FULL TIME: IPSWICH 1 BARNSLEY 0

Barnsley full back Scott Golborne clears the ball acrobatically

Barnsley full back Scott Golborne clears the ball acrobatically

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STUTTERING Barnsley slipped to a seventh successive away defeat as their hopes of retaining Championship status remain hanging in the balance. fgfgfgfg

The Reds went to Portman Road looking to avenge a 5-3 thumping ay the hands of the Tractor Boys at home earlier this season.

Oakwell boss Hill described that defeat as “forgettable”, so there was extra emphasis for his charges to perform better this time around.

And Hill had the luxury of keeping faith with his side which beat Peterborough United 1-0 at home seven days ago, a victory which went a long way to securing the club’s Championship status for another season.

After only three minutes winger Emmanuel-Thomas let rip with a stinging free-kick which keeper Button could only parry, but luckily the Tottenham Hotspur loan keeper was able to smother the ball.

Striker Chopra then had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Gibbs, but was not booked for diving much to the frustration of Reds defender McNulty.

A minute later Thomas cut inside and struck a left-foot shot into the side netting as the hosts continued to press for an opener.

Barnsley eventually had their first chance of the first half in the 31st minute. And it fell to Cotterill.

The former Swansea City winger burst down the left and cut inside, only to fire wide of the left post.

No sooner had the second half kicked off than Ipswich were in front after some slick play.

Former Tyke Chopra turned provider in the 48th minute, slotting through to Murphy to blast into the bottom left-hand corner with a clinical strike.

The Reds were against the rack and would have gone 2-0 down if it had not been for the intervention of the crossbar. It was Emmanuel-Thomas again causing the problems.

Having picked the ball up deep in Barnsley’s half Emmanuel-Thomas hit the woodwork with a thunderous shot.

The Reds had a welcome chance on the hour mark, but left-back Goldboure rushed his shot and it flew high and wide of the target.

Leading scorer Davies was unlucky not to equalise in the 77th minute, thwarted by a smart close-range save from Lee-Barrett.

And the keeper then pulled off an even better block to deny Nouble.

It proved to be a bad day at the office as the Reds slipped to a seventh successive defeat and their ninth loss in their last 12 league outings.