Forest Green Rovers

The New Lawn

Capacity: 5,140 (Seats 2,041)
Address: Nympsfield Road, Nailsworth, GL6 0ET
Telephone: 01453 834 860
Fax: 01453 835 291
Pitch Size: 110 x 70 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Rovers
Year Ground Opened: 2006
Undersoil Heating: No
Shirt Sponsors: ecotricity
Kit Manufacturer: PlayerLayer
Home Kit: Green and Black
Away Kit: Black With Green Trim

Main and North Stands
Main and North Stands
Main Stand
Main Stand
Nympsfield Road (North) Stand
Nympsfield Road (North) Stand
South Stand
South Stand
Away Fans Seated Stand And Terrace
Away Fans Seated Stand And Terrace
Looking Towards The Nympsfield Road End
Looking Towards The Nympsfield Road End
South Side
South Side
New Seated Away Fans Stand
New Seated Away Fans Stand

The New Lawn 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. Opened in 2006, the New Lawn ground is sited on top of a fairly steep hill and is quite exposed to the elements. It is only a short distance from the site of their old Lawn ground, which has now been redeveloped for housing.

The stadium is dominated by the smart-looking Main (East) Stand at one side of the pitch. This stand is all seated and has a capacity of 1,881. It has a cantilever roof as well as a row of executive boxes running across the back of it. The team 'dugout' areas are located at the front of this stand. Opposite is the small open West Terrace, which is only seven steps high. On one side of this terrace, towards the South Stand a small covered seated stand that has been erected for use by away fans. This odd looking prefabricated stand has just two rows of seats and is elevated above pitch level. Running along the back of this terrace are four floodlight pylons.

Interestingly both ends have to different degrees been relocated from the old Lawn ground to the new stadium. At the Nympsfield Road (North) 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. This terrace was originally the Trevor Horsley Stand at the old ground and was re-erected at the New Lawn. Overall the New Lawn is a small but tidy stadium that is well maintained.

The Club submitted plans to Stroud Council to build a new 5,000 capacity stadium near to Junction 13 of the M5. However, in June 2019 these were rejected and planning permission was refused. The Club have since re-submitted their plans and a decision from the Council is expected before the end of this year. 

The new stadium if built is to be the 'greenest football ground in the World' being eco-friendly and to be constructed of wood. The Club selected World-renowned architects Zaha Hadid to design the new stadium. Zaha Hadid are currently involved in designing new stadiums for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and previous works have included the Aquatic Centre built in London for the 2012 Olympic Games. The image below of an artists impression of how the new stadium might look is supplied courtesy of the Forest Green Rovers website where more images of the proposed stadium can be viewed.

New Forest Green Rovers Stadium

Away Fans Seated StandAway fans are housed on the West side of the ground, mostly on the open terrace that has a capacity of around 1,000 fans. During the Summer of 2018, a small temporary covered area was installed towards the South Stand, which has a capacity of 200 seats. Although not ideal it at least does provide some shelter on what is otherwise an uncovered terrace. It may also help away fans generate some more noise from that side too. The entrance to the away terrace is at the back of the stadium from the main entrance and the access paths are quite narrow. Entrance to the ground is via electronic turnstiles, meaning that you need to scan your ticket to gain admittance.

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 and instead only sell Vegan ones. So on offer, are Veggie Burgers (£3.30), Q-Pies (filled with Quorn £3.50) Chips and Curry Sauce (£3.20), Chip Butties (£3.20) and Chips (£2.70).

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. 

There is bar at the ground itself called the Green Man, which is built into the back of the Main Stand. This bar serves real ale from the Stroud Brewery, hot food is available and it has a number of televisions showing televised sports. However, normally only home fans are admitted. The Club though have set up a small marquee bar for visiting fans which is located near to the away turnstiles.

Maxwell Meadows a visiting Solihull Moors fan adds; 'We went to a pub called the George, which is on New Market Road around a 15 minute walk from the ground. It is an extremely atmospheric pub serving a good pint of beer. It is worth seeking out despite the walk back up the hill. To find this pub from the ground then walk back down the main road towards the town centre. Half way down look out for Burma Road on the right and follow it along into Seven Acres Road. Carry on till you see a footpath on your left heading sharply down the hill. It is a shortcut that leads to the back of The George which is in Newmarket Road. It was a bit of a stiff walk back up to the ground but not as far as from the town centre and at least Burma Road is on the level.'

There are some other pubs and food outlets are at the bottom of the hill in Nailsworth, which is about a 15 minute walk, such as the Britannia on New Market Road. 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 (takes at least 30 minutes). Alternatively, a five minute drive (or two and a half miles) away from the ground in Nympsfield Village is the Rose Crown which serves real ale and food too. 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 pub is well known for its ale being the home of the Keep Brewing Brewery and also shows Sky and Bt Sports.

Colin Scholes a visiting Oldham Athletic fan informs me; 'We found an outstanding pub in Whiteshill called The Star Inn. It is located around six miles from the ground. The landlord was extremely welcoming and the pub offered several lagers and ciders and a couple of real ales as well. It was well worth the visit.'

When planning a trip here, don’t try and find Forest Green on your 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 into Spring Hill, 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 stadium entrance. There is no parking available in the club car park for visiting fans unless you are a blue badge holder who has pre-booked a space. A short distance away down Nympsfield Road is Nailsworth Primary School which offers parking at £5 per car. Otherwise, there is plenty of on-street parking in the area, although please be considerate to local residents.

Park & Ride

The Club operates a Park & Ride scheme from the premises of Renishaw plc, which are located on the main A46 Stroud Road (GL5 5EY). There are 200 spaces for cars and cost of £3 per vehicle. Buses up to the ground commence up to three hours before kick off and return after the match has ended.

There is no railway station in Nailsworth itself. The nearest is in Stroud which is five miles away. I would, therefore, consider getting a taxi from the station to the ground and booking one back for your return. Stroud Railway Station is served by trains from London Paddington, Swindon and Cheltenham Spa.

Otherwise, as Mike Chappell informs me; 'You can also take a bus from Stroud to very near the ground in Nailsworth. Stagecoach Bus Number 63 operates a half hourly service on Saturday afternoons, with the journey taking just under half an hour. You can catch the bus in Stroud from behind the Merrywalks Shopping Centre across the road from the Vue Cinema where there are three bus stops in a row. On passing through Nailsworth the bus loops around near the ground (which you can't really miss) and stops outside the nearby Nailsworth Primary School on Nympsfield Road. This is where you also get back on the bus after the game has ended. It takes around ten minutes to walk from Stroud Railway Station to the Number 63 bus stop.' As you come out of Stroud Railway Station proceed up the station approach road and at the top turn left. Then take the next right and just past Poundland there is the entrance to the Merrywalks Shopping Centre. Just walk to the back of the Centre following the signs for the Vue Cinema/Bus Station. The bus costs £3 single or £5.10, for an Adult Return ticket. A Number 63 timetable can be found on the Stagecoach website (PDF document). Unfortunately, the Number 63 does not operate late on weekday evenings, so if attending a mid-week game you will have to rely on other transport such as a taxi to get back to Stroud. A taxi costs around £15 each way.

Christopher Mott informs me; 'We had hoped to get a taxi from the ground at the end of the game, but the local taxi firms refused to come to the stadium because "there was a football game going on". The drivers seemed to fear that they would get stuck in the traffic as local cars left the ground and they wouldn't be able to pick up easily. This caused my wife and to panic and we had to leave the game early in order to catch a 63 bus that would get us back to Stroud in time for the train.'

Main (East) Stand Seating*

Centre: Adults £23, Over 65's £18, Under 21's £12, Under 16's £8, Under 11's £3 
Wings (including away seated section on West Terrace): 
Adults £21, Over 65's £16, Under 21's £10, Under 16's £7, Under 11's Free

Terrace*

Adults £17, Over 65's £13, Under 21's £8, Under 16's £5, Under 11's Free

* These prices are for tickets purchased in advance of matchday. Tickets bought on the day of the match can cost up to £2 more per Adult ticket and £1 per young person/child ticket. Under 11's are still admitted free in the terraced areas and Main Stand wings.

Official Programme £3

Cheltenham Town and Gloucester City

If you require hotel accommodation in Nailsworth or the Cotswolds 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. Just input the dates below that you wish to stay and then select from the map the hotel of interest to get more information. The map is centered to the football ground. However, you can drag the map around or click on +/- to reveal more hotels in the town centre or further afield.

Booking.com

Record Attendance

4,836 v Derby County
FA Cup 3rd Round, 3rd January 2009

Average Attendance

2018-2019: 2,701 (League Two)
2017-2018: 2,772 (League Two)
2016-2017: 1,753 (National League)

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: [email protected] and I'll update the guide.

Special thanks to Ben Laurens, Mike Cleave and Richard Smith for providing photos of the South side of the New Lawn Stadium and new Away Seated Stand.

Forest Green Rovers v Plymouth Argyle
League Two
Saturday 16th November 2019, 3pm
Bryan Davis (Plymouth Argyle)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?

A close ground for us and one that we hadn’t been to before.  I believe that this was the first competitive match between Forest Green Rovers and Plymouth Argyle.

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

It was easy enough until you get close to the ground which is at the edge of Nailsworth at the top of the hill towards Nympsfield.  We came from the Nympsfield direction and the last two miles is a narrow country lane. We parked in the Nailsworth Primary School car park at a cost of £5. We arrived at about 1 pm and were one of the last cars to get a space. The car park adjoining the stadium is reserved parking only.  There seemed to be a lot of supporters’ cars parked on the surrounding housing estate roads.

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

We got some snacks from the local shop before heading to the ground, we didn’t speak to any of the Forest Green supporters, but the atmosphere was fine.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?

The stadium is relatively new and has the feeling of a small non-league set up, although the Main East Stand is quite impressive.  However, as a visiting supporter, it seems rather make-shift with a marquee tacked on to the back of the North Stand with a bar serving drinks, this area is not properly surfaced and is uneven gravel.  There was nowhere obvious to buy any food from and little, if any, thought seems to have been given to direction signage for away supporters.  By process of elimination we worked out where we were supposed to go to get into the West Terrace, the steward who we asked for help didn’t know which stand was for the away supporters!

There are only 2 turnstiles for the whole of the West Terrace, so we were glad that we had arrived in plenty of time, apparently there were long queues to get in towards kick-off time. Once inside the ground, the Main East Stand is opposite with the small North stand to the left and the slightly bigger South Stand to the right. We were fortunate to have tickets for the very small West Stand covered seating which comprises 2 rows of seats at the southern end of the West Terrace, maybe 80 seats in total. I say we were fortunate because the rest of the terrace was absolutely packed come 3 pm. The views of the action are good from where we were seated and quite close to the touchline.

