The best chance of a forgettable 90 minutes saw Ipswich midfielder Guirane N’Daw’s curling effort crash off the post early on and despite their best efforts Cardiff failed to score in a league game for the first time this season.
The leaders came into this match looking for a fifth straight league win but they were uncharacteristically subdued early on, captain Mark Hudson’s wayward header from a long throw their only chance of note during the opening 25 minutes.
And they were inches away from falling behind to a spectacular strike from N’Daw in the 15th minute. The midfielder tried his luck with a 20-yard thumping left-foot drive that crashed off the woodwork with David Marshall beaten.
It took until the 27th minute for the Bluebirds to carve out another chance, Craig Conway firing over the bar after Craig Bellamy’s pull-back was nudged into his path.
Ipswich on the other hand started brightly as Mick McCarthy’s men looked to chalk up their third successive away win and they began to create more openings as the half wore on, Aaron Mclean forcing Hudson into a smart block and Lee Martin firing wide.
At the other end Carlos Edwards was forced to put the ball past his own post after a Craig Noone run and cross had the Ipswich defence worried for the first time. And the former Brighton winger was on the end of Cardiff’s next half-chance a minute later when Peter Whittingham, back in the side after injury, played a lovely cross across the box which the sliding Noone just failed to connect with.
And on the stroke of half-time Cardiff had comfortably their best chance of the match so far, Hudson rising to meet Bellamy’s ball with a looping header that dropped just past the far post.
With his side’s frontline struggling to break down an Ipswich rearguard that has conceded more away goals than any other team in the division, Malky Mackay made a half-time change and replaced Rudy Gestede with Joe Mason, their matchwinner last time out at Birmingham.
It was his fellow forward Bellamy though who had the first chance of the second half. The Welshman’s effort was well blocked by Luke Chambers when Noone found him inside the box.
It was McCarthy’s turn to swap his strikers on the hour mark with former Bluebird Michael Chopra getting a warm reception as he replaced Mclean. Despite the introduction of fresh legs up front for both sides it was Town right-back Bradley Orr who almost broke the deadlock at the wrong end, heading Aron Gunnarsson’s fine cross on to the roof of his own net.
As the half wore on the home side began to up the ante with Whittingham having a free-kick blocked and Gunnarsson heading just over. With eight minutes to go the visitors broke after a mistake by Andrew Taylor but the left-back quickly made amends, his outstretched foot diverting Edwards’ shot over the bar.
Despite introducing both Tommy Smith and Heidar Helguson, Mackay’s men could not find a way past a stubborn Ipswich side.