With a capacity of just over 7,000, the LCI Rail Stadium was the smallest in league one in 2009. Having had some recent re-developments the view from most areas of the ground is generally very good. The Stagecoach main stand is a mixture of seating at the back and standing at the front, although it's strange because it doesn't stretch the length of the pitch and doesn't reach either corner flag.
Up to 1,100 visiting supporters can be accommodated here and they are situated at one end of the ground in the Hazlewoods Stand. The view of the playing surface is excellent and unrestricted, whilst the leg room and facilities available inside are excellent. The refreshments bar is very good as you'd expect from a new stand and it offers a large range of all the usual football food fare.
LCI Rail Stadium seating plan:
There are a number of pubs in the local vicinity but if you arrive early enough, a visit to the club bar at the ground is well worth it. It's called the Robins Nest and in similar terms to Dagenham, allows away fans in for £1 each. Selection of hot and cold drinks and a small range of food is available.
Parking is limited in nearby roads but the club operates a free park and ride service from the Cheltenham racecourse. If you want to get away quickly after the game then you'll need to arrive early to find a space nearby.
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The nearest / closest train station to Cheltenham Town's LCI Rail Stadium is Cheltenham Spa. The railway station may be the closest but is still over two miles and 40 minutes walk away. I'd recommend getting one of the taxi's from the rank outside but if you're feeling fit and looking to take a wander here's how: Exit the station and take a right along Gloucester Rd. Follow the road along for about half a mile and then take a right onto St Georges St. After another half mile follow the road round to the left onto Clarence Parade. Take the next right onto Clarence St, then right again onto Fairview Rd. Turn left onto Winchcombe St and continue along here for a few minutes until you reach Whaddon Rd on the right.
Rivals - Swindon
Travel: A 40 minute train from New Street was straightforward. I knew from this guide that the train station is on completely the wrong side of town so I had allowed plenty of time for the walk.
Refreshments: I took a walk through the town stopping at a few pubs on the way. There are plenty of places for a drink in the town, the Rotunda had a good selection of real ales. There was also the obligatory Wetherspoons where I went for some dinner. It seems like a fairly well-to-do town and certainly not somewhere you would get any trouble.
Impressions: Whaddon Road is a fairly small ground that is about on par for League 2. There is an L-shape of new seated stands at the away end and one side, completed with a small traditional Main Stand and paddock and a small terrace at the home end. A pity that away fans don't have the choice to stand, although the stewards were fine with Cambridge fans standing in the back rows of the stand.
Atmosphere: Cambridge again showed why they are the lowest scorers in the division. They went behind midway through the first half, which already made things difficult for a team who can't score. A penalty-red-card for a handball on the line after an hour made it 2-0 and really all over. It could have been 3-0 but a second penalty was horrifically missed. I had already eaten at Wetherspoons but a burger bar in the corner was serving all the usual stuff. The stewarding was minimal but Cambridge fans were not out to cause any trouble.
Anything Else: I had the long walk back to the train station and was soon alone as the crowd dispersed. It probably wasn't the biggest crowd for a rearranged midweek game and I was the only person at the train station when I got there. This wasn't a surprise since the game finished far too late for the last train back to Cambridge. The train on the way there had taken 40 minutes but this time it took an hour back to New Street, for some reason the train went a much longer route despite not stopping at any of the stops in between.
Enjoy: A nice one apart from the result and one that I will probably do again next season. Cambridge are 7 points off the bottom 2 and Cheltenham 9 after their win tonight, so both teams probably will do enough to ensure they meet again next year.
Ground Name: LCI Rail Stadium
Capacity: 7,066 (3,912 seated)
Address: Whaddon Road, Cheltenham, GL52 5NA
Main Tel No.: 01242 573 558
Team Nickname: The Robins
Year Ground Opened: 1932