BY MATT BUNN
Monday, December 10, 2012
IT’S official – FA Cup fever has hit the town.
Town’s third round tie away to Aston Villa was only announced last week and tickets are not due to go on general sale until December 18. But diehard fans are already making preparations in the hope they will be able to get their hands on match tickets.
Many seats on the 7.09am train service on January 5 from Ipswich to Witton station, the closest to Villa Park, via London, have already been snapped up, with more expected to go in the coming days.
A spokesman for Greater Anglia said: “It certainly looks like the backing is there which is great for Ipswich Town because it looks like they will get a good following to Villa Park.
“The advice is that the earlier you book, the more opportunity you have to get good value fares.”
Sam Stannard, 30, a Town season ticket holder for five years, added: “Looking at the forums and social media, you can tell there is a demand for tickets and there is a buzz with people wanting to go.”
Despite the clamour for the game, some fans could find themselves disappointed after it emerged Town have decided to take only 2,900 tickets for the match on January 5.
FA rules mean away clubs are entitled to 15 per cent of tickets for FA Cup games –that would entitle Ipswich to a maximum of about 6,300 tickets at Villa’s 42,000 capacity Villa Park stadium. It is not clear whether they would be able to get more if they sell out quickly.
A club spokesman said: “The club had to make a decision on the number of tickets to buy from Aston Villa as there is a no return policy.
“With our average away attendance being 650 this season, a figure of 2,900 was deemed to be appropriate.”
The match against Villa will be the first time the two teams have locked horns since 2002, when they played out a 0-0 draw at Portman Road.
It will also take on double significance for fans with Villa manager Paul Lambert being the former Norwich City boss and the possibility that former Blue Darren Bent could play for Villa.
Tickets will go on sale for gold members today, season ticket holders on Thursday, silver club members on the 17th and general sale on December 18.