Cheltenham Town

LCI Rail Stadium

Capacity: 7,066 (3,912 seated)
Address: Whaddon Road, Cheltenham, GL52 5NA
Telephone: 01242 573 558
Fax: 01242 224 675
Pitch Size: 111 x 72 yards
Club Nickname: The Robins
Year Ground Opened: 1932
Shirt Sponsors: Mira Showers
Kit Manufacturer: Errea
Home Kit: Red and White
Third Kit: Purple With Yellow Trim

External View
External View
Main Stand
Main Stand
Wymans Stand and Whaddon Road End
Wymans Stand and Whaddon Road End
Looking Towards The Prestbury Road End
Looking Towards The Prestbury Road End
Whaddon Road End
Whaddon Road End
Prestbury Road End
Prestbury Road End
Whaddon Road Cheltenham Town FC

At one end of the ground is the newest addition to the stadium. The Hazlewoods Stand which was built by Barr Construction, was opened in December 2005 and has a capacity of 1,100 fans. It is particularly steep in its design, has a perspex windshield to one side and perspex panels incorporated into its roof, to allow more light to reach the pitch. The stand is unusual in the respect that it has a couple of more rows of seats on one side of it. There is also a small electric scoreboard on its roof. On one side of the ground is another relatively new stand. The Thomson & Bancks Stand (as it is know under corporate sponsorship) was opened in November 2001 and was built by Barr Construction. This stand sits proudly at one side of the pitch and houses 2,034 supporters. It is a covered, all seated, single tiered stand, part of which is given to away supporters. The ground is now enclosed in one corner where the two new stands meet, although it is not used for spectators. On the other side of the pitch is the Jelf Main Stand, which was opened in 1963. It has seating to the rear and terracing at the front. Straddling the half way line, it does not extend the full length of the pitch, having open spaces to either side. At one end is the small covered terrace, called the Prestbury Road Stand, which is the home end of the ground.

In 2016 the Whaddon Road ground was renamed the LCI Stadium, in a corporate sponsorship deal.

Away supporters are housed in the Hazlewoods Stand at one end of the ground, where just over 1,100 supporters can be accommodated. Just over 1,100 supporters can be accommodated in this area. The view of the playing area from the Hazlewoods Stand and the facilities inside are good, plus it has good leg room. If demand requires it, then part of the Thomson & Bancks Stand can also be allocated to away fans. The food on offer within the ground is not bad; you can choose from Burgers (£2.80, including for those with a bigger appetite a half pounder with cheese £4), Hot Dogs (£3), Home made 'Gourmet' Pies (£3.20),  Bacon Rolls (£3), Cornish Pasties (£3) and Sausage Rolls (£2.50).

I found Cheltenham itself to be quite pleasant and the supporters friendly. The picturesque Cotswold Hills around Cheltenham can easily be seen from inside the ground. The atmosphere is also pretty good and there is a drummer in the home end. I did find the p.a. to be a bit deafening though.

Robert Middleston a visiting Nottingham Forest fan adds; 'The view from the Hazlewoods Stand was excellent, as was the general atmosphere'. Neil Le Milliere, a visiting Exeter City fan, informs me 'I have found some of the stewarding to be over the top, and some supporters were ejected from the ground for little reason'. Peter Llewellyn adds 'Don't go on race day like I did - it's worse than getting away from Old Trafford!'

There is a club bar at the ground called the Robins Nest which allows in small numbers of away fans for a £1 admittance fee. Neil Le Milliere a visiting Exeter City fans recommends the Kemble Brewery Inn on Fairview Street. This pub which is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide serves up to six real ales. 

Around a ten minute walk away are the 'Sudeley Arms' and 'The Conservatory' on Prestbury Road on the outskirts of the town centre. There is even a decent fish & chip shop situated in-between the two. To find these pubs, turn right out of the club car park, and then turn left at the end of the road. Go straight over the roundabout, and The Sudeley Arms is on your left and the Conservatory is further up on your right. It is no more than a ten minute walk from the ground.

