Chopra ends goal drought as Town make it four unbeaten

MICHAEL Chopra fired a fantastic double as Ipswich Town came from behind to beat Brighton 3-1 at a sun-drenched Portman Road.

The striker scored his first goals since the opening day of the season – just as it looked like Brighton were about to claim an unlikely victory.

The home side dominated the first 45 minutes but had to be content with going in at the interval goalless, despite fashioning a plethora of chances.

They almost got off to a flyer when Jimmy Bullard’s flick goalwards landed on top of the net before Grant Leadbitter’s chip went just wide of the far post.

The outstanding Carlos Edwards was at the heart of everything that was good about the home team’s play but the goal still wouldn’t come as Chopra’s first time volley was parried by Casper Ankergren.

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Bullard and Leadbitter had shots from distance before Lee Bowyer was only able to sidefoot wide from a good position.

But Town went behind in the 54th minute in controversial fashion – and to Brighton’s first shot on target,

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Chopra seemed to be fouled by Gary Dicker but the referee waved play on allowing Vicente a run from the halfway line.

The Spaniard turned Jimmy Bullard before firing the ball into the top corner past the stranded David Stockdale.

It was a great striker, but a goal out of nothing and one the visitors scarcely deserved.

To the Blues’ credit, they maintained their composure and confidence.

But it took a cracker from Chopra to get them back on level terms shortly before the hour mark, the number 10 having too much time to cut inside and curl the ball beautifully off the far post.

Buoyed by a fantastic noise from the home support, Town took the lead with 20 minutes left when Ibrahima Sonko rose unmarked at the far post to head home Jimmy Bullard’s corner.

And the points were made safe when Brighton failed to learn their lessons just two minutes later, Chopra allowed space to strike true and hard into Ankergren’s far post to send the Blues ever closer to the top six going into the international break.

Starting line-ups

Ipswich Town: Stockdale; Edwards, Sonko, Collins, Cresswell; Edwards, Andrews, Bullard, Leadbitter, Bowyer (Emmanuel-Thomas); Chopra (Wabara), Scotland (Ellington). Subs: Lee-Barrett, Wabara, Delaney, Emmanuel-Thomas, Ellington.

Brighton: Ankergren; Calderon, Greer, Vincelot, Painter; Navarro (Noone), Bridcutt, Vicente (Harley), Dicker (Hoskins); Mackail-Smith, Barnes. Subs: Brezovan, Hoskins, Noone, Harley, Cook,

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