Nottingham Forest’s four-match unbeaten run came to an abrupt end as they found themselves on the wrong end of a controversial refereeing decision.Andy D’Urso awarded Ipswich a highly contentious second half penalty just moments after Dexter Blackstock had hauled The Reds level by cancelling out Guirane N’Daw’s 30th minute opener.
The official adjudged Forest skipper Danny Collins to have brought down DJ Campbell, even though the Town striker had appeared to lose his footing on the slippery surface.
Lee Camp saved Campbell’s spot-kick but youngster Luke Hyam followed up to fire home the rebound.
Daryl Murphy added a third on the stroke of full-time as Forest slipped to only their second away defeat of the campaign
Sean O’Driscoll made one change to the side that had started against Wolves four days earlier – and it was a predictable enough change with Blackstock replacing the injured Simon Cox in the front line.
Andy Reid returned to the manager’s plans – as a substitute – after missing the trip to Molineux with a hamstring problem.
Ipswich handed a recall to former Reds skipper Luke Chambers, who had been relegated to the bench for the visit of fellow strugglers Peterborough at the weekend.
Town also included ex-Forest loanee Lee Martin in their line-up, while Danny Higginbotham and Michael Chopra, both of whom have also had loan spells at The City Ground, were named among the home side’s substitutes.
Martin created the first opening of the night as his cross from the left found Tommy Smith unmarked eight yards out but he headed straight at Camp.
The Forest No.1 was lucky to escape with just a yellow card when he clattered into Campbell after charging out of his area to deal with a long ball forward.
Blackstock squandered a golden opportunity in the 25th minute when he elected to go for goal himself rather than picking out his unmarked strike partner Billy Sharp after Henri Lansbury had robbed Ipswich of possession.
Hyam was just inches away from giving Ipswich the lead moments later with a long-range shot but the home side didn’t have to wait too much longer for the opening goal.
It came in bizarre circumstances as a breakdown in communication between Collins and Camp as they both went to deal with a long ball forward left Frenchman N’Daw with the simple task of running the ball into an empty net.
That setback seemed to spark Forest into life – Stephen Henderson spilled a long range drive from Adlene Guedioura and when the ball was played back into the six-yard box Elliott Ward tested Henderson with a well-struck volley.
Henderson produced a superb stop to deny Billy Sharp three minutes before half-time as he finger-tipped his fierce drive onto his bar. From the resultant corner Lansbury had a shot blocked on the line as Forest looked for an equaliser before the break.
O’Driscoll made two changes at the start of the second half, introducing Reid and James Coppinger to the action at the expense of Simon Gillett and Lansbury.
Ipswich went close to extending their lead with less than two minutes of the second half gone as Bradley Orr sent a dipping shot from the edge of the area just wide of Camp’s right-hand upright.
Camp produced a smart reaction save to parry a Campbell toe-poke from a mis-hit N’Daw shot before Forest drew level after 59 minutes.
Chris Cohen was the architect of the goal with a forging run to the edge of the area. He picked out Sharp and when the striker sent over a cross from the left Blackstock was on hand to fire home from close range.
But Forest were only level for three minutes before D’Urso adjudged Collins to have brought down Campbell in the area. Camp parried the resultant spot-kick but Hyam followed up to dispatch the rebound into the roof of the net.
O’Driscoll made his final change 12 minutes from time as he replaced Dan Harding with Lewis McGugan.
But it was Ipswich who came closest to adding to the scoring; Ward conceded possession to Murphy in the area but Collins spared his central defensive partner’s blushes with an outstanding block at the expense of a corner.
Murphy got on the scoresheet in the dying seconds, however, as he coolly fired past Camp after stealing the ball from Reid.
Forest: Camp, Hutton, Ward, Collins (c), Harding (McGugan 77'), Gillett (Reid 46'), Cohen, Guedioura, Lansbury (Coppinger 46'), Blackstock, Sharp.
Subs not used: Darlow, Moussi, Moloney, Ayala.
Scorer: Blackstock 58'
Bookings: Camp 16', Sharp 69'
Scorer: N'Daw 30', Hyam 61', Murphy 89'
Bookings: Hyam 69', Orr 69'
Referee: Andy D’Urso