The stadium is just off the main high street and hidden from sight by rows of houses and trees. It has a capacity of 7,100 which is more than enough for this level although only two thousand of which is seated. Any further progression up through the divisions would result in the need for re-development.
Visiting supporters are allocated the open terrace to the south side of the ground running towards the East Bank end and the East Bank end itself which equals 1,000 standing capacity and 250 seated, though if there's a chance of a bigger following, this area will be extended. Views from the East Bank are fairly good although there are a few supporting pillars.
EBB Stadium seating plan:
There are a fair few pubs within easy walking distance of the ground. The La Fontaine pub at the top of Redan Hill is generally used by visiting supporters. All others are normally used by home fans (some of which appear a little rough looking!) but some such as The Crimea and the Red Lion also welcome visiting fans, though in all honesty the La Fontaine is as good as any other and about as handy as you could possibly get!
The town centre has all the usual fast-food joints, including KFC and McDonalds on Union Street, as well as a plethora of kebab shops and other take away outlets. If you're looking for food, try High Street, Victoria Road and Station Road.
There is limited car parking available in the Parsons Barracks car park (next to the Recreation Ground) priced at £1.00 for the whole day, but this is generally full by 1.45pm on Saturdays. For midweek fixtures the parking is usually taken by 6.30pm. The best option is the secure and equally cheaply priced pay and display car-parks less than a five minute walk away.
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The nearest / closest train station to Aldershot's Recreation Ground is surprisingly, Aldershot which is between a five and ten minute walk away and is well connected with trains running to/from London Waterloo (change at Woking or Guildford), Alton and Guildford. From London Waterloo, the journey with one change will take between 50 minutes (if you change at Woking) and just over an hour if you use Guildford and cost around £11.10 for the cheapest available return.
Rivals - Reading
Travel: I travelled via Reading joining my friend at Ash for the short journey to Aldershot.
Refreshments: By the time we found our seats, there was not that much time left so the usual routine of taking pictures for this guide (noting especially the very rare and quite wonderful barrel roof over the East Terrace) and the purchase of a programme was observed. Both of us were going to eat later in the evening so skipped lunch. I noted the prices of the Hotshots café however: Quarter Pound Cheeseburger £4, Cumberland sausage ring, Bacon Bap, Chicken Curry £4, Chips £2.50, Can of cold drink £2, Hot Dog £2, Tea, Coffee, Soup, Hot chocolate, Bovril £1.50, Crisps £1.
Impressions: I have been to the Recreation Ground (a.k.a the ‘Rec’) many times before, but not for several years so this was a somewhat of a re-familiarisation project. The ground was very much as I remembered it, the ascent from the street side turnstiles up a slope to the pitch being little changed. Some aspects though had altered radically. The standing area behind the West goal (The Community Stand) is no more, having been replaced by a small seated area. Two areas of terrace had been closed – the one by the South stand and half of the terrace behind the East Stand goal. It is still, however, a welcoming venue and very much a traditional ground.
Atmosphere: In contrast to our previous outing to Maidenhead United on Good Friday last year (it was abandoned at half time owing to a deluge of rain), this match was played in warm sunshine. I was able to watch this one in shirtsleeves. We watched the game from the South Stand from a position which afforded an unhindered view. There was plenty of legroom and no supporting pillars to mar our view of the action. Did I say action? Unfortunately, there was precious little. For a game on TV this was pretty dire. Whilst there was some goalmouth activity it was sporadic and the game suffered badly from a spate of misplaced passes. Zaine Francis Angol for Fylde was speedy and threatening, but all too often his final ball failed to find a team mate. The Aldershot keeper did make a couple of stunning saves from Haughton and Rowe but these were rare standout moments in a very flat game. With both sides desperately needing points the lack of urgency was quite inexplicable and a point apiece really does not do either club any favours. I have seen some cracking games at Aldershot over the years, but on this occasion, the ‘Shots’ were firing blanks.
Exit: It is but a gentle stroll back to Aldershot station but with the game overrunning slightly it was the 15.08 train that we made for Ash, where I changed for Reading, my friend continuing home to Cosham via Guildford.
Enjoy: A good day out certainly and it was good to rediscover the Recreation Ground (as I will always know it) but sad to see the fortunes of this club dipping. Despite the poor game, this was a good day out at a traditional ground, where everyone was engaging and friendly.
Ground Name: EBB Stadium
Capacity: 7,100 (2,000 seated)
Address: High St, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 1TW
Main Tel No.: 01252 320211
Team Nickname: The Shots
Year Ground Opened: 1926