Capacity: 5,140 (Seats 2,000)
Address: Nympsfield Road, Nailsworth, GL6 0ET
Telephone: 01453 834 860
Fax: 01453 835 291
Pitch Size: 110 x 70 yards
Club Nickname: The Rovers
Year Ground Opened: 2006
Home Kit: Green and Black
The club moved a short distance to their new ground at beginning of the 2006/07 season. Now when I mean a 'short distance' then I literally mean only a few hundred yards up the road from their old Lawn Ground which is has now been redeveloped for housing.
The ground is situated on the western edge of the picturesque Cotswold town of Nailsworth. The name Forest Green is taken from the area of the town where the clubs home is found. The ground is sited on top of a fairly steep hill and quite exposed to the elements; so warm clothing is advised when visiting. Technically the new ground does not have an official name at the moment as the Club are hoping to attract a corporate sponsor to purchase the naming rights to the stadium. In the meantime, the ground has been dubbed 'The New Lawn'.
The stadium is dominated by the smart looking Main Stand at one side of the pitch. This 2,000 all seated capacity stand, has a cantilever roof as well as row of executive boxes running across the back of it. Opposite is a small open terrace, which is only seven steps high. Running along the back of this terrace are 4 floodlight pylons. Surprisingly the team dugouts have been located at this side of the pitch, rather than where you would have expected in front of the Main Stand. Interestingly both ends have to different degrees been relocated from the old Lawn to the new ground. At the Nympsfield Road end of the ground, is a covered terrace, the roof of which came from the Barnfield Road side of the old ground. Opposite is the South Stand, which until recently was a covered all seated stand, but has now had the seats removed to make it a terrace for home fans. This stand is of interest as it was the Trevor Horsley Stand which was transported from the Club's old ground and re-erected at the New Lawn.
In a surprise move the Club have announced that they are looking into the feasibility of building a new stadium, near to Junction 13 of the M5. The proposals are at a very early stage and it remains to be seen whether they actually make any progress.
Away fans are mostly housed in the Nympsfield Road End or North Stand to give its official name. This covered terrace holds around 900 fans. In addition, around 250 seats are made available to visiting fans in the Main Stand (located towards the North End). Entrance to the ground is via electronic turnstiles, meaning that you need to scan your ticket to gain admittance. This is somewhat of a novelty at this level.
My visits to The New Lawn (and the old ground for that matter) have been most enjoyable and it would be difficult to find a more friendly and welcoming club than this one. If the chance arises, a visit to this Gloucestershire ground is a pleasant days outing in a unique setting.
If you are looking for a Meat Pie, Beef Burger or Hot Dog to buy inside the ground, then you will be disappointed, as the Club has decided not to sell any meat products. Instead there are Veggie Burgers (£3), Veggie Cheeseburgers (£3.50) and Falafel Wraps (£2.50) on offer, as well as Chips and Curry Sauce (£2.70) and Chip Butties (£2.70). I guess as a bit of a 'tongue in cheek' the club also do a a vegetable pasty called the Badger pasty! (£3.50)
The best option for a drink though is in the clubs own bar, the Green Man, which is built into the back of the Main Stand. This bar serves real ale, hot food and has a number of televisions showing televised sports. However, when a large away following is expected, then the Club reverts to allowing only home fans entrance to it. If you have a bit of time on your hands then there is the Village Inn on the A46 on the North side of the town. This CAMRA Good Beer Guide listed pub is also home to the Nailsworth Brewery.
There are some other pubs and food outlets are at the bottom of the hill in Nailsworth, which is about a 15 minute walk down the hill. But unless you are rather fit then the walk back up to the ground is not for the faint hearted as it is up a steep hill.
When planning a trip here, don’t try and find Forest Green on your road map, look up Nailsworth, south of Stroud in Gloucestershire. The best way to approach is from the M5 and exit at junction 13 and head for Stroud on the A419. At Stroud turn onto the A46 towards Nailsworth. This will bring you into the centre of the town, when you reach the Information Centre take the first right at the mini roundabout which goes up a steep hill sign posted Forest Green. The Lawn is at the top of this hill. Turn left at the roundabout at the 'summit' into the Club car park, which holds 250 cars. The cost of parking is £3 per car. Please note though that this car park is often full an hour before kick off.
There is no railway station in Nailsworth itself. The nearest is in Stroud which is three miles away. I would therefore consider getting a taxi from the station to the ground and booking one back for your return. Otherwise as John Aitken informs me; 'You can also take a bus from Stroud to Nailsworth. Stagecoach numbers 93 & 46 both operate from Stroud to Nailsworth. The bus station is behind Merrywalks shopping centre. Route 46 departs from bus stop M. Ask the driver to let you off at Beechwood Close in Nailsworth. It is than a four minute walk to the ground'. A timetable can be found on the Stagecoach website (PDF document).
Find train times, prices and book tickets with trainline. Booking tickets in advance will normally save you money!
