Swindon Town

County Ground

Capacity: 15,728 (all seated)
Address: County Road, Swindon, SN1 2ED
Telephone: 0871 876 1879
Fax: 0844 880 1112
Ticket Office: 0871 876 1993
Pitch Size: 110 x 70 yards
Club Nickname: The Robins
Year Ground Opened: 1896
Shirt Sponsors: IMAGINE CRUISING
Away Shirt Sponsors: C & D Recruitment
Kit Manufacturer: Adidas
Home Kit: Red and White
Away Kit: Blue And Black Stripes

Don Rogers Stand
Don Rogers Stand
Arkells Stand
Arkells Stand
Looking Towards The Town End
Looking Towards The Town End
Stratton Bank End
Stratton Bank End
Town End
Town End

A traditional looking ground, that has an interesting mix of stands. Both sides are large two-tiered covered affairs that tower above the two smaller ends. The Main Stand is the Arkells Stand on one side. Built in 1971 the stand is a fairly simple affair and has the players tunnel and team dugouts in front. It has windshields to either side and a few supporting pillars. Opposite is the smarter looking Don Rogers Stand. Opened in 1994, this stand has a cantilevered roof, allowing spectators to have an uninterrupted view of the playing action. It has a large upper tier, with a much smaller lower tier. The FastPlant Town End is a small covered stand, that is the traditional home end. Unfortunately it has a row of supporting pillars that run across the front of it. Oddly on one side, the base of one of the floodlight pylons is situated within the stand, with the pylon itself rising up through the roof of the stand. At the other end is the Stratton Bank Stand. This area is uncovered and open to the elements. It has a small electric scoreboard situated above it, next to which is a Rolex Clock. Apparently this is the only Rolex clock that can found within a football ground anywhere in the World. The ground also benefits by a striking set of four floodlight pylons.

Away fans are located in the Arkells Stand at one side of the pitch, where up to 1,200 fans can be housed. This is an older stand with facilities to match, but at least you are under cover. If you are at the back of this stand there is one supporting pillar which may impair your view of the goal otherwise it is fine. You even get a view of some of the rolling Marlborough Hills beyond one corner of the ground! There is a small kiosk at the back of stand serving amongst other things a range of pies, but be careful when taking them back to your seat. The entrances to the seating areas are through large solid doors, and to compound matters they open out towards you!   

Teams with a larger away following can also be allocated the Stratton Bank End if required. A further 2,100 fans can be accommodated in this area, but the end has no cover and is open to the elements. Fine on a nice sunny day, but on a cold wet, winters day, it can be grim. This area was a former terrace that has had seating bolted onto it, which meant that the height between rows is not great. I found Swindon to be a relaxed and fairly friendly day out, although the size of Police presence on my last visit seemed excessive. 

Food on offer inside includes Pies; Chicken Balti (£3.40), Steak & Ale (£3.40), Cheeseburgers (£3.50), Burgers (£3.50), Hot Dogs (£3.80), Sausage Rolls (£2.50), Beef Pasties (£3), plus Cheese & Onion Pasties (£2.50).

Away fans are treated to their own bar, called Bar 71, which is located by the away turnstiles. However it is quite small and tends to fill up quickly, with door men preventing anyone else going in, so that it does not become over crowded. The County Hotel right by the ground, did not allow entrance to away supporters on my last visit. Best to continue down County Road and seek out the Cricket Club that sits behind the Arkells Stand. As Mark Osborne from Swindon adds; 'On match days home and away fans can park on the cricket ground (for a small fee) and then have access to a drink in the cricket club. This is a very friendly (as well as cheap) club that always welcomes away fans'. I would echo these comments but also add that you can still get into the cricket club (there is no charge) even if you have not parked there. Please note though that the Cricket Club facilities are not available for night matches or when the Cricket Club is playing a match. The latter doesn't happen often but can do towards the beginning and end of the football season, when fixtures overlap.

