Ipswich Town 0-1 Oxford United: Limp Blues booed off as Lambert’s men slump at home once again to lose more ground
PUBLISHED: 16:53 22 February 2020 | UPDATED: 20:33 22 February 2020
It was another afternoon of frustration for Ipswich Town as they once again failed to make a half of dominance count, before ultimately falling to defeat.
Matty Taylor's goal just before the break was the difference in this game and it came following 44 good Ipswich minutes in which they had stretched their opponents without ever battering the door down or finding a way through.
The hosts started the second half at a frantic pace but that soon dropped as the hosts continued to struggle, with a loose Luke Chambers pass deep into the second half, which in many ways summed up Town's afternoon, prompting chants of 'Lambert, sort it out' from the North Stand. The late introduction of Freddie Sears was greeted by 'you don't know what you're doing'.
The loss was compounded late on when Kayden Jackson was sent off in added time for a stamp.
The talk heading into this game was of backing up last weekend's 4-1 victory over Burton but the link-up play between Will Keane, Alan Judge and Kayden Jackson wasn't at the same level as a week ago and, after falling behind, the intensity required to get back into the game wasn't there.
Defeat sees Ipswich drop to eighth, with Fleetwood leap-frogging them and moving into sixth thanks to their victory over Portsmouth, with Town now two points off the play-off places having played two games more than many of their rivals.
Manager Paul Lambert stuck with the same XI which ultimately dismantled Burton last weekend, coming back from a goal down, sticking with the wing-back system which began that game rather than switching to the back four which finished it.
Kayden Jackson, on his 26th birthday, was the focus of the Ipswich attack early on as he delivered two teasing balls which didn't quite fall for team-mates, before Luke Woolfenden had a shot blocked en route to goal and Luke Garbutt fired over the top on his right foot when meeting another Jackson cut-back.
Ipswich were well on top and stroking the ball around the pitch well, looking to stretch their opponents, but couldn't find a goal, with Keane the next to threaten as he rose highest at the far post to meet a Garbutt cross but could only angle his header wide.
Oxford had their threatening moments, with all three central defenders required to make good blocks to halt probing runs from the visitors, as the half crept towards the end.
There was a sucker punch to come, though, as a flowing Oxford move pulled the Blues out of position and allowed Cameron Brannagan to feed James Henry who crossed for Taylor to slam past Holy and put the visitors in front.
Lambert's men returned after the interval to a roar as the home fans, who had appreciated their first half efforts, willed them back into the contest, and they started on the front foot as Woolfenden and then Alan Judge fired over the top as Town forced two corners.
The frustrations were creeping in though and several attacks came to an end as Ipswich players took the ball off of team-mates' toes at vital moments, with Oxford continuing to pose a threat as Holy and Chambers just about managed to keep Taylor out when a long ball dropped between them.
Teddy Bishop was sent on to try and find a spark and, while he had some good moments, it didn't come for the Blues as they fell to defeat.
Lambert's final substitution was to introduce Freddie Sears in stoppage time, with that late change greeted by chants of 'you don't know what you're doing'.
Town heads went following Jackson's red card, before the final whistle sounded.
Next up is a visit to Blackpool next Saturday.