Otherwise very near to the ground is the Parklands Social Club, where you can also park your car (£4). Simply go down Whaddon Road, passing the ground and the bowling club on your left. Take the first left hand turn and the entrance to the social club car park is a short distance down on the left. Robert Middleston a visiting Nottingham Forest fan adds; 'The Club had a friendly welcome, and the locals we met were all happy to chat football. The club has a number of TV screens including a very big screen, on which the Sky Premier plus game was broadcast, a nice way to pass time over a sandwich and pint before the match'.

Chris Clarke informs me; 'A good alternative is The Hewlett Arms which is a bit more cosmopolitan than other pubs in the local area, it can be found at the top of Hewlett Road which is about a 10 minute walk from the ground'. Also further along Hewlett Road is the Fairview Pub.

If you require hotel accommodation in Cheltenham then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. 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 help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Cheltenham Hotels pages.

Remember that you can use the above link to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

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From The North 

Leave the M5 at junction 10 and take the A4019 towards Cheltenham. Keep straight on through the traffic lights, until you come to large roundabout (there is a McDonalds on the left), at which you turn turn left. Continue up this road going over a double mini roundabout. Keep going for about 300 yards and then turn right into Swindon Lane. Go over the level crossing and straight over the next roundabout (signposted Prestbury) passing the race course on your left. Turn right into Albert Road (signposted Gloucestershire University) and at the bottom at the roundabout turn left into Prestbury Road, (the ground is signposted from here) and then further down Prestbury Road, turn right into Whaddon Road. The ground is down on the left.

From The South

Leave the M5 at Junction 11 turning right towards Cheltenham. Go across 1st roundabout - GCHQ is on your left. Turn left at the next roundabout, into Princess Elizabeth Way. Go straight over the next roundabout, (the exit is over at about "1 o'clock"). Keep on up this road, and you will come to a big roundabout, where you will see a McDonalds on the corner. Go straight across this roundabout and continue up this road going over a double mini roundabout. Then as North.

Car Parking

There are a limited number of spaces available in the Club car park at the ground which cost £5. The Parklands Social Club does allow some parking at £4 per car (See Where To Drink). There is little in the way of nearby street parking close to the stadium. 

Post Code for SAT NAV: GL52 5NA

Cheltenham Railway Station is over two miles from the ground, so best to jump in a taxi. Phil Truscott advises; 'I caught Bus Service D from the Station Car park to the Town Centre (Clarence Street). On Saturdays Service D runs every 10 minutes. It costs £3.40 for a 'day-rider' ticket with unlimited travel in Cheltenham. From the Town centre it is a short walk to Whaddon Road down Prestbury Road. For the return journey you can catch Bus D (going in the direction of Hatherly/Warden Hill) from Pittville Street in the town centre (at the side entrance of Marks and Spencer). It stops opposite the railway station outside a Tesco Metro'. Bernard McCall a visiting Accrington Stanley fan adds; 'If you catch Bus D from the train station and do nor get off in the town centre, then it continues to the racecourse where you can get on the free Park & Ride shuttle bus to the ground'.

If you are going to embark on the 35-40 minute walk then thank Dave Lucas for the following directions; 'Turn right out of station car park and follow Queens Road for around half a mile. At end of Queens Road and turn left into Lansdown Road. At the next (Montpellier) roundabout, turn left into Montpellier Walk (which later becomes the Promenade). At the end of the Promenade, turn right into the High Street. Go along High Street for around 100 yards and then turn left into Winchcombe Street (by a branch of the Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society). Continue straight along Winchcombe Street and into Prestbury Road. Straight across the next roundabout and then first right into Whaddon Road. The entrance to the away end is down on the left'.

Find train times, prices and book tickets with trainline. Booking tickets in advance will normally save you money!

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

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For regular fixtures prices are as below. For some more popular games these prices are increased by £2.

