Northampton Town

Sixfields Stadium

Capacity: 7,750 (all seated)
Address: Northampton, NN5 5QA
Telephone: 01604 683 700
Fax: 01604 751 613
Ticket Office: 01604 683 777
Pitch Size: 116 x 72 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Cobblers
Year Ground Opened: 1994
Undersoil Heating: No
Shirt Sponsors: University Of Northampton
Kit Manufacturer: Nike
Home Kit: Claret and White
Away Kit: Black with White Trim
Third Kit: Yellow and Black

External View
External View
New East Stand
New East Stand
West Stand
West Stand
South Stand
South Stand
Main and Dave Bowen Stands
Main and Dave Bowen Stands
Dave Bowen Stand
Dave Bowen Stand

The Club moved from their old County Ground to the Sixfields Stadium in October 1994. This neat all seater stadium is located on the outskirts of Northampton. On one side is the new East Stand, which is still a work in progress. It has a lower tier of 1,900 seats, which are currently available to supporters, however the rest of the stand is still very much of a shell, with large areas above the lower seating tier still to be put in place.

On the other side of the ground is the large West (Main) Stand. This two tiered affair, is all seated and covered and is free of any supporting pillars. The team dug outs are located at the front of it. Both ends are smaller stands and are of similar size to one another. Again both are all seated and covered. The South end of the stadium is allocated to away supporters. A large hill overlooks the ground, where small numbers congregate to watch the game free, even though they can only see half the pitch!

Away fans are located in the Moulton College at one end of the pitch, where 800 supporters can be accommodated. If demand requires it then an additional 423 seats can be allocated in the East Stand. One slight pain about Sixfields is that you can't pay at the turnstiles. You have to buy your ticket first from a Portakabin and then you have to queue again. Some away fans have got caught out by this when arriving late. However, I have received a number of reports complementing the standard of stewarding, other club officials and the Northampton fans themselves. Please note that if you club has a large away following to make sure that you have a ticket before travelling as it has not be unknown for away fans turning up on the day, to find that the away section has sold out. Food on sale inside the ground includes: Cheesburgers £4.20, Burgers £4, Hot Dogs £3.70, Various Pies £3.30 and Sausage Rolls £3.30. 

Having lived in Northampton for a year and watched Northampton Town win the old fourth division (giving away my age now...), I have a soft spot for them. The fans themselves are quite passionate and this makes for a great atmosphere especially at cup games. Robert Dunkley informs me; 'outside the West Stand there is a used programme stall stocking a wide range of programmes from different clubs and seasons'.

At Sixfields Stadium itself is Carrs Bar (the entrance to which is at the back of the Main Stand) which allows in away supporters. It also shows televised football. As Sixfields Stadium is built on a leisure complex on the outskirts of Northampton, then visiting fans on arrival are pretty much confined to the complex.  The nearest pub on the Sixfields Complex is the Sixfields Tavern, which is part of the Hungry Horse chain, so it offers food and is family friendly. It also contains a Sports Bar which shows Sky Sports, but it is primarily for home fans and bouncers man the entrance on matchdays. A better bet, just going past McDonalds towards the top end there is a Flaming Grill pub, which offers real ale, serves food and shows televised sport. Behind the Flaming Grill is a Tenpin Bowling Alley which also has a bar and also shows televised sports. Nearer to the stadium there is a Frankie & Benny's restaurant, which also serves alcohol. There are also a variety of other eating places nearby including a KFC, McDonalds and a Pizza Hut.

Carl Brown adds; 'I found myself drinking in a T.G.I. Friday's outlet opposite the Main Stand. Maybe not your stereotypical pre-match watering hole but very convenient for a drink, plus there were a wonderful array of fine waitresses on display, serving the goods!' 

Kevin Roberts informs me; 'For those supporters travelling from the North and leaving the M1 at Junction 16 and taking the A4500 towards Northampton, then you will pass on your left the recently refurbished Turnpike pub, which as far as I am aware is still welcoming away supporters'.