Main Stand: Adults £17, Over 65's £13, Under 21's/Students £9, Under 16's £6
Other areas of the ground: Adults £15, Over 65's £11, Under 21's/Students £7, Under 16's £4
Main Stand (Seating): Adults £17, Over 65's £13, Under 21's/Students £9, Under 16's £6
North Stand (Terrace): Adults £15, Over 65's £11, Under 21's/Students £7, Under 16's £4
Concessions apply to over 65's and students with valid student card.
Official Programme £3
4,836 v Derby County, FA Cup 3rd Round, January 3rd 2009
2014-2015: 1,502 (Conference Premier)
2013-2014: 1,195 (Conference Premier)
2012-2013: 1,179 (Conference Premier)
If you require hotel accommodation in the area then first try a hotel booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will go to help with the running costs of keeping the Guide going.
Access their Nailsworth & Cotswolds Hotels and Guest Houses page.
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Special thanks to Myles Munsey for providing photos of the Nympsfield Road End and EESI Stand.
Forest Green Rovers v Luton Town
Conference Premier League
Saturday, August 24th, 2013, 3pm
Michael Pala (Luton Town fan)
This was my second visit to Forest Green Rovers and I was looking forward to a day out in this picturesque part of the Cotswolds. Prior to going to the stadium, we stopped in the centre of Nailsworth to visit the chip shop. When we pulled up, someone came out of the pub and said we could take our chips into the pub as they don’t serve their own food. The people in the village were very friendly and would welcome us and provide any help with directions (in my case, I needed an ATM).
Reaching the stadium, the car park attendants were very helpful and directed us to a disabled space next to the stand as two of the people in our group are disabled.
Since our last visit, the stadium has become very high tech for a club in that league. Taking pride in the environment, the club is aiming to reduce their carbon footprint and impact on the environment by having a fleet of electric vehicles with electric charging points in the stadium car park, solar panels, sourcing food from local providers, collecting rainwater and also recycling wherever possible. Your ticket has a QR code on it and you enter the stadium by scanning your ticket into the QR reader – again, very impressive for a club outside the football league.
Inside the stadium, the stewards, catering and other staff were very welcoming and friendly. I had a friendly conversation with a steward comparing the set-up of our two clubs and she was amazed to hear that Luton have an average attendance of 6,500.
As we were travelling with disabled supporters, we were allocated the limited amount of seats for disabled in a part of the home stand. This meant that when going to the toilet or food outlets, we came into contact with home supporters. Despite wearing our colours, the home supporters were very friendly to us and in no way did we ever feel intimidated.
Due to visiting the chip shop before the match, I didn’t need any hot food in the stadium but I purchased a cup of tea and a bar of chocolate at prices similar to other grounds.
The atmosphere in the ground was fairly quiet from the home supporters since they only have a small average attendance and a significant percentage of the crowd were the visiting Luton supporters who made all the noise. For a club in the middle of nowhere and non-league, you don’t expect a large number of supporters. Don’t let this put you off visiting Forest Green Rovers because the friendliness and welcoming nature of the staff and fans provides a welcome change from visiting other grounds. I recommend visiting the centre of Nailsworth and sampling the chip shop as this alone also makes the trip worthwhile.
Final result was a draw and given Luton’s recent poor performances, most Luton fans would have taken the point away at Forest Green Rovers – who are also challenging for promotion.
Getting away from the ground after the match can be quite slow since the bulk of the traffic is heading back down the hill towards the centre of Nailsworth to connect onto the roads leading away from the area. Please allow an extra 15-30 minutes if attending a match with a bigger attendance.
Overall, a trip to Forest Green Rovers is a lovely day out in a picturesque part of the Cotswolds in the company of what is probably the most friendliest club I’ve ever visited. If we (Luton) get promoted, I hope Forest Green Rovers joins us so we can look forward to another trip to this lovely and friendly club next season.
Forest Green Rovers v Hyde
Conference Premier League
Saturday, August 10th, 2013, 3pm
Myles Munsey (Neutral fan)
1. Reasons for going:
I have a friend who lives in the Stroud area and who I introduced to the delights (!) of professional football last season. Suitably impressed, he wanted more of the same. As Forest Green Rovers is his local side and as I had heard good reports about the New Lawn, I thought we would give this a go. Besides, I hadn’t seen a Conference game for about 4 years. I’m still intrigued by the notion of a small town club performing at level 5.
2. Getting there:
Stonehouse station being closed owing to Engineering work, so I travelled instead to Cam and Dursley from where my friend collected me and took me over to Nailsworth.
3. Before the game:
En route to the ground I was treated to a fish and chip lunch at the Badger at Eastington and very good it was too. It is a very scenic ride over to Nailsworth where the ground is located, so we stopped at the popular Frocester Hill viewpoint which gives spectacular views over to the Severn Estuary
4. First impressions:
There wasn’t a lot of time to take in the facilities as we were running a little late then there was a bit of a queue for tickets. Close to the ground I noticed brown tourist signs pointing to FGRFC almost pleading for your interest. Great, but you need to know who they are! The ground is modern and well appointed but with very regular features. Actually the appearance and rural aspect of the ground are more readily apparent from the inside. We took up position in the in the Main Western Thermal stand and from there one is able to appreciate the splendid backdrop, of wooded slopes with sheep grazing contentedly. I was reminded of Adams Park, Wycombe, another modern stadium on the edge of town backed by woods.
