CHARLTON crashed to their third consecutive defeat in the space of seven days at Portman Road.

The loss to one of their play-off rivals places a major question mark over Charlton's ever decreasing chances of promotion.

Nicky Weaver produced an excellent stop to deny Alex Bruce in the 13th minute when his close range shot was pushed over the bar.

Greg Halford was denied five minutes later when his header from Darren Ambrose's corner cannoned back off the bar.

Charlton paid the price two minutes later when Ipswich broke the deadlock.

Owen Garvan's cross from the left deceived Addicks keeper Weaver and sailed over him into the corner of the net.

Weaver had to be at his best eight minutes later to deny Pablo Counago.

Ambrose had the ball in the back of the net 60 seconds later, but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Leroy Lita tested Stephen Bywater with a decent shot on the 39th minute but Ipswich should have made it 2-0 three minutes later when Alan Lee inexplicably headed over.

However, the Tractor Boys did get a deserved second goal seven minutes after the restart when substitute Danny Haynes smacked home a volley from the edge of the area.

Lita claimed he had been bundled over in the box two minutes later, but his pleas were ignored.

Alan Pardew introduced Chris Iwelumo for Jose Semedo on the hour in a desperate bid to get the visitors back in contention.

It did not work as the Addicks struggled to create any serious chances and Charlton's play-off hopes are receding by the week.