Kevin continues; 'In Northampton town centre, there are several notable real ale pubs in addition to the usual Wetherspoons etc. A particular favourite for those looking for a decent pint is the Malt Shovel Tavern, which is possibly the best real ale pub in Northampton, having 14 hand pumps and is also listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. To find this pub from the railway station, cross the road in front of the station and head towards the Carlsberg brewery (easily visible). You will find the pub located opposite the brewery. It is about a ten minute walk. It will probably take you a further 30 minutes to walk to the ground from here heading back in the same direction past the station (see 'By Train' below for walking directions)'. You can find out more about the pub on the Malt Shovel Tavern website.

If you require hotel accommodation in Northampton then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Northampton Hotels pages.

Remember that you can use the above link to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

Booking.com

From The South: Leave the M1 at Junction 15A and take the A43 towards Northampton and you will come to the ground on your right.

From The North: Leave the M1 at Junction 16 and take the A45 towards Northampton and you will come to the ground on your right.

The Sixfields stadium is well signposted around the area. There is a fair sized car park located at the ground, which costs £4. Make sure though that you arrive early as it has been known for it to get full for the more popular games. Parking in the nearby cinema and restaurant car parks is not allowed, and parking there will probably result in your car being given a £60 ticket! So make sure that you only use the official football parking provided at the ground. Near to the stadium, off the roundabout by TGI Fridays is a hard standing area, known as Duston Mill. On matchdays it is used as a car park, which is manned and costs £4 per car.

Steve Riches adds; 'If Northampton Saints rugby club are also at home at the same time as Northampton Town, then the parking can get critical as the Saints play just down the road, so allow extra time on those occasions'.

Post code for SAT NAV: NN5 5QA 

Northampton Railway Station is over two miles from the Sixfields Stadium, so it is probably best to hire a taxi. To find the taxi tank then when you go through the ticket barriers keep to the left and go down the steps in front of Starbucks (there is also a lift if needed) to the ground floor go out of the doors. The taxi rank is across the road.

However, if you feel like braving the 25-30 minute walk then Paul Beckett provides the following directions; 'After proceeding through the ticket barriers keep to the right passing W H Smiths. Go down the steps and at the bottom turn right onto the road. Keep going past the BP garage and at the lights, with the Thomas a Beckett pub on the opposite corner, turn left into St James Mill Road. Continue down to the traffic lights with Travis Perkins on the left and turn right into Harvey Reeves Road which becomes Edgar Mobbs Way. Continue on here until you come to the Sixfields Stadium. It brings you out at the away turnstiles.'

You can also get the Number 15 bus from outside the railway station as Paul Beckett advises; 'To get to the Number 15 bus stop you come out of the main entrance onto the road (after going through the ticket barriers keep straight ahead at W.H Smiths and proceed down the steps) once out of this entrance walk straight ahead and the bus stop is 100 yards away. Make sure you go to the one across on the opposite side of the road but don't cross the road until you get to the bus stop or preferably use the crossing at the traffic lights a few yards away from the bus stop. Don't cross at the lights immediately outside the station. The Number 15 bus runs every 20 minutes and you should get off at the stop near 'Bella Italia' It is a very short walk to the Sixfields Stadium the away end being at the other side. Buses D1, D2 and D3 also stop here and run every hour respectively. The number 50 bus will take you to a stop opposite the away end but only runs every hour. The bus journey time is around 10-15 minutes. See the Stagecoach website for timetables.

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

All areas of Sixfields Stadium*
Adults £22
Concessions £18
Under 18's £10

Concessions apply to over 65's. Under 21's can also be admitted at the concessionary price, providing that their ticket is bought prior to matchday.

* Please note that these prices are for tickets purchased prior to matchday. Tickets bought on the day of the game cost £2 more.

Official Programme £3

Northampton Town FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

Peterborough United and Milton Keynes Dons.

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the  Level Playing Field website.

Record Attendance

At the County Ground; 24,523 v Fulham, Division One, April 23rd, 1966.

At Sixfields Stadium; 7,798 v Manchester United, League Cup 3rd Round, 21st September 2016.

