Sunday, 11 September 2016

TLFG: 12-18 September 2016

After what seemed like another successful Non-League Day, this week has been spent taking a bit of a breather.

I spent the day at St Albans City a little to the north of London where a crowd of  1,008 (roughly double their normal average) turned out to watch the visit of Hampton & Richmond Borough. For the neutral it delivered as a spectacle with six goals and a red card as the visitors triumphed 4-2.

Former Premier League stars Les Ferdinand and Alan Smith both put in special guest appearances on the pitch at half time too as the club looked to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK.

Elsewhere there were tales of big crowds and as someone who spends quite a bit of time on social media it was a proud moment to see #NonLeagueDay2016 crowned as the UK's top trend on Twitter for the 3rd September. It even made it to 129th in the overall list for the whole world too which shows there's some interest overseas as well.

Dulwich are planning ahead for the next international break - hopefully other clubs will do too
Did you go to a game? I'd love to hear what you made of the experience, especially if it was your first visit to a non-league match.

Looking forward, there are another couple of international breaks coming up in October and November which League One, League Two and non-league clubs should all be looking to exploit.

One London club with a plan in place for the 8 October are the always forward thinking Dulwich Hamlet who are holding a Trade Union Day - all trade union members will get entry to their match against Bognor Regis for just £4 (that's 60% off the normal price) on production of a membership card. Let me know if you're aware of any other deals.

This week all the local Premier League action is on Friday and Sunday meaning the lower divisions will take centre stage on Saturday.

The Champions League gets underway too with Tottenham, somewhat controversially, playing Monaco and all their following European games at Wembley while their ground gets redeveloped. It's almost certain that they'll play all their games at the national stadium next year so this is being seen as a bit of a trial run.

There are some eye-catching games in the EFL this week too with QPR hosting Newcastle on Tuesday and Charlton taking on AFC Wimbledon at the weekend - the first time these clubs have met since 1999.

It's also the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup with the draw throwing up several mouthwatering ties which include derbies and some very real cupset chances.

We've also got plenty of other local league action, the opening round of the Ryman League Cup and a few FA Vase replays so there's no reason to get bored. 

Finally, our friends at "Two Men In Search..." have been on their travels again and have written a review of their trip to see Croydon play VCD Athletic in the FA Cup. I'm looking forward to reading this as I've never been to their ground.

Anyway, have a great week and keep sending in your stories and questions.

There are over 90 matches in the London area over the next week with games throughout the 10 levels TLFG covers.

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 - something which often happens at this time of year. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found on the following match maps. If you've never used them 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 drop down menu at the top of the map page to make sure you get all the information. Games are listed from top to bottom in date order so Monday's games (yellow pin) will appear first and Sunday's (white pin) last. Games are also ranked in terms of status so the higher the division, the higher up the list they will appear on each day.

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
Magenta pin - Wednesday fixtures
Black pin - Friday fixtures

Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Orange pin - Sunday fixtures

In the following section I list, by day, what are in my opinion the most notable games of the week and give some brief reasons for my choice. Check the maps above for kick-off times, ticket info and directions.

Monday 12 September

Premier League 2
Fulham U23 v Aston Villa U23 @7pm - get your week underway with some development football at the Cottagers' Motspur Park training ground

Ryman League Cup
Kingstonian v Merstham @745pm - the pick of the non-league action sees the K's begin the defence of their League Cup crown against fellow Premier Division side Merstham


Tuesday 13 September

Queens Park Rangers v Newcastle United @745pm - two former Premier League teams meet at Loftus Road in what should be one of QPR's biggest games of the season
Fulham v Burton Albion @745pm - a couple of miles south we've got some more Championship football which could see the hosts break back into the top two with a win

National League
Dagenham & Redbridge v Dover Athletic @745pm - both sides are fancied to do well this season and both are well placed after nine games

National League South
Hampton & Richmond Borough v Whitehawk @745pm - the Beavers continued their fine run on Saturday and remain level on points with leaders Maidenhead. Will they move clear on Tuesday?

