IPSWICH Town's alarming form continued as they slid to a 1-0 defeat at Portsmouth.

Ronan Curtis’ strike early in the second half proved all-important as the Blues dropped a place to third in the League One table.

Paul Lambert's men have not tasted victory in their last five league outings, since winning at Rochdale on November 5.

This latest setback also meant to back-to-back defeats, following last week's home loss against Bristol Rovers.

To rub salt into their wound, skipper Luke Chambers was red-carded for a second bookable offence with two minutes remaining.

Town's defeat allowed Peterborough to move up to second, following their goalless draw at home to Bristol Rovers.

It was also a let-off for leaders Wycombe Wanderers, after they fell to only their second defeat of the season, losing 1-0 at Oxford United.

“There was nothing in it and it always looked like one goal would win it,” said Lambert after his side's defeat at Fratton Park.

“We had chances and could have got something from the game.

“I can’t fault the players’ efforts but we need to find that cutting edge and that’s not just down to the front players.

“We're having a blip and that happens in football but I spoke to the players after the game and we have to get back to the levels and intensity we showed in the first 15 matches.”

Chambers and Toto Nsiala returned to a three-man backline as Lambert made four changes from the Bristol Rovers game.

Gwion Edwards, suspended last week, was at right wing-back with Luke Garbutt on the left. Will Norris returned in goal at the expense of Tomas Holy.

In midfield, Cole Skuse was joined by Flynn Downes and Jon Nolan, while James Norwood was up front alongside Will Keane.

Afterwards Lambert explained the reasons behind withdrawing Nsiala before the break, replacing him with Alan Judge in the 39th minute.

“That was the first time I've done that and it wasn’t easy," said the Scot.

“Toto was doing well but the way the referee was going, I thought he was going to send him off.”

Gillingham visit Portman Road on Boxing Day when the Blues, without suspended skipper Chambers, will seek to arrest their winless slide.

They then visit Lincoln City next Sunday before a trip to Wycombe on New Year's Day.

Elsewhere in League One, Coventry City moved into the top six following a 1-0 win over Lincoln City.

At the other end of the table, Bolton Wanderers closed to within two points of fellow strugglers Southend United after a 3-2 win in the battle of the bottom two.

Gillingham secured their sixth successive home win in all competitions with a 3-1 win over MK Dons.

Tranmere boosted their survival hopes with a 1-0 victory against AFC Wimbledon.

Ched Evans' brace could only earn Fleetwood a share of the spoils at Rotherham as Freddie Ladapo and Matt Crooks equalised on two occasions in a 2-2 draw.

A Feji Okenabirhie penalty was enough for Shrewsbury to beat Blackpool, Burton came from behind to beat Rochdale 3-1 and Doncaster drew 1-1 with Accrington.