Sunday, 19 December 2021

TLFG: 20 December 2021 - 2 January 2022

Season's greetings one and all and welcome to the Christmas and New Year edition of The London Football Guide.

As usual, this piece covers the next two weeks and is jam-packed with game info.

However, with Covid causing numerous postponements this week and no doubt leading to many more between now and the end of the year, I've taken the decision not to invest hours of my time doing a 'TLFG Daily Digest' as much of it could go by the wayside.

If it doesn't, all you really need to know is that there's lots of great games to choose from - at non-league level, many games are local derbies.

Traditionally, Boxing Day has been the big day for festive football and there are some pretty big games but this year a large chunk of the action has been carried over to Monday 27 December as it's been made a bank holiday.

Games in the ECL Division 1 South and Combined Counties League start as early as 11am and 1130am respectively, there are 3pm matches in most other leagues and then QPR finish everything off with their 530pm kick-off against AFC Bournemouth - so you can easily see two or possibly even three matches at a push.

The only plan I have is to be at the derby between Harrow Borough and Hendon on the 27th but it could fall through so who knows where I'll end up.

Earlier this week I got a call from BBC journalist Helen Price who was researching a piece on the effect of Covid on non-league clubs.

She put together the following short feature for BBC London which included a very positive visit to Walthamstow.

As it's the end of the year, I'll leave you with my three personal highlights of 2021.

They are:

1) Being crowned QPR Supporter of the Year - something I could only possibly have achieved during a pandemic shutdown of football!

2) Seeing my daughter take up football, win her first match and score her first goal

3) Going to Fratton Park to watch Harrow Borough take on and only narrowly lose 1-0 to Portsmouth in the FA Cup 

I'd be interested to hear what yours are.

Lastly, thanks as always to you all dear readers for sticking with me - your kind words, contributions and donations keep me going. 

It's also been great to meet an increasing number of you at games.

Anyway, have a great couple of weeks and see you all in 2022.


THE WEEK AHEAD

The highlights of the next couple of weeks include games in the Premier League, EFL, National League, most of our local non-league competitions too. 

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.

20-25 DECEMBER MATCH MAP
Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - turquoise pin
Thursday fixtures - purple pin




BOXING DAY MATCH MAP
Sunday fixtures - orange pin




27-31 DECEMBER MATCH MAP
Monday fixtures - yellow pin
Tuesday fixtures - green pin
Wednesday fixtures - turquoise pin



1-2 JANUARY MATCH MAP
Saturday fixtures - blue pin
Sunday fixtures - orange pin



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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