REPORT: IPSWICH 2 ALBION 0
Two goals in the final 11 minutes gave Ipswich Town a 2-0 win and condemned Brighton & Hove Albion to a second away defeat in four days.
The hosts were more than indebted to their goalkeeper Dean Gerken, who produced a collection of saves to keep the Seagulls at bay, before Jonathan Parr’s tap in and Daryl Murphy’s exquisite strike claimed the points for the Tractor Boys.
Sami Hyypia made four changes to the side that was defeated at Brentford, with recalls for Rohan Ince, Craig Mackail-Smith, Jake Forster-Caskey and Bruno in place of Adrian Colunga, Joao Teixeira, Inigo Calderon and Andrew Crofts.
Albion started brightly, just as they had done at the weekend at Griffin Park, but it was the hosts who came closest to an opener as Paul Anderson’s header across goal failed to find a team-mate, before the midfielder glanced a header wide moments later.
Danny Holla, fresh from his first Brighton goal at the weekend, responded with a low drive from outside the box which was well held by Gerken while Murphy lofted the ball over David Stockdale and the bar from close range.
Gerken then showed a strong right hand to push Sam Baldock’s low goal-bound drive away while David McGoldrick couldn’t find the target at the other end with his curling free-kick from 20 yards.
Five minutes after the break Gerken produced another good stop from a close range header inside the box, with both Lewis Dunk and Mackail-Smith challenging for the ball.
The pace of the game picked up, as did the atmosphere, and once more it was the Tractor Boys’ goalie keeping Albion at bay as Kazenga LuaLua’s shot was parried to safety.
Stockdale was proving just as hard to beat up the other end and he showed excellent reactions to push away Tyrone Mings’s close-range flick, while both Forster-Caskey and Holla fired off target for Albion.
Stockdale made a smart low save to prevent Mings again at the near post, but despite making another good stop to deny Jay Tabb there was nothing the Seagulls keeper could do to prevent Parr from tapping home.
Albion brought Teixeira on as they searched for a response, but Murphy’s expertly taken half-volley from distance made it a repeat of last year’s scoreline.