Brighton claimed their first win in six Championship games as they comfortably beat Ipswich.

The Seagulls went ahead when Dean Hammond headed in Andrea Orlandi's corner, before Craig Mackail-Smith scored from Ashley Barnes's flick-on.

Brighton extended their lead as Gary Dicker's pass picked out Wayne Bridge, who unleashed a superb strike from 35 yards past Town's Stephen Henderson.

Ipswich's best chance fell to Daryl Murphy but his shot was saved.

The hosts had won five of their last seven games, while Brighton failed to record a victory in December.

However, Brighton created the best chances at Portman Road and Southampton loanee Hammond gave the visitors a 15th-minute lead.

Mackail-Smith then doubled his side's advantage with his 11th goal of the season as he out-paced Aaron Cresswell and produced a fine shot that went in off the post.

Brighton goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak, making his 100th English league appearance, denied Murphy, while Lee Martin and Guirane N'Daw wasted good chances for Ipswich.

But a spectacular finish from Bridge sealed Brighton's victory, which takes them back up to ninth, three points off a Championship play-off place.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy:

"We didn't play particularly well but I'd have taken seven points from our games (over Christmas).

"I always look at the bigger picture. I was brought in to keep the club in the league and pick up points and that's what we're trying to do.

"The way the players have gone about their business has been amazing.

"To have got us 30 points by 1 January is terrific. They've been remarkable and it's been a great turnaround."

Brighton manager Gus Poyet:

"I don't know if we'll go up but if we don't make the top six, it'll be a shame.

"We've got an absolutely incredible opportunity and if we don't make it, we won't have anyone to blame apart from ourselves.

"This was a much-needed win. A few weeks ago we had 27 shots, 17 of them on target, and only scored one goal, but today we hit the target three times and scored three goals."

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Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:25 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +5:00

Close range effort by Will Hoskins goes over the bar.

90:00 +3:08

The ball is swung over by Carlos Edwards, clearance made by Liam Bridcutt.

90:00 +2:16

Bradley Orr crosses the ball, save by Tomasz Kuszczak.

90:00 +1:58

Will Hoskins challenges Nigel Reo-Coker unfairly and gives away a free kick. Nigel Reo-Coker restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +0:35

The ball is swung over by Aaron Cresswell, save made by Tomasz Kuszczak.

89:37

Lee Martin takes a shot. Adam El-Abd gets a block in.

89:05

Carlos Edwards crosses the ball, Liam Bridcutt manages to make a clearance.

84:32 Substitution

Substitution Stephen Dobbie on for Craig Mackail-Smith.

83:56

The ball is swung over by Aaron Cresswell, clearance by Gordon Greer.

83:04

The offside flag is raised against Craig Mackail-Smith. Stephen Henderson takes the indirect free kick.

82:32

Effort on goal by Lee Martin from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

81:07

The offside flag is raised against Craig Mackail-Smith. Free kick taken by Luke Chambers.

79:23 Substitution

Substitution Andrea Orlandi leaves the field to be replaced by Will Hoskins.

78:11

Aaron Cresswell crosses the ball, Adam El-Abd manages to make a clearance. Bradley Orr decides to take a short corner.

75:45

Lee Martin sends in a cross. Tomasz Kuszczak fouled by Michael Chopra, the ref awards a free kick. Tomasz Kuszczak restarts play with the free kick.

75:19

Free kick awarded for a foul by Adam El-Abd on Michael Chopra. Direct free kick taken by Michael Chopra.

75:07

A cross is delivered by Bradley Orr, clearance made by Moreno David Lopez.

74:39

Andrea Orlandi challenges Nigel Reo-Coker unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Luke Hyam.

72:12

Andrea Orlandi fouled by Luke Chambers, the ref awards a free kick. Moreno David Lopez delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, blocked by Nigel Reo-Coker.

70:11 Substitution

Substitution Luke Hyam replaces Guirane N'Daw.

69:18

The ball is sent over by Nigel Reo-Coker.

68:30

The ball is swung over by Guirane N'Daw, Gordon Greer manages to make a clearance.

68:12

Lee Martin fouled by Ashley Barnes, the ref awards a free kick. Guirane N'Daw takes the free kick.

66:55

Gary Dicker provided the assist for the goal.

66:55 Goal scored

Goal! - Wayne Bridge - Ipswich 0 - 3 Brighton Goal scored by Wayne Bridge from 35 yards. Ipswich 0-3 Brighton.

65:51

Foul by Ashley Barnes on Tommy Smith, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Henderson.

65:06

Liam Bridcutt takes a shot.

63:54

Moreno David Lopez takes the direct free kick.

63:54 Substitution

Substitution DJ Campbell leaves the field to be replaced by Jason Scotland.

63:54 Substitution

Substitution Daryl Murphy leaves the field to be replaced by Michael Chopra.

63:54

Foul by Guirane N'Daw on Liam Bridcutt, free kick awarded.

61:57

Lee Martin crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing.

61:57 Booking

Booking Caution for Adam El-Abd.

60:22 Booking

Booking Liam Bridcutt receives a yellow card.

60:17

Unfair challenge on Lee Martin by Liam Bridcutt results in a free kick.

59:08

Free kick awarded for a foul by Gordon Greer on Daryl Murphy. Free kick taken by Aaron Cresswell. A cross is delivered by Lee Martin, Tomasz Kuszczak makes a save.

