How Do I Get There?
To those of you hopping in the car and embarking on this ridiculous journey, I can only salute you. You are the lifeblood of this club and, while you may be borderline insane, you are the type of supporters we need right now.
Ipswich is a ballache to drive to, but here goes. Take the A1 (M) out of Sunderland and follow this bad boy all the way down to junction 14 close to Huntingdon where you’ll join the A14. Wind your way through Suffolk following the signs for Ipswich.
Exit at junction 53 onto Bury Road before turning right onto Norwich Road which will take you into the heart of Ipswich. Take a right at the roundabout on Civic Drive and the stadium will be in sight. With the ground being in the town centre, you’ll be able to find a car parking space no bother.
For those Massive Lads Fans bracing the adventure that is taking the train down - Ipswich Railway Station is only a five-minute walk from the ground.
Where Can I Get The Sesh Started?
It’s a bloody long way to Ipswich, so a liquid refreshment is of the highest order and you won’t be stuck for a bevvie in this neck of the woods. Straight off the train is the aptly-named Riverside (Station) Hotel which combines everything in its name as it is both near a station and backs onto a river - uncanny!
If you’re taking the bairns with you then The Punch & Judy on Grafton Way can cater for that. However, if you have a little extra time on your hands then head to the Lord Nelson on Fore Street which has over 20 real ales and ciders on tap. The Thomas Wolsey on St Peter’s Street is also an excellent option.
I’m Staying Owa, Is There Owt To Do?
When you’ve treated yourself to a Travelodge in Ipswich, you are looking to embrace this cultural hub. Intrigued to discover what passes for entertainment in this corner of Great Britain and you’ll delighted to know that... not much at all!
If you’re sticking around on Wednesday you can head to Arlington’s on Museum Street for Café Français for a lesson in French. From 10am to 12pm, you can learn the linguistics of the language of love and head back to the north-east with all the Gallic phrases you can muster - imagine how impressed the barmaid in Ttonic will be!
Is The Ground Any Good?
Any ground that is slap bang in the centre of the town is always a big plus - so big up yerself Ipswich because you’ve passed that test. And while it may be showing its age, it is still a fairly tidy ground.
Upon conducting my research* I found that Portman Road was somewhat of a fortress during The Tractor Boys’ European jaunts. Ipswich have never lost at home during any form of continental competition and thwarted big dawgs such as Real Madrid, both Milan teams, Lazio and Barcelona. I’m still trying to comprehend Ipswich being in Europe, but there we go.
Sunderland fans are housed in the upper section of the Cobbold Stand on the side of the pitch. The view is alright and you can generate a decent atmosphere underneath the rafters. We’ve got an allocation of 1,900 but (at time of writing) just over 600 tickets have been sold so enjoy it lads and lasses.
*glancing at the Ipswich Town Wikipedia page