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

Forest Green were top of the league coming into the game and Argyle were slowly improving having had a decent run of results (the loss at Exeter notwithstanding) after some indifferent performances earlier in the season. The pitch didn’t really lend itself to a great football match, the surface was just not good enough, but the match was entertaining all the same. Argyle started quite well and were attacking the goal closest to where we were sat so we were seeing plenty of the action.  That said, Forest Green probably should have scored on a fast break after an Argyle corner, but good defensive work by Joe Edwards stopped that.  Shortly afterwards, from a corner routine, Antoni Sarcevic, who has been having a good season, hit the target - 1 nil to Argyle! There was plenty going on but neither ‘keeper had very much to do.
After the break, Forest Green attacked a bit more, so again we were seeing the bulk of the action, but there was nothing the Argyle defence couldn’t handle. The six minutes of added time were a little bit stressful, but we needn’t have worried! Not the best match, but a great result.

The atmosphere was a bit subdued from the home support, especially after Argyle had scored and given the mainly open terrace for the away support it wasn’t the loudest from our side either, although it was loud enough in the tiny stand that we were in. The stewards were fine where we were, the right balance of preventing any nonsense without being heavy-handed. Forest Green is famous, or maybe infamous, for only serving vegan food.  However, the queue to buy any was ridiculous, we queued from 2:10 until 2:55, there seemed to only be 2 people serving which was crazy given that Argyle had over 1200 supporters there.  The food itself was okay, but nothing better or worse than that. The facilities generally seemed inadequate for the number of away supporters.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The traffic after the game was stupid, not helped by one of the Argyle supporters’ coaches being parked on the “main road”, I hope that they had not been directed to park there.  It took 40 minutes to get out of the car park, but once out we were on our way easily. There is a park and ride but whilst it would be fine for getting to the ground I think you could be in for a long wait to get back to your car as the buses have to sit in the same traffic as everyone else.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A great result and an entertaining game.  Not a great ground though, due to poor facilities.

Forest Green Rovers v Mansfield Town
League 2
Saturday 19th October 2019, 3pm
Ian Cargill (Southampton fan doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn?
 
This was a new ground for me and was looking forward to seeing what forest Green and their Vegan ethos had to offer.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
No problem I traveled up by car. It was a pleasant journey through the Cotswolds. I parked at the nearby by School as mentioned on this website.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I had a pint in a local pub which was all very nice and had a Vegan pasty and Vegan beer in the Green Man bar at the ground pre-match. The food and beer were excellent. Both home and away fans were mixing well and all very friendly.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn?
 
The ground is nice small and compact, I can see why they want a new Eco-friendly stadium the current one is just brick and breeze block not in keeping. I sat in the premium seating right behind the away bench which was interesting.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
A decent League 2 game. Forest Green went 2 up and were dominating until a Mansfield substitution who scored twice against the run of play and somehow Mansfield managed a 2-2 draw.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Not the easiest place to get away from as the traffic was slow to get moving.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I really enjoyed my visit to Forest Green my 81st ground out of the current 91. 10 left to do Macclesfield is next on the list.

Forest Green Rovers v Coventry City
EFL Trophy Group Stage
Tuesday 8th October 2019, 7pm
Steve Bolland (Coventry City)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?

It's not a big ground and we weren't able to get tickets for the league match when we were in the same tier last season. Therefore, an opportunity to tick off another ground in a midweek, low-key cup match seemed to be worth the trouble. Plus, who doesn't love a vegan-fuelled night out?

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

Approaching from the east the satnav tells you you're 5 minutes from the ground and you're still in open countryside. Are we in the right place? Then you spot the floodlights across what can only be described as a chasm with Nailsworth at the bottom. Then you drop down a road reminiscent of Alpe d'Huez with a series of switchbacks basically down a cliff. I wouldn't want to cycle up it.

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

We headed for the George public house on Newmarket Road mainly because it is halfway up the hill. There were no home fans about to tell if they were friendly but the landlord certainly was, commiserating us after the game when we dropped back in, talking us through the guest beers and giving us a sample of each. A great pub with easy parking.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?

First thoughts are difficult when you are in oxygen deficit. I take exception with the widely held view that The Hawthorns is the highest league stadium in England. The New Lawn is higher. I'm glad we only had to walk up half the hill. I'm presuming that they chose to put the stadium on top of the hill as that's the only flat bit of ground in town. I like some of the smaller Football League grounds, though, and the New Lawn certainly fits into this category. Apparently the club is building a new ground in the near future. Their old stadium was called the Lawn, the current ground is called the New Lawn. Am I alone in thinking the new one will be called the New, New Lawn?

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

We know the ground is vegan, but oat milk for your half-time tea... Really? I should have smuggled a carton of proper milk in. Anyway, we were treated to a 0-0 thriller but how we didn't score in the second half I'll never know. And then we lost 8-7 on penalties! C'est la vie.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

It's downhill.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Kind of fun and a really good cardiovascular workout.

Forest Green Rovers v Colchester United
League Two
Saturday 14th September 2019, 3pm
Andrew Weston (Colchester United)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn?
 
The World's first and potentially only vegan football club? Surely that was a must. Although I wasn't looking forward to whatever the vegan equivalent of Bovril is. Bovveg? Vegril? Either's not ideal. Also, another ground to tick off...
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
My journey from near Sutton was pretty Hellish, but I'll not hold that against Forest Green as I don't think that either the massive queue on the M25 or the huge amount of roadworks around Bracknell can be directly or indirectly attributed to them. Heading towards the ground there was a Park and Ride advertised; £3 (pay by card only) got you parking and a return journey to the ground (which, by bus, was about 10 minutes away).
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Due to previously mentioned nightmare travel conditions, before the game, I frantically ran to the ticket office, got an away standing ticket (£19) and frantically ran to the turnstile. I got in with a few minutes to spare and opted to get a bite to eat, gambling that I'd be able to buy a programme at half time (I could at £3). Every single individual I met (fans on the bus, fans outside ground, staff) were very happy to chat and/or help as necessary.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn?
 
I really liked it. Three sides were terraced; as the away fans were along the length of the pitch you could move where you were according to where you were attacking (not really worth it in Colchester's case, but it was a nice idea); I was deeply impressed by the whole ecological commitment (especially the ad in the programme that had a line up of shower products in a 4-4-2, and declared 'the best system is an ecosystem!') and the weather was great. Somehow the second half put me in the shade (I didn't see what was casting the shadow) and I suspect that on a cold dark Tuesday night in January I'd probably have at least moved undercover for a pound more, but on a September day, great.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Forest Green's kit is a green and black number that makes them look like tigers that are either deeply, deeply ill or very environmentally aware. I was disappointed that Q Pie (Quorn?) had sold out, so opted for a veggie burger (£3.50) and a green cola (stupidly priced at £1.60, which meant handing over a tenner instead of a fiver and getting a load of coinage in return). The actual identifiable vegetables in the burger (gherkin, tomato, lettuce, onion) were nice; I didn't really rate the beef substitute. The green cola was disappointingly standard cola coloured (someone's missed a marketing trick there), but tasted like most colas do that aren't actually Coke. 
 
Then the game started; Rovers played decent, on-the-deck football and were well set up. The home fans were pretty encouraged by this and the atmosphere was good; little in the way of banter but impressive in the way of genuine support. After the goal (which I'll get to in a moment), the home stands were buzzing like bees who were not being forced to surrender their honey to their oppressive human overlords. Rovers went with what looked like a conventional 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1, depending on how you interpret Jack Aitchson's role. Colchester appeared to be patenting a line-up that if I typed it would look like a very large number rendered in binary. "Highlights" included a winger in central midfield, a central midfielder as left wing-back and a striker on the right wing. Rovers moved through us like a hot knife through a responsibly-sourced non-dairy spread (the fact that I've got plenty more in that vein should tell you everything about Colchester's performance, which was less than gripping), and put whatever counted as our defense under pressure from the off. 
 
I've commented in a review of Home Park about how Luke Prosser always reminds me, in terms of coordination, of the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz; in fairness - and this is a couple of weeks after that - he's now added an extra element to his game, although I'm not sure if poking the ball past your own keeper from three yards when under minimal pressure is going to turn out to be a very marketable skill. Colchester rallied a little in the second half and did have a shot on target, along with 11 that didn't, including one that hit the corner flag and another that went out for a throw. Five minutes of injury time seemed offensive in the context, but I stayed to the end, soaking up the ecological goodness of it all...
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Back to the car via the park and ride, which was super-easy. And the route home seemed better than the route there; I'm not sure that counts as a silver lining because the M25 was as busy as ever, but it was certainly better than the way there.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I really liked the Forest Green set up, and the fact that the stadium seemed full (in reality it was apparently only half full) shows that they've not fallen into the trap of 'if you build it they will come'. There was atmosphere, a decent(ish) game and the quirkiness of the vegan and ecology approach. I'd go again if it was nearer, and am moving Forest Green Rovers onto my 'approved' list of teams..

Forest Green Rovers v Newport County
League 2
Saturday 31st August 2019, 3pm
Tim Williams (Doing to 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?

I completed the 92 a few seasons ago and since then there have been a few comings and goings and so some new places to visit. Forest Green Rovers were one of these. I was particularly looking forward to this visit because of what I had read about the club - its green credentials appealed to me as did the vegan pie.

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

The drive from London was okay. I went via Oxford to pick my son up and then drove through increasingly pleasant countryside to Nailsworth. The town itself is dramatically situated, especially driving in from the east. The road descends steeply into the town and then equally steeply out the other side and to the ground. Car parking was a challenge - there was a larger than usual crowd with Newport bringing a sizeable following. Rain in the morning led to the overflow car park being closed because the ground was wet so I had to search for a while to find some street parking.

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

We arrived five minutes before kick off so although we were starving we didn't get to sample the vegan pie until half time - but it was worth the wait. Everyone was very friendly and the stewards were helpful.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?

The ground is smart and the setting is very attractive with the Cotswolds countryside stretching into the distance. The visiting supporters filled their section and this made the atmosphere lively. The ground has a curious unfinished feel mainly due to the visitors section - there's a tiny stand with two rows of seats and then a large open terrace section so the away support is spread along the whole of one side. But on a sunny August day and with a decent size crowd this wasn't a problem. A smaller following might find it difficult to make much of an atmosphere.

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

The game was surprisingly spikey and turned on three goalkeeper errors. The first was from a back pass that the home keeper failed to control. The Newport forward took the ball off him and fired into the empty net. Shortly after the home keeper was again in trouble trying to control the ball and this time brought the visiting forward down. The referee showed him the red card. The verdict in the home end was, unsurprisingly, that this was a bit harsh and the ref took rather a lot of abuse. But Forest Green played well after this setback and, if anything, came more into the game. They created a few chances and hit the post from a free kick in the second half. But right at the death, Newport scored a second when the substitute home keeper was beaten by a long shot on his near post.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

A shortish downhill walk back to the car and then a little bit of traffic towards the town centre. Once this was cleared we were in the open country on quick roads and back in Oxford by early evening.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A great and unique day out. It's a very different football experience but definitely worth the trip.