Audrey MacDonald a visiting Hartlepool United fan, recommends 'The Merlin' on Drove Road, near to the magic roundabout. 'Away fans are welcome and they have Sky Sports showing on 12 television screens and even in the gents (according to my husband)'. Derek Shaw a Wolverhampton Wanderers fan agrees; 'The Merlin pub is friendly and welcoming to away supporters. It's a decent size pub which serves meals and has a number of TV screens installed. On my visit there were a couple of bouncers and two policeman outside but there was no sign of any trouble, either inside or outside. I enjoyed the atmosphere in the Merlin which is less than ten minutes away from the County Ground and would recommend it'.

Alcohol is available within the ground to away fans in the Arkells Stand (but not in the open Stratton Bank End), otherwise if you arrive early Swindon town centre is a 15 minute walk away.

The ground is well signposted in and around Swindon town centre. Just follow signs for 'The County Ground'.  
From M4 Junction 15: 

Follow the A4259 (Queens Drive) towards Swindon. Go across one roundabout and at the next take the first exit onto the A4312 (signposted Swindon/Football Traffic). You will see the floodlights of the County Ground over on the right, as you approach the large Magic Roundabout. The County Ground is on the corner of this roundabout. 

From the North A419 from Cricklade/Cirencester/M5:  
Continue on the A419 until reaching the top of the new 3 lane stretch of dual-carriageway, which runs uphill. (I would advise to stay in the inside lane on this climb as the exit approaches quickly). Take the exit at the top of the hill (Lady Lane Junction). At the lights go right, then almost immediately at the next set of lights go left. Follow this road through the next set of traffic lights (passing the Motorola building to the right), then branch left onto the A4311. From here follow this road, following signs for Town Centre. At Transfer Bridges roundabouts turn left at the first and then straight over the second. The County Ground is on the left after the mini-roundabout. The County Ground is one of the few remaining football stadiums you can notice from a fair distance, due to the striking floodlights. Thanks to Robin Sharpe for supplying the directions.

If you survive the Magic Roundabout then there is some street parking. Otherwise park at the cricket club (take County Road off the Magic Roundabout, go past the County Hotel on your right, you will see a small sign further down on your right for football parking, just before the mini roundabout). Steve Pollott a visiting Wolverhampton Wanderers fan adds; ' We parked at the St Joseph Catholic college in Ocotal Way. It cost £5 per car and was only a ten minute walk away from the ground. However, it was  bit slow getting out at the end of the game, but it was well run.' There is some parking available at the ground itself for a cost of £10.

Post Code for SAT NAV: SN1 2ED

The ground is walkable from Swindon train station and will take you around 10-15 minutes. Leave the station, cross the road and proceed up the road between the two pubs (Great Western and Queen's Tap), continue to end of road.  Turn left, proceed along Manchester Road, through traffic lights as far as you can go.  At the junction turn right. The County Ground is about 300 yards up this road on the left. Thanks to John Bishop for providing me with the directions.

Remember if travelling by train then you can save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can normally save.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Like a number of Clubs, Swindon Town operate a match category policy (Gold, Silver and Bronze) whereby the ticket prices cost more for the most popular games. Gold prices are shown below with Silver and Bronze prices in brackets:

Home Fans*:
Arkells Stand & Don Rogers Stands: 
Adults £27 (£25) (£23) Concessions £19 (£19) (£18), Under 16's £12 (£12) (£10), Under 10's Free*
Town End: 
Adults £20 (£19) (£18) Concessions £15 (£15) (£14), Under 16's £12 (£12) (£10)**, Under 10's Free*

Away Fans:
Arkells Stand:
Adults £27 (£25) (£23) Concessions £19 (£19) (£18), Under 16's £12 (£12) (£10)

* Under 10's can be admitted free if they are a member of the Club and are accompanied by a paying adult (Maximum of two juniors per adult).

** Under 16's must be accompanied by an Adult in the Town End

 

Official Programme: £3

 Oxford United, Bristol Rovers and Bristol City.