Home Fans
Thomson & Bancks Stand: Adults £21, Over 65's £15, Under 19's & Students £7
Main Stand: Adults £20, Over 65's £14, Under 19's & Students £7
Prestbury Road Stand & Paddock Terrace: Adults £16, Over 65's £12, Under 19's & Students £5

Away Fans
Hazlewoods Stand: Adults £21, Over 65's £15, Under 18's & Students £7

Please note that Juniors who become Club Members can gain free admittance.

Official Programme £3.

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

Swindon Town and from non-league days; Gloucester City.

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

 

Record Attendance 

At Whaddon Road: 8,326 v Reading, FA Cup 1st Round, November 17th 1956.

At The Athletic Ground: 10,389 v Blackpool, FA Cup 3rd Round, January 13th, 1934.

Average Attendance
2015-2016: 3,006 (Conference National)
2014-2015: 2,864 (League Two)
2013-2014: 2,989 (League Two)

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Cheltenham Town v Portsmouth
Football League Two
Saturday 19th November 2016, 3pm
Dan Frostick (Portsmouth fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Whaddon Road?    

I am determined to go to as many local grounds this season as I can, so a trip to Whaddon Road was the next stop for Pompey.

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

I went up the A3 to pick up my friend Gemma from Godalming then went via the A31, A3016, A287, M3, A339, M4, A419 & A417. We parked up at the Parklands Community Centre which can be found turning right just before the ground then the first left turn takes you to the community centre it cost £4 to park there arriving around 11.45am.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Gemma and myself ventured into the city centre which is a 10 minute walk (for us) but probably a 15 minute walk for someone who is older and grabbed a KFC. We then got a message from Rob Morris who recommended to us to try "The Kemble Brewery Inn" on Fairview Street which is 10 minutes from the ground. It's like being in someone's house which has been converted into a pub! It had plenty of character and had a great atmosphere with both Cheltenham & Pompey supporters being friendly. Rob had some food and I must looked very tempting! We arrived at the ground about 2.20pm.

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

The Whaddon Road ground itself has a old school approach which I love! Nice and close to the players & a good view from the Waddon Road End. The ground has three small, but smart looking sides, while the Main Stand has terracing in front with seating above in the upper tier. It certainly has plenty of character.

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

The game ended up being a 1-1 draw, Cheltenham leading before Michal Smith got Pompey level, there were chances for both teams with Pompey having the better of them, a smart save from the goalkeeper to deny Gary Roberts & Kyle Bennett hitting the post. The stewards were very friendly to the 1,600 traveling Pompey supporters & enjoyed a laugh and joke with us!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

After the match Gemma and myself chatted with more Cheltenham fans behind the Main Stand who looked at the game as a good point to pick up as they had a big match against Colchester on the Tuesday night. We waited to see Portsmouth Manager Paul Cook and the team, while the traffic was busy but soon was free flowing again in no time!

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

An enjoyable day out at Cheltenham & I hope they can survive relegation after coming up from the conference last season. They just might have a say in who goes up from League two this season as we host Cheltenham in our last game of 2016/17.

Cheltenham Town v Doncaster Rovers
Football League Two
Saturday 20th August 2016, 3pm
Graham Grainger (Doncaster Rovers fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Whaddon Road Ground?

This was my first visit to Whaddon Road ground or now called the LCI Stadium.

How eas y was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Stayed the night before at my brother in laws, who lives in the area. I drove to the ground and managed to find some street parking which was just five minutes walk away from Whaddon Road itself.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

A went for a beer in The Robins Nest Bar at the ground. Away fans were welcomed, at a cost of £1 admission. The bar had a good selection of beers. It was a draught Tetley's for me!

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Whaddon Road Ground?

The away end was all seated with cover. Fans were allowed to sit anywhere. The stand holds 1,100, and we half filled it. Whaddon Road is a 'Tidy' little ground but certainly no more that Football League Two 'standard'.