Average Attendance
2016-2017: 5,965 (League One)
2015-2016: 5,279 (League Two)
2014-2015: 4,599 (League Two)

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Special thanks to Mike Cleave for providing photos of the West and Dave Bowen Stands and to Dave Hollands for the photo of the new East Stand.

Thanks also to Owen Pavey for providing the layout diagram of Sixfields Stadium.

 

Northampton Town v Fleetwood Town
Football League One
Saturday 12th August 2017, 3pm
Erik Williams (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Sixfields Stadium?
 
I am 'Doing the 92' and Sixfields Stadium was to be my 63rd visit on my list of 92.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I went by train. The stop to grab a bus to Sixfields Stadium was only a few yards from the station and I only had to wait a few minutes for the bus. The Sixfields stop overlooks the ground, so you know when you're there. Otherwise its really too far to walk.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I had arrived early so I bought a pin-badge and entrance ticket. I then had a quick meal in one of the nearby restaurants. There's also the Sixfields pub. I didn't speak to any of the home fans, but they seemed alright.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Sixfields Stadium?
 
The Sixfields Stadium is in an open dip and semi-rural setting, so you get an almost aerial view of it. It was a smart-looking ground. The stands and main buildings were well-proportioned. The ground wasn't overwhelmed by the Main (West) Stand on one side.  There didn't seem much room for the away fans. But they always seem to be treated as second-class citizens anyway. 
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The stewarding was unobtrusive and I can't remember seeing any Police Officers, although there must have been some. I wasn't frisked on the way in, which is unusual nowadays. I had a seat in the West (Main) Stand. Both this stand and the home end were full. The home fans were unimpressed by their team's performance, although the Fleetwood goalkeeper made a nimble triple save at one point. Fleetwood Town scored on the break from a pass down the middle in about the 70th minute. Other than that the game was unspectacular. At least I didn't hear any swearing around me, which is also unusual!
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
I got a bus immediately and surprisingly few people were waiting at the bus stop.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
The pleasant weather helped. Sixfields Stadium is in an attractive setting, overall an enjoyable day out.

Nothampton Town v Charlton Athletic
Football League One
Saturday 4th March 2017, 3pm
James Butler (Charlton Athletic fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Sixfields Stadium?

The Sixfields Stadium was new ground for me to visit, so in that respect yes. Although its out of town location is a bit boring, but I had an open mind as these vary, often according to the weather.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We went on one of the free club coaches, via a breakfast at the Valley having been picked up at Bexleyheath just before 9.00. We left the Valley at around 11am arriving in extremely good time at the Sixfields Stadium just after 1pm.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We were dropped behind the Main Stand. We then went up the hill behind the ground and had a coffee in the cinema. Sorry we are a bit boring and have long since stopped watching Charlton in a state of alcohol induced haze. However there were plenty of options to get a drink or something more substantial to eat. Sure nothing very original, TGI, Frankie and Bennies, but safe enough all the same.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Sixfields Stadium?

The Sixfields Stadium is a neat ground albeit a bit small. The Main Stand must be over half of the overall capacity. Both ends are similar and quite small, with neither stand fully extending the width of the pitch. They both only around 15 rows high. The other side is the half finished stand, this will be quite smart when done, but it does not currently even seem to be a work in progress. At least the lower tier is open so the ground is not three sided.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

On arrival an Northampton Town steward came on to the coach, welcomed us and gave us a run down of all facilities that were available in the area. Nice touch. The game it self from our point of view was awful. Northampton took the lead around 20 minutes which we leveled ten minutes later. Despite the scrappy nature of the game the atmosphere was pretty good from both sets of fans, been so close to each other always does this. Northampton got a second goal mid-way through the second half, we never looked like get back from that. Four defeats on the trot, no wins since I can't remember when (2/1/17).