32,000 v Arsenal
FA Cup 3rd Round, January 15th, 1972.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record:
14,924 v Chelsea
Capital One Cup, Round 3, September 24th 2013

Average Attendance:
2013-2014: 8,130 (League One)
2012-2013: 8,963 (League One)
2011-2012: 8,411 (League Two)

 

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the Level Playing Field website.

Swindon Town FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

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. The Hotels listing also includes details of how far away the accommodation is located from the football ground. 

Access their Swindon Guest Houses and Hotels page.

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Located near one corner of the ground is the 'Magic Roundabout'. Whoever designed this must have been on something. It is a large island surrounded by five mini roundabouts, which effectively means that traffic can go round the main roundabout the wrong way! Confused? I was!

Swindon Town v Oldham Athletic  
League One
Saturday March 30th 2013, 3pm
Pete Callan (Oldham Athletic fan)

It's been a few years since I have been to the County Ground but due to where I live its one of the easier fixtures to get to. Being just a couple of hours easy drive from the Isle of Wight ferry terminal in Portsmouth

The County ground is a very easy place to find. Easily reached from the motorway network. The famous "Magic Roundabout" fills drivers with fear but as long as you follow the arrows then its easy to negotiate. The ground is next to it so its a case of aiming for the right roundabout exits. Car parking at the ground itself is a shocking £10, but if you are sensible then you will set off early and park on Shrivenham Road next to the stadium which is residential. All the houses have their own
garages/driveways so they don't seem to mind you parking on street -Best of all its FREE and no more than two minutes walk from the County Ground.

I travelled to this game with my grandson and we stopped at a service area just outside Newbury. There does not seem to be much in the way of cafes near the ground altho there are one or two pubs around. Around the ground there are the usual trailer snack cabins serving burgers and chips at a moderate price.

What I do love about Swindon is the fact that the fans are so welcoming. Several smiled at us, chatted and debated everything from De Canio's departure to the prospects of their promotion and our relegation. What was really nice was a lady who almost dragged us into the "Robins Nest" which is a great little club for junior Swindon fans which is open prior to the game and welcomes junior away fans. My grandson had a great time playing the Wii, table tennis, table football etc. That allowed me more time to drink coffee at £1 ago and banter with older Swindon fans.

The County ground is a good old traditional box ground that is very visible as soon as you come anywhere near it. The floodlights stand tall, there is a lot of open space. While the County ground may well not have become one of the many goldfish bowl grounds of the modern era it is well maintained. It's quite smart and spacious and access to all parts of the ground is very easy - Away fans do have to walk through a little park and along a path but its really not hard work. views are un
restricted and as away fans are somewhat elevated above what was at one time terracing below -The views really are excellent all over the pitch.

This was Lee Johnsons first real challenge since taking over as Manager. Being in the bottom four and playing against a team lying second in the table ould not get much tougher. However for the first hour we played very well, a little bit of luck, good defending and a new found spirit and desire lead to Lee Barnard putting us ahead in the second half. The lead didn't last long and after sustained pressure Swindon equalised with an overhead kick that Bouzanis never even saw. Swindon had enough to wrap it up in the closing stages but it was an excellent hard fought point for us.

With over 10,000 in the ground including around 500 of us Oldham fans who were located in the Arkells stand. Reasonable seats with good leg room and excellent views of the action. There was a good solid atmosphere generated by both sets of fans all the way through the game. Stewards were friendly and chatty and when we did stand used common sense by just ensuring there was no danger or people blocking gangways.

If I had one real gripe it was that were not anywhere enough refreshment kiosks. The queues were so long that it was clear the game would be well into the second half if we waited in line. The loos were fine, clean and better than i have seen at many grounds.

Getting away from the ground after was a doddle...2/3 mins walk along Shrivenham Road and within 5 mins we were heading towards the M4/A34 

This is a really friendly club whose fans are welcoming, hospitable and feel part of Swindon Town FC. Without doubt one of the nicest places I have been too in forty years of watching Oldham. Nice touches such as Swindon players joking and chatting to stewards and programme sellers. This is a family club and you do feel like an invited guest. My third visit with hopefully several more to come in the years ahead.

