Ratings: Better from Blues as much-changed side gets a chance to impress - Ipswich grades from Cardiff

Town players before kick-off in the Cardiff match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Town players before kick-off in the Cardiff match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town put in a much-improved display but were ultimately beaten 1-0 at home by Cardiff. Sports writer Andy Warren hands out his player grades.

Ipswich Town's Jordan Spence (left) and Cardiff City's Junior Hoilett battle for the ball . PA

Ipswich Town's Jordan Spence (left) and Cardiff City's Junior Hoilett battle for the ball . PA - Credit: PA

Bartosz Bialkowski

Didn’t have a save to make before or after Zohore’s effort snuck into his bottom corner, but dealt well with Cardiff’s aerial onslaught and made a number of key punches. 6

Jordan Spence

Just as Dominic Iorfa did at Norwich on Sunday, Spence seemed to enjoy playing in a right back role which offered him extra freedom to get forward and less defensive responsibility. He attacked well, often going beyond Ward to cross, and made his way into the area to attack a ball into the area which flew over the top. 7

Cameron Carter-Vickers

Was solid once again and is becoming a very dependable defender for the Blues. The Tottenham loanee was the man beaten in the air by Madine’s towering header, which set up Zohore’s goal, but otherwise coped well with the physical battle. 6

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Luke Chambers

Was the nearest Ipswich player to Zohore as the Dane stumbled before refinding his footing to fire home. But it was another good performance from a player who has been in fine form of late. 7

Ipswich Town's Cameron Carter-Vickers (left) and Cardiff City's Loic Damour battle for the ball. PA

Ipswich Town's Cameron Carter-Vickers (left) and Cardiff City's Loic Damour battle for the ball. PA - Credit: PA

Adam Webster

Some sticky moments and some loose passes, but overall another good display from the central defender. He was impressive in the air, both from open play and defensive set pieces, while he also nodded wide in attack at the start of the second period. 7

Jonas Knudsen

Like Spence, the Danish left back enjoyed the freedom granted to him by McCarthy’s wing back system, and took advantage as he got up and down the left side. His delivery wasn’t quite there but was strong at both ends of the field. Linked well with Celina. 7

Jonas Knudsen rises high above Loïc Damour to win the ball in this second half battle during the Ips

Jonas Knudsen rises high above Loïc Damour to win the ball in this second half battle during the Ipswich Town v Cardiff City match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Luke Hyam

The homegrown midfielder was making his first start since April 2016 and, 669 days later, performed well in the middle of the Town midfield. He was strong in the tackle, put his body on the line for one important block and played a number of good forward balls. 7

Cole Skuse

Spent the derby draw at Carrow Road shackling Norwich’s James Maddison, but had more opportunity on the ball against Cardiff. Was positive when in possession and combined well with Hyam to move the ball upfield at times. 7

The attendance against Cardiff was the lowest since September 1998. Picture: Steve Waller www.

The attendance against Cardiff was the lowest since September 1998. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Grant Ward

Busy up and down the right flank as he scuttled up and down to contribute in all three thirds. Went by his man on a number of occasions but his final ball wasn’t quite there. When it was, there was no physical forward in the box to take advantage. 7

Bersant Celina

Was once again the Blues spark when they were able to get him the ball, as he looked to run at the Cardiff defence. Has endured some quiet games of late but was the main creative outlet, without being able to find the killer ball or shot. 7

Freddie Sears

Given the rare opportunity to start in a central striking role but had little sniff of goal as his scoreless run continued through its 31st game. He ran tirelessly, looked much better on the ball than in recent weeks and made good decision in the final third. Needs more nights like this if he is to rediscover his form. 7

Callum Connolly (for Hyam, 74)

Came into the game in the second half and, as usual, was strong in the tackle and looked to move forward. 6

Martyn Waghorn (for Spence, 79)

Came on as the Blues searched for an equaliser but wasn’t able to force a goal and earn a point. 6

Kevin Bru (for Ward, 85)

A rare return to the squad for the Mauritius international who is set to move on in the summer. 6

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