Forest Green Rovers

The New Lawn

Capacity: 4,803 (Seats 1,881)
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: Puma
Home Kit: Green and Black Hoops
Away Kit: Black And White Hoops

Main and North Stands
Main and North Stands
Main Stand
Main Stand
Nympsfield Road (North) Stand
Nympsfield Road (North) Stand
South Stand
South Stand
Barnfield Terrace
Barnfield Terrace
Looking Towards The Nympsfield Road End
Looking Towards The Nympsfield Road End

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 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. 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, which until recently was a covered all seated stand, but has now had the seats removed to make it a terrace for home fans. This stand is of interest as it was the Trevor Horsley Stand which was transported from the Club's old ground and re-erected at the New Lawn. Overall the New Lawn is a small but tidy stadium that is well maintained.

The Club have put in plans to the Local Council for approval, to build a new 5,000 capacity stadium near to Junction 13 of the M5. If successful then the new stadium would be built in such a way that the capacity could easily be expanded to 10,000 at a future date. Interestingly and in keeping with Club's green credentials the new stadium is to be mostly constructed of wood. The Club have also 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 will 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

West TerraceAway fans are housed in the West Terrace on one side of the ground. This terrace has a capacity of around 1,150 fans and runs the full length of the pitch. The terrace is uncovered, so hope that it doesn't rain. Unfortunately, it is difficult to really make some noise from the open terrace which dampens down the atmosphere somewhat. Apart from disabled fans, the Club does not provide any seating to visiting supporters. 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 (£3.20), Q-Pies (filled with Quorn £3.50) Chips and Curry Sauce (£2.70) and Chip Butties (£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. 

I have been informed that the Club are looking at installing a temporary roof over part or all of the West Terrace and also adding some seating for away fans on that side too.

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, with promotion to the Football League then this is mostly for home fans only. 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 Newmarket 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 down the hill. But unless you are rather fit then the walk back up to the ground is not for the faint hearted as it is up a steep hill. Alternatively, a 5 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 Nailsworth Brewery.

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. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Nailsworth & Cotswolds Hotels pages.

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

Booking.com

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.

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.

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

Main (East) Stand Seating*

Centre:
Adults £21, Over 65's £17, Under 22's £12, Under 16's £7, Under 11's £3 
Wings (including away section): 
Adults £19, Over 65's £15, Under 22's £10, Under 16's £7, Under 11's Free

Terrace*

Adults £16, Over 65's £12, Under 22'ss £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.

Official Programme £3

Record Attendance

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

Average Attendance

2016-2017: 1,753 (National League)
2015-2016: 1,750 (National League)
2014-2015: 1,502 (National League)

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

Special thanks to Myles Munsey for providing photos of the Nympsfield Road End and EESI Stand.

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 30th October 2017

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