IPSWICH Town were left shell-shocked after crashing to a second costly defeat in four days, losing 2-0 at home to Rotherham United tonight.

The Blues had gone into the League One contest in desperate need of a pick-me-up, after an abject performance in front of the Sky TV cameras at Accrington Stanley on Sunday.

Instead, they suffered more misery – both in terms of their display and result – to the frustration of a 20,000+ crowd at soggy Portman Road.

Town dropped to second in the table, leapfrogged by Peterborough United on goal difference, and have undoubtedly lost their way, looking a different side to the one that remained unbeaten in their first 11 outings.

From oozing confidence, they now look shorn of it and too many players had off-nights in what, after a bright start, rapidly degenerated into a scrappy, disjointed affair.

There was a distinct lack of width, quality and entertainment and it felt like a game from last season’s back catalogue of horror shows.

Even Town’s set-pieces were abysmal.

Industrious Rotherham scored at the start of both halves, taking the lead after a low, 11th-minute strike from Matt Crooks that skidded under keeper Tomas Holy.

Things went from bad to worse three minutes into the second half when Ben Wiles fed Crooks and the midfielder produced a cool finish for 2-0.

Town produced a response of sorts and things might have been different had they managed to half the deficit and throw themselves a lifeline.

But it wasn’t to be and a vast improvement is needed if they are to rediscover their golden touch from a few weeks ago.

Defensively, they will have been bitterly disappointed with both goals and they missed the power and energy of midfielder Flynn Downes – surprisingly left on the bench as boss Paul Lambert favoured the trio of Danny Rowe, Emyr Huws and Jon Nolan, ahead of Cole Skuse.

Up front, Will Keane was preferred to James Norwood, alongside Kayden Jackson, but that didn’t work either. There are still doubts about the former’s fitness and it was no surprise to see Norwood replace him on 68 minutes.

So Town were left licking their wounds after a first home defeat of the season and it might have been worse had Michael Ihiekwe not headed against the post from Wiles’ corner.

Next up they make the short hop to troubled Southend United, who shipped seven goals in Tuesday’s heavy defeat against Doncaster Rovers.

New boss Sol Campbell will have the Shrimpers fired up and a significant improvement is needed if stuttering Town are to get back on track at Roots Hall.