1. Why you were looking
forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
Both Lincoln and Northampton were vying for a
play-off place, and as this game was right near the end of the season it
would surely be an eagerly contested encounter.
Also, Northampton is not too far from Lincoln, being just a short trip down
the M1, and is one of the league's more accessible grounds.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking:
The ground is well signposted once we left the M1 and is based on an
industrial estate just outside the centre of Northampton. Our journey was
all done on the motorway and a dual carriageway so
although there are about 90 miles between Lincoln and Northampton it only
took us just over an hour. What is most impressive is the car parking around
the ground - there is enough of it for all fans arriving in a car and it's
free! Away fans have their own specially
segregated car park, which is signposted from the
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
There are no chippies around the ground and there are only or two
Harvester-style pubs in the vicinity. As the ground is away from the centre
of town, most fans have to arrive by car and you get the feeling that few of
them would have a drink before the game even if they had the chance. Most of
the home fans were pretty quiet although Lincoln fans with colours received
a few unwelcome and unprovoked gestures from the Northampton fans as we
approached the ground.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then
other sides of the ground?
The ground is situated at the bottom of a huge hill, so we had a good view
of the stadium and half the pitch (!) as well as a walk down the hill en
route! The ground is pretty tidy with three very small stands with
only about eight rows of seating and a much larger main stand. The away end
was small and, unfortunately, only seated just over 800 fans. The Lincoln
end was sold out and despite the promise of more tickets by Northampton, the
home side decided to sell them to their own supporters...although they must
have rued the decision as only half of the home end was full!
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The game didn't live up to expectations, with Northampton and Lincoln both
looking sluggish. Lincoln weren't very
adventurous and paid for it late on when the Cobblers netted a winner with
ten or so minutes to go. The acoustics in the ground weren't great and as a
result it was hard to get any noise going. The home fans were quite quiet
even after they scored. The toilets were ok and the kiosks had virtually
sold out of all food before the game started and I had to settle for a tiny
lukewarm hot dog in a huge, tasteless bun!
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game
Unfortunately we got a number of aggressive comments
from the home fans as we left the ground, again without provocation. The
journey home was ok, although it took almost an hour to get out of the
packed car park.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Not one of the more exciting away trips. No pubs, no chippies and little
atmosphere, although the ground is a tidy little affair and was comfortable
enough. I got the feeling that Northampton's fans have itchy feet and are
desperate to get out of League 2, which is evident with the amount of money
they have spent on players over the past couple of seasons.
As a day out, it probably ranks up there with Cheltenham and
Shrewsbury as a distinctly below-average trip.