MATCH REPORT: Ipswich Town 2 Brighton 0
Ipswich v Brighton: David McGoldrick scored a quickfire first-half brace as Ipswich Town beat Brighton 2-0 at Portman Road.
The in-form front man broke the deadlock in the 20th minute when his 25-yard shot looped off the back of ex-Blues loanee Keith Andrews and into the top corner.
There was nothing lucky about his second, which arrived four minutes later, the striker leaving Gordan Greer on his backside with a jinking run before sending a crisp low shot beyond Tomasz Kuszczak.
Ipswich have now won three home games in a row – four from five this season – with Brighton’s six-game unbeaten run coming to an end.
The Seagulls had started well, Andrew Crofts firing wide from a golden position in the eighth minute, but their confidence drained after Town’s two goals came from nowhere.
McGoldrick poked a difficult chance just over the bar at the start of the second half, with the Blues playing some silky football down the left-hand side.
One particular one-touch move, involving Aaron Cresswell, Ryan Tunnicliffe and McGoldrick, was particularly easy on the eye and would have produced goal of the season had it not been for Matt Upson’s last ditch challenge on Cresswell.
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Brighton did briefly find some spark after the introduction of Kazenga LuaLua off the bench.
Christophe Berra produced a fine block on a Crofts shot, while LuaLua lashed an angled effort into the side-netting.
The visitors then had strong penalty appeals waved away when Will Buckley’s shot appeared to strike Tommy Smith’s hands in the box, though the ball did come at him quickly from close-range.
Having ridden the storm, the Blues then comfortably saw the game out, match-winner McGoldrick – who now has five goals in nine league games - given a standing ovation when subbed late on.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Gerken; Chambers, Berra, Smith, Cresswell; Anderson (Edwards 66), Skuse, Hyam, Tunnicliffe; McGoldrick (Wordsworth 86), Murphy (Nouble 66).
Unused subs: Loach, Hewitt, Tabb, Marriott.
BRIGHTON (4-1-2-3): Kuszczak; Calderon, Greer, Upson, Ward; Andrews; Bruno (Forster-Caskey 83), Crofts; Conway (LuaLua 51), Buckley, Barnes.
Unused subs: Ankergren, El-Abd, Ince, March, David.
Attendance: 16,474 (1,186)
Referee: Stephen Martin