Ashley Barnes netted a brace as Brighton extended their unbeaten run in the Championship to nine matches.

Craig Mackail-Smith opened the scoring on his 28th birthday from close range before Barnes fired in from 25 yards and then wrapped it up with a second.

Ipswich - who had won their last four - saw a Michael Chopra effort ruled out for handball.

Brighton move up to seventh, level on points with Cardiff who occupy the final play-off place.

After weathering an early assault on their goal from Ipswich, Mackail-Smith broke the deadlock when he latched on to Will Buckley's first-time low cross from the right.

The former Peterborough striker nearly doubled his tally but, after getting away from his marker, he could only head against the crossbar from Buckley's corner.

Chopra thought he had levelled proceedings at the start of the second half but the striker was penalised for bringing down Lee Martin's corner with his hand.

Barnes doubled Brighton's lead when a poor clearance from Town goalkeeper Arran Lee-Barrett was collected by Liam Bridcutt and he picked out Barnes, who cut in from the left and expertly curled home.

And Barnes ensured there would be no way back for the visitors with a low finish from Gonzalo Jara Reyes' right-wing cross.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (5)

Brighton

  • 01 Brezovan
  • 02 Mattock
  • 03 Greer
  • 06 El-Abd
  • 36 Jara Booked
  • 08 Navarro
  • 26 Bridcutt
  • 28 Razak (LuaLua - 90' )
  • 30 Buckley (Assulin - 78' )
  • 09 Barnes
  • 12 Mackail-Smith (Vokes - 79' )

Substitutes

  • 16 Ankergren
  • 14 Calderon
  • 25 LuaLua
  • 13 Assulin
  • 24 Vokes

Ipswich

  • 12 Lee-Barrett
  • 03 Cresswell
  • 05 Delaney Booked
  • 20 Smith
  • 07 Edwards
  • 09 E'-Thomas
  • 11 Martin
  • 17 Drury
  • 19 Hyam Booked (Leadbitter - 64' )
  • 10 Chopra Booked
  • 27 Murphy (Scotland - 72' )

Substitutes

  • 32 McCarthy
  • 31 Sonko
  • 06 Leadbitter
  • 21 Bullard
  • 14 Scotland
Ref: Webster
Att: 20,490

Match Stats

Shots

6 6

On target

3 5

Corners

3 5

Fouls

7 8

Live Text Commentary

93:55 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +1:01

Short corner taken by Kazenga LuaLua.

89:27

The assistant referee flags for offside against Sam Vokes. Indirect free kick taken by Tommy Smith.

89:01 Substitution

Substitution (Brighton) makes a substitution, with Kazenga LuaLua coming on for Abdul Razak.

87:58

Assist by Gonzalo Jara Reyes.

87:58 Goal scored

Goal! - Ashley Barnes - Brighton 3 - 0 Ipswich Ashley Barnes grabs a goal from inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Brighton 3-0 Ipswich.

85:27

Carlos Edwards takes a shot. Clearance made by Adam El-Abd.

84:41

Foul by Adam El-Abd on Jason Scotland, free kick awarded. Carlos Edwards restarts play with the free kick.

84:03

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Peter Brezovan takes the free kick.

82:31

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ashley Barnes on Carlos Edwards. Carlos Edwards takes the direct free kick.

77:48

The free kick is delivered right-footed by Andy Drury from left channel, clearance made by Gordon Greer.

77:48 Substitution

Substitution Sam Vokes on for Craig Mackail-Smith.

77:48 Substitution

Substitution Will Buckley leaves the field to be replaced by Gai Assulin.

77:48 Booking

Booking Gonzalo Jara Reyes receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

77:32

Gonzalo Jara Reyes gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Chopra.

74:59 Booking

Booking Booking for Damien Delaney.

74:56

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Craig Mackail-Smith by Damien Delaney. Free kick taken by Liam Bridcutt.

71:41 Substitution

Substitution Jason Scotland is brought on as a substitute for Daryl Murphy.

71:05

Outswinging corner taken by Andy Drury.

69:36

The assistant referee signals for offside against Craig Mackail-Smith. Carlos Edwards restarts play with the free kick.

68:10

Peter Brezovan takes the direct free kick.

68:10 Booking

Booking Michael Chopra is booked.

68:04

Michael Chopra concedes a free kick for a foul on Gonzalo Jara Reyes.

66:37

Effort on goal by Will Buckley from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.

64:33

Assist by Liam Bridcutt.

64:33 Goal scored

Goal! - Ashley Barnes - Brighton 2 - 0 Ipswich Ashley Barnes gets on the score sheet with a fantastic goal from outside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Brighton 2-0 Ipswich.

63:19 Substitution

Substitution Grant Leadbitter replaces Luke Hyam.

59:46

Free kick awarded for a foul by Lee Martin on Abdul Razak. Direct free kick taken by Gordon Greer.

59:23

Andy Drury fouled by Liam Bridcutt, the ref awards a free kick. Andy Drury takes the direct free kick.

53:15

Corner taken short by Will Buckley.

49:45

Will Buckley fouled by Lee Martin, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Alan Navarro.

46:29

Lee Martin takes a inswinging corner. The referee gives a free kick against Michael Chopra for handball. Indirect free kick taken by Peter Brezovan.

45:01

The game restarts for the second half.

45:00 +0:52 Half time

Half Time The match has reached half-time.

43:48

Unfair challenge on Ashley Barnes by Damien Delaney results in a free kick. Liam Bridcutt restarts play with the free kick.

42:43

Lee Martin has an effort at goal from long range that misses to the right of the target.

41:25

Lee Martin takes a shot. Peter Brezovan makes a save.

40:26

Andy Drury takes the inswinging corner, Joe Mattock manages to make a clearance.

39:21

Ashley Barnes concedes a free kick for a foul on Andy Drury. Damien Delaney restarts play with the free kick.

36:20

Outswinging corner taken by Andy Drury from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Ashley Barnes.

35:24

Abdul Razak fouled by Luke Hyam, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Gonzalo Jara Reyes.

33:48

Free kick taken by Liam Bridcutt.

33:48 Booking

Booking Luke Hyam receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

33:42

Foul by Luke Hyam on Will Buckley, free kick awarded.

31:07

Will Buckley takes the inswinging corner, Craig Mackail-Smith takes a shot.

28:18

Luke Hyam takes a shot. Save by Peter Brezovan.

26:24

The assistant referee flags for offside against Will Buckley. Free kick taken by Damien Delaney.

19:03

Will Buckley provided the assist for the goal.

19:03 Goal scored

Goal! - Craig Mackail-Smith - Brighton 1 - 0 Ipswich Craig Mackail-Smith grabs a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. Brighton 1-0 Ipswich.

15:49

Corner taken by Andy Drury from the right by-line to the near post.

13:20

Michael Chopra takes a shot. Gordon Greer makes a clearance.

11:30

Effort from outside the area by Abdul Razak goes wide right of the goal.

6:35

Unfair challenge on Abdul Razak by Daryl Murphy results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Gordon Greer.

5:56

The offside flag is raised against Ashley Barnes. Arran Lee-Barrett takes the indirect free kick.

5:00

The offside flag is raised against Craig Mackail-Smith. Arran Lee-Barrett restarts play with the free kick.

2:31

Abdul Razak challenges Lee Martin unfairly and gives away a free kick. Aaron Cresswell takes the direct free kick.

1:36

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas takes a shot. Peter Brezovan makes a save.

0:53

Craig Mackail-Smith challenges Daryl Murphy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Arran Lee-Barrett.

0:00

The game begins.

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