Sixfields - Northampton Town FC
Saturday September  24th, 2011
Vs Dagenham & Redbridge, League Two, 3pm
By Nick Murphy

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!

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