Ipswich Town
Portman Road

Ground No. 43
Visited – Monday 30th August 2004
Result – Ipswich Town 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Competition – Coca Cola Championship
Attendance – 24,590

Other than this being a ground that I had never visited before, and wanting to add it to the list towards completing the 92, I really was struggling to come up with good reasons to go to this game. A Bank Holiday, one of the longest trips of the season, us in poor form, I certainly could have come up with some better ideas to occupy my time during the extended weekend, but as usual with supporting Wolves, it’s a stiff upper lip, and off to do your duty to your club!

The journey was surprisingly good, a straight route down the M6 & A14 which we did in good time, around about 3 hours, although the weather for the early part of the journey was atrocious. Finding the ground was easy enough, with it being well sign posted from the A14, and we managed to find a car park nearby, although we were a little put off by it being £3 for all day parking, and £4 for football fans, which seemed somewhat unfair, although unsurprising. Anyway, after arriving well before schedule we decided to walk around the ground and then into the Town Centre, which seemed quite a nice place.

That took up a little bit of our time, and after walking back to the car to listen to the second half of Man Utd-Everton we decided to go into the ground early.

When walking in you get the impression that you are going into an old style ground, with old style facilities, but the club have evidently taken care of the stand the away fans are in (The Cobbold Stand), and it’s a nice place to view a game from. The stand on the opposite side of the pitch (The Britannia Stand) looks much the same age, although has an extra tier on it, which makes it look quite impressive, whilst the two ends are both new, but fit in well with their older counterparts giving the ground a nice enclosed feel. It was just a shame that the attendance was well below capacity, as that could have really added to the stadiums character.

The game started off well with both sides looking to attack and with both teams playing a dangerous game, break-aways were inevitable, and it was Ipswich who were first to benefit, with a good header from Darren Bent after they had whipped a cross into the box. Soon after the restart ex-Wolves striker, and perennial bogeyman Shefki Kuqi popped up to win a dubious a penalty, which Tommy Miller converted with ease. We got one back with Seyi ‘big George’ Olofinjana smashing a header home, but we never really had another clear cut chance, and finished the game as the losing side.
It was disappointing that despite a 24,500+ crowd, there was virtually no atmosphere created by the home fans, it wasn’t even as if they had nothing to cheer about with a spirited performance bringing them a win, but overall the club seemed to have a nice feel about it, with there being no sign of trouble before or after the game, despite the two sets of fans freely mixing.

After leaving we found the car easy enough, and managed to get off the car park and out of the town before a lot of people, which helped us to get back home ahead of schedule. Overall it was a bit of a disappointing day out, one that I hadn't especially been looking forward to beforehand either, but its one more ticked off the list, and it is a nice ground, one that in different circumstances I'll be happy to go back down to again, preferably on a Saturday next time though!

Welcome to Portman Road

Map of the Ground

Rear of the Greene King Stand

Rear of the Cobbold Stand

The Ticket Office

The Sir Bobby Robson Statue

Inscription on the Statue

Rear of the North Stand

The Sir Alf Ramsey Statue

Inscription on the Statue

Rear of the Britannia Stand

Looking across the Cobbold Stand

The North Stand

The Britannia Stand

The Greene King Stand

The Greene King Stand

The Britannia Stand

The North Stand

1 comment: