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On the Road - Ipswich

25 September 2014

The lowdown on the upcoming trip to Ipswich Town...

What is it like at Portman Road?

Ipswich have played at Portman Road since 1884 and were in fact one of the first sides to implement the use of goal nets. Since then though there have been a number of changes and improvements to the stadium, with the last of these coming in 2002.

The two stands at either end of the ground, which are named after two of the clubs greatest ever managers Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson, give the look of the ground a much better feel and dwarf the older stands on the side.

All four stands contain multiple tiers and the newer stands are finished with some spectacular looking floodlights. Outside the ground there are two statues dedicated to the aforementioned former mangers, who of course went on to manage England.

Where will we be sat?

Millers fan will be located in one side of the upper tier of the Cobbold Stand, that runs down one side of the pitch. This area can accommodate up to 1,900 supporters if required and with the exception of those seated at the very back (where there are a few supporting pillars) the view is generally good.

Where can I eat and drink?

The main pub for away supporters is the Riverside Hotel and is located close to the railway station about five minutes walk from Portman Road. The Punch & Judy is also close to the ground and contains both home and away supporters with a family atmosphere.

A little further afield, the town centre and newly-developed waterfront are a short distance away and offer a number of good pubs and eating establishments if you have a little more time on your hands. The Dove Street Inn, close to the town centre is located in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and contains a number of real ales and cider.

Alternatively, the usual concoction of food and snacks are available inside the ground, as well as a selection of alcoholic drinks. However, these are only available before the game and not during half-time.

Where can I park and what's the postcode for my sat nav?

Portman Road is located close to the town centre, so there is very little free street parking available. Close to the ground there are three pay & display car parks, as well as one close to the railway station and a couple in the centre, all of which are a short walk from the ground.

The postcode for Portman Road is IP1 2DA.

Can I get there on the train?

The 9:41 train from Rotherham Central arrives at Ipswich at 13:28 and is a short walk to the stadium. This journey does require two changes though, firstly at Doncaster and then Peterborough.

The train returns via the same stations at 17:58 and arrives back in Rotherham at 21:52.

Can I get there by coach?

The supporters club will be running coaches to Ipswich priced at £25 for members and £30 for non-members.

The Supporters Club will be taking bookings and monies in Riverside Library Restaurant on Saturday home fixtures between 12.30pm and 2.30pm.

For more information contact Brian on 07867543451. 

Will I recognise anyone there?

Despite a plethora of former Ipswich players currently representing the Millers, there are no former Rotherham players in the current Tractor Boys squad.
  
There is a familiar face however amongst the back-room staff as former Millers player and interim manager Andy Liddell is the clubs fitness coach. Liddell joined the Millers at the tail end of his career and made four appearances before retiring in 2010. He also enjoyed a short spell in charge after the departure of Ronnie Moore a year later.

Ipswich can boast a number of famous supporters and these include the lead singers of Keane and Linkin Park, Tom Chaplin and Chester Bennington. Others are ex-Busted member Charlie Simpson, actor Nigel Havers and darts player Kevin Painter.

Have we been before?

The Millers have been visitors to Portman Road on a number of occasions over the years, but not since their last foray into the second tier at the start of the 2000s.

The last victory at the ground came in December 2002 when first half goals from Stewart Talbot and Richie Barker gave Rotherham a 2-1 win. 

Unhappier memories were made two years later though when a 4-3 defeat for the Millers confirmed relegation to the third tier. This was the last time the sides met in a competitive fixture.

What shirt should I wear?

The Millers will be wearing their white away kit for this game.

Who is in charge?

Ipswich have been managed by Barnsley-born boss Mick McCarthy since 2012 when he took over the reins from Paul Jewell and successfully kept them in the league. In his first full season in charge last year, McCarthy led Town to an impressive 9th placed finish.

Who to watch out for?

Despite a number of impressive home-grown players in the squad, the main man to look out for is striker David McGoldrick. The former Nottingham Forest and Southampton man joined the club in 2013 after a profitable loan spell and has been finding the net ever since.


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