Thankfully now rid of the ludicrous Aimita Stadium tag it was saddled with during the Graham Westley era, Farnborough’s Cherrywood Road ground (originally known as The John Roberts Ground) will no doubt continue to divide the opinions of even the most devout of grounds enthusiasts. Peter Miles for example describes it as “somewhat dull”; whilst Kerry Miller uses the phrase “homely” to sum it up. The truth is probably somewhere in between the two.
Farnborough Town were formed as recently as 1968. Cherrywood Road is equally nowhere near as old is it might appear and dates from 1976. The club’s orginal home was on an unenclosed council pitch in Queens Road. By the mid-1970s however the lack of facilities at Queens Road was preventing any further progress so a new ground was developed at Cherrywood Road with the help of a local company, Worldwide Carpets.
Since this time the ground has struggled to keep pace with Farnborough’s relentless surge up the Pyramid ... and the continuous improvements that have been required. Whilst some clubs would have either relocated to another stadium, or replaced original features; Cherrywood Road is very much a ground that has gradually been updated and added to over a period of time, with little thought to continuity of line or a homogenous appearance. As a consquence it can appear both ugly or full of character, depending on one’s point of view. Whatever, Cherrywood Road remains a good example of how grounds can be updated without resorting to over-ambitious building projects and the creation of bland identical stadia.
The main stand, on the near touchline as one enters from the large pothole-ridden car park, is the oldest part of the ground, and essentially an extension to the clubhouse and administration area. The view from the saddle-type seats is no more than adequate, thanks to the supporting pillars, and a rather unwieldy extension: added towards the Prospect Road End of the ground in the 1990s. The latter has tip-up seats and affords a better view of the action.
An additional 100 or so seats are available on the opposite side of the pitch, where part of the covered ‘Chicken Run’ terrace is given over to a Family area towards the Moore Road End. As with the main stand however, the view is obstructed by the supporting pillars. This side of the ground dates from around 1989 when Farnborough won promotion to the old Football Alliance (now the Conference).
The Prospect Road End (or PRE) is favoured by home supporters and boasts a small covered area behind the goal. There are only a couple of steps of shallow terrace but the area extends some way back to the wall that encloses the ground. The opposite Moore Road End is given over to visiting supporters when segregation is in force, and is uncovered, with a few steps of rather shallow terracing.
Exit the M3 at junction 4 heading for Frimley. At the roundabout take the A331 towards Farnborough (ground signposted). At traffic lights, turn right into Prospect Avenue and take the 2nd right into Cherrywood Avenue.
Rail and bus
Farnborough (BR), Farnborough North (BR), and Frimley (BR) - all 20-30 minutes walk. Number 12 bus from the town centre passes the ground.