Sunday 15 March 2015

TLFG: 16-22 March 2015

At TLFG we love a deal and there's been plenty of great stuff going on. This week we summarise what our local clubs have been up to and there's also news of an exciting competition we're running where you could win a trip to Wembley.

Throughout March, there has been and will be a 'Pay What You Want' deal every Saturday.

Last weekend Sutton United tried it, this weekend it was Northwood. Next week it's Corinthian Casuals' turn and finally Wingate & Finchley the Saturday after that.

On the face of it, 'Pay What You Want' seems to be quite a gamble but in the overwhelming majority of cases it brings great rewards.

Corinthian Casuals become the latest club to offer a 'Pay What You Want' deal
More often than not, you get a much bigger crowd than normal with people happy to pay the going rate anyway and if they don't then they more than make up the difference on programmes, raffles, refreshments, merchandise or all of the above. Usually the club ends up making a decent profit.

In the two games so far this month Sutton drew 861 for the visit of Hayes & Yeading United - their highest crowd of the season, approximately 300 more than usual. While Northwood got 343 which was also their highest crowd by a long way - their average is just 121. So a resounding success in both cases.

Next up it's Isthmian League club Corinthian Casuals. They host promotion contenders Herne Bay on what will be their Family Day. There's lots planned and it's easy to get to. If you don't drive, the ground is a short walk from Tolworth station which is less than half an hour from Waterloo.

Casuals have been averaging crowds of 153 so lets see what kind of boost they receive.


In other news, we (the Non-League Day team) are still continuing our efforts to promote an important match which is coming up at Wembley.

If you missed it, we're trying to create a big non-league get-together at the country's national stadium on Sunday 29 March for the FA Trophy Final - effectively the non-league cup final.

It coincides with the next international break and with it being on the Sunday, aside from a match at Fleetwood Town up near Blackpool, there won't be any Premier League or Football League action alongside it. Also, there will be virtually nothing happening lower down the pyramid either so I heartily invite you to join us.

The record crowd since the competition began in 1969/70 is 53,262 which was achieved back in 2007 when Stevenage Borough beat Kidderminster Harriers and getting anywhere near that will be a huge challenge.

This year's final will see North Ferriby United play Wrexham.

Very well done to the aptly named Villagers from the Conference North. They come quite literally from a village near Hull with a population of only 3,893 (2011 Census) so filling Wembley will be tough.

I'm hoping the Dragons will bring a few though. They were a League One side not all that long ago so it will be a real David v Goliath contest which I'm looking forward to.

If you want to join us at Wembley then we've got two pairs of tickets to give away (travel not included). Simply email us the answer to the following question by 11:59pm GMT on Saturday 21 March and we'll reveal the winners the following day:

The highest attendance in FA Trophy Final history was set in 2007 but which club won it that year?

a) Barrow

b) Ebbsfleet United

c) Stevenage Borough

Good luck!

If you don't win or want to make sure of your place then tickets are still available to buy:

Adults: £30
Senior citizens/Students: £20
U16s: £10

However, these prices drop significantly if you bring a group of 15 or more:

Adults: £15
Senior citizens/Students: £10
U16s: £5

Personally I think these are fair prices, given it's a Wembley cup final. If you're visiting London and want to see a game at one of the best and most famous football stadiums in the world then you won't get a much better chance than this. Hope to see you there.

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
Orange pin - Thursday fixtures
Claret pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
White pin - Sunday fixtures

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. Queens Park Rangers v Everton - there's nothing particularly awesome going on in the Premier League this week and I've highlighted this because it's the only one with any tickets left. QPR disgraced themselves with a particularly limp display at Crystal Palace on Saturday and are now second from bottom, four points adrift of safety. The Toffees are having one of their poorest seasons for a while and are by no means home and dry but a solid 3-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday suggests Rangers will have to pull their socks up to stand a chance. (Premier League, Sunday 22 March, 4pm. Ticket info)

2. Watford v Ipswich Town - all the most exciting looking stuff appears to be in the Championship where there are at least five games I'd happily recommend. The pick is this one against two promotion contenders. This time last week four teams were sharing top spot, this has now been whittled down to three with Watford still in this elite group. Not only this but they are unbeaten in five, meaning they are the most in-form side in the division. Ipswich were right up there but have slipped to seventh after a 4-1 humbling by Middlesbrough on Saturday. This took their winless run to four so they look vulnerable. (Championship, Saturday 21 March, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. Brentford v Millwall - a little earlier in the day we have this London derby which is of great importance at both ends of the table. After suffering a 2-1 loss at home to Cardiff on Saturday, the Bees have been left in sixth, clinging on to the last play-off spot. Cross-town rivals Millwall, after topping the table at the start of the season, have gone on to have a complete stinker and are now certainties for relegation after their loss to Bolton left them nine points adrift of Rotherham in the all-important 21st place. Unperturbed, the Lions have sold out their allocation and will do their bit to make Brentford's afternoon as uncomfortable as possible.  (Championship, Saturday 14 March, 1pm. Ticket info)

