Sunday 22 March 2015

TLFG: 23-29 March 2015

In a bit of a rush this week as I'm heading out of town for a few days. Consequently there won't be a Top 10 which is a bit of a shame as there are quite a few derbies at non-league level so have a good look at the map to make sure you don't miss out.

On Saturday I managed to pull off the parkrun/football double again - I'm living a charmed life at the moment.

Starting the day with a couple of laps of a windy Wormwood Scrubs, the afternoon was spent at Grosvenor Vale for the Conference South clash between Wealdstone and local rivals Boreham Wood.

The Wood are going for the title this season and coped better with the windy conditions as they recorded a vital 0-1 win.

With leaders Bromley inexplicably losing 1-0 at home to Staines, a side so bad that they would've been relegated if they hadn't won, Ian Allinson's side closed the gap to a point.

Boreham Wood (white) go close to opening the scoring at Wealdstone
Last week I kicked off with a bit about the success of 'Pay What You Want' offers and this week I'm going to continue that theme by mentioning that Corinthian Casuals also enjoyed a big increase on their average gate.

Normally the eighth-tier team get around 150 through the turnstiles - yesterday they got 278. So what's that? About an 80% increase - not bad at all.

This Saturday, the March Madness is completed by fellow Isthmian League club Wingate & Finchley who host London rivals Dulwich Hamlet. Just to confirm, they are also running a 'Pay What You Want' promotion as part of a fun-packed community day.

The match kicks-off at 1pm because they've arranged a groundhop double with neighbours Haringey Borough who've pushed their Essex Senior League game against Hullbridge Sports back to 330pm. Not only this but Haringey are laying on a free minibus to transport you between the two (see Wingate's website for details of reserving a place). I'm not sure if Haringey are offering any discount on admission to the game itself but they only charge £5-6 anyway so it's already cheap. Good luck to all involved!

One of the main reasons the clubs chose to arrange this event is because we've got another international break this weekend - if you're hoping to see some Premier League or Championship football this week then you're out of luck.

This week the highest level games will be England's Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley and Brazil's friendly against Chile at Arsenal's ground. Not bad substitutes and both still have tickets available.


Personally though, I'll be off to Wembley on Sunday to the FA Trophy Final which myself and the rest of the Non-League Day team are still continuing our efforts to promote.

If you missed it, we're trying to create a big non-league get-together at the country's national stadium on 29 March at 130pm for what is effectively the non-league cup final.

With it being on the Sunday, aside from a match at Fleetwood Town, 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.

Over the last week we ran a competition giving you the chance to win a pair of tickets to the FA Trophy Final. To win you had to answer the following question:

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

The answer was of course Stevenage Borough.

We had two pairs to give away and by chance both our winners were called David. I'm not too sure how much more I can announce for data protection reasons but the tickets will be heading out first class over the next day or two.

If you didn't win then there's still time to book tickets online and I'm told you will be able to buy at the stadium on the day if you want to leave it until the last minute.

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

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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