JOHN Coleman said sorry to the 155 supporters who travelled to Suffolk for what he called a “diabolical” first half as the Reds were heavily beaten by Ipswich Town.

Coleman’s side were 3-0 down at the break and went on to lose 4-1, prompting the Reds boss to pull no punches at full time.

“I just like to apologise to our fans who came,” he said. “I thought we were absolutely diabolical in the first half. There’s no excuse for it. Lacklustre, no energy, no fight and got wiped the floor with by Ipswich.

“I can’t put my finger on why. We didn’t pass, we didn’t close down, we didn’t challenge and we looked devoid of ideas. We were awful.

“I’m in charge of this team so I have to take the blame for that as well. It was a little bit better in the second half but I don’t know how much Ipswich eased off. They were very good. I’ m not going to take anything away from them.”

Stanley went to Portman Road for the first time in their history to face a Town team winless in their last dozen matches but started poorly and never really recovered.

Paul Lambert’s side opened the scoring early as Luke Garbutt found Luke Woolfenden and he crossed low into the six yard box for former Stanley striker Kayden Jackson to slide the ball home from close range.

Moments later the usually prolific James Norwood produced a fresh air shot when well placed to make it two but the tone was set for the home team to attack and the visitors to be run ragged.

A second duly arrived just before the half hour when an up and under from Emyr Huws sent Norwood in behind, goalkeeper Joe Bursik decided to come out but then stopped and retreated to the edge of his box and Norwood deftly lobbed the Stoke loanee from 20 yards.

Despite the return from injury of striker Colby Bishop Stanley posed little threat of their own, with Sam Finley shooting wide in a rare attack.

Instead it was the 17000 strong home crowd on their feet as Norwood missed another good chance and Bursik did well to deny Jackson as they looked to put the game beyond doubt.

And they soon did just that when Norwood’s right wing cross was flicked by Luke Chambers, the ball seemed to ricochet off Seamus Conneely and Alan Judge chopped in a third goal with his left foot.

It was a miserable Stanley display and the players returned for the second half with Coleman’s displeasure doubtless ringing in their ears.

The sides exchanged chances in the second half with Jackson having a shot blocked by Callum Johnson before Norwood headed wide and then forced a save from Bursik with another header, while Dion Charles and Finley efforts were deflected off target at the other end before sub Offrande Zanzala was caught in the area by James Wilson and ref Charles Breakspear pointed to the penalty spot.

Zanzala wanted to take the kick himself but regular taker Bishop was still on the pitch, leading to the unedifying spectacle of players squabbling as captain Seamus Conneely stepped in to mediate. Zanzala prevailed and scored, sending Will Norris the wrong way.

But it was little consolation as Ipswich added their fourth in stoppage time.

Aji Alese’s miskick on the edge of his own area presented the ball to substitute Will Keane and the sub’s routine looking shot squirmed under Bursik at his near post.