The stewards and Police were excellent. The Charlton support was more than a little tetchy. There is plenty of fans unrest with the Charlton owner and our team is rubbish. None of this however is the fault of the people who job its to keep order at the ground. Faced with some fairly provocative behavior they dealt with it calmly and indeed with a certain amount of good humor. When the Police did have to get involved, this again was swift and efficient. By the end the home fans were in full voice, whilst the away end  was in full toxic mode, with some fans abusing and yelling at some of the Charlton players. Another match to quickly forget.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game: 

Very good. Sixfields Stadium is pretty close to M1 and we were back on M25 by 18.30. Then the coach driver went into some strange parallel world and got us lost, even asking us the way at one point. Now we knew why the coaches were free! When you've just witnessed your teams latest capitulation and there is a pint with your name on it in the pub near home then this was a little trying.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Football awful, Journey, odd. Northampton Town FC excellent from the stewards and fans right down to the girls in the club shop. Example of how good the fans were. Charlton bought Ricky Holmes from them last summer and this was his first trip back. He went to take a corner by the main vocal body of home fans and was warmly applauded. Ex-players who were adored at Charlton, but leave for so called "bigger clubs" are mostly slated on their return to the Valley. Will go back in hopefully happier circumstances next time.

Northampton Town v Bradford City
Football League One
Monday 2nd January 2017, 3pm
Mark Stanhope (Bradford City fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Sixfields Stadium?

I have been to the Sixfields Stadium about five times before but my son who's eight has also caught the travel bug and wanted to tick Northampton Town off .

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We live in Sheffield & the 1hr 20min car journey was a breeze . Sixfields has a number of restaurants around and we parked for free at the Pizza Hut where we enjoyed a pre-match meal.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

The Northampton Town fans as always are a friendly bunch and even invited my son into the children's fan area to take part in a penalty shoot out competition .

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Sixfields Stadium?

I'm not very keen on these out of town stadiums. My only lasting impression of Northampton's ground is if you ever played them on the last day of the season and needed three points to win the title and only got 1000 tickets 8000 could still stand outside for free and see three quarters of the pitch!

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Top class pies and piping hot bovril on a cold winters day  The stewards were great in looking after 1200 traveling supporters. Everything was clean and tidy.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Easy we were on the M1 within ten minutes of leaving the Sixfields Stadium. 

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

We would happily visit the Sixfield Stadium again. My son who's been to over 20 grounds says it's one of his favourites (but I still prefer the old County Ground)

Northampton Town v Stevenage
Football League Two
Saturday 24th October 2015, 3pm
James Walker (Stevenage fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting Sixfields Stadium?    

To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to this away day at all. I had previously visited the Sixfields Stadium four times before and hadn't even witnessed a Stevenage goal there, so naturally I wasn't at all confident of netting a result today against a Northampton team in good form (despite all the off-pitch problems).

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

As is the norm for me, I took the Stevenage supporters coach to Sixfields. The journey was fairly straightforward and we got to the ground for just after 1.20pm. Getting to the ground from the M1 motorway was simple as it's all signposted.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

As I had time to kill before the game, I went in to the club shop to purchase a badge (£2.99) and programme (£3), then in to the Carrs Bar for a drink and take in the second half of Blackburn vs Burnley in the early kick-off. The few locals I spoke to seemed pleasant enough.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Sixfields Stadium?  

 I already knew what to expect, having being here numerous times before. The away end is a small stand with a raised disabled platform in the middle (but bear in mind there is no shelter for disabled supporters) and tea bar located over in the far right hand corner. There is a big scoreboard over by the right corner flag. The stand opposite us looks exactly the same as the away end, whilst the stand to our left is the Main Stand which houses the majority of the home support. The stand to our right is the one that is still supposedly being built (off the field problems has meant that construction has stopped a couple of times) and is currently just a shell.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

The game itself was poor from our point of view. Northampton started the stronger and forced quite a few early corners but couldn't convert any. Then on 25 minutes, Steven Schumacher had a first-time shot which flew in to give us a thoroughly undeserved lead, but it was the first ever time we had scored a goal at Sixfields! The second half, however started disastrously, and the Cobblers were level within 4 minutes of the re-start. Both teams had some chances to try and get the second goal, before Northampton countered after a dismal Tom Conlon corner and a series of defensive calamities saw the hosts score the all important second (and decisive) goal. The catering here looked very good on the whole. I had my usual Chicken Balti pie (£3.10) and it was lovely and hot. Just what the doctor ordered on a miserable day weather wise!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away couldn't be simpler. We came out of the away end, turned right then walked along the path and the coach was right there waiting for us. We were out of there just after 5pm, and a very simple journey saw us back at the Lamex Stadium at 6.20pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Well on the plus side, we finally scored at the Sixfields Stadium. But on the negative side, it's another loss here for us. I guess we can't complain with the result though, given how awful we were on the day.