Forest Green Rovers v Tranmere Rovers
League Two Play off Semi Final Second leg
Monday 13th May 2019, 7.45pm
Craig Perkins (Tranmere Rovers)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
We had won the 1st leg of this semi-final 1-0 just three days earlier, but despite us holding a slight advantage, I wasn't confident heading into the game as Forest Green have been our bogey team over the past few years!
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
With it being an evening kick-off, public transport was out of the question. So we had to battle the M6 and M5 on a Monday afternoon which wasn't as bad as first feared. The ground itself is at the top of a very steep hill with very little parking. We had visited once before (also a night game) back in October 2016. There is free parking in Nailsworth centre after 6pm so we opted to leave the car there and walk up to the ground. The walk up to The New Lawn from the centre of Nailsworth is up a very steep hill. Okay for Mid-30 somethings like me but my stepfather in his late 60's found the hike very tough going. Forest Green also operates a park and ride service from Nailsworth on matchdays.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We had a few drinks and a bite to eat in the excellent Britannia Pub in the centre of Nailsworth prior to the game. Lots of room inside, good menu (Not Vegan only like Forest Green) and two outdoor areas. There were a small group of home fans inside who were friendly enough.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?
 
I'd been to the New Lawn before during our National League days. The ground itself is very much stuck in the Non-League era - facilities are very basic and it certainly struggled to cope with 1200 away fans. Forest Green Rovers have moved the away section since my last visit. Visitors are now housed on an open terrace on the west side of the pitch. As I mentioned, with so many travelling supporters, it was very crowded and views of the game weren't great.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Forest Green doesn't sell any meat products - only vegan ones. SO if you're after meat pies etc you'll be disappointed. The queues for the facilities were horrendous. The game itself was a tense affair. Forest Green erased our 1st leg lead after only ten minutes. Luckily for us we had the League 2 Player of the Year and leading goalscorer James Norwood in our side who equalised after 25 minutes. 
 
Forest Green were reduced to ten men with a quarter of the game to go and in the end, we saw the match out to win 2-1 on aggregate. Reaching Wembley for the third year in a row made it a joyous away section at full time! The stewards were good on the whole. Even at full time when several hundred Tranmere fans invaded the pitch, they didn't try and restrain anyone.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
For most people, getting away from the ground was chaotic. The area just isn't suitable for crowds of this size. The locals must get so annoyed on matchdays. Fortunately for us, we were parked down in Nailsworth and got away okay. It was about a 20 minute walk back to the car park.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
The night itself will live long in my memory as Tranmere reached a Wembley play off final for the 3rd year in a row! But it will be a first EFL play off final appearance since 1991. Forest Green is certainly not one of the best away trips. The locals are friendly on the whole but logistically, New Lawn itself isn't the easiest place to get to.

Forest Green Rovers v Tranmere Rovers
League Two Play off Semi Final Second leg
Monday 13th May 2019, 7.45pm
John Hague (Tranmere/Sort of neutral)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?

Living in Leicester it's surprising how many friends I've made who are Tranmere fans. So when they drew Forest Green in the play offs the chance of a new ground was just too hard to resist. I was also interested in the ethics behind Forest Green too.

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

For once I was a passenger and we had a trouble-free journey down from Leicester. We came in from the Nympsfield direction with the hope of stopping off at the ground to pick up our tickets but even at 6pm, it was chaos around the stadium. I don't envy the locals on match days as Nailsworth just isn't designed for a Football League club.

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

We had identified The George at Newmarket as a base camp for our pre-match pint. We also planned to walk from the there to the ground. The locals were friendly and there was a good mix of locals with home and away fans. One local showed us a shortcut up to the ground and up is the operative word here. I can't believe, after the climb up to The New Lawn, that The Hawthorns is still the highest league ground in England. Sir Edmund Hillary is reputed to have trained for Everest by having an Forest Green Rovers season ticket!

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?

The New Lawn is a tidy ground bit is still very non-league. The away end is an uncovered, pitch length, terrace with a small stand of covered seating at one end. The Main Stand opposite is functional as are the covered terraces at both ends. As Vinnie Jones might have said at the end of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels 'it's functional.'

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

The game was a nervy affair and Forest Green went ahead early after a mistake from the Tranmere keeper. At that point, the home fans were making a lot of noise and the home team responded. Rovers slowly got back into the game and the away fans managed to generate a good atmosphere to urge them on. When Man of the Match, James Norwood, volleyed Tranmere level there was absolute pandemonium in the away end. Thankfully Rovers held out, helped by another red card for Forest Green. 

At the end there were ecstatic scenes led by Premier League referee Mike Dean (as seen on Sky TV). I was quite interested to try the food and the chips and curry were excellent. I didn't go for a Q Pie as I really don't like Quorn (despite having a house there) or meat substitutes. If I'm eating veggie or vegan I think trying to make something look or taste like meat defeats the object and just isn't really very nice.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

A walk back to the car was thankfully downhill all the way and we were soon on our way home. The journey was trouble free until we discovered that Junction 2 on the M6 to get us onto the M69 was shut and on our diversion the A426 at Lutterworth was closed...

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A great day out, thanks to Ian for driving and Steve and Paul for the company. I'd also like to thank Mike Dean for his celebrations at the final whistle... goes to show referees are human.

Forest Green Rovers v Milton Keynes Dons
League Two
Saturday 30th March 2019, 3pm
David (Milton Keynes Dons)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?

It was a top-six clash at the business end of the season. We had we'd just got back into the top three and the game earlier in the season at Stadium MK was a good one so I was hoping for more of the same at The New Lawn.

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

Getting to the ground was a doddle. I took the train from Milton Keynes to Birmingham, then Birmingham to Cheltenham and finally Cheltenham to Stroud. I then took the No. 63 bus (I got a Stroud plusbus ticket for £3.50) which was a nice simple journey too.

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

I went straight to ground and had a couple of Lagers at the 'Fan Zone'. There appeared to be a decent selection of Beer and Cider. I only really spoke to home fans on the way back to the station, but they all seemed like a nice bunch and weren't negative about us or the fact that we had won 2-1 when it looked nailed on for a draw.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?

I've been here before and always enjoy a terrace. The new covered section looks a bit odd on the away side. The rest of the stadium looks in good nick.

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

The curry sauce and chips were very nice. The vegan only menu restricted my options as I can't stand Quorn, although lots of our fans loved the sausage rolls. I'd love to know the ingredients for the 'Vegan' Gravy! The atmosphere was good, once they started to threaten their fans made a good noise, our fans made a decent effort as is usually the way with away fans. The stewards weren't the best (if you're going to threaten ejection for people swearing at players you need to be willing to actually carry out the threat!), although they were unobtrusive for the most part and pleasant. 

The game was as entertaining as League Two has been this season and should probably have ended in a draw, but we snatched a 2-1 win with a late goal. Forest Green will be a difficult opponent for whoever gets them in the play offs.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

However, the traffic caused a near one hour wait after the game for a bus back to Stroud so don't plan on making any train out of Stroud before 18:10 if using the bus! For 'the greenest club in Europe' their fans have a LOT of Range Rovers and Jags! The road to/and from the ground is completely unsuitable for the purpose and I'm sure those who drove were getting a bit hacked off with the slow movement.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Forest Green Rovers are a very welcoming club and having been twice I can definitely recommend a visit. I hate to say this but the current set up is very 'quirky' and obviously the emphasis on being green and Vegan makes it a very different place than any other in the league. I heard on my visit that they've been granted permission to build their new wooden ground, hopefully the issues with infrastructure are dealt with too, as the issues leaving the ground were the only slight downside to a great away day.

Forest Green Rovers v Milton Keynes Dons
League Two
Saturday 30th March 2019, 3pm
Kevin Pullan (Milton Keynes Dons)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
The philosophy of the club was appealing and the food write up was good.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
An interesting place to get to, going up a hill from the town centre. Rather like Wycombe's ground there is one way in and one way out.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We went into the home bar and eating places and the fans seemed very friendly but we did not advertise we were MK Dons fans. There was a long queue for food. Bad organisation as the home fans were moaning that it happens every match. We were saved by a man selling nice sweet potato samosas.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?
 
It is a strange ground with a 2,000 seated Main Stand for home fans and an open air side stand opposite, for away fans. Both ends behind the goals, were enclosed terraced  stands for home fans only. Seating for away fans numbers about 80 in a tiny stand that is almost unbelievable. The away fans would be almost drowned if it rains hard. Not fair on the away fans I think. Still nice views to the hills.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
It was a good game with Forest Green not as good as they were earlier in the season at the Dons. Mk won 2-1. The staff were very friendly and there was a good attendance. There was a good atmosphere on a nice day, weatherwise.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Slow, slow and very slow. All traffic down one road to the roundabout in town. We parked in the nearby Primary school. It took ages to get away.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
A nice interesting location. The food and service were disorganised and not as good as expected. Great for spending a weekend away in the area with many things to do. Biggest gripe was the provision of seating and the open air standing for away fans. Little appreciation for the effort away fans make to get there. All three covered stands are the reserve of home fans.

Forest Green Rovers v Lincoln City
League Two
Saturday 2nd March 2019, 3pm
Matthew McCaughan (Lincoln City)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
I always enjoy going down to the Cotswolds and Forest Green was a new ground for me.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
The ground is in the middle of nowhere, but easy enough to find with a sat nav. We parked at the school next door for £5.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
There is a small away fan section with a small beer tent serving food and drink from a little hole in the wall.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?
 
The New Lawn Ground is small but I liked the layout of it.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game was entertaining. Forest Green scoring early, Lincoln equalising quickly, then getting a late winner from the penalty spot. The chips and curry sauce were spot on. However, the vegan 'green' coca cola being sold wasn't nice at all. The stewards and staff at the club were fine.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
It took about 30 minutes to get out of the school car park. There was a long queue towards Nailsworth so instead, we turned left out of the car park, rather than right towards Nailsworth. This takes you up a single track road through Nympsfield, but it cut out all the traffic.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
An enjoyable match and three important points for Lincoln.

Forest Green Rovers v Notts County
League Two
Saturday 9th February 2019, 3pm
Jim Pedley (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
Well, this was the big one, for me. The last club. The 92nd league club. I’d been to the old Lawn Ground, in about 2003. Forest Green Rovers have been playing in the Football League for two seasons now, so I had to return. A big plus for me was the Eco-ness of the Club. I’ve been in the Green Party for years! Also, a typical “top v bottom” clash was on the cards. Cue “mood music”: A Forest by the Cure...
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
There’s only one way to do your 92nd club, and that’s in style! So I booked hospitality at £54 a person. I took the missus and we made a long weekend of it. After a four four hour drive from Yorkshire, we were in Nailsworth. We checked into our hotel and had Friday night to explore local pubs!
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Breakfast in Nailsworth village centre (absolutely lovely place) then a short drive up the hill. There is a regular bus service to the New Lawn, bus 63 I think.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?
 