Ryman League Cup
Tooting & Mitcham United v Staines Town @745pm - there are several ties on Tuesday but this stands out for me as it pits the current Division 1 South leaders against the Swans who are pushing for a play-off spot in the division above

FA Vase First Qualifying Round Replays
Clapton v Hertford Town @745pm - the Tons managed a 0-0 draw in the original tie and should be confident of progress on home soil
North Greenford United v Stotfold @745pm - the hosts haven't played in the Vase for a few years and only a late extra-time goal on Saturday saved them


Wednesday 14 September

Champions League
Tottenham Hotspur v AS Monaco @745pm - Spurs begin life back in the Champions League at Wembley with this match against the team which finished third in Ligue 1

FA Vase First Qualifying Round Replay
Southall v Cranfield United @745pm - the hosts' hopes of repeating their 1986 run to the final were put on hold by a Cranfield side who forced extra time on Saturday


Friday 16 September

Premier League
Chelsea v Liverpool @8pm - televised Friday night football makes its return to the capital this week with this mouthwatering contest between two of the country's biggest clubs


Saturday 17 September

Brentford v Preston North End @3pm - with no Premier League football on in London, the Bees' match against PNE takes top billing

League One
Charlton Athletic v AFC Wimbledon @3pm - neither side have started particularly well but that's a side issue as these two London rivals meet for the first time since 1999 when they were both in the Premier League

League Two
Barnet v Colchester United @3pm - the Bees could leapfrog London rivals Leyton Orient with a win here and get firmly into the race for the play-offs

National League
Sutton United v Tranmere Rovers @1215pm - the U's are new to the division and welcome the biggest club in it on Saturday, a bumper crowd is expected

FA Cup Second Qualifying Round
Dulwich Hamlet v Hendon @3pm - an all Ryman Premier clash at Champion Hill which should draw a crowd in excess of 1,000
Egham Town v VCD Athletic @3pm - it's Southern League versus Ryman League at the Runnymede Stadium where the Sarnies start as my likely winners
Hadley v Kings Langley @3pm - Hadley have recently returned to Brickfield Lane after several years away and are one of the lowest ranked clubs left in the competition, they'll need to be at their best against the Kings
Hanwell Town v Thamesmead Town @3pm - the Geordies enjoyed one of the results of the previous round when they beat Enfield Town, Thamesmead should be a walk in the park by comparison
Hayes & Yeading United v Worthing @3pm - after seeing off Sun Sports in the last round, H&Y welcome Worthing from the parallel Ryman League
Staines Town v Maidenhead United @3pm - the Swans are pushing for a Ryman League play-off place and they welcome local rivals Maidenhead who are currently top of the National League South
Uxbridge v Harrow Borough @3pm - on the west side of town we have a local derby which should see the visitors start as favourites but anything's possible at this stage
Wealdstone v Histon @3pm - the Stones start as overwhelming favourites against Histon who have fallen down the divisions in recent seasons and look set for another season of struggle
Whyteleafe v Welling United @3pm - the Wings got relegated from the National League last season and are already rock bottom of the NLS, the Leafe must really fancy their chances despite playing a further two divisions below
Wingate & Finchley v Tonbridge Angels @3pm - W&F have made a poor start and have landed a very tough draw against the joint leaders of the Ryman League


Sunday 18 September

Premier League
Watford v Manchester United @12pm - a triple bill of top-flight action gets underway at noon when the Hornets welcome the Red Devils for the pick of the day's games
Crystal Palace v Stoke City @215pm - the Eagles play host to the Potters who are rooted to the foot of the table with no wins from their opening four games
Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland @430pm - Spurs will look to end the day by dispatching another struggling side, consolidating their top-four place in the process


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.

1 comment:

  1. sutton v tranmere is a 12.15 kick off for bt sport.chance to see 2 games!