Chance for fans to see derby game
DISAPPOINTED Ipswich Town fans may yet get to see the turbo-charged encounter with Norwich City in March, writes Derek Davis.The Blues are working on ways of screening the 1pm kick-off live to Portman Road so Town supporters can still cheer their heroes on.
DISAPPOINTED Ipswich Town fans may yet get to see the turbo-charged encounter with Norwich City in March, writes Derek Davis.
The Blues are working on ways of screening the 1pm kick-off live to Portman Road so Town supporters can still cheer their heroes on.
The game is not being shown live on television and thousands of Town supporters were left glum after the allocated 1,975 tickets were all sold within hours of going on sale on Monday morning.
If the club can make the arrangements with a broadcaster then the game would be shown in bars around the ground.
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A club spokesman said last night: "We are aware that there are many of our supporters who would like to be able to watch this game. We are currently investigating ways of bringing a feed to the club and we hope to give more details later in the week."
The Blues are also considering producing a special one-off kit for their trip to Crystal Palace next month.
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Town are due to play Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday, February 15 if the Eagles fail to beat Liverpool at Anfield in their FA Cup replay.
Even if the date is switched a colour clash is on the cards as both Town's away strip of mainly wine hue and the regular blue strip are too close to Palace's traditional striped outfit.
It is probable that Town will use white shirts, similar to the ones reserves do on away games, especially adapted for the Nationwide League.
Last season Town wore an all-black strip for the trip to Blackburn and the shirts were then given to charities to be auctioned or raffled.
The Blues will wear their traditional strip tonight when Joe Royle officially opens the new facilities at Harwich & Parkeston's ground.
Alun Armstrong, who netted in both legs of the UEFA Cup tie against Inter Milan last season, will lead the attack as a young reserve side with a sprinkling of old heads takes on the Shrimpers at the Royal Oak.
Reserve team skipper Justin Miller anchors the defence, while impressive young midfielder Nabil Abidallah works the midfield alongside England under-19 international Matt Bloomfield.
Matt Richards and James Pullen are among five players who have tasted first-team action for Town.
Royle said: "I'm delighted to be going to Harwich for the first time and honoured to be asked to open the new facilities.
"Harwich has a rich history – a club steeped in history – so it is nice to be able to come and do this.
"It is good opportunity for some of our young lads to play and I'm expecting a good game."
Harwich, who once played in the FA Amateur Cup final against Pegasus in front of 100,000 spectators at Wembley, have just moved off the bottom of the Jewson League Premier Division.
Chairman and acting manager Tony Armstrong, who recently replaced Steve McGavin at the helm of team matters, has named his full first-team squad to face Ipswich.
He said: "I would like to have given some of my younger players a run-out but given the opposition this is a good opportunity for the first team.
"We will be treating it as an exhibition game with a lot of quality on show. We are grateful to Joe for bringing such a strong side to a humble Jewson League club like ours."
Although stormy weather is predicted the pitch is in good shape and the game will go ahead, although it is hoped the rain doesn't put people off – a 1,000 gate is hoped for.
"It will be a good opportunity for the many Ipswich Town fans in Harwich and its surrounds to see their team and the good up-and-coming youngsters they have.
"It is also gives people the chance to see our new facilities and hopefully they will enjoy the evening," he added.
The game kicks-off at 7.45pm at Royal Oak and entrance is £4 and £2.
Harwich & Parkeston: Munson, Merchant, Stace, Hughes, Eagle, Brothers, Springett, Fearn, Race, Johnson, Armstrong, Heath, Neale, Young, Sale and Jackson.
Ipswich Town Reserves: Pullen, Okay, Boardley, Bloomfield, J Miller, Bonwick, Abidallah, Westlake, Armstrong, Bowditch, Richards, Morrow, Price, Murray, Manning, Smith, Mitchell and Atay.