A LATE Chris Maguire strike condemned Ipswich Town to a 1-0 defeat at Sunderland and a third straight loss in League One.

Maguire netted an 81st-minute winner as Phil Parkinson's side climbed above Town, following victory at the Stadium of Light.

Town looked like they were heading for a 0-0 draw.

But Maguire despatched a brilliant low finish late on - his 11th goal of the season - to secure the points that lifted Sunderland up to sixth and saw Paul Lambert's side slip to seventh on goal difference.

Town boss Paul Lambert told iFollow Ipswich: “We controlled the game in the first-half and played really well.

“We had chances to go one or two up and we should have had a penalty as well when Emyr Huws got caught by their ‘keeper late on.

"In the first-half though we should have put the game to bed.

“When you don’t take your chances it puts pressure on the guys at the back.

"Sunderland are at home and give them credit, they played much better in the second-half and had some chances themselves.

"We had to weather a bit of a storm.

“Even after they scored we had opportunities to get something out of the game but it didn’t happen and obviously we’re disappointed to lose.

“We have dropped out of the top six for the first time this season and that’s a blow but we have to react.

"We have been the hunted all season, now we have to turn into the hunter.

“The beauty of it is that there are plenty of games left to turn things around and only a few points separating a lot of teams.”

Ipswich, after losing their previous two games, had the better of the first half with striker Will Keane going the closest during the opening 45 minutes.

But Sunderland were much improved after the restart and had numerous chances to hit a winner.

Lynden Gooch, Charlie Wyke and Bailey Wright had gone close, with Gooch and Wright hitting the woodwork as Sunderland turned up the heat.

Just when it seemed time was running out, Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson introduced substitute Kyle Lafferty and it had the desired effect.

Less than two minutes later, Wyke rolled a pass across the edge of the penalty area where, after a little touch from Lafferty, Maguire was on hand to fire a first-time shot low inside goalkeeper Tomas Holy's bottom-right corner.