Half Time: Northampton Town 0-1 Stevenage Full Time: Northampton Town 2-1 Stevenage Attendance: 4,492 (334 away fans)

Northampton Town v Exeter City
League Two
Saturday, August 30th, 3pm
Steve Ellis (Exeter City fan)

1. Why were you looking forward to going to this ground?

This was my first visit to the Sixfields stadium, and another to tick off for the 92. I ws again travelling on one of of the official supporters coaches that the club had organised. The journey was easy, leaving Exeter at 8.30am and arriving in Northampton just after 1pm.

2. What did you do before the game?

On arrival at the ground I went upto the Sixfields Hungry Horse pub, about a 5minute walk up the hill, where I paused to take a photo of the football ground down below. Drinks seemed reasonably priced and home and away supporters mixed well.

3. First impressions on seeing the ground?

For a stadium that is 20 years old, it still looks new. The Alwyn Hargraves (East) Stand is currently being updated, so it was closed. Away supporters are housed in the South Stand, at one end of the stadium, which offers good views of the playing action.

Sixfields Stadium

Sixfields Stadium

4. Comment on the game, atmosphere, refreshments, stewards and toilets? 

The game was a fairly even encounter, but ended as a 1-0 win for Northampton but neither team seemed over threatening, the atmosphere was mixed with both sets of supporters periodically singing. Stewards were helpful and non abtrusive, toilets were clean. The refreshments were in a cabin the opposite end of the stand from the turnstile and looked expensive, meal deals were also offered but again probably not worth it when you see prices of individual items.           

5. Comments on getting away after the game?

Very easy getting away after the game, the coach parked just outside the turnstiles. We arrived  back into Exeter just after 9pm.

6. Summary of the day out?

Despite the result, I  had a good day out.

Northampton Town v Dagenham & Redbridge
League Two
Saturday September  24th, 2011, 3pm
Nick Murphy (Dagenham & Redbridge fan)

1. Why were you looking forward to going to the ground?

First and foremost for me, it was a new ground that I hadn't visited before. It looked a decent stadium and sounded it from what others had said. So with money spare and my team visiting, I thought why not tick another one off of the list. Add to that it seemed a plausible place to gain some points and end a bad run of form, it seemed like an ideal choice. Also it wasn't that far away which meant I didn't have to wake up early and the coach trip wasn't all that long either!

2. How easy was your journey/ finding the ground/ car parking?

Although we were on the coach, it is still very easy to find, signposts are clear and as you come off the motorway, you can't really miss the place. The car parking was good, with plenty of spaces around the stadium. There was also plenty to do for the early arriver, as well as the usual have a look around the ground, there were a couple of pubs, a KFC, TGI Fridays and a McDonalds.

3. What did you think when seeing the ground/ first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

I thought it looked like a nice ground. The first thing you notice is the Main Stand, as you may expect a mix of metal and concrete which isn't particularly appealing. However it still looked relatively decent from the outside. The ticket shop wasn't very classy, effectively a portacabin located outside the away end, although the club shop looked very nice and well positioned near the away stand.

As you walk in, you're greeted with the sight of a fairly open ground as no sides are joined together which gives it an open feel, more free, add to that the hill that lay behind the opposite home stand and you have a very unique looking stadium. The stands all looked very plain to be honest, but I liked it, but it could do with more character, something that's needed in a football ground. However, It's all very modern as you may expect.

4. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies and toilets:

A very poor start to the match. There were hardly any chances and then from nothing Northampton score, a corner not cleared well enough and they smash home from a few yards. They deserved to be ahead going into half time. The score could have been more if it weren't for our keeper Chris Lewington who made one fantastic reflex. The second half was a lot more open and could have gone either way, with the Daggers attacking from the off and hitting the bar just minutes in. However, predictability I suppose, Akinfenwa scored a header up the other end thanks to poor marking, Lewington had no chance and that was 2-0 to them, 30 minutes left and we could still salvage something. More attacking but yet no end product, the Cobblers keeper was called into action more than once to deny us, but Northampton continuously looked dangerous on the break. On 90 minutes or so Damien Scannell got down the left, put in a neat ball along the floor for Ollie Lee to slam home to make it 2-1, however it was too late and that's how it finished. A very disappointing game to add to the run and make it five straight defeats and keep our 100% losing streak against Northampton.

The atmosphere was very poor, the 230 odd Daggers were unusually quiet, probably because of the lack of a drum, for some reason the Northampton stewards didn't oblige to it. However the fact that we were losing for the majority of the game probably didn't help; Northampton fans were also very quiet, only being heard when they scored, not a single song, they were very disappointing. Their mascot had a drum, but his attempts at creating an atmosphere were in vain. The stewards were fine, a couple raised a smile and had a decent chat with some of our fans. They were also very lenient on whether you stand up or not which was good. The food was fine, I had a hot dog which was very tasty and I heard good reports on the pies. However, your wallet will have somewhat of a hole in after a visit to Sixfields. The toilets were very bog standard if you pardon the pun, very modern, running hot water, up there with what you expect from a modern ground.

5. Comments on getting away from the ground:

Wasn't particularly bad, the coach picked us up and we only encountered a bit of traffic getting out, due to the amount of cars trying to get round a single roundabout and a single road out of the stadium complex, it wasn't particularly well thought up by the designers I don't think! Fairly easy enough though and you're back on the motorway in no time.

6. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Apart from the disappointing result, I very much enjoyed my day at Sixfields. Good facilities, a nice, welcoming stadium if slightly dull and even the stewards had a smile on their face. A good view of the pitch helps the action, but the prices of the food and drink need to improve, that would be my only real criticism. Everything around the ground is top notch, location is good and if I had the chance to go back their again, which I probably will in the future, would I? Definitely, although I'd hope Dagenham improve on their recent record against Northampton first!

Northampton Town v Southend United
League Two
Saturday 11th September 2010, 3pm
Tim Sansom (Neutral fan)

1. Why were you looking forward to going to the ground?

Visiting the Sixfields stadium in Northampton had been on my personal agenda for the while. Having recently moved to the town, I wanted to really feel that heart beat of the place that I am calling my home for the foreseeable future. Football and rugby battle for the attention of the town's folk and it is not that far from the Sixfields stadium to Franklin's Gardens where the Northampton Saints play.

To a large extent, I sensed that Northampton is far more a rugby town than football town in a similar fashion to Bath or Gloucester. However, Northampton Town Football Club does attract a fair amount of attention in the local media and the club does try to make itself to be more than a passing interest to the football loving public. For a long period over the summer, the club had adverts across the town to encourage people to forget about what was happening at Old Trafford or Anfield and watch their football closer to home. It was a brave advert in these strange football times.

As well as wanting to visit to get more of a feeling about Northampton as a town, I also wanted to check out a lower league match and that is something which I shamefully fail to do as much as I like. It is natural to become more focused on the soap opera of your own team, and in my case, and at the time of writing, my team was doing surprisingly well in the Championship. You can also be extensively diverted to the Premiership with a particular focus on the top teams in the league. You can forget that there are lower league teams and a whole galaxy of clubs below the Premiership that are trying to make sense of the game that we call football.

I hoped that this particular game would be a decent match. Although I knew that Northampton had been struggling to get their first win of the campaign, and that Southend United had been equally fighting to avoid financial oblivion for most of the past summer, I did not walk into Sixfields with an intimate knowledge of every player�s strengths and weaknesses. I could take my seat as a true neutral and hope to be entertained by some exciting football on an impressively warm and sunny Saturday afternoon. I had a steely determination to enjoy this game come what may, to justify to a friend that paying to watch lower league football was money worth spent. 

