Sidebottom, playing his second Test six years after his debut, took four wickets - his first at this level - for 42 runs as West Indies were bowled out for 146 in reply to England's first innings 570 for seven declared.
And he then struck twice, in his second Test, before the close to leave West Indies, following on, 22 for two at stumps on the second day here Saturday and needing 402 more to make England bat again with nightwatchman Daren Powell lbw for nought off the day's last ball.
That left Sidebottom with a second innings return of two for 12 in five overs and a match haul so far of six for 54.
"I felt quite nervous but I knew that if I bowled like I have been doing in county cricket then I would be in with a chance," Sidebottom told Sky Sports.
England's first innings featured Kevin Pietersen's 226 - the highest Test score by an England batsman for 17 years.
"I have shown the maturity a lot of people have wanted me to," said Pietersen, who had three-times achieved his previous Test best of 158 on three occasions. "To get past it (158) and get a huge score is something I have been looking at getting."
Before the close, Sidebottom had Daren Ganga lbw for nine. Chris Gayle was nine not out.
West Indies first innings lasted just 37 overs with captain and regular No 4 Ramnaresh Sarwan unable to bat following a shoulder injury sustained while fielding Friday. Only Devon Smith (26), Jerome Taylor (23 not out) and Dwayne Bravo (23) got past 20.
A West Indies spokesman said Sarwan would bat in the second innings only in an emergency.
The tourists were already without senior batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, missing this match with a right knee problem.
Left-arm quick Sidebottom, six years after a wicketless Test debut against Pakistan, gave England's pace attack some much needed control after their wayward display in the drawn opener at Lord's.
Durham and England quicks Liam Plunkett (three for 35) and Stephen Harmison (two for 55) backed up Sidebottom in overcast, pace friendly, conditions.
Sidebottom was only playing because Matthew Hoggard was injured.
But the 29-year-old, the son of Arnie Sidebottom who played one Test for England in 1985, struck twice before tea on his former home ground to have openers Gayle (11) and Ganga (five) both lbw.
Afterwards, West Indies lost three wickets for 14 runs in three overs, Harmison having Sylvester Joseph and Runako Morton nicking behind either side of Plunkett's dimissal of Devon Smith.
Sidebottom bowled all-rounder Bravo around his legs before ending the innings when he had Corey Collymore caught at first slip by Andrew Strauss.
Gayle was then dropped on four by diving keeper Matt Prior off Sidebottom.
Pietersen, who with Prior (75) put on 160 for the sixth wicket, went to 200 with a two against Gayle, the only spinner in an otherwise unthreatening all right-arm seam attack where the pace trio of Powell, Collymore and Taylor all conceded more than 100 each.
South Africa-born Pietersen, fortunate to be stumped off a no-ball on 20, was eventually out when he carved medium-pacer Bravo to Taylor at extra-cover, the 26-year-old's exit prompting the declaration.
In all he'd faced 262 balls in nearly seven hours at the crease with two sixes and 24 fours. Pietersen's was the highest Test score by an England player since Graham Gooch's 333 against India at Lord's in 1990.
It also meant only Australia great Don Bradman, with 3,194 runs, had scored more in his first 25 Tests than Pietersen's tally of 2,448.
Plunkett was a Test-best 44 not out off 48 balls, having shared a stand of 81 with Pietersen.
England began Saturday well-placed on 366 for five with Pietersen unbeaten on 130, his second Test hundred in as many innings after his 109 at Lord's.
England's position had initially been built around Michael Vaughan's 103 in what was the captain's first Test after 18 months out injured.
Pietersen surpassed his previous Test best of 158, which curiously he'd achieved three times, when a flashing cut off Taylor sped to third man.