I always do a little walk around a new stadium. Take photos and so on. It is a typical small stadium really... BUT! I did get excited when I saw charging points for electric cars. And solar panels too! This is the future people!
 
Looking Towards The South Stand
 
Looking Towards The South Stand
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Notts County won’t go down without a fight. They battled well and deserved to win 2-1. It was a cold day, but we were in the hospitality lounge! And all the food was vegan. Check this out: Chilli NON-Carne! By the way, the local beers and ciders are beautiful.
 
The Nympsfield Road Stand
 
Nympsfield Road Stand
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Again, we were enjoying another drink in the lounge. Left about 5.30pm. No queues!
 
Inside The Green Man After The Match
 
Inside The Green Man After The Match
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I absolutely LOVE what Forest Green are trying to do. We saw a model of the proposed new stadium but I think they are experiencing some planning delays. Vegan food? Try it! And wash it down with Stroud beers! It looks like I saved the best club until last!

Forest Green Rovers v Bury
League Two
Saturday 19th January 2019, 3pm
Malcolm Parr (Bury)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?

This was my first visit to the New Lawn  Ground. I was intrigued by the publicity surrounding the stadium. Additionally, I was looking forward to seeing whether we could maintain our excellent recent form.

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

I travelled on one of the official coaches. The journey was straightforward. However, it took some time to park the coaches because of the lack of appropriate space. There is very little parking around the ground.

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

We were directed to a hospitality tent which contained a bar. The bar service was incredibly slow. Toilet facilities were inadequate. However, the staff were friendly.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?

The stadium is built from "sustainable materials" and it blends in with its environment. Home supporters are accommodated in covered seating and two small covered terraces. We were allocated a terrace with a shallow roof at one end. The roof covers a small block of seats but not the terrace in front of it!

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

Fans are compelled to choose items from a vegan menu. The toilet facilities are clean but limited. The Forest Green team are strong, well organised and well drilled. They dominated most of the game and they held on comfortably to an early lead until we made a double substitution after 60 minutes. This turned the game in our favour. We equalised and then scored the decisive goal in the last ten minutes.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The coaches were ready to move by 5.00pm. By 5.30pm we had moved 100 yards. Almost all match traffic uses the same steep and narrow lane to exit the area. We got to the bottom of the lane by 5.45pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I enjoy visiting new grounds and the victory maintains our momentum at the top of League Two. However, I was disappointed by the ground. The atmosphere was poor; catering is subservient to a vegan agenda; the away terrace is inadequate, the entrance is via a small gate, (inadequate for 600 Bury fans!); the stewarding is erratic; access to the stadium is very poor, as is the parking. The New Lawn, in my opinion, is barely fit for purpose at this level.

Crewe Alexandra v Forest Green Rovers
League Two
Saturday 22nd December 2018, 3pm
Callan Rowland (Crewe Alexandra)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn?
 
I was excited because my mate is a Forest Green fan so I wanted to check out the stadium and watch the Alex play at the same time.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I found it really easy until actually getting to and parking at the ground. Both the normal and overflow car parks were full for a game that had around 1,700 people there, and I had to park about a mile down the road on a housing estate.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I went into Stroud before going to the ground and got a few stares (to be expected, I was wearing a shirt, hat and scarf) but overall the FGR fans are quite friendly. Didn't go to a pub but there isn't one nearby as the ground is in the middle of nowhere.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn?
 
The ground is small, but not surprising for a team that has only been in League Two for two years, but the away section is pretty poor. Only two rows of seating for around 70 people, but the other sides of the ground weren't that good either. Only the Main Stand would be a stand I would be happy to sit in.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Crewe pulled their usual of dominating possession but not turning them into chances. Forest Green got a lucky break in the first half with a deflected goal which turned out to be the winner. I couldn't comment on stewards as I didn't see any, even after moving to the terrace in the second half. The food and drink were poor. The only thing drinkable was the Coke, tried the hot chocolate and it tasted more like hot water and the chips weren't great either. The atmosphere was poor on both sides (Crewe fans aren't the greatest, but we made most of the atmosphere).
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Because there were about 300 cars exiting the stadium and going down the road into Nailsworth, it took ages to get away.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Poor football, poor parking and poor food. The best thing about the ground is that the fans are friendly. However, I doubt if I will ever go back to the New Lawn.

Forest Green Rovers vs Mansfield Town
League 2
Saturday 15th December 2018, 3pm
Jack Richardson (Mansfield Town)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
We are flying this season and only have one defeat which to say it's nearly Christmas is fantastic. We are also on our longest unbeaten run for over 40 years so optimism was high. I also hadn't visited Forest Green Rovers since our days in the National League so I was overdue a visit.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
We opted to drive and left Mansfield shortly after 10.30am. A straightforward journey down the M1, M42 and M5 ensured we arrived in Nailsworth shortly after 12.30pm. Car parking is available at the ground and the nearby Primary School but this was full by the time we did arrive, there is street parking available as well.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We went to the Britannia Pub in Nailsworth, an excellent pub which had a real local feel to it. It would have been excellent in August, but unfortunately, this was freezing cold and a wet December day. I didn't encounter any home fans at all. We drove up to the stadium shortly after 2pm and found street parking within five minutes of the ground, this is advisable as there is a huge hill leading up to the ground from the village, which I wouldn't fancy walking up.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Ground?
 
The away end has changed since I last went, it now runs the length of the pitch and it's uncovered. Forest Green have recently installed a small seating stand which offers 'covered standing' in front of it for an extra £2 on the normal standing price. This made no difference and we got drenched anyway so advice would be to save your £2 and take an umbrella! The rest of the ground is good, it has two covered terraces behind the goals and a small Main Stand which runs the length of the pitch and has executive boxes at the top.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Unfortunately, the game was abandoned at half time with the score 0-0. We did think this would be the outcome shortly after kick off as the ball held up in places and the game lacked any quality, a shame as both sides are well known for playing attractive, attacking football. The food stall is poor and pretty much non existent as Forest Green still insist on forcing the Vegan agenda onto everyone. The stewards were friendly and low key and facilities average for this level.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Getting away was easy, a short walk back to the car and we were on our way. We arrived back into Mansfield shortly after 6pm.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
A strange day out really, a long way for 45 minutes! Forest Green have said there will be no refunds given as it was called off at half time but have said they have a special offer available for the replay, it'll have to be extra special as the game is available on ifollow for £10!

Forest Green Rovers v Crawley Town
League Two
Saturday 22nd September 2018, 3pm
Geoff Thornton (Crawley Town)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
A new ground for me and at my age (72) I tend to travel mostly to new places.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
By supporters' coach and our driver was tested on how to turn his 12 metre long vehicle into a parking space at 180 degrees to the narrow access road.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We enjoyed an excellent buffet nearby at The Major's Retreat at Tormarton which is essential if you are not also a vegan.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Ground?
 
The New Lawn is hotchpotch due to piecemeal development and the south side for away fans is grim. The covered seating in the away area is only two rows deep and the "covered" standing is a step (also two rows) in front of it and under the same canopy. The wind direction is critical if it is raining as those below me found out.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The stewards most officious I have encountered for some seasons. The matchday programme was sparse and inaccurate. Some player profiles showed those for the previous game against Port Vale.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
One narrow road down into the town from New Lawn's exposed hill top and so pretty slow, but where isn't it slow after a game at a football ground?
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
A good day out despite New Lawn's shortcomings off the field and Crawley Town's on it but you need to be a loyal supporter.

Forest Green Rovers v Swindon Town
League 2
Saturday 25th August 2018, 3pm
Mike Weston (Swindon Town)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
Despite the fact that (geographically) Forest Green are our nearest "rivals", work and other commitments meant I hadn't been there before, so was I was interested to tick another away ground off the list. It is hardly a long drive for us either, and I had heard that it was a "nice" place to go to watch your team.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
An easy drive through the Cotswolds, along pretty country lanes, and into the town of Nailsworth, which is pretty attractive in itself. Local knowledge told us not to try to park near the ground, so we chose to meet at a pub in the town centre and walk from there.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We met at Egypt Mill, which is a pretty classy and very attractive pub/hotel/restaurant in the town centre, being a nice day we sat outside by the pubs own duck pond. There were no visible home fans in the pub, maybe I guess the reason being the astronomical bar prices and its "upmarket" image. Despite there being loads of free parking, and vague signs warning of tickets etc if you overstayed or in any other way parked there without business in the pub, I asked the barman if we could leave our cars there and walk to the game and he said absolutely fine, no problem with that at all. Our decision to park in the town meant we had to don hiking boots, ropes, crampons and full mountaineering gear to walk up the serious hill to the ground. Not recommended for anyone with a dodgy heart or impaired mobility. It proved to be a good idea, despite the altitude sickness and aching lungs, as we neared the ground it was utter carnage, with people looking for places to park, and local residents out in force with pitchforks warning anyone so much as slowing down to take a look, that they could not park anywhere near their houses. There did seem to be a park and ride bus service going up the hill but every bus that passed us was 90% empty so I don't think the home fans make use of that. There were a few places on the hill offering parking for a fiver but when we passed them a good hour before kick off, they were all full.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?
 
The away "side" is approached via a tiny path around the back of one of the ends. The turnstiles were not in operation, meaning a very slow entry to the ground as one steward checked 1,235 tickets all on her own. Not a great start to the experience.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The facilities inside the away enclosure were, frankly, pitiful for League 2 standards. The toilets, refreshment stand, everything about it, appears to have been organised with a maximum number of away fans of maybe 500 in mind. The fact that we sold out at 1,235 meant that getting to the toilet at half time was a challenge with a huge queue, and getting to the coffee bar was a complete waste of time if you didn't want to see any of the game. Despite selling out our allocation, with a standing terrace maybe eight deep at best, and no roof, it didn't engender much in the way of atmosphere for those exposed to the elements. Thankfully the game played out in warm sunshine for the whole 90 minutes, it would have been a wretched experience to have to be there in the rain. The stewards were pretty reasonable, no aggressive stuff, all very friendly. However its patently obvious that, despite having had league status for a couple of years, this club has a pitiful fan base. Both ends, especially the standing end to our left, were sparsely populated, and the main home stand opposite showed a large number of empty seats throughout - a bit surprising seeing as FGR fans see us as major rivals, and they had beaten us at our ground in the cup just a couple of weeks previously. So what has to happen to make the locals to turn out in force is anyones guess.
 
