Sunday, 8 March 2020

TLFG: 9-15 March 2020

UPDATE: 13 MARCH - AS A RESULT OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC MOST OF THIS WEEKEND'S MATCHES IN LONDON HAVE BEEN POSTPONED. 

HOWEVER, A FEW NON-LEAGUE AND WOMEN'S GAMES ARE STILL ON. 

THE WEEKEND MATCH MAP AND DAILY DIGEST HAVE BEEN UPDATED WITH ALL MATCHES THAT ARE GOING AHEAD BUT CHECK AGAIN BEFORE YOU TRAVEL IF ANY DETAILS HAVE CHANGED.

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Greetings and all and welcome to this week's TLFG.

Firstly I'd like to apologise to all those who have left comments on this blog over the last few months and not been replied to.

I always used to get an alert when someone posted something but at some point this has stopped happening and I've been blissfully ignoring all your carefully posted comments and queries.

I only noticed by chance when I was going through some pages on the 'back-end' of the blog and noticed to my horror that there were quite a few.

The best way to get in touch is by email, Facebook or Twitter - all the details are at the foot of the page.

A few tickets are left for West Ham v Wolves on Sunday
It's also been a tough week trying to stay across all the fixture changes with some clubs very kindly keeping me updated.

I say it below, but as a rule of thumb I'd say all men's non-league, U23 and U18 matches and any in the women's game are subject to short notice changes.

For example I've just found out that QPR Women are playing a home cup match this afternoon, just two hours before it's set to kick-off and Charlton Athletic have an U23 game on Thursday but the venue and whether or not it's even being played is in doubt.

So always check what the final details are before you travel.

From a personal point of view, this weekend was a great one for my teams who both enjoyed near identical performances.

QPR and Harrow Borough both came from 1-0 down at half-time to win 3-1 at Preston and Metropolitan Police respectively.

It took Rangers to the magic 50-point mark which should see them avoid relegation but also left them just six points adrift of the play-off places with more than enough games left to sneak in.

This game has now been moved to Met Police's ground at Imber Court
The win for Harrow against an in-form Met was priceless in their battle to avoid the drop and they're now eight points clear.

Anyway, I think that's it from me. I'm on early shifts this week so am highly unlikely to catch any games but I hope you enjoy whatever you go to see.

Lastly, many thanks to Benjamin Z from Dortmund, Germany who donated to TLFG's coffee-drinking fund. Cheers!

THE WEEK AHEAD
The highlights of the next few days include games in the Premier League, EFL, National League, Women's FA Cup and loads of other matches in our local non-league competitions. 

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.

MIDWEEK MATCH MAP
Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - blue pin
Thursday fixtures - purple pin
Friday fixtures - black pin



WEEKEND MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin




TLFG DAILY DIGEST
Of the games that remain, here are my picks of what you should go and see - there are of course other options that you might prefer or be logistically better for you.

Saturday 14 March

National League
Bromley v Chorley @3pm - the hosts were top of the league for most of the first half of the season but their form has collapsed completely and they're now way down in 13th. On Saturday they welcome Lancashire club Chorley who are bottom of the league and all but down already
Sutton United v Hartlepool United @3pm - the U's form has improved a lot as the season has progressed and they've moved into the relative safety of midtable. Former EFL club Hartlepool are 11th but only one point shy of the play-off places in what is a very competitive division


National League South
Dulwich Hamlet v Hemel Hempstead Town @3pm - there are several games in the sixth tier on Saturday but for the neutral I'd always recommend a trip to Champion Hill more for the atmosphere than anything else. The Hamlet are the best supported club in the division with well over 2,000 fans attending most games, despite the fact they are in real danger of relegation. They fought hard but lost 2-1 at leaders Wealdstone on Saturday and now only goal difference is keeping them out of the bottom two. Hemel are usually there or thereabouts in the race for the play-offs and with nine games to go they find themselves six points adrift of the top seven. Given the large crowds, you're advised to buy tickets in advance although it's not essential
Dartford v Chelmsford City @3pm - with only one defeat in five, the sixth-placed Darts look highly likely to book a place in this year's play-offs. Chelmsford were in terrible form but new manager Robbie Simpson has turned things around and the points are flowing in again
Hampton & Richmond Borough v Oxford City @3pm - the Beavers' frustratingly inconsistent form means they're just outside the play-offs. If they're to break into the top seven then they simply have to win games against midtable sides like Oxford
Welling United v Billericay Town @3pm - locked in midtable and in fairly similar form, both are still very much in the battle to avoid relegation. The lower half of the division is desperately tight with only five points separating the sides in 14th-21st

CCL Premier Division
Balham v Raynes Park Vale @3pm - the hosts' season is pretty much over with midtable safety all but assured. Local rivals RPV are still fighting to avoid the drop

Essex Senior League
West Essex v Saffron Walden Town @3pm - like the game above, the hosts don't have a huge amount to play for but Saffron Walden are currently top and part of a very exciting title race alongside Hashtag United and Walthamstow

CCL Division 1
Kensington & Ealing Borough v Tooting Bec @3pm - the hosts have moved this match to Club Des Sports on the Acton/Shepherd's Bush border so this is definitely one for groundhoppers. It's also an important game in the race for promotion with Tooting Bec currently in third and K&EB having the games in hand to catch them

MCFL Premier Division
London Samurai Rovers v Brentham @3pm - with Clapton CFC now playing their game against Cricklewood behind closed doors this is the next best option in the 11th tier. LSR play their matches at Northwood FC and have the games in hand to put themselves just one point behind leaders Brentham so a win here will put them firmly in contention for the title


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Sunday 15 March


FA Women's National League Division 1 South East
Leyton Orient v Billericay Town @2pm - with the Women's FA Cup Quarter-Finals getting postponed, the highest ranking women's match to remain on is this fourth-tier game between two of the top five at Mile End Stadium

Women's Capital Cup Semi-Final
Dulwich Hamlet v Crystal Palace Development @2pm - there's a south-east London derby at Champion Hill which should also be worth a watch. It's only £4 to get in but with all of the above, please check all the details before you travel




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.

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