Who doesn’t enjoy an away day? I for one love an away day and especially to lower league teams. There’s always something to experience be it the old crumbling stadiums full of history, the pitches that wouldn’t look out of place in a swamp or the gut rot you get after some food from the burger van. Last weekend I made the 2 and half hour journey north to watch Scunthorpe United Vs Northampton Town. Why I hear you ask? Well now I can say I’ve been somewhere that Tinie Tempah hasn’t!
Glanford Park is found on a retail park on the outskirts of town so travel and parking is really easy, always a bonus after a long journey. As was learning on the way up that there was a KFC next to the stadium. Thankfully I got there before they ran out of chicken! Scunthorpe moved to Glanford Park in 1988 and it is widely regarded as a forefather in the movement to new grounds. The team to move stadium previous to this was Southend when they moved to Roots Hall in 1955. My first impression was that the stadium was starting to show it’s age now but this does add to the charm of any old stadium. There were 2 other things that caught my eye inside the stadium, 1 was the amount of advertising boards there are. If you needed a curry house or builder you wouldn’t be short of phone numbers. I understand lower league clubs need the money the advertising brings in and Scunthorpe will not be the only club doing this but the amount of sponsorship is getting ridicoulous now. Is there too much money in football? I think we all know that answer. The second thing that caught my eye can be found in the Britcon Stand. The entire stand was standing only and I really like this. I know what happened at Hillsborough was a tragedy but safety has moved on so much now, it’s about time standing was back at top level football.
The away end is situated behind the goal and as I took my seat behind said goal I got my first taste of football in the form of pre game entertainment. Now this is something the Premier League big boys certainly are missing out on! This particular entertainment did strike me as a little odd however. It involved the Scunthorpe mascot ‘Scunny Bunny’ in goal saving penalties from young Scunthorpe fans, but what’s odd about this? Well normally the mascot would let the kids score their penalties but not the Scunny Bunny. Penalties were taken from the spot regardless of the takers age and the bunny was trying to save them. After each successful save the bunny would then celebrate in front of the away fans. A little strange to say the least!
The match itself was thoroughly entertaining and ended 2-2. A big point for the Cobblers that could be vital come the end of the season but more dropped points for Scunthorpe’s quest for promotion. The Cobblers took the lead on 13 minutes through Chris Long’s header following a free kick. The Iron were soon back level on 31 minutes, Funso Ojo scoring from the edge of the area. The second half saw the Cobblers retake the lead on 57 minutes when John-Joe O’Toole headed home from a corner. The game was then relatively uneventful and just as my mind was thinking of a big 3 points, the Iron equalized for the second time on 78 minutes through Murray Wallace. Northampton were hanging on for the final 10 minutes and if not for a fine save by keeper Richard O’Donnell keeping out Josh Morris’ free kick, Scunthorpe would have taken the spoils.
Honours even at the full time whistle and Northampton will definitely be the happier of the 2 clubs. A good point away from home especially following on from the disappointing loss to Gillingham, this is a performance the manager would have demanded of his players. Scunthorpe’s form will be worrying to their supporters, we are very much at the business end of the season and with 1 win from the last 6, promotion will seem a long way off.