Huddersfield Town suffered a dismal second home defeat in four days as two first-half goals put Ipswich in the comfort zone.

Paul Anderson bent in a sixth-minute opener, and things got worse for Mark Robins’ sluggish side when Daryl Murphy notched in the 33rd minute.

It took a late Murphy goal for Ipswich to beat Town at Portman Road in December, but the double was completed in far more straightforward style.

It’s now eight Championship games without a win for Town, who still aren’t safe from being dragged into a survival scrap.

And it will take a major improvement on this performance to snap the slide, with another play-off chasing side, Derby, awaiting at Pride Park on Saturday.

Town boss Mark Robins made just one change in the wake of Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat by Bolton, with Joel Lynch replacing Peter Clarke.

It was a first outing in 10 games after groin surgery for the Wales international centre-back.

With Clarke dropping to the bench, Alex Smithies took the captain’s armband, while teammate Adam Hammill made a 250th career appearance.

It was a clash of two Tommy Smiths, with both teams having defenders of the same name, while Ipswich changed both wide players after their 2-0 defeat at Blackburn.

Republic of Ireland international Stephen Hunt and Anderson returned at the expense of Anthony Wordsworth and Frank Nouble.

Town made a worryingly sluggish start, and Smithies made saves from both Murphy and Jonny Williams before Anderson struck just six minutes in.

 

It was a sweetly-hit effort from the former Bristol City man, who received the ball on the right, cut inside and from just outside the penalty area, curled a left-foot shot beyond the keeper and into the far corner.

Williams, on loan from Crystal Palace and playing in behind frontman Murphy, had been identified as a key man for Ipswich, and he was certainly busy in the first half.

He put a 15th-minute shot just over, and after Anthony Gerrard make an excellent block to thwart Luke Chambers, freed Anderson, whose shot was parried by Smithies, with Lynch mopping up.

Ipswich finally forced the second goal they had been threatening in the 33rd minute through Murphy.

The Irishman’s 12th goal of the season was a close-range left-foot finish after Town failed to deal with a corner and defender Christophe Berra nodded the ball back into the danger zone, highlighting the susceptibility to set-pieces which has been a season-long problem.

There was another scare for the frustrated home fans when Williams whistled in another shot, which Smithies was thankfully able to hold.

There was little in the way of meaningful home attacks before the break, with Nahki Wells the only man to come close when he shot over after an Ollie Norwood cross was only partially cleared.

Just before the break, Wells broke down the right and put in a low cross, but Danny Ward was unable to get a clean connection and the ball went wide

Town started the second half with Sean Scannell on for Hammill and badly in need of some inspiration.

But a misplaced pass by Norwood let in Murphy, who linked with Luke Hyam to set up Anderson for a shot which went wide.

With Town still looking edgy and disjointed, Norwood made way for Duane Holmes after 55 minutes.

But the home side were still struggling to find any real rhythm or incision, while Ipswich were happy to defend their lead and try to hit on the counter.

Huddersfield Town v Ipswich Town at the John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield. Duane Holmes.
 

Smithies made a smart one-handed save from Anderson before Adam Clayton put in a free-kick which was flicked on to Ward, only for his shot to fly over the bar.

That summed up the evening for both the player and his team, and Ward was replaced by Harry Bunn with 15 minutes to go.

Visiting keeper Dean Gerken was called into action to block Oscar Gobern’s shot from a neat pass by Holmes, but it was a rare threat on the Ipswich goal.

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