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

Doncaster won the match 1-0, after a goal not long after half time from John Marquis. The stewarding was low key. The Cheltenham fans made some noise in opposite stand behind goal.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Back at my car in not time and no problems getting way from the ground.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good win away for Doncaster. Plus Cheltenham is a very pleasant town to visit and certainly in 'chocolate box' country.

 

Cheltenham Town v Leyton Orient
Football League Two
Saturday 6th August 2016, 3pm
Donald (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Whaddon Road Ground?
This was to be my 70th league ground visited - ideal for a visit as I was on holiday and my team Sunderland were not playing. It's a long way from my home in Durham so a good one to tick off the list while I was on holiday and had time on my hands.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
I travelled to Cheltenham from my home in County Durham on the Friday evening before the game. From my Holiday Inn Express hotel in central Cheltenham the Whaddon Road ground was very easy to locate. But beware, if you arrive at Cheltenham Spa by train then it is a very long walk!

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 I'd visited Cheltenham's Wilson Art Gallery and Museum on the morning and then walked over to the ground after getting some lunch. It was a glorious summer's day and so I did a spot of sun bathing in one of the small parks on the way to the ground. On arrival at the Cheltenham Town Stadium I visited the club shop to buy a badge but was disappointed to learn the programmes had sold out - couldn't get one anywhere grrrrr. Only disappointment on the day.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Whaddon Road?
The LCI Stadium is it is now known, is one of the better lower league English grounds I've visited. I had purchased a ticket for the Wyman's Stand via the club's webpages. The Wymans is the side stand located opposite the Main Stand. However accessing it was a bit of a faff involving a trek around a few streets of housing. When walking from the town centre access to the Main Stand would have been far easier. I was sat close to the Leyton Orient away fans - the away end was very good, all-seated and quite full. The Wymans Stand is comfortable with a excellent view of the action.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The game was quite good - with Orient starting the stronger and scoring an early goal. I was 'neutral' but used to live/work in East London and visited Brisbane Road a few times. So I've a bit of a soft spot for Orient and I was pleased they'd taken the lead as they deserved it at that point in the game. Cheltenham were a little off the pace during the first half - they appeared to still be in pre-season mode. But Orient didn't make the most of their opportunity. Cheltenham eventually improved and got the equalizer. A draw was just about a fair result on a very hot day. The atmosphere was good largely due to the away fans - the home fans were fairly quiet but a nice bunch. The stewards were very good and helpful. The food was the usual fayre - I rarely eat the food at games but it looked okay. I'd actually eaten at 'the Brewery' a retail centre with some good bars and cafes only about a 15 minute walk from Whaddon Road.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
It was easy - I walked back to my hotel and had decided to leave and head back to Durham that evening. I arrived home after a routine journey at 11pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Very enjoyable and another ground ticked off the list. A beautiful sunny day helped but Cheltenham is a lovely town with lots of regency architecture - so well worth making a weekend of any trip. This was the first game of a new season and I suspect Orient will finish higher in the table. But good luck to both clubs.

 

Cheltenham Town vs Plymouth Argyle
League Two
Saturday 28th March 2015, 3pm
John Bonney (Plymouth Argyle fan)

Why you were looking forward to going to Whaddon Road?
This was to be my first visit to Whaddon Road. Plus Argyle needed a win and three points.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
We went by train from Plymouth. It took two and a half hours to reach Cheltenham. That's a short journey for Plymouth fans. It's easy to get into the town centre from the railway station by bus and the Whaddon Road isn't that far from the centre.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
We met up in the Spectre pub, located on the High Street in the town centre. An excellent pub, spacious, served food, nice bar staff and had TV screens showing the early kick off game. There were a mix of home and away fans in the pub. Generally it was a nice atmosphere.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?
The ground is small, but with a nice mix of old and new stands. It was a good view from the relatively new covered away end. We had a lot of away fans, 1300+ and stewards were pretty good.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The game started with both sides tentative. Reuben Reid scored for us to make it 1-0 at half time. Cheltenham had their chances to equalize before the break, but in the second half, Plymouth dominated and we ran out 3-0 winners.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
I chose to walk through the town to get a bite to eat before boarding the train back to Plymouth. Found a cafe and got a meal for £5 - bargain. Cheltenham is a nice town, with regency architecture. The railway station is well signposted.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
All in all I had a pretty good day out. A win always makes you enjoy your day but Cheltenham is well worth a trip. Will go again if Argyle are in town.

