Saturday, 7 April 2018

CB Hounslow United F.C. - The Lair

CB Hounslow United F.C.
CB Hounslow United F.C.
The Lair Stadium
Green Lane

Ground Number: 75
Date: Saturday 7th April 2018
Score: CB Hounslow United F.C. 1-1 Knaphill F.C.
Competition: Combined Counties Premier Division
Attendance: 72

After losing 3-0 to Bromley on Monday, it was time to groundhop again seeing as I cannot make Fylde away on Saturday due to not having the funds and my dad is working. My most recent groundhop was last Saturday when I went to Ashford Town (Middlesex) F.C. which you can read about here. This Saturday I would be going to another ground in the Heathrow area and is just a 15 minute drive away from Ashford Town (Middlesex) F.C. as I am going to The Lair to watch CB Hounslow United F.C. take on Knaphill F.C. in the Combined Counties Premier Division. It will also be special as it will be Ground 75 on the blog and Ground 77 for me!
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The reason why I chose CB Hounslow to be my choice of groundhop this Saturday as I am very committed to visiting all of the grounds in the Heathrow area at the moment and I now only have 6 grounds left which is CB Hounslow itself, AFC Hayes, Staines Lammas, Egham Town, Abbey Rangers and Uxbridge FC and going to CB Hounslow would allow me to be one nearer to visiting all the grounds in the Heathrow area!
The week before the game was spent mainly at home relaxing from the stress of college as I am on my two week Easter Holiday. I didnt really do anything interesting on Tuesday but on Wednesday, I managed to talk to some of my younger cousins who I haven't seen for over a year and it was good to get back into contact with them. Thursday was mainly spent in Sutton as I had to go to the opticians and I found out that I am short sighted and needed glasses for certain tasks and this didn't really please me as I thought my eyes were in good condition but obviously they aren't.
Friday was spent at Heathrow with my three of my college friends Mikolaj and Regiena who both doing the same course as me at college and my friend Jordan who was on my course last year but left to do an apprenticeship with British Airways at Heathrow itself and I met up with them at 12pm and spent the afternoon at Heathrow and the main reason why we decided to go up to Heathrow today was because I had some things to do tomorrow morning and this meant I wouldn't get a chance to plane spot tomorrow before the game so I went today instead but with some of my friends.
I got home at 7pm and then had some dinner and relaxed for the evening and spent some time on FaceTime with my cousins and some friends and then had a nice relaxing bath and then chilled out for the rest of the evening watching `Titanic` and `The Terminal` and then I decided to call it a day at 11:30pm and then just before I went to sleep, I looked into the history of CB Hounslow United.
CB Hounslow United FC were founded in 1989 after the club of Richmond Rangers disbanded. The club are currently based at The Lair stadium in Hounslow and the ground has a capacity of 2,100 and there are around 150 seats and the club currently play in the Combined Counties Premier Division (England's 9th Tier). The club started out in the Hounslow and District League and then in 1997, they joined the Middlesex County League Senior Division and then in 1999, they were promoted to the Middlesex County League Premier Division. In 2006, the club applied for promotion to the Combined Counties League Division One and then in 2016, the club was promoted to the Combined Counties Premier Division which is where they currently play.
I woke up this morning at 8:20am and I felt quite tired seeing as I had another bad nights sleep but there was no room to be tired for today as I am visiting a new ground and doing some plane spotting at the same time, so today was going to be a good day. I ended up listening to some music in bed for an hour to wake me up then had some breakfast and then quickly walked to the shop to grab some bits and pieces and then relaxed for an hour or so before leaving my house at 11:50am.
Whilst walking to the tram stop, I topped up my Oyster Card with 50p so I had enough for the tube and then continued my journey to the tram stop and once I arrived there, I had a 5 minute wait which wasn't too bad. The good thing about this journey is know it so well and I like using the Piccadilly Line but the only bad thing is I was doing the same trip to Hatton Cross that I did last week for my trip to Ashford Town (Middlesex) FC and this trip was getting a bit repetitive but it would be worth it so I wasn't really thinking about it too much.
I got on the tram at 12:06pm and then in just over 5 minutes, I was arriving into Wimbledon and then walked over to the District Line and I had to run to catch the next departing train as the next one wasn't departing for another 10 minutes. The short journey to Earls Court wasn't anything special and I just spent it on my phone. I arrived into Earls Court at 12:35pm and then changed onto the Piccadilly Line and the train was already at the platform which was quite handy and once again, I had to stand all the way to Hatton Cross due to no empty seats but I don't mind standing on the tube.
The journey through Acton and down the Hounslow and Heathrow branch of the Piccadilly Line passed quite quickly and I was quite occupied as I looked out of the windows and could see the aircraft taking off and landing and that kept me occupied all the way to Hatton Cross in which I arrived there at 1:10pm and had a 4 minute wait for the 423 bus. The journey on the 423 only lasted 4 minutes as I only had to stay on for two stops but the stops are very far from each other otherwise I would have walked but it would have been over a 20 minute walk and I didn't want to tire myself out before the game.
