Despite Swindon Town's 2-1 loss against Carlisle United yesterday, fans enjoyed the first game back at their home stadium.

As football finally returned home to Swindon, there was a real buzz and excitement bubbling outside the County Ground.

It would be the first time in months that Town fans could see their team in a league game, and it showed - the atmosphere was full of excitement and fans could not wait.

The large attendance was notable not just inside the stadium, but outside as well, as hungry football fans queued outside the burger van for their first taste of hopeful success.

The Brigginshaw family has been visiting the ground ever since Wayne first invited his father Leonard to the ground over 40 years ago. His grandson Luke revealed he had trouble sleeping.

He said: “I’m just buzzing, I’ve been awake since 3am. I’m really excited about it, I love football.

“It’s a chance where you can shout and scream and vent off some stress.

“There’s no better feeling than singing along with eight thousand other people singing your favourite songs. I’ve missed that for the last year.

“It’s time for new hope and optimism, get the club back to the championship, that’s my goal."

Wayne was looking forward to the game, buoyed by the change in ownership and optimistic for the future.

He said: “I’m excited, it’s not like you’re alone on the settee.

“It’s going to be great, we’ve had all this downside for months with the takeover and Power being in charge.

“We’ve had someone come in and take the club by the reins within a few weeks and turned it round more or less.

“They’ve got the support coming back in again - it’s proved a change of ownership can change people’s minds.

“We’ve actually got something to aim for, the only way is up.

“We’re hopefully going to turn it around now.”

Grandad Leonard discussed his emotions ahead of the fixture, agreeing with his son about the difference that new owner Clem Morfuni has made.

He said: “I’m nearly 90, and I’ve never been so motivated in all my life.

"With Clem, he gets amongst the people and gets down to their level. He talks their language and you’ve got to stick with his plans and objectives.”

Security staff expressed surprise over their communications about the attendance, as 9,450 fans turned up for the first home game of the 2021/22 season.

Ticket seller Sandy Nunn revealed that the club had sold out of matchday programmes over an hour before kick-off. The club had a limited amount because they were unsure of what the attendance would be.

Nick Smith has been supporting Swindon Town since 1967 and compared the feeling ahead of the game to Christmas Day.

He said: “I just can’t wait, I’ve been moaned at for coming here too early.

“Total buzz, it’s a bit like Christmas Day, a win would be great, but just to get back into the ground is the main thing.

“We’ve got our club and it’s going to be buzzing in there.

“This club’s got so much potential.”

Another of those in attendance was Alex Clarke, who was visiting the County Ground for the first time as a neutral supporter.

Alex commented on the difference between Premier League matchdays in comparison to the lower leagues..

He said: “Lower league football is actually really welcoming.

“Everyone at the hotel was asking if I was going to the football, it was brought up when I had my haircut.

“People are genuinely excited that people are coming down to watch Swindon play and it’s much more accessible than the Premier League.

“The ticket was a really good price, I got it this morning and I’m looking forward to seeing some decent football.”

Sadly, despite this strong support, Swindon Town lost the game 2-1.