Cheltenham Town v Mansfield Town
Football League Two
Saturday 7th March 2015, 3pm
Jack Richardson (Mansfield Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Whaddon Road?

Always look forward to Cheltenham for some reason, it's not exactly close to us! Every visit I have had it's always provided a good game, we tend to do w ell down there so as always I made the trip!

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

The journey was straight forward, drove from Mansfield and arrived in just under two and a half hours. There was plenty of street parking available providing you arrive early enough.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Headed into the town centre which is around 15 minutes walking distance from Whaddon Road, as you can imagine there are plenty of pubs in the town which all welcomed away fans. Oddly I didn't see any home fans anywhere!

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

Whaddon Road is a tidy little ground, modern on three sides with the more traditional main stand running along side the pitch. View from the away end is good, around 15 rows high it's not the biggest away end but gives a clear view.

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

On the back of 2 wins we were feeling confident, the first half was pretty even, the home fans were decent enough with a drummer behind the home goal. The 283 Mansfield fans gave a decent account of themselves as well. Cheltenham took the lead shortly after half time before Billy Kee equalized for us shortly before the final whistle. Stewards were relaxed despite the heavy police presents (no idea why!). Pies were decent and toilets clean.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Only a five minute walk back to the car, bit of traffic getting out but we did park only a short distance from the stadium. Safely arrived back into Mansfield for 7.30pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Enjoyable day out as always, good point, will be going back to Cheltenham at my next opportunity.

Cheltenham Town v Southend United
League Two
Saturday April 5th 2014, 3pm
Tom Raffan (Southend United fan)

I was looking forward to this one as we had just come away from a thirteen game winless streak and were looking to make it three wins on the trot and ensure that we were favourites for the play-offs.

I went on the supporters' bus which left Essex at the civilised time of 9.30am and after an uneventful journey along the M25 and A40 we arrived in Cheltenham at about one o'clock. After hanging around for a bit I had to go back out if the car park and walk past a bowling green to find entrance to the Hazlewoods Stand. The steward said that we could sit where we liked so if found a seat next to the unnecessary netting which cordoned off the end of the stand (closest to the in2print Stand).

I liked this ground, it was a blend of modern and old, with the Main Stand having seating up high and standing in a paddock area below. Opposite is the modern stand, similar to the away stand, which was peculiar in that for most of the length of the pitch there were no advertising boards and it would have been possible for spectators to have walked on the pitch.

Our stand was one of the better away stands in the league, plenty of leg room, good views with no obstructions and a great capacity to make some sound.

The stand was quite full and when a fellow supporter put the drum on the netting the steward had an absolute fit which led to all of us planning to generate some atmosphere moving to the other end of the stand.

The game itself okay, in a first half of few chances Cheltenham took the lead against the run of play in injury time. Throughout the entire game a short, quiet song after the goal was all that we heard from the home supporters, though we had no trouble making plenty of noise throughout the entirety of the match.

The half time entertainment was quite poor, merely a few children from a local football team taking part in a crossbar challenge. Nice idea, it just didn't work.

The second half was much more enjoyable from our perspective, with two goals in the space of three minutes following an inspired substitution from Phil Brown. Cheltenham scarcely threatened our goal for the remaining thirty minutes, and we were able to enjoy a happy trip home with another three points.

