It’s a kick-off at 19.45 as Rovers visit their nearest local rivals over the festive period.

With home gates among the  highest in League 2 (averaging just shy of 9,000), we can probably expect a busy County Ground for the visit of a local rival.  Average gates at Bradford, Notts County, Wrexham & Stockport are higher, but Swindon have the league’s 5th highest crowds this season.

By Coach – Probably the easiest way to get there.  Coaches leave Stonehouse at 17.15, Sainsburys at 17.30 and TFCNL at 17.45.  For full details of Away Travel go to FGR Away Travel – Forest Green Rovers Supporters Club (  Book your coach ticket with your match ticket from FGR.  Remember there’s a discount for FGR Supporters Club members.  Book by phone to get the discount – 0333 123 1889 Monday to Friday, between 9am and 3pm.  Please try to book as early as you can.

By Train – Trains leave Stroud at 1731, 1807 & 1831 (each taking just less than half an hour) and there are returns at 2227 and 2342 back to Stroud.  An adult off-peak day return is £9.60.  It’s less than a mile from the station to the ground (about 15-20 minutes walking).

By Car – It’s a 45 minute drive by car (about 27 miles). Post Code for SAT NAV: SN1 2ED.  On match days home and away fans can park on the cricket ground and then have access to a drink in the cricket club (same Sat Nav postcode as the ground – SN1 2ED).  This is apparently a very friendly (as well as cheap) club that always welcomes away fans.  You’re welcome to a beer here even if you don’t use their parking.  Street parking is available reasonably close to the ground.  At the ground, away fans have their own bar, called Bar 71, which is near the away turnstiles.

The Arkells Stand – away supporters are housed in the blocks at the far right of the picture.

Away fans are located in the Arkells Stand at one side of the pitch, where up to 1,200 fans can be housed. This is an older stand (with facilities to match) but you are under cover.  At the back of this stand there is one supporting pillar which might impede your view of the goal but, otherwise, the view is good.  The stadium has a capacity of just over 15,700, but the Stratton Stand behind one of the goals isn’t usually used.

Ticket prices are below.  Tickets through FGR or on the day (they can’t be bought online).

Adult £27
Over 65 / Student £22
Under 21 £15
Under 18 £11
Under 11 £3
Wheelchair (inc FOC Carer) £22

How are they doing?

Swindon are 13th in League 2 with 30 points from 23 games.  However, they are on a run of 3 straight defeats before they face Wrexham at home on Boxing Day.

One thing Swindon fans have come to expect this season are plenty of goals.  Only Stockport, Wrexham, Crewe & Notts County have scored more than Swindon’s 44 goals.  However, only Sutton have conceded more than Swindon’s 45 goals.

This is a return fixture.  In the second game of the season, in August, Swindon won 2-1 at TNL.  A first half Matty Stevens goal was cancelled out by 2 Swindon strikes in the 47th and 90th minutes.

Recent Results

Swindon’s last few results (most recent first);

Tranmere 2-1 Swindon

Swindon 0-3 Barrow

Wimbledon 4-0 Swindon

Accrington 3-4 Swindon

Swindon 2-1 Mansfield

Harrogate 1-1 Swindon

Who to watch?

Swindon’s stars of the moment include one familar face.  Jake Young (remember him?) was with FGR between 2020 and 2022 before making a move to Bradford City.  Bradford gave him 7 starts before loaning him to Barrow, and then, this season, to Swindon.  Jake has 16 goals from 21 starts with the Robins and is their top marksman.

Following him with 11 goals is another loanee.  Midfielder Dan Kemp is on loan from MK Dons.

Jake Young signed for Rovers in 2020 and has now moved from Bradford to Swindon on loan.

Godwin-Malife's post-Cheltenham positivity | WE ARE FGR

‘Dokes’ went to Swindon.

Daniel Kemp - Midfielder - First Team - Swindon Town

MK Dons loanee Dan Kemp has 11 goals for the Robins.

The Manager

Former midfielder Michael Flynn was appointed by the Robins in May 2023, just after the end of last season.  Born in Newport, Flynn started his playing career with Newport County in 1999, then returned to the club for his first position in management.  He managed Newport between 2017 and 2021 before his unexpected resignation.  In 2022 he was appointed manager of Walsall where, after initial promise, he was sacked in 2023 following a poor end of season for the Saddlers.

Flynn has obviously impressed at Swindon – he signed a new long-term contract in November.

Michael Flynn was appointed Swindon boss in May.

Talismanic player

Charlie Austin had a 2 year spell at Swindon between 2009 and 2011.  He then moved on to Burnley, QPR (twice), Southampton & West Brom.  In 2022 he made 7 appearances for Brisbane Roar before Swindon re-signed him in December last year.  His 11 appearances for Swindon last season netted him 8 goals.  Thie season he has 5 goals to his name.

His manager sees Austin as the “figurehead” of the team and the club.  He is a fairly local lad (born in Hungerford) and, even though he is now 34, his striker’s instincts will make him a threat.

Striker Charlie Austin.

The club

Swindon have played in all 4 of the top leagues. They were a Premiership side in 1994 (briefly!) but by 2006 they had become the first former Premiership side to be relegated to the lowest football league division.  Since 1921 Swindon have spent most of their time in the 3rd tier of the EFL.  The period between 1987 and 2000 was their peak, when they were in the 2nd tier apart from that one season in the Premiership.   Swindon have been in the 4th tier on 4 occasions, but their visits to this level have tended to be brief (twice promoted straight back up to the 3rd tier).  They won promotion in 2020 as champions of League 2, only to be relegated again after just one season.

Swindon’s nickname, The Robins (supposedly because of their ‘red-breasted’ kit) is also the nickname of Cheltenham Town and Bristol City.

Traditionally Swindon fans have considered their main rivals to be Oxford Utd (a feeling reciprocated by Oxford fans).  But these days it is Bristol Rovers and Forest Green that are likely to be the more immediate rivalries .

In 1951 Swindon became the first club in the league to install floodlights at their ground (at a cost of £350!).

Probably Swindon’s most famous son on the pitch was their outside left, Don Rogers.  Rogers scored the 2 extra time goals that won Swindon the 1969 Football League Cup against Arsenal.  One of the stands at The County Ground was named The Don Rogers Stand in 2008.

Don Rogers is probably Swindon’s most famous former player.

Famous former Swindon managers

Glenn Hoddle

Dennis Wise

Paulo di Canio

Ossie Ardiles

Lou Macari

The Town

Swindon itself is famous as a railway town (The GWR railway museum is worth a visit, as is the next-door Outlet Mall).  But many associate Swindon with another feature that sits right next to the County Ground.  The Magic Roundabout was constructed in 1972 and has confused locals (and especially American tourists) ever since!

These days Swindon is a big regional centre for business, and is home to many technological and pharmaceutical companies, as well as having national headquarters for international companies Nationwide, Intel, and Zurich.  The Wiltshire town is also home to the HQ of The National Trust.

The Magic Roundabout shortly after its opening with the County Ground behind.