Portsmouth 1 Ipswich Town 1
IT IS all change at Portsmouth. The administrators have given way to microchip multi-millionaire Milan Mandaric, there is cash to spend on a squad already chock-a-block with new faces, and Fratton Park will soon be replaced by 'The Pompey Centre', a 35,000 all-seat state-of-the art job.
But in the rush to wield the new broom, Portsmouth could be sweeping away one of their greatest assets. Fratton Park may not be "the country's most modern stadium", as Portsmouth promise their new home will be, but it is an extremely intimidating place to visit.
Ipswich manager George Burley had "no doubt the crowd influenced the ref" on Saturday. Given the cards - five yellow and one red - his mild-mannered charges collected, you can see his point.
Much like Alan Ball, the team's manager, the Portsmouth crowd are passionate, bellicose and red-faced. After half an hour of watching Ipswich outclass their team, the chant of "you're not very good" was directed at the visitors by the home supporters. No irony here, just prejudice.
As Portsmouth began to string some passes together, the noise-level mounted. And when Guy Whittingham was felled by John McGreal after 40 minutes, as he was homing in on goal, Portsmouth followers were baying for retribution and the referee obliged with a red card.
According to Ball, it was "a correct decision". Burley promised to appeal against it, "no way was he the last man, Mark Venus was at least five yards behind him". It is not just supporters who can be myopically partisan.
Whittingham, anonymous for most of the game, also scored, just after half-time. He was aided by a rare blunder from Richard Wright, who came for a hanging cross only to arrive moments after Whittingham's head.
Ipswich weathered the inevitable buffeting and finished the stronger. It was no surprise when Jamie Scowcroft tapped in Mick Stockwell's cross two minutes from time to maintain his team's unconquered start.
Given three successive losses in the play-off semi-finals, there are inevitably doubts about the Ipswich temperament. But on Saturday they survived the cauldron of Fratton Park and finished the day in top spot. "I don't think anybody can say we didn't deserve it today," said Burley. Anybody, that is, save Ball who lamented, "we should have beaten them".