Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Our trip to Portman Road

Stephen and Robert catch up with Sir Bobby Robson.
We set out nice and early for Ipswich from Redhill at 9am because we had read that it was a special family down with a fun park and lots of things going on for the kids and adults around the ground from 11am. It did not take long to go around the M25 and under the Dartford Tunnel before heading up the A12. A quick stop at the services just outside Colchester was the only brief break and by 11am we were driving up to the ground and chose to park in the car park opposite the ground for £4.60 all day parking.
Peter  stands at the feet of the great man.
Robert immediately spotted a statue in front of the main stand and we headed over to take our picture with Sir Bobby Robson. We then decided that we should walk around the ground having seen the family entertainment event around the back of the stadium. It took a fair while to visit all four corners of the ground and we took a few photos as we went on our way round.

When we found the family fun area, Robert and Stephen headed straight for the bouncy castles and they were pleased to receive their Ipswich gift pack mainly because it contained a cream egg! While I took the extra goodies back to the car the boys found a few more things to play on. Robert and I had a go at the Bucking Bronco and  Stephen decided a human table football game was more for him. Robert and I also had a go at shooting balls into the pockets at the penalty shoot out and sadly I have to say we scored no points from six shots! Still more cream eggs were handed out so I don't think the boys minded too much.
Robert hangs on.
See, I stayed on for at least 20 seconds.
Robert goes close to scoring.
Oh no - Cherry Chimes keep him off the pitch!
Stephen decides to play goalie.
Enjoying the sun - not sure why Robert has his hood up?
We then headed off to town to get something to eat and we chatted to a few Ipswich fans who were more concerned with who we were playing next than anything else. When I said Forest and Millwall they winced, but I said I was rather looking forward to the remaining games. Somehow I don't think Burnley will do Ipswich any favours when they play them.

Robert with Sir Alf Ramsey.
Once we had taken some more pictures with Sir Alf Ramsey''s statue and visited the club shop which was opposite the statue on the corner of Portman Road we decided to head for our gate. Our gate 14 was of course closed, so we had to go in via gate 15. We were not searched that vigorously and soon found ourselves in the Family Lower Tier of the away stand. The main AFCB fans were directly above us and had paid almost double the price for the privilege! At least they had a roof although it did not cloud over until late on.

I started taking photos and was of course approached by not one but two stewards who must have thought I'd never been to a Championship match with a camera before as they informed me as usual that no pictures were to be taken during the game. I think I would have about £20 this season if I had collected a quid every time a steward said that to me - I guess they don't have much to do and it makes them feel important.

There are more photos of the AFCB supporters on Match Day Gallery.

Gate found.
Ipswich players came out with 40 minutes or more before kick off, but AFCB's players left it until 30 minutes to go which was a bit later than usual. I chatted to Steve Cook AFCB's official photographer for a bit before letting him get on with his work. We had brought three blow up bananas and they were inflated just before kick off and I gave one to a lad whose family I often see in the family stand. His brother Matt was a mascot for the day.

Is someone facing the wrong way?
Talking of Mascot's we all gave Cherry Bear a high five as he passed us by and he was joined by several other mascots who lined up to have a sprint over half of the pitch before kick off. Cherry Bear did not disgrace AFCB finishing second in a photo finish to Nando's macot. Better luck next time! A short video of the race is on Robert and Stephen's corner - I wasn't that well positioned though to get a great view.

The game itself was very enjoyable to watch as the sun was shining for most of it and AFCB were playing particularly well, until Ipswich went and spoilt things by scoring. It was right to the side of where we were seated and we couldn't believe how easy it was for the ball to come right across the Bournemouth box leaving a virtual tap in for Anderson. But the team recovered well and the Ipswich crowd were soon silenced when Cookie put away his acrobatic overhead kick to level things up.
Team photo.
Double huddle.
I had a sneaky feeling that the game would be a draw and while Ipswich went ahead I couldn't see them holding on to their lead which they took again from a set-piece. Sure enough Matt Ritchie pulled things back to 2-2 from a free kick with just 10 minutes remaining. While a draw was probably better for Ipswich than for the Cherries we were pleased that the team had played so well and just about kept their play-off hopes alive for another week.

As we made our way out and found our car we had to endure about a 40 minute slow escape from the parking space to the A12 but we soon got going once we had made it to the town's outskirts. It was a great day and well worth the drive up to Suffolk. Now we have one last away day at the Den to go.
See you soon fellas.
All Departments has released Kangaroo Court Easter Round up - visit All Departments' website or scroll down the right hand panel of Cherry Chimes to find the podcast.

No comments:

Post a Comment