Sunday, 14 September 2014

TLFG: 15-21 September 2014

After the last two weeks of Non-League Day (NLD) preparation, everything's been far more relaxed at TLFG Towers.

There's been a bit of digesting of figures, a few emails sent out and big thank yous given to my volunteers.

One thing I was often asked by journalists during the build-up to NLD was what I thought Premier League clubs should be doing to help their non-league counterparts.

I came up with a few simple, inexpensive suggestions one of which was to promote local clubs' games when the Premier League sides were not in action or had a non-3pm kick-off time.

Pretty much every weekend sees top-flight matches being played on Sundays so there's usually always fans floating about with no game to go to but getting them out of their house to make a special trip to a club they don't know takes quite a bit of effort.


However, if fans are heading to an early evening kick-off and there's another game on at 3pm in the locale then they might not need as much persuading.

Such an opportunity exists this weekend when West Ham United host Liverpool in the Premier League at 530pm.

Earlier in the afternoon, a short walk along Upton Lane you'll find the Old Spotted Dog - the oldest ground in London. At 3pm there's an Essex Senior League game between London Bari and Ilford. Alternatively to the south of the Boleyn Ground, you could also head to the Terence McMillan Stadium to watch Newham take on Sawbridgeworth Town in the same division. If only 1% of the West Ham and Liverpool fans heading to the game made a stop at one of these first then it would give these clubs possibly their biggest crowds of the season if not ever so please consider it if you are going. Tickets are only five or six quid and you'd be making a big difference to the clubs involved.

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 80 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 pin - Thursday fixtures
Magenta pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures

View London match map 15-21 September 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. Chelsea v Schalke 04 - the obvious top pick in London this week is the Blues' opening Champions League fixture against Die Konigsblauen from Germany. Jose Mourinho's side were expected to do well this season and with four wins from four and averaging nearly four goals a game, they're not letting anyone down. The same can't be said for Schalke who have taken only one point from their opening three matches, albeit against Bayern Munich. The pair also met in the group stages last season with Chelsea winning both games 3-0 and it's hard to see it being much different here. (Wednesday 17 September, 745pm. Ticket info)

2. Brentford v Norwich City - I'm going to go a bit off piste here and not recommend any Premier League games this week even though there are three of them. To me, it's a much bigger week in the Championship. Brentford have made a fine return to life at this level after an absence of over 20 years. After a brief wobble at the beginning they've now gone four games unbeaten and have climbed to sixth. On Saturday they enjoyed a thrilling 3-2 win over Brighton in front of their biggest crowd of the season. On Tuesday they entertain Norwich, freshly relegated from the Premier League and seen by many as title favourites. Tickets for this game are on general sale but only to those with a previous booking history. If the Bees continue to do well, tickets for their 12,000 capacity ground will become increasingly hard to get hold off. (Tuesday 16 September, 745pm. Ticket info)

3. Charlton Athletic v Wolverhampton Wanderers - the Addicks and Watford battled out a 1-1 draw on Saturday meaning they both missed out on the chance to go top. One side to also drop points and miss out on becoming leaders were newly promoted Wolves. Their 0-0 draw at winless Blackpool would've been disappointing so they'll want to bounce back with something more substantial here. Since 2000 the clubs have met five times at The Valley with Charlton ahead by three wins to two. Will Wolves level things up? I'd say there's a good chance. (Tuesday 16 September, 745pm. Ticket info)

4. Millwall v Nottingham Forest - with three wins from their first six, the Lions are doing a lot better than many would've thought. Still seen as a good bet for relegation with some bookmakers, they will look to give current leaders Forest a run for their money on Saturday. Aside from Charlton, the East Midlands club are the only unbeaten side in the division but have to get through their big derby match with Derby County on Sunday and a midweek game against Fulham before travelling down for this one. Millwall have a good record against Forest and usually always match or better their results when they play them over two games in a season - doubles are very rare indeed. (Saturday 20 September, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. AFC Wimbledon v Burton Albion - the Dons have got a massive week coming up with back-to-back home games against the top two in League Two. First up are leaders Burton who are in formidable form, having won six and drawn one so far. They've also topped up that record with League Cup victories over Wigan Athletic and QPR so they are hot, hot, hot right now. It looks very tough for Wimbledon but they did take four points off them last season so there is cause for some hope. (Tuesday 16 September, 745pm. Ticket info)

6. Barnet v Wrexham - after failing to make the play-offs last season, the Bees brought in Martin Allen for his fourth spell in charge and he seems to be getting results. With only one defeat in their opening nine games they are sitting pretty at the top of the Conference, one point ahead of Woking. They are also the division's highest scorers so Wrexham will have their work cut out keeping them at bay. The Dragons, a League One side as recently as 2005, are one of the biggest clubs in the division and have lost in three of the last four play-off finals so should pose a decent test. (Tuesday 16 September, 8pm. Ticket info)

7. Metropolitan Police v South Park - after Saturday's first qualifying round ties, we've been left with a few FA Cup replays. The first of them takes place at Imber Court where two Isthmian League clubs battle it out for the £3,000 prize money on offer for getting through. These two met the season before last in the fourth qualifying round with the Met getting through and drawing League One side Crawley Town in the First Round Proper. The hosts are still the higher ranked team and should progress. (Tuesday 16 September, 745pm. Club info)

8. Chipstead v Merstham - there's another all Isthmian League affair in this replay too. Both sides play in Division 1 South but they are also near neighbours with little more than the M25 motorway separating the two towns so this is very much a derby. The Chips are the form team at the moment and would be top if they won their games in hand. Merstham are in midtable but will surely raise their game for this one. (Tuesday 16 September, 745pm. Ticket info)

9. Northwood v Barton Rovers - on the north west side of town between Harrow and Watford we have a replay between two Southern League clubs. There has been little to choose between them this season with both locked together on 10 points from eight games. On Saturday they drew 1-1 in the original tie so this could easily go all the way to penalties.  (Tuesday 16 September, 745pm. Ticket info)

10. Haringey Borough v FC Romania - last up this week we've got an Essex Senior League match between the top two. The hosts are currently top and are on a 20-game winning streak stretching back to last season. They have to negotiate a tricky trip to Ilford on Wednesday before this one but will still be top whatever happens by the time this one kicks off. FC Romania used to groundshare with Haringey where I went to see them play in the Middlesex County League a couple of seasons ago. They looked to be a very classy side for the level back then and have contniued to make good progress since. They have a 100% league record this season and are only in second because they've played fewer games. (Saturday 20 September, 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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