Week three in our series on the best non league football grounds takes us to Northamptonshire where ‘Base of the Pyramid‘ blogger Stuart Hudson highlights his top five which includes one you’ll need to be quick to get to.
Stuart is known as Base of the Pyramid or @basepyramid on twitter. Here’s his top five in reverse order:
5 The Dog & Duck – Wellingborough Town
Named after the pub which sits in front of the ground. It’s, in my mind, an iconic non-league arena with good facilities, a large covered seating stand named after a snooker player and it sits in the shadow of the local flour mill.
What more could you want? It’s such a shame that this wonderful stadium is going to disappear from the non-league map soon.
4 Kingsthorpe Mill – Northampton Spencer’s
This ground left a lasting impression on me when I visited back in 2014. Maybe it was the fact that it was a dark autumn evening and, after driving through an industrial estate to get to the ground, it appeared as a bright green oasis as I walked from the car park?
Maybe it’s because it was surrounded by trees and has a serene feel to it? The locals were friendly, the tea was excellent. It’s a crying shame that Spencer were dissolved after their Chairman retired in 2016.
3 Hayden Road – Rushden & Higham United / AFC Rushden & Diamonds
A wonderful example of a non-league stadium (pictured top). Plenty of covered areas, both sitting and standing around the ground, none of which are identical (which is a good thing in my book).
Several rows of old-fashioned concrete terracing along one side and behind one goal. The ground is tightly hemmed in by residential areas, giving the feeling that you are almost on the pitch with the players. Parking is a nightmare, but it’s worth it to experience a game there.
2 Sergeants Lawn – Rothwell Corinthians
Upon my first visit to this ground I titled my match blog Hidden Treasure and, believe me, this ground is a hidden treasure.
As I said in the blog, maybe because I have only been there at night, that adds to the hidden feel. However, the access route to the ground is through a narrow path and then through a small gap in a fence.
It really gives the feel that you are going into unchartered territory. The ground itself is neat and tidy, with ample covered areas should it be raining. Thoroughly recommended. Maybe go to a night game to get the full ‘hidden’ effect?
1 Alfred Street – Irchester United
Quite simply the most friendly football ground I have ever been to. From the gentlemen on the gate and car park, through the tea bar, the club house and generally everyone around the ground.
Everyone I met was welcoming, willing to have a chat and knew their stuff when it came to the local football scene. The ground itself doesn’t really have any stand-out features but Alfred Street is worth a visit purely for the ambience.
For more information on non league away days, from clubs you should visit to costs involved visit our Away Days section here. And if you would like to submit five grounds from your area then please email [email protected]
All photos in this article copyright and provided by Stuart Hudson.
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