Swindon Town v Preston North End
League One
Saturday, February 23rd 2013, 3pm
Joe Cooper (Preston North End fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I was looking forward to this match due the drama that had been going on at both clubs in the weeks prior to the fixture. The recent departure of Graham Westley meant Simon Grayson was to take the helm for the first time against a managerless Swindon, after Paulo Di Canio had walked away from Swindon under a cloud of controversy. Swindon were also top of the league and with North End knocking Bournemouth off the top spot a week before I was hoping for another upset!

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I’m friends with a fellow North Ender who lives in Bath so I caught a train down on the Friday afternoon. Bath is only two stops prior to Swindon so I pretty much did the journey 24 hours before kick-off (Frankie Fryer style). It took me about 4 hours with two changes, one at Birmingham New Street and the other at Bristol Temple Meads. If I had done the journey in full I reckon it would have taken about a 4 and a half hours, so in all it was quite a journey despite the trains running smoothly.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We set off for Bath Train station at about midday on Saturday, and we were in Swindon for roughly 1.30pm. Upon leaving Swindon railway station we saw a pub across the road in which the police had chosen to harbour a rather large number of Preston supporters. It wasn’t immediately obvious which direction the ground was so we asked one of the police officers to point us in the right direction. Because there were only two of us he was quite happy to let us find our own way to the ground.  After following the road the copper had directed us down we soon picked up the signs for the stadium. On reaching the County Ground we asked some Swindon fans where the away entrance was and we were politely told where to head for.  We were on the concourse for 2pm.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

When seeing the ground from the outside it looked like your typical League One ground. I always enjoy seeing those old standing traditional floodlights as they have become a bit of rarity now, but the County Ground have four of them standing proudly in each corner of the ground. The concourse was quite small so I can imagine it being quite congested for the bigger following, I didn’t go down at half time but my mate said it was a bit of nightmare. The ground, despite looking quite dated, was quite neat and tidy with all the necessities, such as leg room being adequate enough. The view of the 18 yard box at one end was slightly impeded by a pillar but it didn’t cause too much of a problem.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

I had a cheese burger and a bottle of water before the game which came to just over a fiver. The burger was cold and I didn’t really enjoy but I was hungry so I ate it anyway. Myself and the 900 odd North Enders were making a lot of noise before and during the game, resulting in a good atmosphere in the away end. There was a bit of noise coming from the Swindon Fans in the first five minutes but very little after that. The stewards were pretty much unnoticeable. The only rule they seemed to enforce was keeping the closest block to the home fans reserved for family groups. 

In the first half Swindon seemed to be using a lot of the possession, forcing a couple of good saves out of our keeper, we soaked up the pressure well and made it half time with score still goalless. After the break Preston looked a little bit more dangerous in the form of counter attacks, which ultimately paid off when 18 year old Prestonian Will Hayhurst scored his first ever professional goal to put the lilywhites ahead. Swindon kept piling on the pressure and the Preston defence eventually cracked after Rooney latched on to a poor back pass from David Buchannan. The game finished 1-1 which in my opinion was a fair result.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We were back at the train station on a train within 40 minutes of the final whistle.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

All in all a nice day out. Pleasant fans and a pleasant ground, however I saw it had very little by the way of good pubs to drink in before the game.

Swindon Town v Yeovil Town
League One
Saturday, November 17th 2012, 3pm
Stuart Jackson (Yeovil Town fan)

As a keen Yeovil Town supporter, my son and I travelled to the County Ground, the home of Swindon Town to watch the game. 

It was just under a 70 mile journey from home and so a relatively near game to travel to.  We parked near to the ground at St Josephs School. We did pay £5 for the privilege which seemed a bit steep, but it was secure and the staff  were very pleasant.
 
The County Ground had many burger type vans around it to cater for those who still hadn't had their lunch. We had already eaten, but they seemed to be doing good trade. We purchased a programme from a very friendly seller and noted that it was ex Yeovil striker Andy Williams on the cover! I also bought two tickets for the half time raffle and likewise the staff were very friendly and happy to sell to an away supporter.
 
