Ipswich 1 Barnsley 0
DARYL MURPHY’S goal earned victory and extended Ipswich’s unbeaten home record to eight games.
But it needed some key saves by keeper Arran Lee-Barrett to condemn Barnsley to a seventh successive away defeat.
Murphy, on loan from Celtic, netted the only goal three minutes after the break with his fourth strike of the season.
Michael Chopra threaded the ball through and Murphy held off Jim McNulty’s challenge to drill past David Button.
Portman Road boss Paul Jewell said: “If we had been more ruthless, we wouldn’t have had to rely on Arran’s saves.
“We deserved the win but we should have been out of sight. At 1-0, we missed several gilt-edged chances.”
Barnsley are nine points clear of the drop zone with six games left to play and boss Keith Hill refuses to rule out the possibility of being relegated.
He said: “We’ve got to survive but we are still looking over our shoulders. I’m frustrated with our results and, while our position is encouraging, we can’t take anything for granted.”
On a day when Ipswich renamed a stand in honour of former boss Sir Alf Ramsey, it was a far-from-vintage display.
Lee-Barrett saved at the feet of Craig Davies and twice within a matter of seconds kept out Davies and sub Frank Nouble.
For the Tractor Boys, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas struck the bar, while both Murphy and Lee Martin failed to hit the target when one-on-one.