Monday, 13 May 2019

TLFG: 13-19 May 2019

Greetings one and all and welcome to one of the last editions of TLFG this season.

I'm not sure how many more I'll do before taking a few weeks off but next week will probably be the last before I come back for pre-season in July.

First up, what a week it's been for our local teams! With three of the four Champions League/Europa League finalists coming from this fair city.

London can surely argue it's now Europe's top footballing town.

With the Premier League concluding on Sunday - Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur claimed top-four finishes whilst Arsenal finished closely behind in fifth.

Tickets are now on sale for Non-League Finals Day

The other events of note over the last weekend were the Super Play-Off Final in the seventh tier which saw unlikely finalists Metropolitan Police almost do the unthinkable and beat Tonbridge Angels for a place in the National League South. They had the lead twice and were 2-1 up with five minutes to go but eventually lost 3-2 in extra-time. For a club that didn't want to be in the Evo-Stik League at the start of the season, they gave it a right good go.

Elsewhere, way down in the 12th tier, Clapton CFC got the final-day win they needed over FC Roast to give them the Middlesex County League Division 1 Central & East title. The match at the Stray Dog in Walthamstow was watched by a staggering 1,267 people which surely bodes well for future years.

Promotion will now see them enjoy mouthwatering contests against the likes of PFC Victoria London and Pitshanger Dynamo which should be well worth a watch.

As for what you can enjoy this week - well there really isn't very much at all.

Top of the bill we have the FA Cup Final but unless you're a member, well connected or have a lot of money to spend, you won't get a ticket. It's very much on my bucket list to go one day but it doesn't look it's going to happen this time.

I will, however, be at Wembley the day after for the annual feast of football that is Non-League Finals Day. This will be the fourth year that the FA have combined the Vase and Trophy finals into one event and it does seem to work pretty well.

The main gripe for me and many others is that re-admission is not allowed which given how long a day it is can be quite off-putting. If the Trophy goes to extra-time and penalties like last year, then you could be in Wembley for the best part of eight hours - smokers find it a real struggle!

Overall though it is a good day out and there could be a record crowd this year given that Leyton Orient have made it.

Get your tickets now - 20% off with discount code 'tlfg''

The only other match of note sees Charlton Athletic take on Doncaster Rovers in the League One play-offs. It appears there are some tickets available in the away end but more on that below.

Looking ahead to the Champions League Final next month - Tottenham have announced they will be screening the game live at their new stadium. Tickets will be £10 adults and £5 juniors. Details of how to get them are set to be released in the next few days so keep checking their website for details.

As mentioned last week, later this month sees the return of the London Festival of Football Writing.

It takes place between 21-25 May and features some great speakers and events - what's more you can get 20% off your ticket or festival pass price by quoting the discount code 'tlfg' when booking online.

Lastly this week, many thanks again to all those who have donated to TLFG's lung cancer fighting fund. I really really appreciate it and thanks for all your kind words.

To recap, I recently received the news that my Dad has lung cancer. This condition also claimed the lives of my Mum and grandfather so with me powerless to do anything medically to help him, I've decided to ask for all donations to this blog to go to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation which you can contribute to through the fundraising page I've set up. 

As always - enjoy your football and have a great week.


THE WEEK AHEAD

As always, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or the venue or kick-off time has changed - this is highly possible for some of the lower non-league clubs. 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 (orange 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.

MATCH MAP
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Friday fixtures - black pin
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin




TLFG DAILY DIGEST
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.

Tuesday 14 May

A bit further afield
The best thing taking place on Tuesday would appear to be the Essex Olympian League Cup Final. Being played near Stansted airport at the ground of Bostik League club Bishop's Stortford, locals Bishop's Stortford Swifts take on Catholic United who will be looking for some more silverware after beating Clapton CFC in the Anagram Records Trophy Final last week.

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Friday 17 May

League One Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg
Charlton Athletic v Doncaster Rovers @745pm - after winning the first leg 2-1 up in Yorkshire, the Addicks look all set to book a trip to Wembley for a shot at returning to the Championship. Tickets for home areas of the stadium are scarce and will be hard to get without membership but there are still a few left in the away end on general sale

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Saturday 18 May

FA Cup Final

Manchester City v Watford @5pm - after winning the title on Sunday, City will be looking to complete the treble with what should be a fairly straightforward win over Watford. On paper the Hornets are significant underdogs but they are capable of pulling a big performance out of the bag. Don't forget City lost here to Wigan in 2013 who were a far weaker side than Watford so anything's possible - except perhaps getting a ticket. These are sold directly by the clubs and membership is a necessity

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Sunday 19 May

Non-League Finals Day:

FA Vase Final
Chertsey Town v Cray Valley PM @1215pm - the festival of football which is Non-League Finals Day kicks off shortly after noon with this intriguing contest between two TLFG  sides from the south-west and south-east of town. Both clubs won their parallel ninth tier leagues so should be well matched for this huge Wembley occasion. If you don't know, the Vase is a national knockout competition for clubs who play in the ninth to eleventh tiers. In recent years it has been dominated by clubs from Newcastle and the north east so for two London clubs to make the final is quite a surprise

FA Trophy Final
AFC Fylde v Leyton Orient @415pm - the day concludes with the Trophy, which is a competition for clubs in the fifth to eighth tiers. The O's will start as favourites and come into this going for the non-league double having already won the National League title. AFC Fylde also got to Wembley on Saturday where they lost to Salford City in the National League play-off final. It will be interesting to see how motivated they are and how many fans can be bothered to make the trip again after that big disappointment. Either way it's usually a great day with adult tickets £25 (one ticket gets you in for both games), concessions £10 and U16s £1. Tickets can be bought online in advance or at the ticket office at Wembley on the day

Friendly
South Western Railway v District Line @2pm - if you fancy a bit of groundhopping you could tick Fisher's St Paul's Sports Ground off your list as it plays host to this friendly between two railway teams. SWR are a newly formed club who play in the GTR Railway Friendly Flexi League whilst District Line are the most successful club in the history of the much longer established London Underground League. History and form suggests the visitors should win. The match is free entry although donations will be gratefully received and non-league dogs will be very welcome! Check with SWR on the day if any details have changed

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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 in the London area for this blog then get in touch. I also very much welcome photos of your football travels.

NEED HELP?
Got any questions about visiting London? Don't hesitate to ask - be they football or more general travel/touristy queries. I do not charge for this advice like some other sites so don't hold back!

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.

2 comments:

  1. Wow, never knew there is a London Underground football league, is this classified as Sunday league football?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi!

    I discovered the movie.
    Zidane play at Bordeaux. His pass is cool!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr0T8ewE83Y

    King regards

    ReplyDelete