Sunday, 26 October 2014

TLFG: 27 October - 2 November 2014

Hello there one and all and welcome to TLFG.

I've been out of town again this weekend hence the late night publication of this and no weekend football stories of my own to report.

We've got a big week to look forward to with matches in all three FA competitions - the Cup, Trophy and Vase. We've got some big derbies and some county cup matches too. There's even a friendly between Hampton & Richmond Borough and Ipswich Town.

It's a huge seven days for the two clubs closest to my heart. QPR begin the week with a home match against Aston Villa who are in worse form than they are so absolutely must be beaten - anything less should really usher in the end of Harry Redknapp's reign. Then on Saturday they have to go to arch rivals Chelsea who couldn't be in much better condition right now. Tough, tough, tough.

Harrow Borough have also been pretty hopeless in the Isthmian League this season but have made it to the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round. On Tuesday night they host a replay against Conference South leaders Basingstoke with the winners facing the likes of former Premier League clubs like Coventry City or Sheffield United. Huge!

Normally I'd go to both but I'm on early shifts again this week (up at 345am) so there's a good chance I might wimp out and miss both.

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 .

GET INVOLVED
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.


LATEST TICKET NEWS
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.


THE WEEK AHEAD
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).

MATCH MAP
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 27 October - 2 November 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. 

TLFG TOP 10

1. Chelsea v Queens Park Rangers - after a one-season hiatus, this west London derby makes its return. Chelsea are QPR's most hated rivals but the feeling isn't really mutual for most Blues fans as the R's are no real threat to their dominance of this part of town. This is best demonstrated by the current league table which sees Chelsea well clear at the top and QPR bottom. However, the underdogs have taken an impressive seven points from their last four Premier League meetings against the Stamford Bridge outfit so unusual things do happen in this fixture. (Premier League, Saturday 1 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

2. Watford v Millwall - a draw with Middlesbrough on Saturday saw the Hornets continue to hold a share of top spot but Wolves have now caught up. This weekend, south-east Londoners Millwall pay a visit for this match which the Hertfordshire club will use to mark the centenary of World War I. Consequently all tickets have been reduced to £19 and £14 respectively. There will be other charitable activities to raise money for veterans too. (Championship, Saturday 1 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. Leyton Orient v Preston North End - after losing out in the League One play-off final last season, the O's have struggled to recover. Manager Russell Slade went to Cardiff and they've taken only 15 points from 15 games. Today the club appointed former QPR player Mauro Milanese as their new manager. His first game in charge will be a tough one against title challengers PNE who have won their last six league games. Be there for the start of a new era. (League One, Tuesday 28 October, 745pm. Ticket info)

4. Dagenham & Redbridge v Shrewsbury Town - elsewhere in east London, the Daggers welcome the Shrews. Despite their nicknames, it is the visitors who have been far more dangerous to their opponents this season as they've moved up to fourth. Dagenham, on the other hand, are fourth from bottom and look set to spend another season fighting the drop. (League Two, Saturday 1 December, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Barnet v Chelmsford City - Saturday was FA Cup fourth qualifying round day - a massive time for non-league clubs. Those teams to make it that far into the competition know they are just 90 minutes away from playing a League One or Two side in the First Round proper which follows. Such a fixture is always prestigious but also brings with it thousands of pounds worth of prize money and gate receipts. Conference South club Chelmsford did superbly well to hold Conference Premier leaders Barnet to a 0-0 draw and earn this replay but with home advantage now lost they'll do really well to progress here. (FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round replay, Tuesday 28 October, 8pm. Ticket info)

6. Harrow Borough v Basingstoke Town - given how bad Boro have been in the league this season, I'm still pinching myself that they were one of only seven TLFG clubs to make it to the fourth qualifying round. That they then went to Conference South leaders Basingstoke and forced a 1-1 draw is even more remarkable. As I've said previously, it's usually a case of all or nothing for Harrow in this competition, either going out at the first attempt or going all the way to first round proper. They last made it in 2010 when they hosted Chesterfield. Will they do it again? The odds a still firmly against them but they do have home advantage and anything really is possible at this stage. By the way, the first round draw is on Monday night at 7pm on BBC2. (FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round replay, Tuesday 28 October, 745pm. Club info)

7. Enfield Town v Margate - the same night up in north London, improving Enfield face a very tough evening against Isthmian League leaders Margate. A change in ownership has seen the Kent club start to spend big money as they look to get into the Conference South. It seems to be paying off as they've won 14 or their 17 league games. After a slow start, Enfield have now gone on a six-game unbeaten run which has raised spirits around the club. (Isthmian League Premier Division, Tuesday 85 October, 745pm. Ticket info)

8. Whyteleafe v Dunstable Town - this week is unusual in that it sees matches taking place in the FA Cup, FA Trophy and FA Vase. This tie is in the Trophy. For those who don't know, this is a knockout cup competition for sides who play in the top four levels of the non-league game with the final in the spring at Wembley Stadium. We are still at a very early stage at the moment and I've picked this as it could provide an upset. The Leafe enjoyed promotion from the Southern Counties East League and are doing really well on their return to the Isthmian League and could go up again. Dunstable are a bit like a Bedfordshire version of Surrey club Whyteleafe but one season ahead having completed back-to-back promotions to climb from Step 5 to Step 3. This match will provide a really good yardstick for John Fowler's side. (FA Trophy First Qualifying Round, Saturday 1 November, 3pm. Ticket info)

9. Sun Sports v Harefield United - in the FA Vase we've got a tie between two teams from the Spartan South Midlands League's top five who are also TLFG clubs. Like the Trophy, the final of this competition for clubs primarily in levels five and six of the non-league game is also at Wembley. We're a long way from that stage yet but with Sun Sports currently top of one of the Step 5 leagues, they must be among the favourites. (FA Vase First Round, Saturday 1 November, 3pm. Club info)

10. Wembley v Bowers & Pitsea - another SSML side to be doing better than in recent years are Wembley who are third, three points behind Sun Sports but with a game in hand. They welcome B&P from the Essex Senior League who aren't doing too badly themselves this season. Wembley, despite their name, don't play at the world famous stadium up the road. I think I'm right in saying that they last played there in 1988 losing 3-0 to Hendon in the Middlesex Charity Cup final. Will this be the season they make their return? (FA Vase First Round, Saturday 1 November, 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.

1 comment:

  1. Dear James,
    Turkish people from "The round ball in Ankara" here. You are right that the Ankaragucu match on the weekend of Nov. 8-9-10 will be Passolig free. i.e. you can just rock up and buy a ticket.

    If you could give us an e-mail address we can give you details of where we are meeting up etc.

    Cheers, Oz Kanka...

    PS please leave all replies on the last post at ankarafootball.blogspot.com We might not see your replies otherwise.

    ReplyDelete