2. How easy was your journey/ finding the ground/car parking?

The British road system is famously unpredictable but it is fair to say that the journey to Sixfields is fairly easy from any direction. I took an impressively direct bus to the ground from the horrific bus station that is probably the worst bus terminus that I have ever visited in the UK or the world. It is everything that you would expect a bus station built around 1976 to be full of stained concrete, bus exhaust fumes, dying hanging baskets and dark wood panelling straight off a seventies game show.

This town of shoes and brewing does have a very bustling feeling about it and you can easily kill some time in the town before your afternoon game. The buses to the stadium also stop to the west of the town centre. At the time of writing, there was going to be a revision of the buses that went to Sixfields but it was just down to a change of operator. Daventry bound buses go pass the railway station, and stop at a bus shelter on top of a hill that overlooks the stadium. St Giles Park buses also stop near to Sixfields.

Sixfields is not a stadium that is penned in by a mass of dreary warehouses and carpet showrooms. After passing a small range of chain pubs, burger bars and restaurants that want you to eat masses for only £5:95, you will come to the top of a hill and Sixfields is in the valley below.

It is fair to say that the stadium would not win many architectural awards but this ground does look smart. Car parking is nearby in a number of car parks that are within walking distance of the stadium. I visited the stadium on a pleasant Saturday afternoon in the warm half of September. You get a decent view of Northampton including the large chimney looking tower used to test lifts. However I have been to Sixfields in dramatically difficult conditions. When there is wind and rain in the air, the whole area is particularly bleak and choosing the wrong seat in the stands means that you could be buffeted by wind for a solid ninety minutes. However, I guess that is what some people describe as atmosphere.

3. What did you think when seeing the ground/ first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

Some people would argue that by the time that I got to the ground, I was rather over excited for a Northampton versus Southend game. I was excitingly texting anyone who would listen that I was at this league two game. One friend seemed particularly bemused and mentioned that he was watching Everton versus Manchester United and that was where the action was taking place. In hindsight, he was watching an exciting game. However, I was determined to enjoy my League Two action, enthusiastically brought the ticket and sat in the Main Stand towards the end where the Essex fans were sitting. Inside the ground, there continues to be a very neat look to the stadium with perfectly shaped stadiums coloured in maroon rather than a mass of iron, steel and garishly  coloured seats.

I spoke to two local people who gave conflicting reports about whether there was any atmosphere in Sixfields. Apart from a fairly loud vocal element in the away end, the Main Stand seemed to be where the atmosphere was most evident with singing that lasted virtually throughout the game. A large amount of the songs came from the younger element of the home support which was surprising comforting. Despite the dreadful football from kick off to half time, people still kept on singing and we can all think of those grounds that turn into a library when the football collapsed from being even slightly exciting.

4. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies and toilets:

The football was truly awful throughout the first 45 minutes. I was not especially upset about the action in front of me. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon. There was some atmosphere in the ground and I spent most of the first half noting how many tackles and fouls went unpunished when similar incidents would have been certainly punished in the Premiership. Although it was a close run thing, Southend edged the action in the opening half, and you began to sense a feeling of uneasiness and frustration amongst the home fans. It was Saturday 11th September, and at 3:45pm, Northampton Town Football Club had yet to win their first game of the 2010/2011 season.

If you are a neutral at the game, the best way to find out about the mood of the crowd is to visit the toilets at half time. If the team is playing well, there is a carnival atmosphere (if there ever can be a carnival at the urinals,) but if the match is awful or the team are playing badly, the toilets are a morgue with everyone going about their business without looking at each other. You feel as if you are on the London Underground where the slightest brush of an arm will get evil killer looks. This was the atmosphere in the Sixfields toilets at half time and if by some remote chance you are interested in toilets at football stadiums, I can report that there was nothing different in Northampton compared to other stadiums across the UK. There are concrete walls and adverts for betting and ticket deals. It is soulless and functional. Nothing more can be said.

