-goal thriller by 5-4 at Barton Rovers. Title favourites Kettering, the giants of the division, beat Aylesbury United 2-1 in front of a crowd of 689 so will provide formidable opposition on Saturday. (Saturday 16 August, 3pm. Club info)

9. Holmesdale v Tunbridge Wells - there are lots of great FA Cup ties this weekend so it's been hard to pick which ones to highlight. First up I've gone for this all Southern Counties East League game. Holmesdale got of to a flying start on Saturday thrashing Lingfield 8-1. Tunbridge Wells enjoyed a more sedate 3-0 win at Cray Valley as they too started well. The visitors are one of the bigger clubs in the division and know how to get to Wembley having made the final of the FA Vase in 2012/13.  (Saturday 16 August, 3pm. Club info)

10. Ashford Town (Middlesex) v Berkhamsted - in the other game we've got a match between sides who have made decent starts in the Combined Counties and Spartan South Midlands Leagues. Ashford were a Southern League side until last season so are one of the bigger clubs taking part at this stage. As a TLFG team we wish them all the best. (Saturday 16 August, 3pm. 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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