It’s the 2nd Round of the FA Cup and it sends Rovers to another seaside resort to meet a team they have never played before – Blackpool.

Blackpool are known as ‘The Seasiders’ or ‘The Tangerines’ and will remind you of flying with Easyjet.  Blackpool supporters are known as the Tangerine Army or Seaside Barmy Army and they generate an atmosphere that’s regarded as loud and intimidating.  In 2010/11, when the club were in the Premier League, they ranked 5th on decibel count for noise, despite a capacity of only about 16,000.

Between 1987 and 2019, the club was owned by the Oyston family – a dark period in the club’s long history when supporters resorted to boycotting the club to force change.  Nine years after buying the club, Owen Oyston was jailed for the 1992 rape and indecent assault of a 16-year-old girl.  His wife, Vicki, took over the chairmanship of the club during her husband’s three-year prison term.  The couple’s son, Karl, took over in 1999 and remained in the role for 19 years.  In 2018, after the Oyston family was found, in a High Court judgement, to have operated an “illegitimate stripping” of the club’s assets, the club finally got new owners in 2019 and supporters returned to watch their team.

They were relegated from the Championship last season but are now going well in League 1.

Getting there

By Supporters Coach – Book your coach ticket with your match ticket from FGR.  Remember, there’s a discount for FGR Supporters Club members.  Supporters Club Members need to book by phone or go to reception to get their discount.  Phone 0333 123 1889 Monday to Friday, between 9am and 3pm and please try to book as early as you can.  Coach prices are £30 for an adult (£25 for SC members).  Coach times are New Lawn – 13.00, Sainsburys – 13.15 & Stonehouse – 13.30.

For full details of away travel for league games click here FGR Away Travel – Forest Green Rovers Supporters Club (

By train – Doesn’t look that great to travel by train!  Journey times from Stroud to Blackpool North are 4 hours 30 minutes (approx) and you can’t get back on the same day.  However, if you go from Cheltenham to Blackpool North, you can reduce the journey time to about 3 hours on the way up.  An adult return is about £106.

By car – It’s about 190 miles from Nailsworth to Blackpool but. if the motorways go well, it should only take 3 hours 10 minutes (beware though,the motorways don’t always go well!).  It is pretty much motorway all the way.  Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road Stadium (FY1 6JJ for Sat Navs) is on the south side of the town, pretty close to Blackpool South stadium.  There are plenty of parking options close to the ground, ranging in price from £3.50 to £7.

Bloomfield Road


Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road stadium has been redeveloped since 2000.

How are they doing?

Blackpool are looking in good form.  Ahead of their away trip to Cambridge on 16th December they are sitting in 8th place in League 1, on the edge of the play-off places.

3 of their last 4 games have been good wins – at home to Shrewsbury and then away at league leaders Portsmouth (both 4-0) followed by a 3-0 home win against Carlisle.  These may be ominous signs that they are finding a run of form.  However, their most recent outing, away at Cambridge on 16 Dec,resulted in a 2-1 loss.

They have one of League 1’s best home records and they are one of this League’s highest scoring sides.  If we are looking for rays of hope, they have been conceding more than a goal a game.

In the 1st Round of the FA Cup,they faced a tricky away tie at National League high-flyers Bromley.  Two well-worked first half goals from Shayne Lavery and Karamoko Dembele made the tie look fairly easy.

Blackpool reject bid for Shayne Lavery amid Millwall speculation

Shayne Lavery has struck 4 times in the league this season and is Blackpool’s second top scorer.  The Northern Irishman has played 6 seasons with his national side.  However, he is an injury doubt to face Rovers.

Who to watch?

Other than Shayne Lavery, Blackpool have a number of striking options.  Top scorer with 10 goals in 14 games is Scot, Jordan Rhodes.  Rhodes was failing to get game time with his club, Huddersfield, so moved to Blackpool on loan this summer and is enjoying one of the best spells of his career.

Jordan Rhodes lifts lid on return to form and why retiring is not on his radar - Mirror Online

33 year old Scot, Jordan Rhodes, is having his best season.

Judging by the quality of his strike against Bromley, 20 year-old winger Karamoko Dembele will need to be carefully watched.  Recognised as a prodigy from an early age, the Londoner has represented England at u-15, u-17 & u-18 levels.  Previously with Celtic, he is on a season-long loan from French club, Brest.  He has only made 8 appearances for the Tangerines this season, scoring twice in the league.

Karamoko Dembele completes Blackpool loan transfer as ex Celtic kid returns to UK - Football Scotland

Winger, Karamoko Dembele.