CB Hounslow United have played their home games at Green Lane since 2017. The ground is very close to Heathrow airport, not quite as close as the two Bedfont sides, but certainly close enough to see and hear planes coming in to land. The main car park fills up pretty quickly but there is ample room in the overflow parking which runs around two sides of the ground. The club is sponsored by Dnata, an air services company that is based at Heathrow. You can't miss the sponsorship, it is literally everywhere around the ground, which is not a bad thing at all. There is a single turnstile to enter the ground. Note that the clubhouse and tea bar are both situated outside but you can quite easily get back out and in again if necessary. The main stand is opposite the turnstile, on the Heathrow side of the ground. It is a decent-sized covered seating stand with seat numbers probably running into 3 figures (I din't count them). There is covered standing, The Frank James Stand, behind the goal at the far end of the ground and two small covered areas with bench seating on the clubhouse side, which is also where the dugouts are situated, one each side of the halfway line. Mounted on the back of the clubhouse wall, facing the pitch, is one of those non-league rarities, an electronic scoreboard. They actually have another standalone one at the far end of the ground too. It was switched off on this evening but maybe for a big game it would be in use?
A massive local derby and battle between the bottom two in the Combined Counties Premier League. Both teams have become isolated at the foot of the table. Level on points with 18 each, but 6 adrift of Banstead Athletic and 8 shy of 18th placed Raynes Park Vale. To make matters worse both sides have played more than their rivals. Hounslow have already played 30 games, so have 10 to play. Villa have played 25 (15 to play). However, Banstead have played only 23 and Raynes Park Vale 24. Things are not looking too good for either of tonight's sides.
Hounslow last won a league game back in October, a 3-1 defeat of Guildford City. Since that time they have taken just 3 points, although 2 of those have come in the last month. Hanworth's record does not make for much more comfortable reading except, in their case, they did mange a stunning 3-1 win at league leaders Ascot United at the end of January. So, maybe a couple of green shoots showing for both clubs?
This is their first meeting this season. Last season saw honours shared with both sides winning their home game, Hounslow 2-1 in this fixture and, on the opening day, Villa winning 1-0 at Rectory Meadow in a game that saw 11 yellow cards but somewhat miraculously no reds.
Just as I rolled up to the game I had a message from a friend saying that there was snow as far South as Bedfordshire. I wasn't surprised. The wind blowing around Green Lane was icy cold, made worse by the fact that the zip on my jacket broke just before kick-off. Still, I was looking forward to a good, open game with plenty of incident to make me forget the cold.
The game started off looking fairly even, although neither side looked very fluid. Probably understandable given their respective league positions. However,as the half progressed it was the home side, rock bottom at kick-off, who began to establish themselves.
Hanworth had the wind in their favour and were trying to use it to their advantage, playing long balls to their forwards, especially out towards their right flank. However, the home defence stood strong and never really looked threatened by this approach.
Finally, after 33 minutes the breakthrough came and it went to the home side. A ball was played into the Hanworth area towards a crowd of players. From my vantage point it was hard to see how it happened but the ball fell to the feet of Shakeel Morris who slid the ball into the net to make it 1-0. At first I thought it was number 11, Taymar Fleary who had scored. Numbers 10 & 11, when you catch a quick glimpse from the other side of the pitch can look similar. Well, that's my excuse. Maybe it's just my eyesight starting to fail me?)
HT CB Hounslow United 1 Hanworth Villa 0. On the overall balance of play a deserved lead for the home side.
Hounslow then had a real chance to put the game to bed when they broke with a three on two situation. Unfortunately, in pursuit of his hat-trick, Morris chose the wrong option and the chance went begging. Not for too long though as on 68 minutes Morris was on hand to make it 3-0 and complete his hat-trick.
With plenty of time being added on for the injury to Trisdon Andrews, who was whisked off to hospital on a stretcher in the back of a transit van, there was still time for a bit of good old non-league handbags. Hounslow had a player down injured, after falling badly, and were trying to get the ball put out in order to get him treatment. It all got a bit heated on the sidelines before the ball was finally hoofed out of play. As the Hounslow trainer ran on to tend to the stricken player it all kicked off at the other end of the pitch with a Hounslow player ending up on the deck. After several minutes and a whole load of jostling the referee finally pulled out a red card and showed it to Hanworth's Meschach Williams.
As there was only a minute or two remaining the red card did not have any effect on the result. Villa were already well beaten by that point.
FT CB Hounslow United 3 Hanworth Villa 0. Despite that fact that I could barely feel my hands or toes by the end of the game, it was quite an entertaining evening from a neutral's perspective. A good win for United. Can they pull off a great escape? I must admit that I expected more from Hanworth after that win over Ascot but once the second goal went in they never really looked as if they believed they could pull it back.
Best wishes to Hounslow's Trisdon Andrews. Let's hope the injury was not as bad as it seemed.
CB Hounslow United: Rule, Andrews, De Jesus, Lawrence, Tubbs, Greenwood, Edwards, L.Bersey, Hardy, Morris, Fleary. Subs: S.Bersey, Smith, Wood, Elliott, O'Neill
Hanworth Villa: Russ, Mullings, Barzey, Fenlow, Taylor, Thoroughgood, Dwumfuo, Tingle, Williams, Roberts, Phillips. Subs: Navarro, Garlinge, Jay, Daniels, Dack
Ground Number: 229