Ipswich Town’s poor League Cup record continues after a frustrating loss to Colchester United at Portman Road.
The Blues have still won just five games in the 11 years since reaching a two-legged semi-final with Arsenal, with the U being the last League Two side to knock Ipswich out of the competition at the first hurdle.
Luke Hannant scored the Colchester goal, which was offered to him as Rekeem Harper played a sloppy ball into his own box, which was too far ahead of Cameron Burgess and well short of Greg Leigh. Hannant did the rest to smack the goal that eventually won the tie.
Ipswich have dominated this contest, having by far the greatest share of possession and reaching double figures in terms of corners, without being able to test visiting keeper Sam Hornby enough.
A series of Ipswich players had openings, unable to find the vital touch, with teenage midfielder Cameron Humphreys coming into excellent shooting positions and failing to convert.
Town’s dominance continued until the final whistle, aided by the four-time substitution of Kieran McKenna, but there was no way past and Town went out again at the first hurdle, just as they did. had done against Newport a year ago.
McKenna made 10 changes to the side that beat Forest Green on Saturday, with only Cameron Burgess keeping his place from the New Lawn.
Luke Woolfenden returned to the side, having missed the game through illness, with Kane Vincent-Young completing the bottom three ahead of Vaclav Hladky.
Kyle Edwards and Greg Leigh were the full-backs, with Harper and Humphreys in the center of the field. Skipper Sone Aluko joined Tyreece John-Jules and Kayden Jackson in attack.
The Colchester side included former Ipswich stalwarts Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse, who made almost 700 Town appearances between them, while former Blues Frank Nouble and Tom Eastman also started.
Humphreys was involved early on, firing straight at Colchester keeper Sam Hornby and then slipping a fine pass for Leigh, which the left-back couldn’t connect with well enough as his shot passed to the U’s No.1.
Leigh was next to threaten as he collected a superb diagonal ball to test the Colchester keeper, who saved well, before Humphreys had a shot well blocked by Ossama Ashley.
The teenager has Ipswich’s first big chance of the night on 26 minutes, as an Edwards cross rolled behind the field of players into the Colchester penalty area, allowing Humphreys to run a ball around from the penalty spot. Unfortunately, however, he blazed over the bar instead of testing Hornby.
The hosts had dominated that game until Harper’s loose ball through the penalty area gave Hannant the chance to get past Hladky and put his side ahead against the run of play.
Ipswich continued to have most of the game after the U opened, with Vincent-Young heading in and then becoming a provider with a low cross that Humphreys again couldn’t convert, from a similar position to his luck former.
Town were late at the break, despite the vast majority of play, and came back unchanged for the second half, McKenna resisting the temptation to use one of his five substitutions at the break.
John-Jules had the first opener after the break but couldn’t hit the target as he fired over after Aluko’s corner sparked a danger inside the Colchester penalty area .
Both Jackson and Edwards turned in crosses on goal that were easy for Hornby to muster, as Town continued to dominate possession without testing the Colchester keeper too much, who was called into action shortly afterwards to fend off the Low free kick from Aluko.
Skuse received a warm welcome as he was substituted after the hour mark, before McKenna turned to his bench to make a quadruple change, which saw Wes Burns, Lee Evans, Marcus Harness and Conor Chaplin enter the contest for the last 20 minutes.
The latter was the first participant to have an attempt on goal, spinning wide with an acrobatic effort, but that was as good as it got for the Blues as they were again kicked out of the cup.
Ipswich Town (4-2-3-1): Hladky; Vincent-Young (Burns, 70), Woolfenden, Burgess, Leigh; Humphreys (El Mizouni, 84), Harper (Evans, 70); Edwards, Aluko (Harness, 70), John-Jules; Jackson (Chaplin, 70)
Subtitles: Hayes, Edmundson, Donacien, Penney
Yellow cards: Woolfenden (90+3)
Colchester United (4-2-3-1): Hornby; Tchamadeu, Chambers, Eastman, Kazeem (Tovide 85), Ashley (Clampin, 56), Miranda, Skuse (Coxe, 67), Hannant, Chilvers, Nouble (Akinde, 85)
Subtitles: Collins, Dalison, Newby
Yellow cards: Skuse (38), Ashley (56), Hannant, (76)
Att: 11,654 (1,447 away fans)
Ipswich Town 0-1 Colchester United: Blues eliminated by U’s