Food seemed to be fairly expensive in price but was very popular with the locals. The half time entertainment seemed to consist of local school kids kicking balls into a net, whilst most people stood transfixed in front of the concourse televisions looking for the latest afternoon scores. There was no opportunity to kick balls into the back of Fiestas or Minis, which seemed to be the fashion in the seventies and have a brief renaissance in the last couple of years.

The second half of the game was much better. Both teams seemed to want to score goals and win the game. The frustration of the home fans seemed to be lifted when Northampton scored two goals that won the match. Once goals began to be scored, the home team seemed to relax and play some flowing football that was dramatically absent throughout the first 45 minutes. The final whistle was blown and there was a happy celebration in a very British sort of way. Within a couple of weeks, Northampton would be playing Liverpool at Anfield in the League Cup, and there were many announcements and mass excitement in advance of the trip to Merseyside.

5. Comment on getting away from the ground:

Getting away from many grounds can be a nightmare that can ruin the day out as well as the match regardless whether the action had been exciting. Delayed and unhealthily packed trains, a lack of buses, closed underground stations due to "overcrowding" have all become a sad feature of travelling to watch football in the UK at the weekend.

Travelling away from Sixfields was not a problem. On a sunny day and if your team has done well, it is not that far to walk into the town centre of Northampton as well as the railway station. This particular match had not been watched by a full house so there were enough seats on the bus back into Northampton. The road system around Sixfields is fairly advanced so car drivers will find it easy to start their journeys home. I can not promise that you will avoid any traffic jam but getting away from this particular ground is fairly easy. I certainly did not experience any problems. 

6. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I enjoyed the match and my visit to the home of Northampton Town Football Club. I was made to feel welcome at Sixfields and enjoyed the atmosphere during a game that will go down as Northampton Town's first home league win of the season. When you visit lower league clubs, you do feel more part of the club and closer to the action. I felt extremely close to the pitch and was waiting for the moment when the ball would be kicked towards me, and I would make a spectacular catch that would be shown on national television. I do not have any regrets in going. Although the intensive specific details of the football action may not live that long in the memory,  I can now swap some anecdotes about the local football club and Sixfields stadium in the local community. Having discovered one of the sporting hearts of Northampton, that is a result for me.

Northampton Town v Shrewsbury Town
League Two
Saturday 25th April 2010, 3pm
Andy Saunders (Shrewsbury Town fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I had been to Northampton's old County ground but have never got the chance to visit the new one. Because Shrewsbury was battling for a play off place with Northampton it had added extra spice to the occasion.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Very easy, I had a sat nav but did not need it in the end as the ground was well signposted from the motorway. It is on the edge of the town on a Leisure park. Car parking was good and there was lots of spaces but had to pay �3 for the privilege, Northampton rugby club was playing on the same day and I fuond Car parking was not as bad as I thought it was going to be, We bought a lot of fans too.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

I arrived early for the game as I was worried about parking so I found myself getting very bored as the only things around the area were a few fast food eateries and a Cinema. I had a KFC and a burger at a van parked at the ground.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?:

Looked to me when I first saw it was that It looked smaller than I imagined it to be, The three stands around the sides where tiny with an overpowering main stand which did look good from the outside (not as big as Crewe's main stand though). Seats were not cramped and I had comfortable leg room.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

Game was awful. Our manager putting only one striker up front in a 4-5-1 formation, which was getting us nowhere fast. In the second half  he pushed more men forwardm but we were undone and Northampton scored two goals. We was chasing the game after that and in the end lost 2-0 which ended our hopes for a play off place. Atmosphere was good and the main bunch of vocal home support came from the end of the main stand closest to the away fans. The stewards where the friendliest I have seen for many a year, always helpful and good to have a chat with. 

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The exit was a bit tight getting out of the leisure complex as there was only one small roundabout to cope with a lot of traffic but once you get on to the open road its is a peice of cake.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Great day out (apart from the result) was very sunny but not much to do on the leisure park though. Stewards and fans where very friendly but a big overkill with the amount of Police in attendance.

Why not write your own review of the Sixfields Stadium Northampton Town and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 17th August 2017

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