Portsmouth 1-0 Ipswich Town: Blues now winless in five League One games after Pompey loss
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ronan Curtis scored the only goal of the game as Ipswich Town fell to a second-straight defeat at Portsmouth this afternoon.
The striker fired home off the underside of the bar just five minutes into the second half, securing a deserved three points for the hosts on an afternoon where they were on top for the majority of the contest.
Ipswich struggled to create chances once again, with strikers James Norwood and Will Keane feeding off scraps in the first half and only faring slightly better once changes were made in the second.
Wet and windy conditions made it difficult for both sides, particularly late on as standing water made the pitch heavy and stopped the ball rolling cleanly at times, but it was the hosts who made the best of it.
To compound things, Ipswich ended the game with 10 men after captain Luke Chambers was sent off on his return to the side after picking up his second booking of the afternoon for a foul on former Town striker Ellis Harrison.
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Chambers two bookings, in addition to a caution for assistant manager Stuart Taylor, took the Ipswich tally to eight and means the Blues will now face an FA fine.
The two best chances fell to James Norwood, but the Ipswich striker was unable to take them as the Blues fell to a third successive defeat.
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It also marks a run of five League One games without success, with the last win coming at Rochdale on Bonfire Night, and saw Paul Lambert's men slip out of the top two and replaced by Peterborough.
Next up is a Boxing Day clash with Gillingham at Portman Road.
Lambert made four changes to his side as Chambers, back from a neck injury, and Toto Nsiala came into a back three. Gwion Edwards was back in at right wing-back while Will Norris returned in goal.
That left James Norwood and Will Keane paired in attack ahead of a midfield three of Flynn Downes, Jon Nolan and Cole Skuse.
Harrison started in attack for Portsmouth and, clearly pumped up for a game against his former employers, burst out of the gate and was booked for a foul on Chambers inside the first 10 minutes of the game.
The Welshman continued his physical approach, forcing Nsiala into a late tackle which he would ultimately regret as the Ipswich defender was booked.
Pompey followed Harrison's lead, though, and began quickly, with Ryan William and then Ross McCrorie forcing good saves out of goalkeeper Norris as Ipswich were made to wait to establish themselves in this contest.
The visitors began to get the ball down and knock it around but weren't able to progress possession into the final third or get the ball into the feet of Norwood or Keane in advanced positions, with Ronan Curtis firing another warning shots against Lambert's men as he latched onto a bouncing ball in the box and lashed his shot over the top.
Ben Close was the next to threaten as he hit a dipping shot from outside the box which Norris held well, as Pompey maintained a high tempo and pushed up on the Ipswich defence.
Nsiala had been living dangerously since his early booking and paid for it before the break as Lambert opted to bring on Alan Judge in his place, with Skuse slipping into the back three seamlessly before the heavens opened at half-time.
The hosts continued their pressure in the minutes after the break, with Norris needed to claw away a dangerous cross before then saving the rebound effort while lying in the floor, with the ball looping up and needing to be cleared off the line by the head of Garbutt.
The reprieve didn't last long though and, with a goal clearly coming, Curtis let fly from outside the box and saw his effort fly in off the underside of the bar after Norris had got a good arm to the ball.
Ipswich were behind in need of a spark, with Lambert's men beginning to string some passages of play together and using Keane in the final third. It bore some fruit, with Edwards going close to sneaking in at the back post and Garbutt stinging the palms of MacGillivray with a rasping effort from 25-yards out.
Kayden Jackson was introduced and deployed wide on the right to try and unlock the door with his pace, but it was Norwood who was presented with a golden chance to equalise as he latched onto Nolan's bouncing ball inside the penalty area but could only poke wide from as little as four yards out.
The rain continued to fall, making conditions difficult, before Chambers was given his marching orders, with Ipswich unable to find a way back into the game as they fell to defeat once again.
Portsmouth: Macgillivray; McCrorie (Bolton, 42), Burgess, Raggett, Walkes; Naylor, Close, Williams, Cannon (Evans, 59); Curtis, Harrison.
Subs: Bass, Downing, Harness, Pitman, Marquis.
Ipswich Town: Norris; Woolfenden, Chambers, Nsiala (Judge, 37); Edwards (Jackson, 64), Downes, Skuse (Donacien 59), Nolan, Garbutt; Keane, Norwood.
Subs: Holy, Wilson, Huws, Dozzell
Attendance: 18,801 (1,994 Ipswich fans)