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Hellish trip to home of the Saints

PUBLISHED: 16:13 25 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:45 03 March 2010

IT MAY be the home of the Saints but fans travelling to watch Ipswich play Southampton had a hellish journey to the South Coast last night.

While the Saints went marching in to a 2-0 lead inside 22 minutes, many travelling Tractor Boys were still making their way to the new St Mary's Stadium.

IT MAY be the home of the Saints but fans travelling to watch Ipswich play Southampton had a hellish journey to the South Coast last night.

While the Saints went marching in to a 2-0 lead inside 22 minutes, many travelling Tractor Boys were still making their way to the new St Mary's Stadium.

Supporters travelling in coaches and cars had a nightmare journey due to roadworks on the A12 at Hatfield Peverel, the M25 and the M3.

The kick off for the match, Town's first appearance at the new stadium, was put back by 15 minutes to 8pm to allow fans extra travelling time.

This didn't alter the fact that some fans only made it into the ground by half time and with Ipswich 2-1 down.

But, Ipswich fans were given quick reward for their time consuming trip as a blistering drive from Mark Venus and a Marcus Stewart header put Town back in the game.

Although many fans saw Ipswich score twice and Southampton hit the net only once, it did not result in a Town win – the crucial game ended in a 3-3 draw.

The midweek fixture was re-arranged due to Town's foray into Europe and had it been played on a Saturday or Sunday, Ipswich fans could have expected to make it home well in time for last orders at the pub.

But, the journey wasn't much better coming back as delays leaving the new stadium site meant that

Fans did not get home until the early hours of this morning.

It was the second time in four days that Ipswich fans had struggled to meet the kick-off at an important Premiership game.

On Sunday, supporters making the trip to Fulham had phoned the club in advance to try and get the start of the match at Craven Cottage put back, but their attempts were in vain.

Ipswich Town had warned fans to expect significant delays as a result of roadworks at Hatfield Peverel.

They said that the work is taking place until December 18, which means fans will also need to bear this in mind for the Chelsea match on Sunday November 4.

N Match coverage of last night's game … see pages 45 to 48.

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