I finally arrived at The Lair at 1:20pm and I took some pictures of the entrance to the ground and then walked to the bar and I have to say, I was quite impressed with the bar, it is a decent size for the level, has a dart board, table tennis table and a decent range of drinks available. I went up and got a programme and CB Hounslow United pin badge all for the price of £3 which is very reasonable but no drink for me today as I had some bottles of water with me. I then sat down and watched the Everton vs Liverpool game and then at 2:15pm, I headed into the ground and today's admission price was £2 for me (student) which is unbelievably reasonable and I then walked round the ground and took some pictures.
The Lair has a capacity of 2,100 and there are around 150 seats and the ground is fairly new as it was opened in August 2017. The main stand or Dnata Stand holds all 150 seats in the colours of green and black to represent the colours that CB Hounslow United play in. Opposite the main stand is the bar and changing room facilities. Behind one of the goals is a small covered terrace that can hold around 50 spectators and behind the other goal is an uncovered pathway.
As a new ground for Step 9, it is a good ground but it isn't the best but I do like it for what is there. The main stand is very neat and tidy and fits in well with Step 9 and even Step 8 and the small covered terrace behind one of the goals is a nice touch. There is a lot of opportunities for developing the ground in the future but it totally does the job it needs to for now and CB Hounslow United have built the ground cleverly so that they have room to extend stands and terraces if they were to gain a few promotions. After walking round the ground, I went and sat in the stand and then took some pictures of the teams coming out and then observed the minutes silence for the passing of footballing legend Ray Wilkins.
The game kicked off and the first chance of the game came just 2 minutes in when CB Hounslow had a shot at goal but the Knaphill goalkeeper was on hand to keep the score at 0-0. Then 7 minutes later, CB Hounslow had another shot at goal but was saved. On 17 minutes, CB Hounslow was awarded a free kick but it went just wide and then 5 minutes after that, CB Hounslow had another shot at goal that was saved and so far, Knaphill hadn't had any chances but on 24 minutes, they opened the scoring with an in-deserved lead and that was it for the first half, no more chances for the remaining 21 minutes!
Half time and it was CB Hounslow United 0-1 Knaphill FC, so far it had been a quite uneventful game with only 5 chances being created and having a 20 minute period with no chances and to be totally honest, the main thing that has entertained me for the first half was the plane spotting, so both teams had to up their game in the second half! I went to the tea bar and by now, I was really hungry as I hadn't had anything since breakfast this morning so I decided go get a cheeseburger and bacon bap and for £6, they tasted really good, especially the cheeseburger, the bacon bap didn't have much bacon but it did taste nice for only 3 small slices of bacon! I then went in the small terrace behind the goal for the second half.
The second half started and the first chance of the second half came in the 48th minute when CB Hounslow had a shot that went just wide and then 8 minutes later, CB Hounslow had another shot but the Knaphill goalkeeper was on hand to keep the score at 1-0. Then on 57 minutes. CB Hounslow equalized as there was a scramble in the box and the home crowd gave a large cheer. On 70 minutes, Knaphill had a chance that was headed wide, on 76 minutes, CB Hounslow also had a chance that was headed wide and on 87 minutes, CB Hounslow had a chance to seal the win via a shot from close range but the shot went well over goal! On 90 minutes, CB Hounslow had another shot that went wide and on 95 minutes, Knaphill had a man sent off as the CB Hounslow was through on goal and was tackled. The rest of the game was played out and it finished CB Hounslow United 1-1 Knaphill.
I walked out of the ground feeling happy that I had ticked off The Lair and had visited another ground within the M25, visited another ground in the Heathrow Area and was a ground nearer to 100 and also had done some good plane spotting but was a bit unhappy that the game was a bit scrappy and uneventful but you get that at some games. I walked back to the bus stop and the 423 was 15 minutes so I walked down to the next bus stop to lose some time and the 203 was 1 minute so I got on that back to Hatton Cross and then got back on the Piccadilly Line back to Earls Court.
Again the journey back to Earls Court went quite fast as I was listening to music, once back at Earls Court, I had a 5 minute wait for my train back to Wimbledon which wasn't too bad and once back on the tube, I just continued to listen to some music and once we pulled back into Wimbledon at 6:15pm, I had to run to get the tram and narrowly missed it and had to wait 5 minutes for the next one and then got off at Phipps Bridge and got the bus a few stops and was back home at 6:35pm.
I would recommend visiting The Lair if you like smaller non league grounds and if you like a bit of plane spotting like me, then The Lair is a must visit for you but if you are looking for a good atmosphere then I wouldn't recommend it as there isn't any chants sung by the CB Hounslow fans which was disappointing. The bar is good and the food is also really good but I spent £11 inside the ground and had a good afternoon so if you're looking for a cheap groundhops, then CB Hounslow is somewhere you should look into!
Stadium: 7/10
Bar: 9/10
Food and Drink: 8/10
Atmosphere: 4/10
Friendliness: 8/10
Value For Money: 8/10
Overall Rating: 7.3/10

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