Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Hanworth Villa - Rectory Meadow

Hanworth Villa FC
Rectory Meadow
Park Road
TW13 6PN

020 8831 9391

Ground Number: 179
Tuesday 18th October 2011

Hanworth Villa 3-1 Slough Town
FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round Replay


Whilst at the Cray Wanderers game on Saturday, I discovered what a fantastic tool Twitter is for keeping up to speed on the latest scores at non-league games. A lot of teams have a regular tweeter and this was the case for all the games that I was interested in. Whilst there are plenty of apps available to keep up to date with the Football League and if you are lucky, Blue Square Premier games, I have not yet found a reliable way of checking those that are lower down the pyramid. One of those I was looking at was Slough Town v Hanworth Villa. Hanworth were the lowest ranked team still in the FA Cup, they play in the Combined Counties League which is 5 Leagues below the Football League. Slough of course, now ply their trade in the Southern League, Division 1 South and West, a league above Hanworth. Despite the difference, the game ended in a 2-2 draw. I had not yet been to Hanworth, even to take pictures, so it was a good opportunity to tick it off, for a relatively high profile game. Apart from the contest on the field, one of the main talking points on the Slough Town Forum had been the behaviour of the Hanworth Villa supporters. Allegations of racist chanting, drunkenness, intimidation and general nastiness were flying around, so tonight would give me a chance to prove if these allegations rang true or not. After an early dinner I left home just after 6. My sat nav quoted 50 minutes barring any hold-ups caused by traffic, of which there were bound to be plenty. It actually was not too bad and I was at the ground and parked up within a little over an hour.

After arriving at the ground, I paid a very reasonable £5 entry, plus £1.50 for a decent programme. Being a dog lover, I was also happy to be greeted by a very friendly Springer Spaniel that was in the ground! There was no trouble from the Hanworth fans, who were excellent and in good voice throughout, though there was a sort of apology in the programme for the behaviour on Saturday. All in all, there were probably around 600 fans in the ground, with 500 of them supporting Hanworth Villa.

The game itself was excellent. Hanworth took the game to Slough early on and had a few half chances. Their main threat came from the long throws of their left back, Charlie Hare. But it was Slough who took the lead on 20 minutes. Poor marking from a corner allowed Sean Sonner to score the opening goal. The visitors continued to press and could have had a couple more, but it was all square at the break. The second half was a different story. After a quiet start, Hanworth started to take control and were rewarded on 53 minutes when Levi King equalised. Once the goal went in it was all Hanworth and they were rewarded when goals from Sean Preddie and Levi King's second, set them up a 4th Qualifying Round game away to Southern League leaders, AFC Totton.


RECTORY MEADOW is a basic ground, with only limited cover. There is a small seated stand, a small terrace (both metal) and also a small bar at the ground. The rest of the ground is hard standing. It's perfectly OK for where they are at at the moment, but I'd imagine improvements would have to be made, were they to be promoted. It's a nice pleasant setting, surrounded by trees, despite being near to the M3.

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