IPSWICH Town are going to be in for an almighty culture shock when they turn up to play Bracknell Town in the first round of the Emirates FA Cup.

The club currently sitting second in League One boast one of the finest grounds in the EFL lower divisions at Portman Road, with a capacity of close to 30,000 and where England once played Croatia in a friendly.

The Tractor Boys will be coming to Bottom Meadow at Sandhurst where just 2,000 spectators find it a tight squeeze.

How many will be allowed into the ground for this David versus Goliath encounter will be decided after discussions with the police. There is also very limited parking at the venue which is accessed by a small path off Yorktown Road.

It will surely be an all-ticket affair with every chance of Bracknell and Ipswich fans being segregated. A huge number of supporters, particularly those from Ipswich, will have no chance of witnessing the biggest game in Bracknell’s history.

A large gathering of TV, radio crews and national newspaper reporters will also mean fewer spaces being available at this compact ground on the day.

Ipswich, who boast music superstar Ed Sheeran among their sponsors, are enjoying an excellent season so far. They currently sit second behind Plymouth in the table with nine wins in 14 games.

The Robins, one of the lowest-ranked teams left in the competition, earned this glamorous first-round tie – to be played over the weekend of November 4-7 - by beating National League North high fliers Banbury United 2-1 in the fourth qualifying round at Bottom Meadow last Saturday.

In front of a crowd of close to 700, they made a bright star with skipper Dan Bayliss going close with a header from Max Herbert’s corner.

When they forced another flag kick after nine minutes, the Banbury defence were looking for Bayliss and took their eyes off the ball as Herbert’s inswinging corner flew straight into the net.

Bracknell News: John LeakeJohn Leake (Image: John Leake)

The shocked visitors looked to hit back and caused a few problems for Town’s defence with keeper Michael Eacott making one particularly outstanding save, but he could do nothing to stop Slavi Spasov from heading the equaliser after 39 minutes.

Banbury must have forgotten how dangerous the very tall Bayliss is at corners as they could only look on as the centre-back got on the end of another well-placed Herbert corner shortly after half-time.

Bracknell had to be at their best to hang onto the lead with Eacott making another top-drawer save to deny Spasov.
And the Robins nearly snatched a late third goal with Joe Grant’s fine run and finish being stopped by keeper Jack Harding.

This coming Saturday, Bracknell have a home league game with North Leigh and next Tuesday (October 25) they host Yate Town