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Kenilworth Road
Luton Town v Forest Green Rovers
Conference Premier League
Saturday February 9th 2013, 3pm

By Ben Scott
(Forest Green Rovers fan)

I was particularly looking forward to going to Kenilworth Road, with us looking for revenge after they had beat us 2-1 at The New Lawn before Christmas. However, I had read reviews, and seen that many fans had said it the ground wasn't great and was situated in a run down area, so I had mixed feelings about the trip.

We decided to drive down, four friends and I from North Wiltshire, the journey went quicker than first expected, arriving in the Luton area at around 1:15pm. I recommend to any fan to take a sat nav and also do research a night or to before like I did, the ground isn't well signposted from the west, and the closure of Hatters Way threw us off course a little. My first impression of the area was that it was rough, but any built up town or city will seem rough when you compare it to rural Wiltshire. Oak Road is one way, and not accessible from the main road through the town centre, Ash Road needs to be used to get to Oak Road, however the part of Ash Road nearest to the stadium is cordoned off by stewards primarily for away fans, so it was relatively easy to park.

We decided to head to the Bobber's club, but were turned away due to the fact the coach load of our fans had arrived minutes previously to us, so we attempted to get in to the stadium. We were told that kids under 16 would get in for £1, however the turnstile operators did not know this (as my friend is 15), so we walked through hundreds of Luton fans in our luminous green shirts to the ticket office, where my friend was given his ticket. We then walked back to the appropriately named Oak Road stand, and headed through the turnstile. A rather odd entrance I must say, and the steps going up into the stand were rather slippery, so if you are slightly older and less able, take care going up.

Hungry after the long trip across the Thames valley, I felt rather peckish, looking forward to a hearty burger and chips...and was rather disappointed. Pukka pies, pasties and hot dogs with buns that fall apart were all that was on the menu, so I decided on a Chicken and Mushroom pie, with a nice hot cup of tea, bought my match programme from pitchside and took my seat for the match.

At this point, the ground was filling up nicely, with 6,000 fans cheering on their clubs. The top notch atmosphere started to become apparent, with Kenilworth Road starting to come alive with noise. This truly is a great stadium, if situated in a less built up area, it would be one of the best around.

If there was a perfect definition for the 12th man, the Luton fans would have to be it. The Main and Kenilworth Road stands erupted with noise after every tackle, decision and of course goal.

The game itself was rather scrappy, the first minutes providing a goal for Luton striker Andre Gray through poor defending. However on the 14th minute, a free kick was given far out on the left side from the point of view of someone watching from the Oak Road Stand. Yan Klukowski crossed it in and number 14 Matthew Taylor got his head on it and it beat Luton keeper Tyler and went in off the post. 1-1 is how it stayed, with Andre Gray spectacularly hitting a penalty far up into the centre of the Kenilworth Road Stand. In the second half, cards flew out here, there and everywhere, with both sides ending with ten men and Al Bangura squaring up against stewards. On reflection, the match was a good result for Forest Green, grabbing a point where maybe Luton should have taken all 3.

Getting away from Kenilworth Road was simpler however much more congested with rush hour traffic mixed in as well, taking a good 20 minutes to get out of the centre of Luton.

On the whole I enjoyed my visit. Ignore the bad reviews, Kenilworth Road may not be in the nicest area of Britain, but it is a lovely stadium, and the away end is great for making some noise even if it isn't the most comfortable seating.


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