Sunday, 17 August 2014

TLFG: 18-24 August 2014

Hello there one and all and welcome to the latest edition of TLFG.

The Premier League season begun on Saturday which means we're now fully under way for another year.

I strolled round to Loftus Road for QPR's first game back in the top flight and although we lost 1-0 to Hull City, it was a vast improvement on what we've seen on opening days the last two times we were at this level.

Here we go again...
Rangers should have had at least a point but that's football. Aside from Rio Ferdinand's error for the goal, striker Charlie Austin (the only player in QPR's side without top-flight experience) had a tough afternoon which culminated in his late penalty failure. Having seen replays, it clearly shouldn't have been given so I don't feel as bad about it as I could.

With that out of the way, I spent part of my Saturday night at BBC Broadcasting House in central London appearing on this week's edition of the Non-League Football Show on BBC Radio 5 Live promoting Non-League Day (NLD).

The highlight for me was finally getting to meet Dave Anderson, manager of Harrow Borough, who regularly appears on the programme.

So, with less than three weeks to go, the work to get word of NLD out there really begins in earnest.

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.

We also need people to download our posters and signs and put them up in prominent places - your window, common room, staff room, local shops etc.

At the end of the day we have no budget for a big advertising campaign so NLD's success is purely down to individuals, clubs and leagues doing their bit and helping us out. We are nothing without you so please help in some way if you can. 

Anyway, 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 over 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
Purple in - Thursday fixtures
Magenta pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures

View London match map 18-24 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. Tottenham Hotspur v Queens Park Rangers - Spurs opened their Premier League campaign with a derby win over West Ham. They next face another derby against west London opposition. The links between the current squads are strong with QPR full of ex-Tottenham staff from boss Harry Redknapp to summer signing Steven Caulker to name just two. While Spurs won 1-0 win at the Hammers, QPR slumped to a disappointing loss by the same score at home to Hull. I went to the last meeting between these two at White Hart Lane which Rangers somehow lost 2-1 despite putting on one of their best performances of that season. (Sunday 24 August, 130pm. Ticket info)

2. Crystal Palace v West Ham United - two other sides elsewhere in the capital are playing in their second consecutive derby too. As already mentioned, West Ham lost their first game and so did Palace by 2-1 at Arsenal. Whether Palace have a new manager in place, to replace the departed Tony Pulis, by Saturday could have a large bearing on the outcome of this game. The omens don't look too good for the visitors though - they are winless in six against the Eagles. (Saturday 23 August, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. Charlton Athletic v Derby County - the Addicks have got off to a solid start with two wins and a draw. Their win over promotion contenders Wigan on Saturday was particularly noteworthy and they'll need to be at the top of their game when title favourites Derby come to the Valley for this one. The Rams have enjoyed a similar start and only goals scored separates the clubs at this stage. Derby won both games against Charlton last season and didn't concede a goal but they should face a tougher challenge this time. (Tuesday 19 August, 745pm. Ticket info)

4. Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers - despite both clubs having been in the Premier League in recent seasons neither are fancied to do that much this time. The Cottagers have just dropped down and are already finding the going tough. After losing at Ipswich in their opening game, they lost the derby against Millwall on Saturday. Wolves suffered back-to-back relegations to plummet down to League One before coming back up as champions in May. They've managed one win so far so are better off. Another defeat for Fulham could be an indication of them possibly becoming the next Wolves, even at this early stage. (Wednesday 20 August, 8pm. Ticket info)

5. Boreham Wood v Bromley - the rest of the Football League games taking place in the capital aren't really doing it for me so next up I'm going for this top-seven clash in the Conference South. The Wood got off to a flyer winning their first two and scoring eight goals in the process. Sadly for them they lost at Staines on Saturday to stop them going top. This weekend they welcome Bromley to Meadow Park. The Lilywhites missed out in the play-offs last year and are currently second favourites for the title. They've matched Boreham Wood's results so far meaning there's little to choose between them. (Saturday 23 August, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Chipstead v Faversham Town - the Chips had a very average season last time round so it's quite a turn up to see them topping the Isthmian League Division 1 South as the only team with a 100% record after three games. Faversham have made a decent start too with two wins leaving them in seventh. They got the better of Chipstead at home and away last season meaning they should be a real threat to that unblemished record if it's still intact come Saturday. (Saturday 23 August, 3pm. Club info)

7. Hanwell Town v Bedworth United - Hanwell stormed to the Spartan South Midlands League title last season and have started this campaign in the Southern League where they left off. With two wins and a draw they are nestled in second place behind Kettering Town, the giants of the division. To be in with a chance of toppling them they'll need to win against Bedworth who are fourth with two wins under their belt. After a few seasons in the doldrums, could this be the start of a golden period for the Reynolds Field club? (Saturday 23 August, 3pm. Club info)

8. Mole Valley SCR v Spelthorne Sports - this is the match of the week in the Combined Counties League as third host first. Like Hanwell, Spelthorne enjoyed promotion last season and have begun even more impressively winning all of their first four games. MVSCR are also unbeaten but have drawn a game. Looks like a bit of a cracker. (Saturday 23 August, 3pm. Club info)

9. Wembley v Cogenhoe United - after drawing on Saturday these two must replay their FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie on Tuesday. Both sides lie third in their respective divisions having won all their league games so far so it's easy to see why they cancelled each other out. Apart from anything else it's a great chance to watch an FA Cup tie within sight of the Wembley arch where the final will ultimately be played.  (Tuesday 19 August, 745pm. Club info)

10. Phoenix Sports v Deal Town - last up this week we have another FA Cup replay between two rivals from the Southern Counties East League. Phoenix Sports will start as favourites even though this is their first ever FA Cup tie having only recently made it to this level. (Wednesday 20 August, 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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