Attendance: 2,949 (471 away fans)

Cheltenham Town v Torquay United
League Two
Saturday March 15th 2014, 3pm
Sam Hodgson (Neutral fan)

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

I was looking forward to this game as I'm new to the groundhopping scene, and Cheltenham was the fifth on my 92 and at the start of this journey I look forward to all of them. Also I have a soft spot for their opponents Torquay who were rock bottom at the time with a few games to go, so despite being in the home stand I was secretly hoping I'd see the visitors win and attempt the great escape!

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

Simple journey by train from Birmingham and a long 30 minute (albeit) pleasant walk to the ground.

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

On the way we grabbed some food in the town centre, then made our way into the ground after buying tickets. Both fans seemed friendly accept for Torquay's drummer who (for some unknown reason) gave me a dirty look as I walked past the away end!

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

I liked the ground, a mix of old with the terrace behind the goal and the main stand on one side and a mix of the new with two very modern stands, one of them being the away end behind goal. I was in the modern stand on the side, and what I found unusual was that the new stands were very close to the pitch.

5. Comments on the game itself, Atmosphere, Stewards, Pies, Facilities etc..

The game was decent, with both sides playing well in the first half. Not many chances, although Cheltenham had two great chances which should have put them ahead. However neither found the net. Second half was quiet until Cheltenham opened the scoring in he 75th minute from a corner. Torquay piled on the pressure to try and find a point that they hoped would try and keep them up, but the pressure came to nothing in the end. Final score 1-0 to Cheltenham. Torquay fans sang all game (although not much variety of songs) and were a credit to their team. Not much noise at all from the home end unfortunately. Wasn't much choice on the food menu unfortunately but the toilets were decent. Hardly noticed the stewards all game, probably had nothing to do!

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

No problems as we were on the train, and we go to the station on time (especially since the train home was delayed surprise, surprise!). We were back in Birmingham for 6.30pm so a good journey.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day:

Average game in a nice stadium and I enjoyed the day overall. Another ground off the list!

Attendance: 3,105

Cheltenham Town v Mansfield Town
League Two
Sunday  December 29th 2012, 3pm
Jeff Beastall (Mansfield Town fan)

An unusual fixture this one on the last Sunday of 2013. We decided to make a two day visit of this one, hoping to catch the game on the Sunday and then have a look around the town on the Monday.
 
We stayed at the Central Premier Inn on Gloucester Road which isn’t really central but located at the diametrically opposite side of the town to the ground on the south west side. Directions to the ground are the same as for on foot from the station which is close to the hotel but we chose to take the car having fortunately the available services of an alcohol free driver. Halfway to the ground in the town centre are two Wetherspoon outlets, The Bank House on Clarence Street and The Moon under Water on Bath Road. I’m not over fond of club houses and pubs next to the ground which are sometimes a 10 deep scrum for the bulk buying of limited brands in plastic pots. These are two optionals for the visiting fan; I would recommend personally The Moon (Post code GL53 7HA) which has a short stay public car park virtually next door. This was  £2.60 for two hours which is ample if you are doing a pub lunch too. From there it’s about a mile to Whaddon Road.
 
We found the ground easily given the directions and parked on the nearby side streets. Being a mature student, the club had a reduced admission which was very welcome too. Catering was pretty much as expected and the toilets clean and modern -ish in appearance.
 
The game itself was end to end stuff and would have been entertaining for even the most cynical of neutrals. Without a win for 13 games, the Stags had slipped steadily down the league from promotion contenders towards the abyss of becoming potential relegation fodder. Two goals in the first half and Mansfield appeared to have the game in the bag, but a second half resurgence from the Robins saw them grab one back with 10 minutes left. 5 minutes of added time stretched agonisingly towards some 12 minutes of “Fergy time” but still the Robins couldn’t grab a late equaliser and The Stags took away all of the much needed 3 points with extreme gratitude.
 
