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Pride Park
 
Derby County v Ipswich Town
Championship League
Saturday April 7th 2012, 3pm
 
Mark Lees

(Ipswich Town fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
 
I always look forward to whatever away games I go to as I canít afford to go to many of them. Pride Park has usually been happy hunting ground for Ipswich in recent years and as it was nearly the end of the season and Ipswich have been in great form of late I thought that this game would be a good choice. I had also never been to Derby before and had heard positive things about Pride Park from other fans.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
  
I went on the club coach from Portman Road which set off for Derby about 10.00 am and got to Pride Park about 13.40 pm so all in all the journey time wasnít too bad which included a 40 minute stop at a service station near Leicester. There was a separate parking area for away coaches just outside the ground which was all very easy to find my way back to after the game.
 
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
 
First thing I did was buy a programme and it was quite unique as they are sealed in plastic bags which helps in case of bad weather. Bought a coke and a hot dog for £5.00 which wasnít too bad. They also have burger vans outside the ground which supporters can also go outside to at half time.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
 
Pride Park looks quite compact from the outside but when you enter the stands it is a whole different story. I had a very good view of the pitch from where I was sat even though I was quite high up. The Stadium overall is really impressive and the seats were very comfortable. The stadium is built in such a way that extra capacity can be added in the future to the North, East and South Stands.
 
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Ipswich were the better team in the first half and were passing really well and looking like we were going to score but Derby got better in the second half and really tested our defence who throughout it all had a great game. It ended up being a goalless draw but a very entertaining one at that.

The atmosphere was mostly created by our amazing away support in the first half as the Derby fans were very quiet but once Derby stepped it up in the second half, the home fans were lifted and it was almost deafening. They are very passionate about their team.
The stewards were very friendly and very helpful.

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

Getting away from the ground didnít take very long at all but our driver took a wrong turn and almost got us lost. Luckily we were able to go the way we came thanks to a roundabout and were able to get back on track. We had to laugh. Had a 15 minute stop at Cambridge on the way home and got back to Portman Road about 8.40 pm.
 
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Despite the game ending up a goalless draw, I had a really great day out. Pride Park is a very nice stadium with really friendly staff and I would definitely go there again next season. 10/10.


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