It seems crazy, with the home end being so poorly populated, that they don't turn over that end to away fans, at least for well-supported teams. The home fans in that end would have comfortably fitted into the 200 or so covered seats that away fans are given, thus giving the entire end to away fans, generating what presumably would be much-needed revenue. Plenty of others have already commented on the vegan catering, and its been well documented, suffice to say we couldn't get near to the catering "facility" to try it anyway, even if we wanted. What I saw others eating didn't look so appetising to me anyway.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
The worst bit was getting away. For some reason, they decided to open just one small gate, for all 1,235 away fans to get through to get out. Maybe its deliberate, so reduce congestion outside the ground, (it didn't) but isn't there some rule about how quickly they have to be able to evacuate a ground. We were still queueing to get out long after the final whistle. The congestion back down the hill was dreadful. We passed on foot just about every single car on the hill and, when we reached the town, only then were we overtaken by a car whose occupants we had spoken to when we passed them about 20 minutes before, such was the traffic chaos getting away. people pulling out of side roads to push into the downhill queue also effectively blocked the Uphill traffic, so the shuttle buses going to round to pick up "park and riders" couldn't even get up to the ground. God alone knows what the congestion would be like if the home fans actually filled their three sides in the future.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Not the nicest of experiences. Yes it s a friendly enough place and not a hint of aggression or nastiness was in evidence, but they have to sort out the ludicrous access to the ground and the poor facilities if they plan to move up the leagues. On the pitch, they seem to have an attractive attacking team, and they will win a lot of games this year, and I can't work out why more locals don't go to support them. But off the pitch and on the terraces they need to seriously review access, parking, facilities, and general "user friendliness" if they are to grow. I'd hate to be a local resident if they do go up the league and have to grow the stadium to accommodate bigger crowds - they couldn't cope with a sell-out away crowd this time, what would happen if they get promoted and start playing bigger, better-supported teams than us is rather scary.

Forest Green Rovers v Oldham Athletic
League Two
Saturday 11th August 2018, 3pm
Joe McDonagh (Oldham Athletic)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
I wasn’t looking forward to it really but it was the first away game of the season so had to go.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I drove down and managed to park on the club car park, although £7 is a rip off to park though.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I had a beer in the away bar but ended up in the George Inn, which was a nice pub with good prices about 15 minutes walk away from the ground.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Ground?
 
The New Lawn is a really small ground. The away terrace had no roof and it rained for the majority of the game so it wasn’t too good.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
It was really hard to get an atmosphere going in an open away end and when your team is playing rubbish, obviously the food was poor because it was all vegan. Also there was only one small gate to let everyone out so took a while to get out.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Not easy as the roads are all single lanes so always stopping.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I won’t be returning in a hurry, probably the worst away day I have been on, no atmosphere, bad food, bad beer at the ground, bad everything (apart from the George Inn).

Forest Green Rovers v Notts County
League 2
Saturday 10th March 2018, 3pm
Dave Watson (Notts County fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?

I hadn't been to the ground before and looking forward to a nice day out in the Cotswolds. I'm also a fan of non-league football so was nice to a see a team like Forest Green making it to the Football League.  

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

An easy enough journey. I parked in Nailsworth behind the Britannia pub as I got there at lunchtime. This is a free long term car park so an ideal place to park for the afternoon. The walk to the ground was about 20 minutes all uphill but not as bad as I'd feared. There is also a bus from Nailsworth up to the stadium but I didn't see it on my walk.

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

Went to the Village Inn to watch the lunchtime match (Man Utd v Liverpool). It is a nice pub with very friendly staff, didn't serve food but said they were happy for me to bring in fish and chips from the chippy next door. Chippy friendly but only average food.

The New Lawn

The New Lawn Forest Green


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

I walked to the ground from Nailsworth which is a 20 minute uphill walk. So first impressions were relief on making it! The away fans had a Marquee to themselves outside the ground which had a couple of guys selling organic ale and hot drinks. I noted that the beer was sold in biodegradable cups. The tent is outside the ground so you can bring in your own food and drink, last chance before the enforced veganism inside the stadium. Overall the New Lawn ground looked small but fairly modern except for the away end.

The Away Fans Marquee  

Away Fans Marquee Bar


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

Notts took about 700 fans but were spread out on a very shallow terrace alongside on the pitch. This is the only stand in the ground that is open and it rained for about 20 minutes so we were pretty wet for the rest of the afternoon. The enforced veganism inside the ground is a nice thought but having no choice did make a few of us quite grumpy. The game was pretty good, Notts County having the best of the first half and Forest Green the second, County won 2-1, Having maybe just had the better of the game but could have gone either way. It was difficult to make any noise as we were in a long open terrace and the home fans were fairly quiet.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The walk back into Nailsworth made me glad that I'd parked in the center rather than near the ground as it was certainly quicker to walk than it was to drive back down the hill. When back in the car it was an easy enough drive home, only 2,800 in the ground so not a great deal of traffic once you'd got out of the bottleneck of the road out of the ground.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Lovely setting in the Cotswolds but having to stand in the rain while only having vegan food and soya milk in my tea made it quite an unwelcoming feel. Glad to have crossed the ground off my list but will not be rushing back.

Forest Green Rovers v Crawley Town
League 2
Saturday 24th February 2018, 3pm
Mike Fox (Crawley Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
I was looking forward to some different matchday food and a different ground, as I had not been to Forest Green before.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
Parking in the school next to the ground was easy and helpful. The steward parked me in the first part of the car park for a quick getaway. Costs a fiver though. Easy to find the ground at the top of a big hill.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Unfortunately arrived early and it was freezing. Not being able to walk the 15-20 minutes down into town (and back up the steep hill) so had to stay at the ground.Away fans not allowed in the club bar so had to have a drink in the away 'bar'. This was an open ended tent behind one of the terraced stands surrounded by a wire fence. Just a few refreshments served from an old kitchen table, and there was not a single chair or table to sit down or put a drink down other than on the floor, which was uncovered ground. So with the game as well we had to stand for four hours in the freezing cold with nowhere to warm up or sit down, and we had quite a lot of older fans in among our 250. Only able to chat to a couple of home fans as we were not allowed in their bar, and they seemed friendly enough.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn?
 
The away 'end' was actually the open terrace down one side of the pitch and no seating at all provided for away fans, which is a disgrace especially after the lack of pre-match "comfort"!. The rest of ground is a bit like ours - "functional".
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
We were well beaten they are now a decent side after many January signings. It is difficult to generate atmosphere on an open terrace. The stewards friendly enough and generally apologetic about the awful facilities for away fans pre-match. The worst ground for away fans I have been to for some time (I have been to Accrington, Morecambe, Crewe, Stevenage, who all allowed us in the bars pre-match, and Barnet have indoor away bar. We also welcome all away fans into our supporters bar pre and post-match). The much vaunted vegan food wasn't great, my son left his after two bites, but apparently the chips with curry sauce where nice!
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
We rushed out straight after the final whistle and because of where we parked near the exit of the school car park where able to get away in 10 minutes, but I imagine it could be anything from 30 minutes to an hour if you delay!
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
A 250 mile round trip to freeze for four hours and then drive home again. Like quite a few away trips never felt as though the club was welcoming away fans, just putting up with us and giving us the very basic facilities but happy to take the few thousand our fans were putting their way no doubt?

Forest Green Rovers v Crawley Town
League 2
Saturday 24th February 2018, 3pm
Dan Maguire (Crawley Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
Another new ground for me, looking for another win for the mighty Crawley and observe what this little village is all about
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
Came by supporters coach. Had a good run up the M4 before stopping off for lunch in Tomarton. The Forest Green Rovers ground is located at the top of a very steep hill, so I was that I was on a bus and not walking!
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
As we stopped off prior we got off the bus and straight into the stadium.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?
 
My first observation was how open the ground was especially as it was a bitterly cold day! We were home along one side of the pitch on terracing with no roof. Also, the sun was an issue as it was a bright day. Other than that the New Lawn a nice little stadium.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
We lost the game so not so good. Despite us taking a record number of fans to this game, then without any cover and the away fans spread out the entire length of the pitch then the atmosphere was very flat! The stewards were friendly and relaxed. I only had a coffee but I didn't hear any grumblings about the food available.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Leaving the stadium the coach made slow but steady progress through the town and off to the M4 which was kind to us for a prompt return to Crawley.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Poor team performance, cold conditions so not a memorable away day! Based upon the open terracing I will not return to this venue unless the game is a crucial one.

Forest Green v Coventry City
League Two
Saturday 3rd February 2018, 3pm
Frank Alsop (Coventry City fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
After our recent run I was expecting to come away with the three points - how wrong can you be! Plus another new ground to be visited.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
A nice steady journey down from Nuneaton, taking roughly two hours. I parked at the school next to the ground which I found easily, at a cost of £5. Good signposting.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I got parked up around 12:30 so I decided to walk down into Nailsworth for a pie and a pint in The Britannia, which was very friendly with a mixture of home and away fans. I will say at this point that anybody with a weak disposition should NOT attempt the walk back up the hill to the ground.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?
 
The New Lawn Ground is very quaint and the stewards nice and friendly. As other people have posted the away fans are placed down the length of one side of the stadium, on an uncovered terrace. We got drenched!
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
We were rubbish - Forest Green have done the double over us this season - too many players thinking of the upcoming trip to Brighton I reckon. The atmosphere was poor as home fans quiet and no roof on the away end. Stewards were very friendly and helpful. I didn't have a pie in the ground but there is a little food stall just outside the stadium selling vegetable samosas, which were awesome.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Very easy - back on the main road in 10 minutes
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
A  very nice day out. Forest Green Rovers are a friendly club and supporters.

Forest Green Rovers v Cambridge United
Football League 2
Saturday 20th January 2018, 3pm
Rob Graddage (Cambridge United)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
As a South Wales exile, I try and get to as many local (under three travelling time) games as I can. I never went to The New Lawn in the conference so was looking forward to making the relatively short trip to Stroud. We were on an okay run of five games without defeat so was quietly optimistic of getting a result.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
The Sat Nav took us the scenic route but we arrived right outside the New Lawn ground. Literally next door to the ground there is a school that has match day parking for £5. There is plenty of streets about so free parking should be easy to find.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
As we were a little early we asked the guy on the gate if there were any pubs about, to which he said yes but down a steep hill. 20 minutes down, 45 minutes back. Needless to say we didn't bother with that and went straight to the ground which thankfully was already open for drinks and food at around 1.30pm. There's a couple of local beers on offer in a cold damp tent behind the one stand that leads around to the away end.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn?
 
The New Lawn ground is quite tidy, being relatively new, but the away end is half a dozen steps on an open terrace. I'm quite surprised they haven't at least put a temporary roof similar to Bristol Rovers or Crawley, on at least half of the stand because you're truly open to the elements, which can get quite brisk as the ground is located on top of a hill.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
For 70 minutes the game was quite entertaining, with us twice taking the lead but being pegged back. But we capitulated in the last 20 and I can't say that Forest Green didn't deserve the win. I had a veggie burger when we first got there and it was lovely, with a lot of effort gone into making them taste great. At £3.20 it was a lot better value than a cardboard burger at most other grounds. The stewards and staff in general were some of the friendliest I've come across at a football match. All were happy to chat and assist when needed.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
As we parked so close to the ground, it took a bit of time to get out and down the hill, but nothing too terrible. 20-25 minutes and we were on our way.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Apart from 20 minutes of football aside, it was an enjoyable day out. The open terrace was a bit of an issue when the rain started, so would hope to see that improved in future. Cheap tickets and nice food and drink helped. I'd recommend a visit to the New Lawn but be wary of the hill if you're venturing out!