4. The Football League Trophy Final - up at Wembley we've got the second cup final of the season. If you don't know, this is a knockout competition for clubs in League One and League Two and this year it's Bristol City and Walsall who've made it. The Robins are currently runaway leaders of the third tier so you'd expect them to start as favourites. The Saddlers are in lower midtable and have only won one of their last seven league games but will take confidence from the fact that they held City to a 1-1 draw when they last met. Around 70,000 tickets have been sold so far so it looks set to be a big occasion. There are still some tickets left on general sale, mainly in the Walsall end, so don't miss out on your chance of attending a Wembley final.  (Football League Trophy Final, Sunday 22 March, 330pm. Tickets are available directly from the clubs: Bristol City, Walsall)

5. Leyton Orient v Barnsley - if you want some more run of the mill League One action then we've got a game between sides who need the points for differing reasons. The O's won their crucial match against bottom club Yeovil on Saturday as their fight against relegation got back on track. With three wins from five, they've given themselves a real chance of staying up. However, on Tuesday they welcome an impressive looking Barnsley side who moved into the top six with a 3-1 win over Oldham. That win was their sixth on the bounce so Orient are going to have to raise their game another notch to be able to compete. (League One, Tuesday 17 March, 745pm. Ticket info)

6. AFC Wimbledon v Portsmouth - how are the might fallen. On Saturday we've got a League Two encounter between two clubs who have won the FA Cup during my lifetime. The Dons famously overcame Liverpool in 1988 while Pompey have won it twice in 1939 and 2008. Both have suffered considerable trauma in the intervening years, which I won't go into here, but they now find themselves a point and place apart in England's fourth tier. Wimbledon have enjoyed the upper hand over the last season and half and won 2-0 at Fratton Park on Boxing Day. Unsurprisingly, a big crowd is expected so tickets won't be going on general sale. (League Two, Saturday 21 March, 3pm. Ticket info)

7. Barnet v Welling United - it was a great weekend for both these TLFG sides as they recorded vital away wins. The Bees' success at fellow promotion hopefuls Eastleigh saw them reclaim top spot from Bristol Rovers who failed to win for the second game running. The Wings, toiling at the other end of the table, under new caretaker boss Loui Fazakerly netted a fine 2-0 win at Lincoln City to keep them in with a chance of avoiding the drop. These derby games tend to be quite tight affairs but Barnet are definitely favourites. (Conference National, Saturday 21 March, 3pm. Ticket info)

8. Wealdstone v Boreham Wood - the Wood managed to match leaders Bromley's result on Saturday meaning they're still just a point behind in second. Given the Ravens face both of the bottom two at home this week, that lead is likely to be extended whatever Boreham Wood achieve. On Saturday they face a short but awkward trip to local rivals Wealdstone whose vocal supporters should create a tough atmosphere in which to try and win. After climbing well away from the relegation zone, the Stones have had a horrible couple of games which have seen them ship seven goals. They should be well up for this one though. Game on! (Conference South, Saturday 21 March, 3pm. Ticket info)

9. Dulwich Hamlet v East Thurrock United - despite being a seventh-tier team, Dulwich are making most of the non-league headlines in London this year. Although decent on the pitch, it's their off-field activities that create most news. Whether it's mammoth crowds on Non-League Day (c.3,000), championing the anti-racist, anti-homophobia and anti-sexist causes in football, collecting for foodbanks or for simply creating arguably the best day out in the game at any level it's been quite a season. They've been occupying a play-off place for most of the campaign but they've suddenly hit a sticky patch. Without a win in five, they face a testing game against another side looking to make the play-offs. Crowds are the highest they've been for years so arrive early as there's bound to be a queue. (Isthmian League Premier Division, Saturday 21 March, 3pm. Ticket info)

10. Chelsea U18 v Tottenham Hotspur U18 - if you want a bargain bucket trip to Stamford Bridge then this is the game for you. It's FA Youth Cup semi-final second leg time so it's a huge moment for the youngsters involved. The Blues have dominated this tournament in recent seasons but have their work cut out after losing the first leg 2-0. Adult tickets are only £5 but must be booked by 4pm on the day of the match - no tickets will be on sale on the turnstiles. (FA Youth Cup semi-final second leg, Wednesday 18 March, 7pm. 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.

1 comment:

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