Tuesday, 1 September 2015

TLFG: 1-6 September 2015

Hello there and welcome to TLFG.

How was your week? Did you get to many games over the Bank Holiday weekend?

I travelled back to Earlsmead, a place I spent most of my teenage years, to watch the Isthmian League clash between Harrow Borough and Tonbridge Angels.

Boro are known for being the perennial strugglers who somehow never get relegated so it's come as a refreshing surprise to see them make a very positive start to this campaign.

Boss Steve Baker took over in January with relegation once again looking a certainty but he worked his magic and kept them up. They also won the Middlesex cup double as well.

On Saturday, Kent club Tonbridge paid a visit. Another side to have begun well, they were soon ahead from a corner and looked strong.

Harrow and Tonbridge exchange pleasantries before kick-off
The hosts didn't wilt though and fought on. Both missed glorious chances before Lewis Driver's deflected effort drew the sides level with around 20 minutes to go.

It finished 1-1 and no-one could have any complaints. Both sides went on to record victories in today's games to become firmly encamped in the top six. Perhaps ones to watch as the season unfolds.

Aside from this, preparations have also been ongoing for this year's Non-League Day on 10 October.

With a little over a month to go, the pace and pressure of the campaign are starting to pick up but we love it or we wouldn't bother.

Lokalrunde, our sister event in Germany and Switzerland takes place this weekend so if you're in one of those countries please get involved and see a game if you can.

That reminds me - Lokalrunde is happening this weekend because it's an international break and as a result there is very little on here when it comes to the big clubs. As a matter of course there will be no Premier League or Championship games but all our local League One and Two clubs are away from home too. 

The only exceptions to this are the two Johnstone's Paint Trophy ties at AFC Wimbledon and Millwall on Tuesday night. Apart from these, it's non-league football all the way. With some cracking league, FA Cup and FA Vase matches taking place, you should find something that grabs you.

Enjoy!

PS - thanks a lot to Michael Cox of Zonal Marking fame for recommending TLFG on Twitter this week, much appreciated as always.

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 60 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
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Red pin - Wednesday 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. 

TLFG TOP 10

1. Millwall v Peterborough United - it must be an international break when the week's top pick is a Johnstone's Paint Trophy fixture between two League One early-season strugglers. What can I say to sell this? Tickets are only £10 for adults and £1 for kids but other than that the sides are scoring less than a goal a game between them and are in desperate need of a win. The last time these sides met at The New Den in 2013, Posh won 5-1. It should be a belter! (Johnstone's Paint Trophy first round, Tuesday 1 September, 745pm. Ticket info)

2. AFC Wimbledon v Plymouth Argyle - there are also cheap tickets to be had a few miles to the west in the same competition. This game could be a bit more entertaining as the sides have made much more promising starts in League Two. Argyle are currently second and saw off the Dons by 2-0 at Kingsmeadow on the opening day. They will therefore start as favourites. (Johnstone's Paint Trophy first round, Tuesday 1 September, 745pm. Ticket info)

3. Welling United v Tranmere Rovers - a couple of years ago few would have foreseen these two would be preparing to meet in a league fixture but that's what's happening. The Wings were down in the Conference South whilst Tranmere were up in League One. Welling avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth last season, Rovers didn't. So here we are. The hosts are struggling again and, after a good start, the visitors have hit a sticky patch too. The match has been chosen for live coverage on BT Sport so don't get caught out by the early kick-off if you fancy going. (National League, Saturday 5 September, 1230pm. Ticket info)

4. Boreham Wood v Grimsby Town talking of improbable match-ups, we've got another one the same day in the same division on the north side of town. How Boreham Wood have made it to National League level with average crowds of under 300 is almost miraculous but they've done it and are now getting used to life next to former Football League titans like Grimsby. Aside from the odd FA Cup tie, this is possibly the biggest match the club have ever hosted so it's a huge day for them. The Mariners are one of the favourites for promotion but have made an indifferent start and could be there for the taking. (National League, Saturday 5 September, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Wingate & Finchley v Tonbridge Angels - nothing has really gone to plan at the start of the new season in the Isthmian Premier with several unfancied sides getting off to a flyer. While the top two (Leiston and Grays) do battle up in Suffolk, third and fourth meet at Summers Lane for what should be a very interesting game. Wingate are one of the smallest clubs in the division and seem to be building well on last season where they challenged for a play-off place for most of it. Tonbridge looked a very solid side when I saw them on Saturday and they're banging in more than three a game at the moment. It's a classic game of defence versus attack - who will come out on top? (Isthmian League Premier Division, Saturday 5 September, 3pm. Ticket info)

6. Corinthian Casuals v Folkestone Invicta - if that doesn't whet your appetite then a third versus first clash in the Isthmian South might get your juices flowing. Casuals got off to a great start, as they did last year, but had a bad few days last week losing their first league game and also got knocked out of the FA Cup. Thankfully they got back to winning ways on Saturday and it's a bit of luck because they'll need to be at their best to compete with Folkestone who are already two points clear and unbeaten. (Isthmian League Division 1 South, Saturday 5 September, 3pm. Club info)

7. CB Hounslow United v Eversley & California - dropping down to the tenth tier we have a game between the top two in the Combined Counties League Division 1. Both have won all their games with CB top because they've played a game more. The hosts have been fairly unspectacular in recent seasons so this superb start has come as a bit of a surprise. E&C have been challengers before but never gone the distance. Will this be their year? (Combined Counties League Division 1, Saturday 5 September, 3pm. Club info)

8. Woodford Town v Crawley Green - at the same level but in the parallel Spartan South Midlands League, the newly re-formed Woodford Town (formerly Bush Hill Rangers) have made a good start to life. With 10 points from six games, they lie sixth in the table. Crawley Green, from Luton, have won all five of their opening fixtures to top the table so will provide a strong test of Woodford's credentials. (Spartan South Midlands Division 1, Saturday 5 September, 3pm. Club info)

9. Hanworth Villa v Desborough Town - it's also the opening round of the FA Vase and there are a few interesting inter-league ties. Villa are currently joint top of the Combined Counties after their perfect start to the season which has seen them win five on the bounce in the league. Desborough haven't been quite as exciting so far but are still among the leading pack in the United Counties League and will provide a challenge. (FA Vase First Qualifying Round, Saturday 5 September, 3pm. Club info)

10. Southall v Bedfont & Feltham - we finish up this week with another Vase tie between two west London sides from the Spartan South Midlands and Combined Counties Leagues. Both play in the tenth tier but B&F will probably start as favourites as although only midtable, they've only played two league games and have won them both. They have also taken AFC Hayes from the division above to a replay in the FA Cup. Southall have had a mediocre start and will probably come unstuck. (FA Vase First Qualifying Round, Saturday 5 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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