Report: Albion 0 Ipswich 2
Ipswich Town completed a league double over Brighton & Hove Albion as two second-half goals condemned Oscar Garcia’s men to defeat.
In front of the biggest American Express Community Stadium crowd of the season, Brighton were the side in control for large periods but Tommy Smith’s header gave Mick McCarthy’s side a 60th minute lead.
Albion chased the game but could not find a breakthrough, and the points were wrapped up for the visitors when Daryl Murphy headed home late on - ending the Seagulls’ four-game unbeaten run.
It was the hosts who almost seized the early advantage when Bruno’s sweeping long ball found a gap in the middle of the Ipswich defence; Jesse Lingard raced through but keeper Dean Gerken was equal to his prodded finish.
Again Bruno was the provider as the Seagulls came close once more, this time the Spaniard delivering from the right only for Leo Ulloa’s header to be gathered by Gerken.
The visitors did have the ball in the back of the net on 24 minutes through Jonathan Williams although the offside flag denied the Tractor Boys the lead. Town then came close when Aaron Cresswell's shot deflected off Bruno and looped up over Tomasz Kuszczak and onto the roof of the net.
Brighton responded as Lingard dragged his shot agonisingly wide after being teed up by Will Buckley, but the sides went in level at the break.
Oscar’s men came flying out the blocks after the re-start; Stephen Ward saw an effort blocked while Jake Forster-Caskey acrobatically shot wide, then Lingard drew an excellent one-handed save out of Gerken.
The Seagulls were on the front foot but it was McCarthy’s men that grabbed the opener on the hour mark. An out-swinging corner from the left was headed back into the danger area by Murphy and Smith made no mistake nodding in from close range in front of the visiting supporters.
Ulloa came within inches of bringing Brighton back on level terms as Lingard’s tantalising cross was glanced painfully wide by the Argentinian.
Oscar’s side began to throw everything at Town, with Ulloa again closest to an equaliser as he headed over from close range.
But, despite the pressure it was the visitors who grabbed that all-important next goal with 10 minutes to play. Some excellent work down the left from Williams created the space before the winger picked out Murphy, who expertly guided his header into the far corner from six yards out.
That goal sealed it for the Suffolk side but the Seagulls will have a chance to swiftly respond with a trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night.