Rodney Parade Stadium is located a short walk away from Newport station, near the city centre. To get there, you have to cross the river past the iconic Newport footbridge. The stadium entrance is linked to the rugby club and to get to the stadium, you have to walk round a training pitch and to the respective turnstiles if coming in from that way. There are a number of bars as you walk around the pitch as well as the club shop, ticket office and supporter’s club.
What is it like?
Rodney Parade stadium has a capacity of 8600 and the main thing that strikes you about it is the distance from the pitch to the stands behind the goals. As a multi-purpose Rugby and Football stadium, the distance is expected to be large, however, it is a good 10 to 15 metres from the front of the stand to the dead ball line, which itself is a good 5 or 10 metres away from the goal line which is used for both of the sports.
The end I was in was an open terrace behind one of goals, at the back of this was a bar which I deduced is used for rugby matches only as it was closed, most likely due to the FA rules on drinking alcohol at matches. Adjacent to this is a small open terrace which covers the corner and part of the touchline before meeting one of the covered stands. At the opposite end to the open terrace is an open temporary stand, which the away fans were using for various flags and such, due to a low turnout of away fans. To the left, there is the Bisley Stand which holds the club’s main corporate facilities and the away fans section at the far end of this. To the right is the Hazell Stand, where most of the more vocal supporters congregated on the terraced section, with others sat on the seats a tier up, this stand has a uniquely low and overhanging roof.
The match wasn’t the best, both teams looked very poor on the day, Cambridge hadn’t won a game all season and Newport were struggling as well. Newport took the lead early on through Rhys Healey and this was the most of the first half action. The second half was very similar and after very few chances, Uche Ikpeazu equalised just past the hour mark for the visitors, before Luke Berry struck 20 minutes later to grab the winner and send Cambridge back home across the border with all three points in a result that put Newport into the bottom two in League Two, where they currently lie, and with games running out in the season, it’s looking very likely that they will be returning to the National League for the 2017/18 season. Cambridge meanwhile have had a good upturn in fortunes and currently lie in a solid mid-table position.
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