Forest Green Rovers v Cambridge United
Football League 2
Saturday 20th January 2018, 3pm
Brian Scott (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
I've been in the 92 club for 15 years and always keep up with any new teams. Given the current lowly position of Forest Green Rovers I thought it essential to visit them this season.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I came by train from Ipswich and it only took 4 hours due to the fast trains. I met my friend Erik at Stroud station and we took a taxi direct to the ground.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We bought our tickets for the Main Stand from the ticket office and had plenty of time to spare before the turnstiles opened, so we had a walk around the exterior. At about 1.30pm I asked a smartly dressed man which entrance we should use. He said follow me and he took us in a smart looking door, not a turnstile and our tickets were scanned by a pleasant lady with a handheld device. We then went up a carpeted stairway and it was only then that I told him that we were groundhoppers. At the top of the stairs he stopped to show us a scale model of the proposed new ground in a glass case. He explained that the plans for that had been turned down and a new application had just been submitted. The application is not just for the stadium but includes a business park and other sports facilities, plus a wildlife area etc. We were then shown various hospitality boxes, the players gym, the bar and catering facilities, smart toilets, the managers office etc. This guided tour and plenty of discussion was the best welcome that I've ever had at any football ground. What an amazing stroke of luck to ask this man for directions. I have an idea that he might have been a Director of Forest Green.
 
Erik sampled a vegi-burger and had a drink in the bar which he said was very good. Meanwhile, in the lower concourse, I got chatting to a home fan who said that his main team was Bristol City, but he was also a season ticket holder at Forest Green. He was extremely interesting to talk to and that took up another 20 minutes before kick off. He told me that allocating the open west side of the ground for away fans was controversial, with no seat allocation apart from disabled. Incidentally, I did see some other fans with red and white scarves and Bristol City hats but none from the blue side of Bristol.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?
 
Having seen the inside of the Main Stand and the view from the seats, the other stands are hardly comparable. The two end terraces are fit for purpose but the Cambridge fans were at the mercy of the elements. It had been foggy up to 2.30, but that cleared and then a steady drizzle set in. I had a good view from my seat with adequate legroom.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Cambridge United scored in the third minute, but the score was level in 18 minutes. Each side scored another goal and so at half time it was 2-2. Forest Green then went on a goal scoring spree. A superb goal in the 74th minute with two late goals to give them a resounding victory at 5-2 and ease their relegation fears just a little, but they still remain in the drop zone. Incidentally, the Bristol City fan I spoke to told me that Forest Green Rovers have never been relegated! The attendance was 2,228.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
We had a taxi booked and we were soon whisked away to wait our trains at Stroud - going in opposite directions. My journey back to Suffolk was uneventful and swift.
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out A lovely day out made so special by the friendliness of the smartly dressed man and the Bristol City/Forest Green Rovers fan. What a lovely club - I look forward to a visit to the new stadium.

Forest Green Rovers v Port Vale
League Two
Saturday 6th January 2018, 3pm
Matt Bullock (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn?
 
My new year quest to increase the number of grounds I have visited started with The New Lawn. Forest Green's precarious position at the bottom of the league means their stay in the League might be short-lived so I thought I would visit while I could.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
The Journey is easy and the New Lawn ground is signposted from the centre of the town. I parked in a side street part way up the hill to the ground which was very easy; this allowed me to walk down to the pub before the game. As already reported here, the hill is steep! There is a park and ride service which is signposted and seems to offer frequent buses up to the ground.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I went to the Village Inn on the main A46 through the town. It's a brewpub (Keep Brewing, formerly known as Nailsworth Brewery). The pub was fairly quiet with a couple of dozen customers, those wearing colours were Port Vale Fans. The beer is good - I tried their own brews - and the service welcoming and friendly. There is a chip shop almost next door if you need food.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn?
 
It's a neat and tidy modern stadium, dominated by the main East Stand which houses all the offices and the bar. At either end is a covered terrace. I had a ticket for the South Stand at the far end from where you enter off the road. Both ends are home fans only, but the South seemed more populated than the North. The away terrace to the west is uncovered and very exposed, Port Vale bought over 500 fans on what was a very cold and dank day. Strangely, the changing rooms are located in a building in the south-west corner rather than under the Main Stand.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game itself was as dour as the weather. Forest Green resorted to route-one football from the start; Port Vale played some better football but couldn't generate many clear-cut goal-scoring chances. The only goal came on the hour, a good effort from the edge of the area by debutant Reuben Reid, the one highlight in an otherwise forgettable match. I didn't try the food, so can't comment, but chips and ketchup or curry sauce seemed to be the dish of choice for those that did. The stewards were helpful and polite, the toilets clean and tidy. The atmosphere was sporadic from the home fans and having an open away terrace didn't allow the Vale fans to generate much atmosphere either.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
I parked on Churchill Road, about 15 minutes walk downhill from the ground, which was easy to pull out onto the main road and only five minutes to the roundabout at the bottom of the hill.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
An enjoyable day out, just a shame the game wasn't better. It's an unusual experience visiting such a small place to watch league football; hopefully they can improve their form and retain their league status so more fans can share the experience.

Forest Green Rovers v Port Vale
League Two
Saturday 6th January 2018, 3pm
Matt Forrester (Port Vale fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn?
 
I certainly was! The New Lawn is a ground that I'd never been to before and a club that have been in the spotlight for all of the right reasons.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
We journeyed up from our home in Poole and it took us about two and a half hours with stops. Driving through the Cotswolds was lovely after being on the M3 and M27 and going down "The Ladder" on the way into Nailsworth gave a cracking view of the town. We parked up in town (for free) and had a wander before driving up to the ground and parking in a residential area a 5 minute walk away. You could park on the stadium grounds or down the road on the primary school for £5 but these were both chocca when we walked past. Walking up the hill is not for faint hearted as it's pretty steep!
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We first parked in the town centre and then headed to "The Vault", just off the main roundabout. It wasn't for any fan base in particular and had more of a lounge feel to it. There were a few other pubs in the town but none had specific "home fans only" signs outside them.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?
 
The New Lawn was more or less what I expected - a newish ground, not massive but modern looking. We collected our tickets from the ticket office then headed to the away fans area where there was a gazebo and small bar. The atmosphere was welcoming and all of the staff we spoke to from the ticket office, programme sellers and bar staff were really friendly. We didn't walk all around the stadium but seen as it's on a hill there's not a lot around to comment on!
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
On entering the ground the stewards were friendly and helpful and no bother at all (but there were only about 250 Vale fans attending). The away fans toilets were average and there was only one refreshments kiosk with three people inside. The view is quite low down on the away terrace as there are only about four rows to choose from but it's not bad. The main downside is that there is no roof. We had a light shower which was fine but if it's a horrible day the away fans would be in a right state. It's also hard to create any kind of atmosphere. The three of us indulged in vegan burgers, pies and chips along with hot chocolate and oat milk. An ideal trip for us as we're doing vegan January! The game itself wasn't the best advert for League Two football I've ever seen. Scrappy and unorganised at times and a disappointing effort from Vale after the decent run we've had over the festive period. Credit to Forest Green though, they nicked a goal and then overran us in midfield and ground out a result.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
We walked back down the hill to the car and pulled out of the residential area with ease. Once we'd waited five minutes and got into the town we set back off up "The Ladder" and were on our way home.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I would absolutely come back to Forest Green again. To see a club wear its heart on its sleeve and be proud of its green credentials is brilliant. They even have Sea Shepherd (a marine conservation society) advertised on the back of their football shirts!

Forest Green Rovers v Wycombe Wanderers
League Two
Monday 1st January 2018, 3pm
Hugh Connor (Wycombe Wanderers fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn?
 
It is always good to see other grounds and this seemed likely to be an uncommon experience.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
A very straightforward journey from Bucks via the M4 and then a pleasant one along quieter but uncluttered roads from Cirencester. We parked for £5 at the school next to the ground. Got there just after 1.30pm and there were still spaces left but it was rammed after the game so probably get there with an hour to spare if you want to be sure of a space.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I wandered around the ground with my son to get a feel for the place. Had perhaps the nicest vegetable samosas ever from the van outside the front of the stadium - exquisite. Every single person we met from Forest Green Rovers was as friendly as could be. It was a notable feature of the day.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?
 
The New Lawn is well-kept and -presented from the approach though clearly modest in dimensions. Inside, the away terrace, a shallowish bank of about five steps, wants for cover - I understand a roof is planned for next season - and, as one would, expect, basic in nature. As advertised. The other three sides were similarly basic though the Main Stand seemed to have pretty sound hospitality facilities on the upper level. It presented as what it is: a spruced-up non-league ground serving as well as it can until they can build their new ground, assuming they still have a League team to use it.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Forest Green were all over the place in the first half and gifted Wycombe all the space and possession they might have wanted. Wycombe returned the compliment by being extremely profligate with their opportunities and were 2-0 up at half-time when they might have had five on the balance of play. After half-time, as has been Wycombe's want lately, the game transformed and the home side played with a pace and fluency that troubled Wycombe. They pulled one back in the 70th minute and Wanderers were ultimately happy to cling on for the three points.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
As we normally do, we nipped off straight after the final whistle and thus were among the first to get into the car park and away. We got off without delay, probably for that reason.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I could not wish to have felt more welcome at a club. Everybody seemed on the same page in their apparently sincere friendliness. I and others with whom I have spoken share the hope that they manage to avoid relegation: they seem a club with many important values well-ingrained. I fear our hope may not be realised.

Forest Green Rovers v Crewe Alexandra
League Two
Saturday 18th November 2017, 3pm
Glen Laing (Crewe Alexandra fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
A new ground to visit in a lovely part of the world.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
Interesting. Once off the main road went through a beautiful village called Minchinhampton and along some very narrow roads/lanes. Parked in a car park just behind The Britannia pub in Nailsworth Town Centre which was free.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Had some superb locally brewed beer in The Village Inn which had a big screen and other TV's to watch the footy on. No food but allowed you to pop next door to the chippy and bring it back to the pub! Both sets of fans present with no hassle.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?
 
Getting to the ground from the town was a bit of a challenge. We managed to get on a Park and Ride bus when it stopped at the roundabout at the bottom of the hill. First impressions of the ground were that is was very non league. The away side was okay although due to the atrocious conditions not having any roof was a nightmare.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The torrential rain did not make for a great spectacle despite five goals, with the home side winning 3-2. The atmosphere improved once the away fans were let under the cover of one of the ends. The stewards were excellent and did what they could for us. I did not purchase any food or drink and the toilets were okay.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Dreadful. We got on the Park and Ride bus, but it took forever getting down the hill back into town.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Unfortunately, the weather did not assist the day and I am sure if it had been a dry day then my experience would have been different. Thoroughly enjoyed the pub beforehand and the Cotswolds are beautiful.