Only fly in the ointment of the day was the suggestion / accusation made by a steward to one of our more prominent fans that they had been allegedly consuming alcohol in the stadium; this at end of the game as everyone was leaving through the central exit in, well,  good spirits, so to speak. Poor choice of phrase but there you go. I certainly couldn’t comment either way but as this “quiet word in the ear” began to attract increasing interest, it might have been a bit more prudent had the Steward either made a move (with some back up both in the from of evidence and physical presence ) before then, or as in the Ronan Keating song, “[did] it best when you say nothing at all.”  I’m all for ground security but come on, there’s a method, a time and a place for safety and the top of a staircase in the midst of a bustling crowd at the end of a match isn’t it. 
 
Bottom line, great day otherwise and hope we’ll be back next year and at a time when the fixtures don’t mean we return here in the depths of winter.

Cheltenham Town v Gillingham
League Two
Saturday  March 17th 2012, 3pm
Martyn Beadle (Gillingham fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case maybe):
 
I was really looking forward to going to this ground. We had booked our train tickets six weeks before the game to get a good deal. Me and a couple of friends were really looking forward to a boys day out and we decided to do Cheltenham because compared to most other teams in the League it is not that far to travel.  Also it was a play-off six pointer really so the atmosphere was gonna be great!
 
2. How easy was your journey/ finding the ground/ car parking?
 
The journey was pretty easy we got the 9:00am train from Orpington and we arrived in Cheltenham by 11:50am and as we had a few hours to kill we went to the local bookies to have a little flutter on the match and mixed in with the locals in the bookies and had a bit of banter.
 
3. What did you do before the game pub/chippy....Home fans friendly?
 
We arrived at the station and opposite is the Midland Hotel. So as we had a couple of hours to kill we thought we would try a few bevvies in this hotel and despite a couple of dirty looks because we walked in with our Gillingham shirts on the locals seemed friendly enough. We left the Midland Hotel around 1ish and decided to take a walk up to the ground and passed a few more pubs along the way until we came to a pub called The Hop Pole which was surprisingly very quiet considering it was the same weekend as Cheltenham Gold Cup and St Patricks day. After we left The Hop Pole it was still about 20 minutes walk to the ground.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
 
The ground looked small from the outside and it was quite small on the inside too, but looked very smart. We got in the ground about 20 minutes before kick-off and the only disappointment was that no alcohol was served inside. I thought our away stand was the best stand in the stadium, plenty of leg room and a fantastic view of the playing action.
 
5. Comments on the game itself, Atmosphere, Stewards, Pies, Facilities etc..
 
The game was brilliant and has a fantastic atmosphere. Considering we won 3-0 on the day, us Gillingham fans were making loads of noise as we do when we travel away from home every week. Had a bit of banter with some Cheltenham fans who were giving as good as they got. The stewards were a bit strange we arrived at the ground singing some Gills songs and then couple of stewards stopped me and my mate asking us to be quiet while walking into the ground and asking us how much had we had to drink. We said only a few and they said ok they will be watching us through-out the game and they did exactly that, but shook hands with them at the end and they seemed ok. We got out 3 points to put us in the play-off places so i was bound to be happy. I didn't taste none of the food but my friend said it is better than what we get at a home game and i said they aint that hard to beat is it. The toilets were nice and clean and there wasnt that much queing up to do.
 
6. Comments on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
It was pretty straight forward getting away from the ground the ony down pointer was while we were walking back down to the station it had started chucking it down with rain but when you win 3-0 I couldn't of cared if it was snowing. I was in a really happy mood, it was a safe journey back to the Midland Hotel where we waited and had a few more beers because our train didn't leave until 7pm so we then got a few cans from the local Co-Op for the train journey home.
 
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day:
 
A really fantastic day out  in all, a brilliant atmosphere a few beers, a bit of banter, plus my friend won £102 on predicting Gillingham beating Cheltenham 3-0. I would recommend Cheltenham as a fantastic day out.
 
Come On You Gills!

Why not write your own review of Whaddon Road Cheltenham and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 1st December 2016

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