Tom Lees’ first-half red card condemned Leeds United to a 3-0 defeat at Ipswich Town.
The defender was dismissed for a heavy challenge on Jay Tabb and Ipswich took full advantage as two goals from David McGoldrick redeemed their weak performance before half-time.
McGoldrick scored in first-half injury time and struck again three minutes after the interval to kill a match in which United had numerous chances.
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas finished off tired opposition on 68 minutes, moments after taking to the field as a substitute.
Neil Warnock’s Leeds had made a promising start to the game, creating four good opportunities in the first 20 minutes.
Paul Green’s effort was cleared off the line by Andy Drury after Stephen Warnock curled a corner against the post and both Green and David Norris had further efforts well saved by Scott Loach, the last line of defence in a nervous Ipswich side.
Town created little more than a Daryl Murphy strike which hit team-mate McGoldrick before it could trouble Paddy Kenny and it took further blocks from Loach and Luke Chambers to deny Luke Varney and Michael Tonge the opening goal.
But Town were given a huge advantage on 32 minutes when Lees received a straight red card after catching Tabb as the midfielder collected a poor clearance from Kenny. Warnock resisted any immediate substitutions and reacted by moving Sam Byram into the centre of defence, with Green reverting to right-back.
Steve Morison missed a great chance to snatch the lead before half-time when he fired over the crossbar from six yards but Leeds were fortunate to escape when Green appeared to impede Tabb inside Kenny’s box on 45 minutes.
And Warnock’s players were stung in injury-time as McGoldrick reacted first as a Luke Hyam header came back off the bar, nodding the rebound into an empty net.
Jason Pearce was introduced at the break, replacing Green, but he could do nothing to avert Town’s second goal as McGoldrick’s low finish struck his legs and deflected over the line.
Leeds continued to press, however, and Byram had two attempts beaten from under Ipswich’s bar as Town threatened to crack around the hour but Emmanuel-Thomas beat Kenny with his first opportunity, shooting home from close range after Aaron Cresswell bundled his way past three defenders.