Forest Green Rovers v Macclesfield Town
FA Cup 1st Round
Saturday 4th November 2017, 3pm
Rob Dodd (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
With three to do to complete the current 92, the F A Cup draw was very obliging and gave Forest Green Rovers and Exeter City home matches. Once it was announced that the games were being played on different days, a visit to the West Country was a no-brainer!
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
It was an uneventful three and a half hour drive from Liverpool and the ground is signposted from the traffic island in the middle of Nailsworth. As I am recovering from an accident, I chanced the car park at the top of the hill. I arrived early so was able to park near the exit gate.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
As a neutral, I was able to get into the "Green Man", the home supporters club, and had a decent pint and a box of chips. My accent was quickly detected and I was heartily welcomed. Unsurprisingly, a number of 92ers have been in evidence this season. The home fans were very friendly, even when I managed to sit in the wrong seat!
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?
 
Forest Green club owner Dale Vince has big ideas for the club and all credit to him. Therefore, it's more realistic to assume that the New Lawn is temporary before the club move to a new ground about eight miles away, nearer the motorway. Thankfully for the Macclesfield supporters, the weather was fine, if a touch chilly, as they had to experience an open terrace. I sat in the main stand with a good view.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
With Forest Green Rovers languishing in League 2 and Macclesfield Town second in the National League, I anticipated a close game but Forest Green were worthy winners even though it was only by the one goal, scored by Christian Doidge. After an horrific start, Forest Green seem to be finding their feet in the Football League. With only 1,300 hundred or so spectators, the atmosphere was subdued. I found the programme to be lacking in substance with no summary of the season to date, appearances and scorers.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
I managed to exit the car park without too much hassle but goodness knows what it's like with a higher attendance. I don't think I could have got to the centre of Nailsworth any quicker by walking, even downhill.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I enjoyed my trip. Forest Green have progressed very quickly in recent years and I will keep a keen eye on their progress in the future.

Forest Green Rovers v Macclesfield Town
FA Cup 1st Round
Saturday 4th November 2017, 3pm
David Wells (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
I hadn't been to Forest Green Rovers before, so I needed to visit this addition to the 92, to keep up the total.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
My satnav brought me from the M5 through increasingly narrow lanes to end up next to the New Lawn ground. I parked at the bottom of the hill in a free long stay car park (just past Tesco Express), although it's quite small and for a larger attendance it could be quite tight. The hill back up to the ground was quite steep in places and pavements variable - be wary if mobility or fitness is an issue.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I didn't really have time to do anything but go to the game, but it seemed very relaxed. There was quite a large away following, but all seemed very friendly.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Ground?
 
The ground was not visible from far away, surprisingly, and it looks like a non-league ground, right down to the changing rooms in the corner and not in the stand. The weather was crisp but dry, but I wouldn't have fancied being an away fan in the full length uncovered area allocated to them!
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game was unremarkable, Forest Green won more comfortably than the 1-0 scoreline suggested. The crowd of 1,387 was well below average and the atmosphere suffered as a result but the long open side might mean a big game atmosphere could be hard to achieve. Catering is strictly vegan right down to no chocolate so chocoholics or carnivores might be advised to stock up beforehand - that said, the Q (Quorn) pie is very tasty...
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
An easy walk down the hill (much easier than the walk up) but all the traffic goes that way and it could have been difficult if parking too close to the ground. It may be better to park a short distance away for a speedier getaway if time is an issue.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
It was a good day out at Forest Green and another tick. I can't pretend it's anything other than a tidy, well maintained National League ground at best but a nice friendly atmosphere and not a bad game or pie either.

Forest Green Rovers v Morecambe
League Two
Saturday 28th October 2017, 3pm
Phillip Bell (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
As I get progressively closer to completing the 92, and as a home and away supporter of Leeds United, I seldom get the chance to visit a new ground.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
A lot easier than first anticipated. We actually stumbled across the ground when coming along a country lane. It was the last place that my travelling companion and I, Kev Waddell, expected to locate it.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Due to the much heralded publicity about Forest Green Rovers being a vegan club, we had made the decision to go with the flow regarding our eating habits for the day. The home support were exceedingly friendly and obviously proud of their club.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?
 
Due to the recent rise in stature of the club our expectations, with all due respect to Forest Green Rovers, weren't too high but, to be fair, other than the terrace running the full length of one side, and due to be covered shortly, the rest of the stadium was very neat and tidy indeed.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game and atmosphere were very good indeed with Morecambe bringing a couple of hundred vociferous souls! The stewarding was fine although, as two nearly 60 year old neutrals not being allowed into the on ground bar was rather disappointing especially as we explained why we visiting the club. To be fair the lady bouncer seemed totally disinterested in knowing what doing the 92 was! The vegan catering inside the stadium was awful and I can honestly say that the coffee, together with liquid that purported to be milk substitute, was the worst that I have ever tasted.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Having read that there could be delays when leaving after the game, we took off time post-match and read the match programme in the car for 20 minutes resulting in no problems.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
A great day out with my mate, Kev Waddell, at a new venue in my quest to do the 92. The only downside was with the catering. If vegan food/drink is to be forced onto people, at least make it edible/drinkable. Overall 8/10.

Forest Green Rovers v Accrington Stanley
Football League Two
Saturday 30th September 2017, 3pm
Paul Dickinson (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
Having completed the 92 previously, I need to do Forest Green Rovers and West Ham United at the Olympic Stadium to complete the current set - we were also combining this game with a weekend in Bath, so lots to look forward to.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
An easy three hour drive from Leeds saw us arrive in Nailsworth at 12.30pm. After a quick drink in one of the village pubs, we strolled up the hill to the ground - as regular walkers in the Yorks Dales, we didn't find it too bad!
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We went into the impressive clubhouse, which served real ale and food I did notice some away fans being refused admittance though, so that's worth noting that if you're planning a trip.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Ground?
 
The New Lawn looks quite neat as you approach it from down the hill and there was a very relaxed atmosphere outside, with both sets of fans happily mingling. I had booked our tickets online - and enjoyed an excellent view from the Main Stand, right over the halfway line at the back. Amusingly, our seats had "press" on them and there was a bit of confusion when we arrived - we ended up staying where we were, surrounded by radio commentators and journalists!
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
It was a very unlucky defeat for Forest Green Rovers, who are having a tough start to life as a football league club. But I was pleased for the 200 Accrington Stanley fans who had made the long journey down.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
A ten minute walk back down the hill to the village, where we had parked our car and straight out. We were in our hotel in Bath by 6pm. If you are physically able to do it, I'd definitely recommend leaving the car in the village and walking to the ground and back, as its so easy to then get away afterwards.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Another very enjoyable day out. As someone who watches a lot of non-league football, today felt more like a National League game more than anything else and that is a positive in my opinion!

Forest Green Rovers v Exeter City
Football League Two
Saturday 9th September 2017, 3pm
Gary Parker (Exeter City fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
As well as a chance to see my beloved Exeter City, I am also nearing completion of the 92 (this was number 81) and living in Swindon this match was a no-brainer.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
A short 40 minute drive on quiet 'A roads' instead of the countless hours chugging up a motorway to a game was a pleasant change. Despite lots of warnings of nightmares finding parking, we found a small housing estate about 100 yards from the top of the hill and it was not restricted, but DO park facing the way you want to leave, a local Rovers fan gave me this advice on parking up and it was very well advised.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Due to the well advertised Vegan approach of the club, I thought I would try some of the alternate options. Sadly they all contain wheat and I am gluten intolerant. Be warned that every item (including the curry sauce for chips) contains gluten, so its chips and chips only. Also be careful as they only provide soya or wheat milk for tea and coffee. I am not against alternate options but I feel this is a bit of a dictatorship here. Not really with the food as plenty around me said they were really tasty. but only soya or wheat milk, really? We were just stuck in the excuse for a tent outside the ground that had a bottle bar (nothing chilled). It was very poor fayre, I am afraid to say. We were refused entry to the main bar as that was for home fans only.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Ground?
 
The New Lawn is a small tidy ground. It has relatively poor access for away fans, to the away terrace, especially when you have sold out your allocation. For this game it was packed and with it raining heavily the narrow pathways meant that many walked across the grass which was getting slippery and muddy. Three sides of the ground were okay. But with away fans housed on a small four step terrace down one side of the ground, with no cover, when one home end was almost empty (45 people, we counted in it) seems a strange move.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Little or no atmosphere due to the away fans being on an open terrace. The home fans were quiet, but they were a goal down after just three minutes. Exeter City went on to win the game quite easily 3-1. Stewards were decent, as most of them also steward at Bristol Rovers and/or Cheltenham Town so they were at ease with a large away following and were in good humour.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Simply hideous. The downside to parking at the top of the hill is that it took close to 30 minutes to get to the bottom and get moving. I have bad knees so for me parking at the bottom isn't an option, but if you can walk a 20 minute slog uphill then you will definitely benefit at the end of the game.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Three points and drenched for the entire 90 minutes and overall not a ground visit that I would want to repeat.

Forest Green Rovers v Yeovil Town
Football League Two
Saturday 19th August 2017, 3pm
John Birch (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn ground?
 
Keeping up to date with 92 and a day out in the countryside for a change.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
We followed the journey instructions shown in the guide and had no problems at all locating the New Lawn ground and the parking at the nearby primary school.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Due to an accident on the M5 involving an overturned caravan and Land Rover blocking all three lanes we were delayed by one hour and so on arrival we went straight into the ground and did not have a chance to do anything else. All the home fans that we came into contact with were very friendly and helpful. Re the accident, it appeared that all the persons involved were alright as that were stood on the embankment looking very shook up.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn?
 
I thought the New Lawn ground looked okay on the first external view of the Main Stand. But once inside and seeing the away end I thought it will not be very appealing in the winter or on a rainy day due to the lack of cover. Behind the goals are covered and only for the home fans.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game finished 4-3 to the home team but it was no classic. Yeovil Town made two glaring errors to gift Forest Green Rovers two goals. Yeovil brought 554 fans and were making a lot of noise when they were 3-1 up but gradually faded as Forest Green got on top. The home fans were not overly loud but did keep up their support through the game. The stewards that we came into contact with were very helpful and went out of their way to make us welcome. Unusually there seemed to be a majority of female stewards. We had tickets in the Main Stand and we used the clubhouse on the upper level for the food. I thought that being charged £7.05 for a veggie burger and chips was a bit pricey but it was served on a plate. I had a bottle of water from the kiosk near our seat and that was 50p, The toilets were clean.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
After the game, we returned to our car to find it blocked in and we had to wait over thirty minutes before we could exit. It would appear the car park stewards just got as many cars as possible in without thinking about how people would get out. It took us just under an hour to get down the hill and on to the A46 after that, it was plain sailing.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Apart from the parking issues after the game it was a very enjoyable day and look forward to visiting the New Lawn again.