Underneath the away sextion there was a bar solely for visiting supporters, which was a nice touch as well as a dedicated ticket kiosk for those still to purchase tickets. Once inside, although the stand was not new it was clean and well laid out. The refreshment bar inside had the benefit of a television too which meant that we were able to keep up to date with the earlier kick off. Although I didn't buy anything, I noted that prices were reasonable and maybe a tad cheaper than ours!
 
The away supporters are positioned to one end of the Main Stand from where views of the whole ground are excellent. Again the stewards
were very friendly. The tannoy system was not particularly good as one had to listen carefully due to a lot of echo. Another disappointment was that at half time, the announcer never told us of the other half time scores around the country.
 
The game sadly for us ended up by Swindon winning 4-1, but other than some mistakes (from which they scored), Yeovil played well. We away supporters made a lot of noise and were surprised at how quiet the Swindon fans were throughout (goals not withstanding) ...or maybe we just couldn't hear them due our own chanting. Watching Paolo di Canio's antics on the touchline was also very entertaining and provided some relief as their goals went in.
 
Getting out of the ground and back to the car was easy enough and then out of Swindon itself was very straight forward without any delay.
 
We were made very welcome at the County Ground and wish Swindon success for the future.

Swindon Town v Accrington Stanley
League Two
Saturday, February 25th 2012, 3pm
Paul Willott (Doing The 92)

As a Preston North End supporter exiled to Kent, when the Lillywhites are at home I often inspect the fixture list to see if Accrington Stanley or Morecambe may want some northern sympathetic support in the south.
 
Hence on this day I found myself travelling to Swindon, a town whose team have tasted all 4 divisions of the professional game within the past 2 decades.
 
Now let me be quite candid; the County Ground is fantastic to me.  Not only is sat-nav proof and it is map-proof too. All you need to do is leave the M4 at the appropriate junction, namely junction 15 from the East, follow the signs to Swindon and you can't fail to trip over the ground ; thats if you haven''t already noticed the good old-fashioned floodlight pylons , in which case its either ridiculously foggy or you shouldn't be driving at all!
 
I found a suitable patch to ditch the car, and then walked to the ground, whereupon I pounced upon one of the burger stalls and lavished a few quid on a most delicious quarter pounder.
 
For those hardy souls travelling to support the Stanley, a section to the east of the Arkells stand was allocated, which at least afforded covered seating as opposed to the uncovered Stratton Bank where seats have been installed upon former terracing.  However I understand that Stratton Bank is usually unused except for overflow, or major fixtures.  Despite looking fairly old, the inside of the Arkells stand is in good clean order, and is very presentable.
 
What a lovely 90 minutes. If you prefer prawn sandwiches, then don't bother reading any further.  But, if you like watching a game of football where the shadows of the floodlight pylons slowly lengthen across the pitch as the afternoon progresses, then make a visit to Swindon a priority.  It was also refreshing to visit a ground where the home fans actually make plenty of noise throughout the game, as opposed to the odd polite cheer when a goal goes in before sitting down pacifully as though riding on the 08:21 to Paddington for a days work! 
 
I have already eulogised over the floodlight pylons, but the rest of the ground deserves a mention too, as opposite the Arkells stand is the more modern looking Don Rogers stand, whilst to the West is the small Town End, which I suspect is also a terrace that has had seats bolted to it.  The noise their fans made could kid you its still a standing only area.
 
Also thrown in for free at the moment is the added entertainment of watching the antics of the Swindon Town manager, Paolo Di Canio along the touch-line.  What a guy. I wish he was managing my club!
 
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the County Ground; the ground clearly deserves to be hosting football at Championship level yet finds itself in the basement division.  Under Di Canio though it looks as though Swindon will achieve promotion, and I will happily return next season to cheer on Preston North End; assuming the Lillywhites don't detioriate any further and slip down a level themselves!

Swindon Town v Crewe Alexandra
League Two
Saturday, August 6th 2011, 3pm
Diana Bowden (Crewe Alexandra fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground? 