In all my 45 years of watching football I had never seen a game like this. Not that there was any sign of what was to unfold, because the programme notes made quite an issue out of the fact that in 15 previous seasons Forest Green had won just one of their opening day encounters. Hyde had performed well over the final stretch of the 2012-3 campaign so a ‘tight encounter’ was predicted.
Hyde started brightly but then their world fell apart when Josh Brizell was sent off after 19 minutes for a rash challenge on Al Bangura. Debutant Marcus Kelly scored on 25 minutes with a right foot screamer, and then five minutes later added to his tally with a classy left foot finish. In a torrid afternoon for Hyde the goals just kept coming. Further efforts on 33 minutes by Wright and a close range header on 38 by Norwood saw Rovers cruising at the interval. An interval which I used gainfully to get that elusive programme which had supposedly sold out. There was no let up in the second half with further goals by Matt Taylor 60, Barnes –Homer 71, Matt Taylor again on 72 - a terrific flicked header into the top corner and then Kelly wrapped up his hat trick and the scoring with 14 minutes still left on the clock.
Despite all of this, Hyde’s goalkeeper, David Carnell had an excellent game and he is to be commended. But for him, things could have been a lot worse.
6. Getting away:
A bit of a wait to exit the car park but no real problems getting down the hill into Nailsworth and my friend kindly conveyed me back to Swindon for the 18.12 train back to Reading.
A most enjoyable afternoon if somewhat surreal, both in terms of the setting and the result. Do go to the New Lawn. It is a very well run club with a manager intent on good football (and we saw plenty of that) and ultimately promotion to the Football League. I wish them well in their quest.
Forest Green Rovers v Luton Town
Conference Premier League
Saturday October 27th 2012, 3pm
Paul Willott (Luton Town fan)
On a bright crisp autumnal morning my daughter and I departed home in Kent and following a brief detour into the Croydon area to collect a colleague from my workplace, returned to the motorway network to continue heading westwards. I must say I was looking forward to this match, not only has the achievements of what is effectively a village based club in staying in the fifth tier of English football pretty remarkable, but on the evidence of this season with both teams at the top end of the table, then the match promised to be a cracker.
We followed the M4 westwards up until Swindon where we left the motorway and proceeded along the 'A' road networks firstly in the general direction of Cirencester before bearing left towards Stroud. The beautiful sunshine enhanced what rapidly became a very scenic drive through Thomas Hardy country, although when we stopped for refreshments there was a really cold bite to the stiff westerly breeze that did make me worry that we might be in for a very cold afternoon.
We arrived in the picturesque linear village of Nailsworth, home to Forest Green Rovers, significantly in advance of kick-off but nonetheless drove up the hill from the town centre to the ground itself and parked in their car park. The lie of the ground indicated that it would be a complete bottleneck to get back out at the end of the game, but that was a price worth paying for being so close to the ground on such a cold day.
Once we had wrapped ourselves up in as much warm outer clothing as we could muster, we wandered round to the away fans terrace, applauded the Luton players and staff as they disgorged from the team coach and then made our way into the ground.
Fortunately there was a sufficiently high enough wall at the back of the terrace to shield us from the wind, and we inspected what sustenance was on offer. As the ground was now allegedly a vegetarian one, I was slightly intrigued to see Badger Pastie on offer, but decided to plump for the tray of chips , and what gorgeously big chunky chips they were too. So much so, that my voraciously appetited 8 year old politely demanded a second tray . . . . . well it would have been rude not to! they were pretty good!
As more and more Luton fans poured into this compact but tidy stadium, I was increasingly glad we were early birds with a place at the front, or else the little one may have struggled to see much of the action, It was a nice touch of the mascot to make a bee-line for all the children in the ground , not just the home fans, and hand out bags of maltesers and the likes to keep little faces smiling.
There was some lively banter between a small number of home support and the Luton fans, but police and stewards quickly moved the 3 or so individuals from the home terrace adjoining the away enclosure out of the ground, and things settled down. There was a noticable police presence, which I suspect was purely for the sizable Luton contingent and I doubt that normally there would be such numbers of police on duty. Worthy of mention is the policeman in full riot clobber trying to surreptitously "peep" round a corner with a video camera to film the "naughty" Luton fans; he was so indiscreet he might as well have worn a pink neon helmet....
The match itself wasn't actually a classic at all ; both sides seemed to cancel each other out in the midfield, and for most of the game, it looked as though a simple goalkeeping error would decide the match in the favour of the home team; but a moment of magic near the end from Luton's Stuart Fleetwood levelled the match, before a penalty was awarded and converted to send the Luton fans into raptures shortly before the final whistle.
As predicted, getting away from the ground took some time, but such delays seem far less inconvenient when you have won........
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