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Ashton Gate
Bristol City v Ipswich Town
Championship League
Saturday, April 16th 2011, 3pm
Callum Smith

(Neutral fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I was looking forward to this trip because firstly I would see some Ipswich supporting friends that I hadn't seen for a while and also I had never been to Bristol before, so I was interested to see for myself what the town was like. Also I had heard rumours that the ground would be vacated soon but I doubt this will happen now that England unfortunately lost their world cup bid.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

i got picked up from Southampton. The route of M3, A34 and M4 went flying by with all the banter that goes with these away days. We took the wrong turning off the motorway and went further West of the city than needed, however this gave us the opportunity of going across the magnificent Clifton suspension bridge, so we passed an hour exploring this area. After that at around 2pm we headed to the ground, from the bridge it was all downhill and very easy, although not well signposted!! We parked for 5 in a car park opposite the ground but on the right side of the dual carriageway, hoping for a kind of swift getaway afterwards!

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Having somehow messed up the journey to the ground we went straight into the stadium after visiting the rather compact Bristol city megastore. We had hoped to taste a Blackthorns cider but no alcohol was being sold, the burgers were nice enough and yes the home fans were friendly also, no trouble at all.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

My original thoughts were that it was quite a ramshackle place. I was very happy to be in the away end, lots of history with it having been built in 1938! But the Club have literally put in seats anywhere that they can fit them. The terrace is very shallow and there are quite a few pillars to stop you seeing the whole pitch, however I would take this every time over a boring bowl stadium. The other sides of the ground were more grand modern types.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

The game itself was a mid-table clash however it was full of proper football being played, counter attacking and players getting really stuck in. Ipswich however had a player sent off for a dangerous tackle. This didn't deter them however and 17 year old Carson scored his third career goal in his fourth career appearance to seal the points. There was a massive stop for poor Leadbitter who left the field on a stretcher. Because of this there was 11 minutes added on. The atmosphere was brilliant in the first half from both sets of supporters however second half Bristol singers gave up and it was left down to Ipswich to create a party. The stewards were fine and left everyone alone so thumbs up to them. The burgers as above were great however when I queued at half time they were sold out of everything bar cheese and onion pies. The toilets were fine and your standard fare.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Lots of Bristol fans left well before the additional 11 minutes of added time, this created mayhem on the roads around, so it was a slow exit through town and back onto the eastbound M4. Still we had seen a win so it didn't bother us! The ground is quite away from city centre and lack of public transport means everybody pretty much seemed to have driven to the game.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A fantastic day out! I often watch non-league football instead of the Football League, however this was a great advertisement for the Championship and this was my Football League ground number 27. I recommend this place.

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