I’d been to Swindon with Crewe before and enjoyed my day so I had high hopes this would be the same. 

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking? 

Took the train down from Crewe and it is a long one. Got to Swindon easy enough and the ground is easily spotted from the station. I didn’t come by car but a fellow fan who did bemoaned the £10 car parking charge at the cricket ground.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly? 

Me and my mate went and grabbed some food in town first then headed towards the ground. After a toss up between the cricket ground bar and the pub we settled for the latter. The pub in question is the Merlin and is very easily located from the ground. Be prepared to be ID’d by both the door man and the staff at the bar. Your also best advised to arrive early as the Merlin fills up with home fans quite quickly. I kept my club colours covered up just in case and whilst the atmosphere wasn’t intimidating, it wasn’t overly friendly either. We then got some cheap and cheerful food from a kiosk outside the stadium.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground? 

The County Grounds most noticeable feature is its four massive floodlights that can be seen for miles around. In the modern era of floodlights along the roof of stands floodlights like the ones at Swindon are a dying breed. It’s a big ground by League Two standards but the away end is easy to find. We had to buy tickets first then go to a separate turnstile to get in. Why we couldn’t pay on the gate I don’t know. 

The away end is quite spacious if you have a modest following, but for bigger away crowds the concourse could become very cramped. The view from the away end is fine but is hindered to your right by a pole, which lets it down. The seats are also wooden which is a shame as the rest of the stadium has plastic seats.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc.. 

The stewards for some reason felt the need to really box us in, we only had a small following of just over 300 but they only gave us 1 ½ blocks and about 20 rows. It made things very cramped and some fans had a few problems with one of the stewards, I think for swearing. The game wasn’t too bad from a Crewe perspective in the first half, but a stupid error by one of our defenders led to the ref giving a penalty and low and behold we went in 1-0 down.

The toilets were average and again with a bigger away following things could get very claustrophobic. There was only 1 kiosk for fans to get food and drink, but it was more than adequate for us. 2nd half and we don’t turn up, concede 2 more and it finishes a comfortable 3-0 win for the home side.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game: 

Got away no problem and we were at the station within 10 minutes.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: 

In summary a decent day out result aside. The price to get in was a scandalous £25, which for a cramped away end, with wooden seats and a pole to hinder your view is stupid. The stewards were unfriendly and the decision to box us in was even dafter.

Overall I’d say the day out was a 6/10. Good location, good pubs, good food (outside the ground and in town), but the away end, whilst being fine for us, would struggle with bigger followings and there isn’t any real value for your £25. I would go again, but only if they lowered the price of entry.

Swindon Town v Notts County
League One
Saturday, April 2nd 2011, 3pm
James Spring (Notts County fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground? 

I suppose you could say I wasn’t really looking forward to the game. Saying that, previous Tuesday Notts had ended a 9 game losing streak with a battling 1-0 win at Tranmere that had kept us in with a chance of survival. This was now a relegation 6 pointer for both sides, Swindon came into the match second bottom, while Notts were lying 19th, 2 points above the drop zone. A win for Notts would give us a real boost in the relegation scrap. However the ground looked like one of the better ones in the league.
 
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking? 

Being a Notts county fan living in Weymouth, our journey wasn’t as long as the rest of the Notts fans traveling down from Nottingham. We caught the train from Weymouth, swapped at Bath and arrived in Swindon for just after 2pm. We had looked on Google maps when we booking train tickets, so were able to find our way from the station to the County Ground easily, and arrived at the stadium for around 2:20pm. 

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly? 

Having arrived in Swindon just an hour or so before kick off we didn’t really have time to go and eat. Brought a match programme outside the ground for £3 (excellent quality) and made our way into the stadium. Buying a programme would prove costly for me, as while I was strolling along flicking through, my mate turned to me saying "did you see him?" "what? who?" I answered. turns out, Notts county's manager had walked past us saying hello and I had missed him!
 
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground? 

From the station, you approach the ground from the 'Town End'. We had brought tickets for the game (£18 each) so didn’t have to worry about paying extra on the day. We stood right at the back, so our view of the town end goal was slightly blocked by a pillar. There is a small food outlet under the stand, but it was a day too warm for hot food!

