Away Days - Southampton

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

Fixture: Southampton V Preston North End
Competition: Coca Cola Championship
Ground: St Mary's
Date: Saturday 26th August 2006
Kick off: 3.00pm
Final Result: 1-1 Whaley

First Impressions

One of the longest trips of the season for North End, although the journey down really didn't seem that long at all.

There was a tinge of sadness on the way down to Southampton as we passed a serious road accident in which someone unfortunately got killed.

Anyway, we arrived quite late-ish at the ground since the coach driver was stupid enough to drive right past the ground and take us on a mini-tour of Southampton! In fairness though, the access to the ground is very poor to say the least.

I wasn't too impressed when I first saw the ground. It is certainly one of those leg-type affairs which have sprung up all over the country. Upon parking up, the outside of the ground seemed quite dull and boring. It also seemed a tad cramped and lacked enough car parking. Still, it beats building a ground in the middle of nowhere.

Around the ground

We got off the coach and first thing I opted to do was to buy a programme. I couldn't really be bothered to walk round the outside the ground as we arrived late-ish and I just wanted to get in and have a pint, which needless to say, was watered down.

The only bit we walked around was outside the away end. As said above, I thought the exterior was pretty bland and boring.

Inside the ground, viewing form our seats, everything was just as bland. Again I could see it was just another bland lego bowl - I may as well have been at Leicester, only with red seats. There wasn't really anything to distinguish it from the other lego bowls. apart from the red seats. but then again you can compare it to Darlington's!


The facilities were excellent, as expected. I particularly liked the fact there were 'bars' you could stand at and rest your pint while having a conversation with a mate or fellow fan.

One downside was obviously the over-inflated prices you get at all grounds and the beer was watered down, although I have had worse.

The toilets were of a high standard and there was enough, so I didn't have to queue for a slash.

The Stand

Although the ground as a whole can be described as a bland lego bowl, it did have features which redeemed itself. Firstly, the facilities were excellent, as described above, and the legroom was also good.

One downside is that we had to sit in the corner at the bottom, so the view wasn't really that good.

A good deal of noise could be created in this stand. While our fans made a lot of noise, the Southampton fans were extremely very loud, obviously helped by the fantastic acoustics.

Despite the poor view being sat at the bottom, it did have it advantages - we were able to make a quick get away after the game, which was needed because of a daft '15 minute rule' in which the coaches had to set off within 15 minutes of the final whistle.


It was a decent trip down and an excellent result from a North End perspective. The ground is just a bland, boring lego-type affair and obviously i'll have this experience again if I visit Leicester or Darlington etc. Don't get me wrong, the facilities are excellent and a fair bit of noise can be generated, but I just couldn't help feeling 'bored' with the ground.


Appearance: 5/10
Facilities: 8/10
Enjoyment: 8/10
Fans: 9/10
Away Stand: 7/10

Overall: 7/10