When Saturday Comes... Or rather when it doesn’t for Town fans these days!

Inside Portman Road in the snow on Friday. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Inside Portman Road in the snow on Friday. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Fuller Flavour: Ipswich fan Karl Fuller asks why Premier League games all took place – while Town fans have few Saturdays left for their footie fix at Portman Road.

Fun in the snow at Portman Road in 2010 when Town beat Leicester in a game that went the full distan

Fun in the snow at Portman Road in 2010 when Town beat Leicester in a game that went the full distance. Here, Grant Leadbitter throws a snowball at Jason Scotland while celebrating Ipswich's third goal. Photo: Alex Fairful.

Saturday’s game being postponed due to the arctic conditions was frustrating, especially for those that enjoy their fix of football on a Saturday afternoon.

For those that have decided to stay away from Portman Road this season, I guess they were not overly bothered.

The forthcoming home game next weekend at Portman Road against Sheffield United will be the only one played at Portman Road on a Saturday in no fewer than nine weeks – a run stretching from the Burton game on February 10 to the game against Aston Villa on April 21.

Just two Saturday home games left all season in fact.

Action from a snowy Portman Road in 2010 in a game that started in the dry, but ended up snow-covere

Action from a snowy Portman Road in 2010 in a game that started in the dry, but ended up snow-covered as Town beat Leicester, 3-0. Photo: Alex Fairful - Credit: Archant

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While it was no surprise that the Hull game was postponed, I do have some puzzling thoughts.

Ipswich v Middlesbrough, 2012.
Players and officials discuss the state of the surface just before

Ipswich v Middlesbrough, 2012. Players and officials discuss the state of the surface just before the game is called off at Portman Road because of ice down one side of the pitch, by referee Dean Whitestone. Picture: Ashley Pickering - Credit: Ashley Pickering

The pitch was okay thanks to the hot air balloon placed over the top.

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It was the safety for fans that was the issue because of snowy and icy conditions in the stands and on the pavements and roads outside the ground that put paid to proceedings. I understand that this was the case for other postponed games in the Championship and beyond too.

However, can someone please explain how every Premier League fixture went ahead? Are Premier League games played at all costs?

Equally, those pitches would have been fine, of course they would, but what about their surrounding pavements and roads?

Portman Road in the snow before the big thaw. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Portman Road in the snow before the big thaw. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Do Premier League clubs extend their underground heating systems to outside the ground too?

I guess that in the recent era of the game, we’ve been lucky with very few postponements because of wintry conditions.

In fact, when you look at sports like cricket and speedway for example, it’s not just winter weather conditions that can cause postponements and abandonments. As an outside sport, football tolerates many weather conditions and normally, we’re just able to get on with it.

It doesn't look hopeful, does it? Norwich manager John Bond strides purposefully off the pitch at Po

It doesn't look hopeful, does it? Norwich manager John Bond strides purposefully off the pitch at Portman Road as Cyril Lea, the referee, and Bobby Robson perform an impromptu ice dance during a pitch inspection in January 1977. The game didn't go ahead between the two sides. - Credit: Archant

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Back to Town and who will ever forget the Leicester game being played in its entirety in December 2010 as blizzard conditions took over with Roy Keane in charge of the Blues?

The 40-minute journey home for me that night after that game took nearly three hours.

I remember a game against Middlesbrough being abandoned after 37 minutes in recent years due to a part of the pitch in front of the Cobbold stand being frozen and there was a Boxing Day game against Watford postponed due to inclement weather conditions, also in 2010.

Another occasion I recall was when travelling to a game at Leicester in December 1995.

I went on the Clacton supporters coach and we stopped at a service station en-route and on boarding the coach after our stop, we learned the game was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

But my earliest memory of football played in snowy conditions was almost 40 years ago to the day in February 1978.

We played at Bristol Rovers in an FA Cup fifth round tie.

I remember Town wearing orange and how well our kit stood out in the snow.

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Rovers were leading 2-1 with four minutes to go before Robin Turner equalised to earn a replay. That was his second goal of the game and these were his first two goals for the club. I understand that Rovers had a perfectly good goal disallowed too which would have put them 3-1 up.

We were four minutes away from going out of the competition and went on to win it!

My good friend Don Welsh was at that game and recalled it fondly: “When we arrived at Rovers’ ground, we thought that there would be no way that the game could go ahead,” he told me.

“We had a big snowball fight with the Rovers fans before the game and it was all good fun.

“But their disallowed goal was good in my eyes.

“We should have been dumped out of the FA Cup that day. When Turner equalised late on, we went mental in the stands. It was one of those great away days when the FA Cup still felt almost magical.”

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