Away supporters are located in one end of the Arkells Stand. This stand is an older one, opposite which is the more modern and pretty impressive Rogers Stand. The Town End looked like something you would expect to see in the conference though! Overall though the ground was one of the better ones I visited that season.
 
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc.. 

Being a game between two relegation candidates, the atmosphere was pretty tense but the game was quite open from the start. Notts had the ball in the net after just three minutes but it was ruled out for offside. From that point the game was pretty tight. Then on the half hour mark came the vital first goal, and it fell to Swindon thanks to some slack marking from Notts following a corner. 

Just moments into the second half, we all thought Swindon had gone 2-0 up from another corner but a stunning volley from the edge of the area smashed against the crossbar, and Notts had had a lucky escape. The game remained very tight, and the score remained 1-0 until 12 minutes from time, when Alan Judge's cross found its way into the back of the net for a Notts equaliser. Swindon, having been on the bad run they had been on, began to look very shaky, and Notts sensed blood. 

Then, just three minutes from time, a defensive error allowed Lee Hughes to receive the ball, beating the off side trap, one on one with the town keeper. He rounded the keeper before calmly slotting the ball into the back of the net, bringing delight to over 500 traveling Notts fans. Notts had stolen it 2-1, and it pretty much condemned Swindon to League Two next season, while Notts could confirm safety with a win over Brentford on Easter Monday.
 
The stewards were pretty much unnoticeable which is always a good thing and didn’t stop us standing up. 
 
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game: 

Had no problem getting away from the ground. Stopped at an off licence on Manchester road for two ice cold cans of coke on the way back to the station, at which we arrived around 20 minutes after the match, just minutes before our train arrived. Got talking to a Swindon fan on the train back to Bath, who seemed resigned to relegation but wished us good luck for the rest of the season.
 
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: 

Overall, despite the reasonably long train journey, it was a brilliant day out, and what would turn out to be a vital 3 points for Notts that would keep us up come the end of the season with us picking up  two more points from our remaining 3 games. A nice stadium, hope to return one day.

Swindon Town v Bournemouth
League One
Saturday, January 1st 2011, 3pm
Tino Hernandez (AFC Bournemouth fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
 
I don’t live in Bournemouth anymore but as I was visiting my parents for Christmas, who still live in the area, then this was a rare treat being able to catch a Bournemouth supporters coach from Dean Court to the match and back again.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?  

Supporters coach made swift progress to Swindon, less than a couple of hours for us.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly? 

Very impressed that the main catering van had chilli sauce on offer. Not seen that before. Although someone, doubtless trying to be helpful, shouted out to me – that’s not tomato sauce!

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

I loved the big old fashioned board advertising the match as you approached the ground. Quality. Ground looks oddly ramshackle from the outside though parts of it are fairly modern. Last time I was here we were behind a goal which I remember was fine. This time we were in the truly decrepit Arkells stand at one side of the pitch. It was like being transported back in time to the 1970s. Very poor indeed. My worst experience since Chesterfield’s old ground at the end of last season.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc.

The stewards were intend on trying to fill up sections seat number by seat number so they were a bit annoying, stopping every one to make sure they were definitely going to the seat on their ticket. About 1,000 Bournemouth fans on New Year’s Day so the atmosphere was great. Last time I was here we lost 0-4. This time a fabulous 2-1 win with an overhead kick from our centre half clinching the points. 

I didn’t bother with the food, as the concourse was tiny in area, the size of a couple of living rooms, which you have also have to pass to get to your seat. For some reason there are, in addition, very heavy doors to go through. Bad feng shui - I’m sure!

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Supporters coach made a quick exit.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Supporters really should not have to pay £20+ to sit in the ancient Arkell’s Stand. Stewards could chill a bit.

Updated 12th January 2015

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  • Do you know that the Football Ground Guide website contains over 750 independent football ground reviews, that have been written by fans? Jun 28 2015 04:09pm