By Tony Attwood
The visit to the Sixfields Stadium in Northampton proved to be a disappointment in terms of the result – we lost 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
But it was an interesting experience with a decent away support occupying one end of the ground with 600 of us there, making ourselves heard against a fairly quiet 1900 or so home supporters who only came to life when they scored.
Interestingly, the ground is still incomplete, after one of the developers walked away with over £10m of funding to build the east stand, with a conference centre, hotel and all the sorts of things developers talk about but then somehow don’t seem to manage to do. It exists as a concrete shell, and no work has been undertaken on it, so I am told, since 2014.
Actually misplacing money is what Northamptonshire County Council does quite a lot. Last year the Conservative run authority declared itself insolvent (having previously admitted it was effectively bankrupt). The council will be wound up and has been bailed out with public money, and two new councils will be elected. Pesky things these councils – taking money from local people and giving it to dodgy property developers who walk off with it. Whatever next?
So, having been famous for having one of the last three sided stadiums when it played at the old County Ground, Northampton Town is pretty much in the same situation again, although I am told a lower part of the incomplete stand does have seats in it (they were not used last night).
As for the football, what made the difference was that Arsenal did not take advantage of the rules allowing up to five over age players, but instead gave our under 21s a real chance to see what their lives could be like in the fourth tier, if they don’t make the most of their natural talent and the opportunities being at Arsenal gives them.
The team was…
Matt Macey, Emile Smith-Rowe, Folarin Balogun, Tolaji Bola (Tobi Omole 30), Harry Clarke (Capt.), Trae Coyle, Jordan McEneff (Robbie Burton 76), James Olayinka, Joseph Olowu, Zak Swanson (Mazeed Ogbungbo 85), Nathan Tormey.
The substitutes not used were Tyreece John-Jules, James Hillson, and Miguel Azeez.
Here’s the video
Original article: https://untold-arsenal.com/archives/76908