Away Days - Chesterfield

First Impressions -- Around the ground -- The Game -- The Stand -- Overall -- Pictures

Fixture: Chesterfield vs PNE
Competition: NPower League One
Ground: B2Net Stadium
Date: Tuesday 16th August 2011
Kick off: 7.45pm
Final Result: 0-2 Carlisle, Nicholson

First Impressions

With North End's relegation to League One, I made a vow to visit as many new grounds (well, 'new' to me!) as I could and get a good majority ticked off. The first one on my radar was Chesterfield away. With it being a new stadium I was eager to visit it so I could gauge my opinion on one of the latest new grounds to 'hit the scene'.

Usually new grounds are built out of town on a soulless retail park but this one was different, well apart from the Tesco Extra! After taking a somewhat strange route to this game (going through Stockport) but a nonetheless picturesque one whilst traveling through the peak district, we arrived at the ground in plenty of time - ideal for doing a bit of wandering.
The ground looked a very tidy ground - it would have to be since it was still new! Its a lot different from the other new builds though - not a 'box' type like some and not a 'boring bowl' like others. I thought this made a refreshing change.

It has four floodlights but sadly these are of the modern 'pole' type - missed opportunity to add some real character with some 'proper' floodlights I think! Still, on first impression I was quite impressed with the ground.

Around the ground

Thankfully there was plenty of time for me to take a stroll around the ground and take in the surroundings.

Upon arrival at the ground it was still raining as we left the coach but our arrival was quite well timed as it soon stopped and we avoided a soaking. I began by walking past the Midlands Co-operative Community Stand which backed onto the area the coaches were parked. This looked a very smart stand but I couldn't help but notice the area within the stand wasn't being used. I felt this was a bit of a waste of space, unless they have plans in place for it.

From there I continued my walk around to the other end and finally the main stand. The stands in general are similar looking but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. In general, the ground looked very smart and I though the build of it was excellent. It was also good to see that they had used bricks instead of the usual breeze block.

I had time to have a browse round the club shop before going in - I wondered why they had such a small club shop for a new ground? I know they had just come from League Two and aren't a "top" team but I thought they would've had more insight to have a bigger club shop and also a better range of products for that matter.

After hanging round for a while and taking a number of photos, I bought a programme and headed inside and eventually took my seat. From my seat it was a superb view of the pitch and I had a prime spot right behind the goal, half way up.
I obviously could now get a good judgment of the inside of the ground. Like the outside, it was very smart and it didn't seem like I had 'been here before' (if you catch my drift). The two side stands looked similar but the Main Stand obviously had the executive areas, sub benches etc.

The Game

After the shocking performance at home against Colchester, North End certainly owed us a decent performance and thankfully, they obliged. Although it wasn't a fantastic performance by any means, we got a well deserved three points.

North End started brightly and North End remained on top for the vast majority of the match. Clarke Carlisle gave us a deserved lead with his first goal for the club and it remained at 1-0 come half time. In all honesty though, it should've been more and North End were quite wasteful with the chances we had - Mellor certainly should've scored, for instance.

In the second half, nothing much had changed from the first half except Chesterfield were beginning to get into the game more and had a couple of chances themselves. Again though, North End were being a little wasteful with our chances but finally Nicholson gave us some breathing space in the 70th minute.

North End's quality over Chesterfield certainly shone even though it wasn't a superb performance and it finished 2-0 to the Whites. It was a very solid, professional performance and overall and enjoyable game. I could certainly tell the players were lapping up the superb atmosphere created by the North End faithful and I've no doubt it helped us gain the three points.

The Stand

It was certainly a superb stand to watch football from. The view, as expected, was superb and I had a prime spot behind the goal. It would be impossible to have a bad view from this stand unless you were sat on the first row behind one of the posts. Likewise, the legroom was also very good and at least it wasn't a tight squeeze trying to get past other fans.

The size of the stand also helped the North End fans create a superb atmosphere. With it being quite a 'small' stand, it had a low roof which is always a plus point when trying to create an atmosphere - the acoustics were fantastic.

Likewise, the facilities were also of a high quality although I prefer hot air dryers in the toilets rather than paper towels! I didn't think much of the £2.60 sausage roll I bought either - very, very bland especially considering the price.


It was a fantastic 'night out' - a rare win away from home, a decent performance, a superb atmosphere from the North End faithful and a thoroughly very good ground.

Most new grounds get bad 'press' from some fans, certainly the older generation. In some ways, I agree with them, but this ground certainly shouldn't be classed in the 'boring new ground' category as its far from that. Sure, the stands look similar, but so do the stands at Deepdale.
We had a great view from the stand, the facilities were good and most of all, the acoustics were fantastic. Plus, it wasn't situated out of town.

Overall, certainly one of the best new grounds I've visited.


Appearance: 8/10
Game: 8/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Fans: 8/10
Away Stand: 9/10

Overall: 9/10


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