The Reckless Guide to... Swindon Town.
Swindon Town v Barnet FC
Sky Bet League 2
Saturday 2nd September 2017
Kick off: 3pm
Stadium: The County Ground, County Road, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 2ED
Telephone: 0870 443 1969
Club Colours: Red & White
Nickname: The Robins
David Flitcroft is the current Manager at The CG and joined in June 2017, replacing Luke Williams. He had a long playing career in the midfield for notably Chester City, Rochdale and Bury. He has had previous managerial experience at Barnsley and Bury.
Brief Directions by Road:
From the M4 come off at Junction 15 and head for Swindon on the A419 (dual carriageway). At the first roundabout turn left onto the A4259 Marlborough Road still signposted Swindon. You will begin to see signs for the ground from this point. At the next roundabout take the second exit into Queens Drive. At the next roundabout (see below) effectively turn right for the ground.
Beware the phenomenon that is the Magic Roundabout! In my day you would pay £3 to go on something similar at Barnet Fair. There is also one of these so called innovations in Hemel Hempstead.
No parking at the stadium but there are pay and displays in the town centre ½ mile away or limited street parking and local designated match day parking areas for a small charge. St Joseph’s school, less than 5 minute walk to the ground have traditionally offered convenient parking at a small charge. There is plenty of space and convenient for getting back onto the M4.
Directions by Train:
A mid morning train from Paddington takes just under an hour to reach Swindon with no changes required. Only a 15 minute walk awaits – Turn left into Station Road and then into Corporation Street. At the traffic lights turn left into Manchester Road and then right into County Road and second left will find the stadium.
Eating and Drinking Locally:
Bar 71 is allocated to visiting supporters at the ground. The best pubs and eating-houses are 10-15 minutes walk away in the town centre. The pubs close to the ground are usually designated home fans only. 'The Merlin' on Drove Road is probably the best bet or its certainly worth a walk to the Cricket Club behind the Arkells Stand where visiting fans are made welcome.
The ground is as smart as any in the lower leagues mainly due to the two large side stands the older of which, the North (or Arkells Stand) was built in 1971. Opposite is the Don Rogers Stand quite obviously the latest addition to the ground, which has room for around 5,000.
The neat Town End is an ex terrace that has been around since I believe 1938 although extensively modernised and seated since. Behind the East goal you will find the Stratton Bank which is simply the old open terrace with the seats bolted onto the risers. It is allocated to away fans only if more than 1,000 visiting fans are expected. Our home for the afternoon will be a section of 1,000 seats in the Arkells stand. The stand is shared with home supporters and has room for around 6,000.
Oxford United, both Bristol clubs and Reading. Forest Green Rovers have been ruled out as everybody I have met from the town of Nailsworth is too nice.
Adults £23, Over 65 / Student £17, Under 21's £10, Under 18 £6, Under 11 - £2. Wheelchair/Ambulant disabled - Age related price - Carer (if required) FOC Supporters can pay on the day or can call 08718761993 option 2 to book in advance.
Our Last Meeting & Memories:
Our last visit was in February 2012 and a heart breaking 1-0 defeat in the Johnstone's Paint Southern Final 2nd leg. Charlie Taylor got his marching orders at the death by Ref Darren Deadman.
A superb Adam Birchall goal took the 2008 FA Cup round 3 tie to a replay. Of course the Bees won a famous victory that evening on penalties. The previous League meetings in season 2006/7 were shared with the Bees winning at Underhill in February thanks to a Oliver Allen goal while a Nicky Bailey strike was not enough in a 2-1 defeat in our opening away game of that season in front of nearly 8,000 spectators.
John Francome MBE National Hunt Jockey was born here as were Diana Dors and Melinda Messenger. Actress and singer Billie Piper and rock and pop know it all Mark Lamarr (originally Jones) also hail from around here. TV celeb Julian Clary has had a pad in the area, or maybe that is just a rumour! On a musical note Ray O’Sullivan, better known to us oldies as Gilbert, Justin Haywood, the frontman and voice of the Moody Blues and also the composer of the beautiful "Nights In White Satin” and the band XTC also hail from Swindon.