IPSWICH Town huffed and puffed before succumbing to a costly 1-0 defeat at home to Oxford United, in this afternoon’s League One clash at Portman Road.

The Blues were looking to breathe life into their stuttering promotion push and build on last week’s 4-1 victory against Burton Albion.

Instead, they dropped more points at home and finished with ten men, after a late red card for striker Kayden Jackson.

So an afternoon that promised much finished on a deflating note, with the players booed off and losing ground on several of the sides above them, dropping to eighth in the table.

They now sit two points behind sixth-placed Fleetwood Town and eight adrift of the last automatic promotion place, currently occupied by Coventry City.

It was a bitter pill to swallow, especially as the early signs had been encouraging.

The Blues somehow found themselves behind at the break, despite having dominated the first half.

They were on the front foot throughout, never letting their visitors settle on the ball, but the only thing that let them down was their finishing.

Despite their superiority in terms of possession, they never once seriously troubled goalkeeper Simon Eastwood.

Oxford defended doggedly, looking a much better side than Burton last week, while Town’s best two chances both involved wing-back Luke Garbutt.

On the first occasion, the Everton loanee drove high over the bar after an inviting right-wing centre from Jackson.

Then, soon after, Garbutt’s deep corner was met at the far post by Will Keane.

With the home crowd waiting for the net to bugle, his headed effort flashed just wide.

Town paid a heavy price because in the closing seconds of the half Oxford picked up a loose ball in midfield and Cameron Brannagan slid the ball forward to James Henry.

The quick-thinking Henry delivered a low cross to Taylor, who turned the ball home from close range.

It was a blow for Town but they responded positively after the break and Josh Earl’s header from Garbutt’s corner was tipped over the bar by Eastwood.

There was a scare at the other end, though, when Taylor latched onto a long through ball but his prodded effort was blocked by Tomas Holy.

Town switched to a 4-4-2 formation after Teddy Bishop replaced Gwion Edwards, with Luke Woolfenden moving into the right-back position, but still the hosts were unable to penetrate a stubborn Oxford defence.

With the clock ticking down, their frustrations intensified and there was a stoppage-time red card for Jackson, apparently for a stamp on Elliott Moore.