The hosts come from behind to claim three points at Portman Road...
IPSWICH 2 (Chambers 50, Pitman 90+1), UNITED 1 (Doukara 1)
Ipswich team: Gerken, Knudsen, Berra, Smith, Bru (Hyam 84), Chambers, Douglas, Skuse, Fraser, Murphy (Pitman 78), Sears. Subs: Bialkowski, Maitland-Niles, Oar, Malarcyzk, Varney.
United team: Silvestri, Wootton, Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor, Byram, Bridcutt, Mowatt (Phillips 60), Cook (Antenucci 79), Carayol (Dallas 64), Doukara. Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Coyle, Bamba, Murphy.
Referee: Frederick Graham
Booked: Douglas, Chambers (Ipswich), Phillips (United)
Att: 19,146 (1,259 United)
The midweek trip to Ipswich Town saw United head coach Steve Evans make three changes from the weekend’s Emirates FA Cup Third Round victory over Rotherham. Scott Wootton, Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt all returned to the side, with Lewie Coyle, Luke Murphy and Mirco Antenucci dropping to the bench in a shift to a 4-5-1 formation.
United made a lightening start to proceedings at a bitterly cold Portman Road, opening the scoring within just 12 seconds of the game getting underway as Souleymane Doukara stole possession from Jonathan Douglas on the edge of the area before calmly slotting into the bottom corner.
The hosts looked to mount a quick response and Marco Silvestri was called into action to turn behind Daryl Murphy’s effort after the Ipswich striker had evaded several challenges to work his way into the area.
The fast-paced early exchanges continued and Ipswich goalkeeper Dean Gerken needed to be alert to turn Mustapha Carayol’s deflected cross over his crossbar, before the hosts started to put United under a spell of sustained pressure with several deliveries into the box.
The defence was holding firm, though, and Ipswich were mainly limited to efforts from distance as Silvestri kept out long-range strikes from Kevin Bru and Murphy.
Ipswich then drew the best save of the evening from Silvestri on the stroke of half-time, Ryan Fraser clipping an effort towards the top corner, only to see it acrobatically tipped over the crossbar as United’s slender lead was preserved going into half-time.
The hosts maintained their pressure after the restart and Sears had the second half’s first sight of goal, curling over the bar from 20 yards out just moments before Ipswich eventually managed to convert one of their chances to pull themselves level.
It was captain Luke Chambers who grabbed the equalising goal after 50 minutes, sending a towering header beyond the sprawling Silvestri after rising inside the area to meet a left-wing cross.
Cole Skuse curled inches wide from just outside the area as the home crowd urged their side forward in search of a second, before Evans looked to stem the tide as he was prompted into his first changes as the hour mark passed.
First, Kalvin Phillips was introduced in place of Mowatt in midfield, before Stuart Dallas replaced Carayol on the wing.
But Ipswich continued to press and were a whisker away from finding the net again as Bru’s cross from deep almost crept in at the far post after an awkward bounce inside the United area.
Silvestri then held a looping header from Murphy, but it was the forward’s replacement, Brett Pitman, who came closest to a winner five minutes from time.
Sears beat the onrushing Silvestri to the ball, knocking it around the United goalkeeper before drilling an effort across the face of goal which the lunging Pitman narrowly failed to connect with as he ended up in the back of the net and the ball rolled harmlessly behind.
Ipswich’s dominance eventually paid off in the first of five minutes of stoppage time as Pitman stooped to head home another left-wing cross and clinch the three points, bringing a gut-wrenching halt to United’s eight-game unbeaten run.