Sunday 21 September 2014

Ipswich Wanderers - Humber Doucy Lane

Ipswich Wanderers FC
SEH Sports Ground
Humber Doucy Lane

01473 728581
Official Website

Ground Number: 413
Saturday 20th September 2014
Ipswich Wanderers 0-2 Kirkley & Pakefield
Eastern Counties League - Premier Division


Ipswich Wanderers were founded in 1980, initially as an under 14's side. Briefly, in the late '80s, they changed their name to Loadwell Ipswich due to sponsorship reasons. They joined the Eastern Counties League in 1988 when the league expanded to 2 divisions. They've spent most of their time in Division 1, but have had 8 seasons in the top division. They were promoted back to the Premier Division last season and will be hoping to better their best ever finish of 7th, which they obtained when they last returned in 2006-07. That was to prove a great season for the club - they reached the FA Vase 5th round, beating Long Melford 11-0 along the way. The FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round has been reached on 2 occasions, both at the turn of the century. They also won the East Anglian Cup in 1999 and the Suffolk Senior Cup in 2013. The club has a few connections with the town's other club, Ipswich Town. The most notable being former tractor boy Jason Dozzell who coached at the club in 2003, and their record of 550 also came against the men from Portman Road in a Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final in 2007.


I had been to Ipswich Wanderers ground to take pictures in the past. Almost 6 years to this day on the 16th September 2008, I had a look at some of the ground before going to Ipswich Town v Wycombe Wanderers in the reserves. I had visited a number of grounds, and this was the last on my list before going to Portman Road. The guy at the ground only let me along a small part of the ground as there were barriers where they were doing work to the ground, but all in all, it looked very good. Fellow hopper Anwar had also done this when visiting his aunt, so it was nice to get it ticked as part of the Eastern Counties Groundhop. After the entertaining game at Woodbridge, it was off to Ipswich Wanderers. I had to stop for cash first as I was running out and so I stopped at Tesco. £30 withdrawn I headed to the ground, arriving at 2.10 and parking just outside the entrance so I could get pictures of the signs on the gate. I then made my way to the ground, hopeful that I could pick up an Ipswich Wanderers v Ipswich Town half and half scarf for £2.50. It turned out they didn't have any left and indeed had not set up the club shop for today's game.

Everyone was really friendly though, I went to the bar and got a pint of Aspalls cider whilst I checked my phone. Then after taking some pictures of the ground, which was by far the best of the trip so far, I got some chips and waited for the game to start. The general consensus amongst the groundhoppers was that the referee should have started last nights postponed game. All hoppers had watched games in far worse conditions. Anyways, there was a good choice of pre-match music, culminating in 'The Wanderer' by Status Quo as the teams came out. The match started off at a lot slower pace than the earlier game, but it was the visitors asking All the questions. This continued as the match went on with them well on top and Ipswich had to rely on the occasional breakaway. Shortly into the second half, Kirkley were awarded a penalty after a foul in the area and as a result, the home defender was sent off. The visitors eventually took the lead on 65 minutes, but this galvanised Ipswich into a response and 15 minutes of sustained pressure. It was not to be though, right at the death Kirkley got a deserved second and really could have won by a larger margin.


HUMBER DOUCY LANE is s fantastic ground for step 5 with cover on 3 sides. It's mainly standing, probably room for 1000, plus 150 sitting. It's none of your modern rubbish, with a lovely ramshackle appearance, but at the same time very well kept and well loved. The bar has a bigger range of drinks than most, all served at reasonable prices by the friendly barman. The tea bar is a tiny bit more expensive than most, but still good value. The club shop has a great range when it is open that is. Overall this smashing little club is well worth a visit, as I really enjoyed my time there.

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