Hanworth Villa 4 Dorking 0

Saturday 22nd September 2012
Hanworth Villa 4 Dorking 0
Combined Counties League Premier Division
At: Rectory Meadow, Park Road
Admission: £5; Programme: £1-50
Weather: warm and sunny
Attendance: 73
Duration: first-half: 46:49; second-half: 47:35

My excuse today for being in the south-east for a fourth consecutive Saturday was competing in this morning’s City of London orienteering event. While pleased with the time I took to complete my course, alas a mistake halfway round in the Bourne Estate led to disqualification (a first for me in all the years I've orienteered). Before football, there was only one place to head to console myself – the famous Bridge Cafe in Action – but this had closed early – not my lucky day! I wondered if it had shut because scenes for The Apprentice were being filmed later? At least the trip on the Central Line to West Acton tube station took me nearer to my afternoon destination – Rectory Meadow, home of Combined Counties League Premier Division title contenders Hanworth Villa.

I finished off the journey to the ground from West Acton with a Richmond to Feltham train followed by a 30-minute walk. On the way, a statue caught my eye, more precisely a tall status of a propeller with a plaque that read: ‘This propeller designed and constructed by William Peers commemorates the former use of this site for the manufacture and repair of aircraft in association with Hanworth Airpark (1997)’.

At the ground and in need of food, I quickly found the tea bar where, to the delight of someone who doesn’t eat meat, cheese and tomato toasties were on the menu – freshly made to order by the lady running the tea bar and really nice. Thank you.

While sat in the clubhouse, I noticed a chat noting down the lineups who turned out not to be a fellow groundhopper but a reporter covering the game for local hospital radio.

Perhaps the reason why I’ve not visited Hanworth before is the fact that when we lived in the south-east, the club hadn’t at that stage gained promotion to the Combined Counties League. They did so in 2004 as Middlesex Counties League champions and moved up into the Combined Counties League Premier Division in 2009 as Division One runners-up. Last season, Hanworth attracted attention with an FA Cup run to the Fourth Qualifying Round with wins over Shrivenham, Bedfont Sports, Wembley, Aveley and Slough Town along the way. I do know that a lot of hard work has been put in by club officials, some of whom were with the club when founded in 1976 and playing in the Hounslow League.

Nicknamed the ‘Ranch’, Hanworth’s Rectory Meadow ground boasts two stands, both on the same side as the changing rooms, clubhouse and entrance. One, The Tony Buss Stand, holds just over 100 seats and the other is a covered terrace.

So far, Hanworth (7th with 13 points from 7 games) have made a good start to the season and found themselves eight points behind early leaders Egham Town with two games in hand. Visitors Dorking (17th with 6 points from 8 games) were in need of points to help them climb the table; they moved out of the relegation zone with a win over Colliers Wood United in their last game.

Dorking (in familiar green and white hoops) got the game underway attacking the southern end with the busy A316 beyond the trees. They created the first chance when Pietro Palladino turned and forced a smarty save out of Villa’s goalkeeper Terry Bliss.

Dorking’s David Coles was called into action when he parried a shot from Duane Antonio following a pass from Levi King. “That’s a warning,” shouted the goalkeeper to his teammates.

Hanworth took the lead in the 25th minute. Antonio muscled his way past Dorking defender Paul Davies before squaring a pass to King who sidefooted home into the bottom-right corner of the net.

The home side continued to create chances – James Woods headed straight at Coles from one decent opportunity – before they doubled their lead just before the interval. The Dorking defence failed to clear Ricky Owen’s cross from the left and Antonio fired home the loose ball at close range.

Despite holding a comfortable lead, Villa were urged to “lift it” by the dugout as Dorking looked to reduce the deficit. Biss was called into action to palm clear a shot on the turn by substitute Calvin Headley.

Antonio caused problems for the Dorking defence all afternoon and almost scored his second goal just before the hour mark. He turned on the edge of the area and fired a right-foot shot that looked to be heading for the left-side of the net until Coles produced a diving save.

Hanworth just about secured the points with a third goal scored in the 70th minute. Dorking central defender Paul Davies unfortunately handled inside the area attempting a clearance and tall Adam Baigent confidently sent Coles the wrong way with the resulting penalty.

There was no disputing that Hanworth look a decent side and they wrapped up the scoring in the 79th minute. Coles failed to hold Steve Loveridge’s free-kick into the area and Antonio fired into the top left-corner of the net.

Coles prevented a fifth goal during the closing stages, blocking a close-range shot from central defender Baigent, up in the Dorking area for a free-kick.

After the full-time whistle while walking back to the station along Elmwood Avenue, I noticed a chap waiting at a bus stop, who told me one was imminent and it went directly to Feltham station. So, the 17:02 H25 bus sped me back to the station in plenty of time to catch the 17:16 to Vauxhall and a Victoria Line tube back to Euston.

A group of Stoke City fans, who had seen the Potters narrowly lose 1-0 at Chelsea, provided good natured and occasionally vociferous company on the train back home, though, unlike the person sat next to me travelling to Rugeley, I resisted their invitation to join a game of cards.

Hanworth Villa (red and white stripes / black / black): 1. Terry Bliss, 2. Anthony Oaks, 3. Ricky Owen, 4 Lee Morley (capt), 13. Adam Baigent, 6. James Woods, 7. Jimmy Major, 18. Josh Brooks, 15. Duane Antonio, 20. Levi King, 11. Joe Johnson. Subs: 12. Shaun Preddie (not used), 14. Steve Loveridge (for Woods, 67), 16. Steve Reddings (for Brooks, 67), 17. Paul Burrows (not used), 19. Leeyon Phelane (for King, 76).

Dorking (green and white hoops / green / green): 13. Daniel Coles, 2. Zachary Powell, 3. Jack Murell, 4. Luke Harmsworth (capt), 5. Paul Davies, 6. Alex Seraphim, 7. Jimmy Brazil, 8. Matthw Males, 9. Aaron Gayle, 10. Pietro Palladino, 11. Ryan Stewart. Subs: 12. Calvin Headley (for Murell, 56), 14. Sam Charles (for Powell, ht), 15. Sam Boughedra (not used), 16. Mohammed Mohammed (not used), 17. Will Renton-Rose (for Stewart, 62).

Referee: Marcus Carmichael.
Assistants: Terry Pusey and Andrew Herb.

1-0 Levi King (25)
2-0 Duane Antonio (42)
3-0 Adam Baigent (70 pen)
4-0 Duane Antonio (79)

Hanworth: Jimmy Major (YC, 74)
Dorking: Luke Harmsworth (YC, 66), Sam Charles (YC, 79)