BRIGHTON 3 IPSWICH TOWN 0 - Anti-climactic end to winning streak

IPSWICH Town’s winning streak came to an anti-climactic end with a 3-0 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion this afternoon – though the scoreline was rather flattering for the hosts.

Craig Mackail-Smith converted a low ball across the face of goal in the 20th minute to give the hosts the edge in what had been an even first half.

And just as Town looked like they might be finding a way back into the match after the break, Ashley Barnes swerved home a killer second in the 65th minute.

Barnes then completed his brace a minute from time, coolly finishing after a run and pass from full-back Gonzalo Jara Reyes.

The Blues struggled to match the intensity shown in their previous four victories, though they were by no means second best. Credit also be given to the hosts who passed the ball superbly at times and took their chances at the crucial moments.

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Michael Chopra chipped the stranded keeper in the 14th minute after Lee Martin had chased down a short back pass, but home skipper Gordon Greer was there to head off the line.

And it was the latter’s raking cross-field ball which set the impressive Will Buckley scampering down the right six minutes later, his low cross converted by the late-arriving Mackail-Smith.

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Brighton’s midfield trio of Liam Bridcutt, Abdul Razak and Alan Navarro were keeping the ball expertly and Mackail-Smith headed a corner against the bar.

However, the Blues enjoyed an encouraging spell going into the interval and Chopra forced a corner home soon after the restart – only for the referee to deem he had handled just before.

With Brighton having played out a gruelling 0-0 draw at Hull on Wednesday night, hope began to grow that Town could take advantage of their fresher legs.

However, a poor kick from keeper Arran Lee-Barrett was seized upon by Bridcutt, he quickly slipped it forwards to the on-rushing Barnes who did superbly to hit a swerving first time shot into the bottom right-hand corner.

Brighton almost grabbed another goal moments later when Buckley span Tommy Smith expertly in the box, only to blaze over the bar.

Town continued to remain very much in the game, with Carlos Edwards seeing a goalbound effort blocked by the lunging Bridcutt.

Brighton then added a slightly misrepresentative feel to the scoreline when Barnes coolly side-footed home in the 89th minute.

- Reaction to follow.

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION (4-3-3): Brezovan; Reyes, Greer, El-Abd, Mattock; Bridcutt, Navarro, Razak (Lua Lua 89); Barnes, Buckley (Assulin 79), Mackail-Smith (Vokes 79).

Subs: Ankergren; Calderon.

IPSWICH TOWN (4-2-3-1): Lee-Barrett; Edwards, Delaney, Smith, Cresswell; Drury, Hyam (Leadbitter 64); Emmanuel-Thomas, Martin, Murphy (Scotland 72); Chopra.

Subs: McCarthy; Sonko; Bullard.

Attendance: 20,490 (2,429 away)

Referee: Colin Webster

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