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Oakwell
Barnsley
Ipswich Town
Championship League
Saturday, February 12th, 2011, 3pm
 
Stephen Marvin
(Ipswich Town fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
 
I (and my son) always look forward to new grounds. As Ipswich Town fans, who live in the North, it's been a great experience to travel a one hundred mile radius to follow the team. Oakwell was no exception and we set off on a beautiful day over the Pennines and down into "Kes" territory.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
The journey, by car, was very easy and the signposts must be the best in the UK! Very well signposted from the M1 all the way to the stadium. It was a little bit confusing once we got there, regarding where the Visitors' Car Park was located, so we ended up in Home Supporters' Car Park. Cost three pounds, which I thought was very reasonable.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
 
We walked around the ground, through the home supporters to the away fans end with no problems. Warm, friendly atmosphere. We ate at the stadium, which was nice food and well priced. I agree with previous comments about the grilles giving it a prison-type feel, but it was nothing really, we hardly noticed.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
 
I really liked the ground. The away end is one of those that can be split, but there was no need as the capacity was miles from being reached. We had excellent seats and the ground was both impressive (the new stands) and quaint (the old Main Stand).
 
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
 
We were approached by a man who asked if my son would take part in a shooting competition at half time. Naturally, he was thrilled and we set off to the half way line at the interval. We were looked after superbly and my son was given a signed ball (signed by both teams) for taking part. The stewards were friendly, the toilets clean, but I don't eat pies! (Despite coming from the North!) so can't comment there. The game was exciting, if scrappy in parts. Ipswich scored in the eighty second minute only to have it cancelled out in the ninety third, but the result was fair.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
It took a while. We weren't fussed. Probably about half an hour.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
A superb day, obviously made special by the shooting competition, but I love clubs like Barnsley,whose supporters shun the big Clubs and support their locals.


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