Rugby Town
Butlin Road

Ground No. 148
Visited - Saturday 26th January 2008
Result - Rugby Town 0-2 Team Bath
Competition - Southern League, Premier Division
Attendance - 221

When Wolves drew Watford in the 4th round of the FA Cup, it’s fair to say that it wasn’t the most desirable tie for either side, so I’d decided to give the game a miss and head off for a new ground, choosing to add Rugby Town’s Butlin Road to the list.

It was actually a ground I’d been to before, some three years previously to take pictures on the way back from Milton Keynes, so I was sort of knowing what lay in store when getting on the train southwards from Wolverhampton. It should have been a straight forward 40 minute journey, but ended up taking nearly twice as long after being delayed in Birmingham New Street thanks to someone threatening to jump on the tracks, so after arriving into Rugby later than planned, I rushed down to the ground, arriving just as the players were coming out onto the pitch.

After going straight in, it was a bit of a surprise to see a totally new stand at one end where once had been trees and hard standing with a small shelter behind the goal. In its place now rose a good sized terrace, fully covered and stretching for the full width of the pitch, offering standing places for 1300 people. Opposite, the far touchline was unchanged, with partially covered terracing at the Allotment End, and an older seated stand in the middle that was noted for having a press box jutting out in the middle. There was another small cover providing shelter for people to stand in adjacent to this, but mainly hard standing up towards the fantastically named Graveyard End. This end had also seen some work since my last visit, with uncovered terracing added either side to the main covered part of terracing that was centred behind the goal. Finally, the most impressive part of the ground was along the near touchline, running for about a third of the length of the pitch, sitting towards the Allotment End, a 500 seat cantilever stand raised from pitch level.

Having taken a few pictures, I found a seat in the Main Stand and the game got underway. Both teams started brightly, and Rugby could have gone ahead but for a wide shot after the goal was gaping open, asking to be breached, however it was the visitors who opened the scoring when Sean Canham took advantage of a mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender to sweep the ball home from the edge of the area on 22 minutes. On the half hour mark he made it 2-0 with an overhead kick in a packed penalty area to give Team Bath the advantage going into the break.

After half-time, the game petered out with the visitors mainly sitting back and defending their lead. Rugby had most of the possession, but couldn’t really force any notable efforts on goal, leaving Team Bath to head back to Somerset with a relatively easily won 3 points in the bag.

After leaving the ground, I got a few pics of the ground from outside that I hadn’t been able to get earlier, before making my way back to the station, choosing not to hang around, getting a train straight home, which went a bit better than coming, getting back in good time.

Overall it was good to go to the ground again. The new developments are impressive, and the ground looks very much capable of hosting Step 2, if not Step 1 football now. Beforehand it would have seemed very much a small ground if the club made it to the Conference North/South, but not so much now. That said, it does seem to have lost a bit of character with not having the trees behind the Allotment End. It’s a shame that they couldn’t have kept them to create a nice backdrop to the new stand, but all the same, it’s still a good ground to visit.

Welcome to Rugby Town

Rear of the Main Stand

Rear of the Allotment End

Rear of the Far Side

Rear of the Graveyard End

The Main Stand

The Graveyard End

The Allotment End 

The old Main Stand on the Far Side

The Allotment End

The Far Side 

The Main Stand

Butlin Road Panoramic 1

Butlin Road Panoramic 2

Butlin Road Panoramic 3

The Graveyard End 2005

Looking across the old Main Stand 2005

The Allotment End 2005

The Main Stand 2005


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