With the season already a couple of weeks old, I finally got to go to a game.
After watching dismal display after dismal display last year, I made it back to Loftus Road to see how QPR would fare against Ipswich Town in the Championship.
Harry Redknapp has spent the last few weeks offloading a lot of last season's costly flops, mainly on loan, in a bid to build a team better equipped to deal with the rigours of this division.
They came into this game having beaten Sheffield Wednesday, drawn at Huddersfield Town and seen off Exeter City in the cup.
I felt Ipswich would be tough but Rangers did look the better side throughout and with some high profile players still around the place (e.g. Joey Barton, Junior Hoilett etc) they seemed to have the edge.
However, it looked like the Suffolk club would grind out a draw until the final minute when a young substitute called Tom Hitchcock, who had cost the club nothing in transfer fees, came off the bench to snaffle a winner.
|Former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher shows his support for Non-League Day|
It certainly silenced the visiting supporters who made a point of vociferously chanting 'Who are ya?' when he entered the fray! Said supporters also gave QPR keeper Rob Green an unpleasant afternoon because of his connections to their arch rivals Norwich. He kept it together well, though, and made a couple of tidy saves while keeping a clean sheet. At the final whistle he turned and gleefully celebrated in their direction, even hurling the match ball into their midst.
After failing to see QPR win at all last season, it was great to get that feeling of post-victory joy back.
In other news, Non-League Day preparations have continued for me again this week.
After receiving the backing of Garth Crooks and Aaron Hughes last week, we followed that up with words of support from former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher and former England manager Graham Taylor among others.
Next week we hope to be able to announce some another big names so stay tuned to our social media channels or visit our website to find out who.
I finished off my week by spending part of my Saturday evening at BBC Broadcasting House near Oxford Circus in London as a guest on this week's Non League Football Show hosted by Caroline Barker.
The programme has been a big supporter of Non-League Day from the off and hopefully my appearance will help keep the momentum going.
A fellow guest on the show, who might not wished to be mentioned, in a conversation afterwards estimated that NLD has probably generated around £500,000 for non-league football around the country so far which is an amazing amount. Long may it continue!
Don't forget we also want plenty of fan photos so if you're going to a game, heading off on holiday or just relaxing at home we'd love to receive a picture of you in either one of our t-shirts who holding up one of these.
There's still plenty to do but ultimately it's all about gaining publicity so make sure you tell your friends or if you've got your own website or blog and would like to support us by displaying one of our banners then I'd really appreciate it.
|It's less than three weeks away!|
Anyway, that's enough about my week. Remember to let me know what you've been up to and if you're interested in reviewing a ground within the London area for this blog then get in touch. Also keep the general correspondence coming, I enjoy answering your questions and offering advice if I can.
You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via Facebook, Twitter or even by good old email.
LATEST TICKET NEWS
Friday 11 September, 8pm - Montenegro, World Cup qualifier, Wembley
Tuesday 15 October, TBC - Poland, World Cup qualifier, Wembley
Saturday 24 August, 2pm - Leicester City, U21 Premier League (must buy in advance)
Tuesday 10 September, 745pm - Oman, friendly
Saturday 24 August, 1245pm - Arsenal, Premier League
Saturday 5 October, 3pm - Stoke City, Premier League
Saturday 23 November, 3pm - Swansea City, Premier League
Sunday 25 August, 4pm - Swansea City, Premier League
Thursday 29 August, TBC - Dinamo Tbilisi, Europa League (on sale 21 Aug)
Saturday 28 September, 1245pm - Chelsea, Premier League
Tuesday 27 August, 745pm - Cheltenham Town, League Cup
Saturday 21 September, 3pm - Everton, Premier League (on sale 20 Aug)
Details for West Ham's derby against Spurs on Friday have been hard to come by (they usually charge about £3) while Chelsea are asking £5 for adults and £3 for everyone else to watch their fixture against Leicester City on Saturday afternoon. The only slight snag with this excellent deal is that tickets will not be on sale on the day and must be bought in advance.
Looking further ahead, the next round of the League Cup at the end of August sees several London clubs playing at home.
The best deal is to be found at West Ham who are charging only £10 for adults, if bought in advance, as they entertain Cheltenham Town.
QPR host Swindon Town with tickets starting at £15. It's also Watford v Bournemouth (£10 - on sale 23 August) and Leyton Orient v Hull City (£15 - on sale 24 August).
A rather quirky fixture has been announced by Crystal Palace. The Eagles are hosting the Oman national team in a friendly on Tuesday 10 September at Selhurst Park. Tickets for this are £10 in advance or £12 on the day.
As always, 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.
Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures
View London match map 19-25 August 2013 in a larger map
CHELSEA v ASTON VILLA
If you have any questions or want advice about watching football in London, you can contact TLFG using the comments section below or via Facebook, Twitter or email.