Forest Green Rovers v Barnet
Football League Two
Saturday 5th August 2017, 3pm
Michael Lenihan (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
It was Forest Green's first ever game in the English Football League so a new ground and not too far from my base in Devon. Also very interested in the smallest town to have a team in the EFL. "Not bad for a village club" is the Rovers chant!
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I usually travel by train but as there us no convenient mainline station near to the ground, I decided to drive. I planned to arrive around noon but got caught in a traffic jam for an hour on the M5.Once off the motorway, it was an easy drive via Stroud to Nailsworth.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Pushed for time we stopped off at the first pub we came to in Nailsworth called the Egypt Mill. It is a beautiful converted woollen mill with ample parking and outside drinking areas overlooking the leat water area. The local real ale was expensive at £4 a pint and £12 for a burger and chips. A few older Barnet fans with club polo shirts but not sure about the Mill's attitude to away fans. Very relaxed bar and when leaving asked the waitress for walking directions. She replied, "come to the first roundabout take the Springhill turning then keep going up".
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?

Very relieved to see the ground after 25 minutes of uphill hiking. The steepness of the hill is not exaggerated! Traffic up the hill is very slow so unless you get there early not worth getting a cab. Tried the Green Man Bar at the back of the Main Stand which was very good. Very quick service due to a queuing system. Local real ales on tap and efficient and helpful staff who actually smiled. There was also a small food kiosk which we did not try. Please note that Green Man is closed after the game.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Barnet were the better team but somehow found themselves two down at half time.There was a good atmosphere from the home fans who seemed very proud of their club. Not a fan of drums but the home terrace had two. There was also a good turnout by Barnet who took over 500 supporters who deserved to see their team draw level second half. Away fans should wrap up warm and take rain protection because the away terrace is totally exposed to the elements. Didn't see many pies being eaten but the chips seemed very popular. Stewards like all the staff we came across were very efficient and helpful.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Walked straight back down the hill to the Egypt Mill. As there seems to be only one exit road leaving the club and Nailsworth school car park maybe it's better to leave your car at the bottom of the hill.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
a thoroughly enjoyable day in the Cotswolds even though it rained most of the day. This small club can teach a lesson to a few of the big boys in their attitude to the fans which after all are customers! Forest Green Rover fans are right to be proud of their club and I would definitely return to the New Lawn in the future. You can't argue about £16 a ticket either!

Forest Green Rovers v Bristol Rovers
Pre-Season Friendly Match
Saturday 22nd July 2017, 3pm
Mike Chappell (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?
 
Having seen Forest Green Rovers a number of times on television. I thought visiting a new league team and the only vegan football ground in the world, then it would be a great experience.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I took a train from Swindon to Stroud, which took just under half an hour and then Bus number 63 to Nailsworth. The bus also took half an hour and at the end of the route it loops around near the ground (which you can't really miss) and stops outside a nearby Primary School on Nympsfield Road. This is where you also get back on the bus after the game has ended. If travelling via Stroud then my advice would be to spend some time there before the game as it has a far larger choice in terms of eating and drinking places. Nailsworth and especially by the New Lawn Ground doesn't have much of anything. The 63 bus stop in Stroud can be found outside the VUE Cinema. There is a half hourly service on Saturday afternoons. It takes around ten minutes to walk from Stroud Railway Station to the Number 63 bus stop, either walk down the hill or through the Merry Walks Shopping Centre. I also noticed at the ground itself that there was car parking available at a cost of £5, but the queues at the end of the match to exit the car park were massive. The Primary School also had parking available at a cost of £5.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I did try the Green Man pub at ground, but they were refusing entry 20 minutes before kick off so be early. The Veggie burger was good at £3.20 and the Q-Pie (Quorn) was okay at £3.50 but noticeably all the locals were just eating chips with curry sauce. There is a bigger and more expensive menu upstairs in the Main Stand but again all Vegan. Home fans were chatty and thrilled at being a league team.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?
 
Rain came down at the start and all the away fans ran for cover. If the weather looks iffy go in the Main Stand its cheaper to buy on-line in advance and cheaper still if you are an OAP.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
It was good in the stand but the away side was empty due to the heavy rain and there was no singing. Loos were packed at half time with only 1500 in the stadium. Friendly stewards who asked if he could possibly look in my bag! As the terrace is onto the pitch as the substitutes walked to the changing room on the other side of the pitch the high-fived all the kids as walked around and got great applause from the home fans...nice touch.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
The bus left at 17.06 BUT the traffic was blocked you will not make Stroud for the 17.35 train. My advice would be to stay at the ground for 30 minutes to an hour get the later bus and get the next train which is 18.32 to Swindon or 18.43 to Cheltenham.  
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
It was a long day out with trains and buses, experience the Vegan food. BUT beware of the problems leaving the ground. The call themselves the little club on top of the hill...but the big backing from Ecotricity could see them go a long way.

Forest Green Rovers v Chester
National League
Friday 14th April 2017, 3pm
Phil Graham (Chester fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn ground?

The New Lawn is another ground I have never been to before.

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

Long and challenging. Journey up by train from London Paddington via Swindon. The train was jam packed which led to a few frayed tempers but apparently this is a common practice with Great Western Trains! Then the Swindon to Stroud Train only had two carriages! Not too clever on a public holiday. Once at Stroud, it was a short five minute walk down to the Bus Station to catch the Number 63 Bus to Nailsworth which drops you about two minutes from the ground.

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

After the previously mentioned nightmare train journey to Stroud a pint was in order so we called into the Queen Victoria Pub near the Bus Station for a Guinness. Quite a few Forest Green fans on the bus so anyone unsure what stop to alight the bus should just follow them. Went into the Green Man at the ground but the line to the Bar was at least 20 people deep so never bothered getting a pint.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn Stadium?

The away End is actually quite similar to Torquay United. A covered terrace of about ten steps. The only seating is in the Main Stand which runs the whole length of the pitch. The rest of the ground is pretty basic but I guess there is not much point them improving it anymore if they get the go ahead for their new stadium.

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

Forest Green Rovers hit a post and had a shot cleared off the line in first minute and things didn't get any better for Chester as they were comfortably beaten 2-0. The all Vegan menu in my mind is an example of the club owner forcing his opinions and preferences on fans (Although the Curry & Chips on offer was a pleasant surprise!) Not much atmosphere which I guess was to be expected. Interesting that in the programme a mention is made of the club's desire to be "Britain's most sustainable Football Club" I guess the irony is that at the moment they are anything but that, without the owners considerably investment.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Short wait for the Bus back to Stroud. A steady flow of traffic and small queue back on too the main road but nothing too long and was back at the train station in plenty of time for the 18:10 to Swindon. Which thankfully was nowhere near as busy as it was earlier.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A long day on packed trains to watch my team get beat is never a good day. If as I suspect Forest Green Rovers do not get promoted then although I'll go back next year it certainly won't be a trip I'll look forward too. There is something false about the place that It could all come crashing down one day if the owner pulls out, but at least we can have a meat pie then!

Forest Green Rovers v Dagenham and Redbridge
National League Premier
Saturday 29th October 2016, 3pm
Garry Procter (Dagenham and Redbridge fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn Ground?

Forest Green Rovers are currently top of the league. Plus the New Lawn Ground is one that I have not visited before.

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

This was easy as I came on the supporters coach.

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

Had a quick beer in the Green Man bar at the stadium itself. The home supporters were very welcoming.

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

The New Lawn is a nice modern ground. I had a good view of the pitch. I also noticed the energy saving installations (solar PV etc.) around the stadium.

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

The game was pretty even and played in a good clean manner. The atmosphere was generally good and the stewards friendly. Food wise was the only let down unfortunately. The vegan only option wasn't popular with the away fans. I think the club have missed a trick and should offer traditional fare as well as the vegan option. Most away fans didn't chose to buy food from the kiosk. Also the soya milk in tea and coffee wasn't popular and much of it was discarded after one sip (real shame). I don't really understand why the club continue to pursue this ethos.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Surprisingly it took nearly an hour to get down the hill from the ground into the town centre. I guess the nature of the location of the New Lawn Ground up above the town (a very pretty town by the way) doesn't lend itself to a quick get away.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

All good with the exception of the food option (we. Carried out a poll of fans after the game and this was pretty unanimous) and the slow getaway after the game. Other than that the club and its fans were pleasant.

Forest Green Rovers v Eastleigh
Conference National League
Saturday 20th February 2016, 3pm
Peter Laggan (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the New Lawn football ground?

This was a special game for me as I was taking my daughter to a game for the first time since I promised to take her to one 20 years ago! It was also her birthday and, as she is a vegan, I was taking her to the only "meat free" ground in the country (world?), so she was happy.

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

I picked my daughter up from Bristol and from there it is an easy 45 minute drive via the M32, M4 and A46. Anyone coming from the South should allow approximately 30 minutes to get from the M4 to the ground.

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

As this was a special occasion I pre-booked 2 VIP Dining tickets by phone from the Forest Green Rovers Reception. The cost was £35 plus VAT. So for the cost of a ticket to a Premier League game I got priority parking, premier seating in the Main Stand, a programme, a drink on arrival, a hot lunch and tea and cakes at half time! I must give a plug for the food here. Despite being a life-long carnivore and a football pie aficionado, I found the that the food was spectacularly good. I had the 'famous' Q-Pie - with chips and gravy - which was delicious and one of the best pies I have had in a football ground (I think Q stands for Quorn, but it tasted just like a chicken and leek pie). The burgers looked yummy and were selling extremely well and there was even an Indian curry dish if you wanted it. I think a lot of clubs could learn from Forest Green Rovers on how to cater for their fans. I would go to this ground for the food alone.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the New Lawn stadium?

The ground itself is, for the Conference League, one of the best I have been to. I was in the Main (East) Stand where the restaurant and directors boxes are and most of the home fans are seated here. The North Stand holds the away fans (standing) and there is a small food outlet called the Devil's Kitchen which, I presume, also serves vegetarian food only.

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

Forest Green Rovers are challenging for the top spot in the league (although they are playing second fiddle to their bigger local rivals Cheltenham). Eastleigh are mid-table and the game reflected the league positions with Forest Green looking like a better balanced team. The result went with current form and Forest Green won 2-1.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was a doddle (although I was in the priority parking area). A short drive downhill into Nailsworth and a sharp right turn onto the A46 gets you back onto the M4 in less than 30 minutes.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

This a very nice ground (although fans were handing out leaflets about moving to a new ground when I went in) and well worth a visit. If you can afford to splash the cash, for less than £40 you can dine like a king and, if it's too cold, you can even stay at your dining table and watch the match from the comfort of the dining room! Well done Forest Green Rovers!

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. 

5.The game:

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.

7. Overall:

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........

Why not write your own review of the New Lawn, Forest Green Rovers and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 27th November 2019

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