FULL TIME: Ipswich Town 1 Wanderers 0
WANDERERS sunk to 20th place in the Championship, just three points off the relegation zone, with a demoralising defeat at Ipswich.
It is now one league win in 10 for Dougie Freedman’s side after David McGoldrick’s 55th minute penalty settled a scrappy game at Portman Road.
Just as they did against QPR a few days earlier, Wanderers had the better of the first half but failed to take their chances.
Mark Davies had two stabs at slotting home Tim Ream’s cross – the first missed entirely and the second scuffed woefully wide.
American Ream was wearing a protective white face mask but provided the only width in a narrow game.
Ipswich were well below par, and after Frank Nouble skewed a shot wide, they seemed to go into their shell when midfielder Cole Skuse suffered a head injury and had to be taken off the pitch following six minutes of treatment.
Home keeper Dean Gerken then made a superb double save from Neil Danns, pushing away his stab at goal and then reacting quickly to retrieve the rebound.
When Lukas Jutkiewicz drilled a shot on the turn just wide on the break you wondered whether Wanderers would pay for their profligacy. And just 10 minutes into the second half, the answer arrived.
Neil Danns had put his side under pressure by failing to clear and when Luke Chambers ploughed the ball back into a packed penalty box, Andy Lonergan should have dealt better with the high ball.
Instead the keeper tried to scramble it clear at the feet of David McGoldrick, who went to ground and gave referee Charles Brakespear little option but to point to the spot.
McGoldrick blasted the spot kick down the middle for his 13th goal of the season, leaving Dougie Freedman’s side reeling.
Smelling blood, the Tractor Boys started to exert more pressure with Jay Tabb and Stephen Hunt both going close.
Freedman sent on Eagles and then Liam Trotter on for his debut but surprisingly did not call on Andre Moritz late on, sending Chung-Yong Lee on as a late substitute.
A gap opened up for Eagles with seven minutes left to grab an equaliser but his left-footed effort was easily dealt with by Gerken.
To rub salt into the wounds, loan strikers Marvin Sordell (Watford) and Craig Davies (Preston) both scored for their respective clubs.