Roots Hall, Southend United
League One  v Northampton Town
Saturday April 12th 2008, 3pm

Sean Wilkinson

The decision to travel to Essex only came to me as I woke up at around 11am. Living in London now makes travelling a lot easier and this seemed to be the case today. A tube ride to Liverpool Street and then a train to Prittlewell station ran smoothly with plenty of seats for the duration of my journey.
I arrived in Southend just before 2pm and followed a mass of Shrimpers fans, until a lot of them eventually stopped at a fish and chip shop which I chose not to go into, although I was slightly peckish. I continued until I finally found tickets being sold to Northampton fans and got my student one for 14. After this I made my way to The Golden Lion where I met a friend. Service was friendly and efficient which is always a pleasure.
As I walked around the ground and then into it, I could tell it was ageing but with character which I didn't mind. Inside of the ground I saw all of the stands filling up. Seating in the away end was quite good; lots of legroom and a good view at the front with the sun beating down (it didn't stay that way for long though).
The game was quite a poor one in my view. Northampton took the lead through a header from Colin Larkin just after 20 minutes. This lasted until just after half time when Southend equalised through Lee Barnard, a player who had a stint with the Cobblers a few seasons ago whilst on loan from Tottenham. After that, Southend played the better and had a few good chances but nothing special. A draw was not what Northampton needed but I was just happy that we didn't lose as we usually do to Southend be it home or away.
After the game I got out with ease and re-traced my steps back to the train station where I waited less than five minutes. Seating posed no problems again as the majority of Shrimpers fans alighted at the closer stops within Essex, not busy at all.
All in all, it was a rather average day out on the spur of the moment. My first away game watching the Cobblers since August up in Middlesbrough. The draw all but ended our extremely slim hopes of a play-off spot. Southend look good to secure their place in the top 6 however. Hopefully I'll be able to come back to the town in a few seasons and see what their proposed new 22,000 stadium is all about.


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