McGoldrick double as Seagulls slump
Red-hot David McGoldrick scored twice in four first-half minutes to give Ipswich a 2-0 victory over woeful Brighton.
The Town number 10 scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season, the first taking a deflection off former Ipswich loanee Keith Andrews and then a clinical finish after beating Brighton skipper Gordon Greer.
The visitors, six unbeaten going into the game, offered little, but will point to an Andrew Crofts chance that went begging with the scores goalless and a decent penalty shout in the second half.
Brighton will feel they should have taken the lead with just six minutes on the clock.
Ashley Barnes' pass dissected the home defence and Will Buckley outpaced Aaron Cresswell.
But the smart build-up was not matched by Crofts who poked wide when it seemed easier to score.
Brighton were made to pay for their poor finishing after 20 minutes when Ipswich took the lead out of the blue.
Not for the first time this season, McGoldrick thought nothing of shooting speculatively and the ball nestled in the top corner after taking a deflection off Andrews.
While the opener owed a lot to good fortune, there was nothing lucky about Town's second as in-form McGoldrick doubled their advantage just four minutes later.
Dean Gerken's long clearance was flicked on by Daryl Murphy and the former Nottingham Forest man found himself one-on-one with Greer.
The in-form marksman shaped to shoot, before cutting past the Seagulls skipper and rifling a shot into the far corner with his left foot.
It was McGoldrick's fifth of the season - all at Portman Road - and it left the usually confident Brighton shell-shocked.
The best the visitors could muster was a Barnes shot from the edge of the area that never looked like troubling Gerken's goal.
Just three minutes after the interval, the victory was almost made safe when Ryan Tunnicliffe ran at Inigo Calderon before feeding Murphy.
The Town number nine laid it off neatly to McGoldrick but he could only poke his shot over the bar under pressure.
Brighton offered little and Murphy was unable to direct Aaron Cresswell's corner on target after a fluid period of passing that got the home fans on their feet.
The visitors finally mustered a decent opening in the 64th minute when Christophe Berra initially made a hash of dealing with Kazenga LuaLua's low cross, before getting in a superb block to deny Crofts.
LuaLua, dropped in favour of Craig Conway, was trying to make an impact and he fizzed a shot past the side-netting to remind the buoyant home fans that there was still time for Brighton to rescue something.
And they were denied what looked like a great shout for a penalty in the 73rd minute when Tommy Smith blocked Buckley's shot with his arm - but referee Stephen Martin waved away the appeals.
In truth, Brighton can have little complaints over the balance of the 90 minutes.