58:25

Lee Martin takes a shot. Liam Bridcutt gets a block in.

56:15

The ball is crossed by Carlos Edwards, clearance by Ashley Barnes.

55:35

Free kick awarded for a foul by Gary Dicker on Guirane N'Daw. Nigel Reo-Coker takes the direct free kick.

54:57

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ashley Barnes on Aaron Cresswell. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Henderson.

54:07 Substitution

Substitution Kazenga LuaLua goes off and Gary Dicker comes on.

52:46

A cross is delivered by Carlos Edwards, Gordon Greer makes a clearance. Guirane N'Daw produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses left.

51:30

Corner taken right-footed by Lee Martin, Aaron Cresswell takes a shot. Ashley Barnes gets a block in.

48:41

Moreno David Lopez produces a cross, Tommy Smith makes a clearance.

47:01

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Lee Martin from the left by-line, Ashley Barnes makes a clearance.

45:28

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on DJ Campbell by Liam Bridcutt. Shot comes in from Aaron Cresswell from the free kick,

45:01

The second half has started.

45:00 +1:11 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

44:42

Centre by Daryl Murphy, Gordon Greer makes a clearance.

43:57

Daryl Murphy has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses right.

42:11

Effort from just outside the area by Lee Martin goes over the target.

41:42

The ball is swung over by Carlos Edwards, clearance made by Adam El-Abd.

41:00

Centre by Aaron Cresswell, Wayne Bridge makes a clearance.

38:31

Inswinging corner taken by Andrea Orlandi from the right by-line, Craig Mackail-Smith concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen Henderson. Stephen Henderson takes the free kick.

36:42

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Liam Bridcutt by Daryl Murphy. Free kick taken by Tomasz Kuszczak.

34:44

Lee Martin sends in a cross, Dean Hammond manages to make a clearance. Aaron Cresswell produces a cross, clearance by Adam El-Abd. The ball is crossed by Lee Martin, save by Tomasz Kuszczak.

33:39

Assist by Ashley Barnes.

33:39 Goal scored

Goal! - Craig Mackail-Smith - Ipswich 0 - 2 Brighton Craig Mackail-Smith gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Ipswich 0-2 Brighton.

33:14

A cross is delivered by Carlos Edwards, save made by Tomasz Kuszczak.

30:12

The ball is delivered by Aaron Cresswell, Tomasz Kuszczak gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken by Lee Martin from the left by-line, Tomasz Kuszczak makes a clearance. Corner taken right-footed by Lee Martin, clearance made by Gordon Greer.

28:44

The ball is swung over by Aaron Cresswell, Tomasz Kuszczak makes a comfortable save.

28:14

Lee Martin fouled by Andrea Orlandi, the ref awards a free kick. Aaron Cresswell restarts play with the free kick.

27:40

The referee penalises Kazenga LuaLua for handball. Stephen Henderson restarts play with the free kick.

26:10

Inswinging corner taken by Andrea Orlandi from the right by-line, clearance by Daryl Murphy.

25:13

Guirane N'Daw crosses the ball, clearance by Kazenga LuaLua.

24:43

Foul by Ashley Barnes on Nigel Reo-Coker, free kick awarded. Nigel Reo-Coker takes the free kick.

23:15

Centre by Bradley Orr, Kazenga LuaLua makes a clearance.

21:31

Corner taken right-footed by Lee Martin, save by Tomasz Kuszczak.

20:22

Centre by Aaron Cresswell, clearance by Gordon Greer. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Lee Martin from the left by-line, clearance by Moreno David Lopez.

17:09

Centre by Andrea Orlandi, clearance made by Luke Chambers. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Moreno David Lopez, Liam Bridcutt takes a shot. Tommy Smith manages to make a clearance.

15:32

The official flags Craig Mackail-Smith offside. Stephen Henderson restarts play with the free kick.

14:05

Andrea Orlandi provided the assist for the goal.

14:05 Goal scored

Goal! - Dean Hammond - Ipswich 0 - 1 Brighton Dean Hammond finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close range. Ipswich 0-1 Brighton.

13:31

Ashley Barnes produces a cross, blocked by Luke Chambers. Andrea Orlandi takes the inswinging corner,

13:00

Guirane N'Daw concedes a free kick for a foul on Wayne Bridge. Direct free kick taken by Wayne Bridge.

11:03

Corner taken by Lee Martin. Shot from just outside the box by Nigel Reo-Coker goes over the bar.

10:34

The ball is sent over by Lee Martin, save made by Tomasz Kuszczak.

9:48

DJ Campbell concedes a free kick for a foul on Liam Bridcutt. Liam Bridcutt takes the direct free kick.

9:27

Guirane N'Daw gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dean Hammond. Direct free kick taken by Andrea Orlandi.

9:02

Daryl Murphy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Adam El-Abd. Gordon Greer takes the direct free kick.

8:19

The ball is delivered by Craig Mackail-Smith, Luke Chambers makes a clearance.

5:07

A cross is delivered by Aaron Cresswell, blocked by Dean Hammond.

4:43

Foul by Kazenga LuaLua on Carlos Edwards, free kick awarded. Nigel Reo-Coker takes the free kick.

3:58

Moreno David Lopez delivers the ball, save by Stephen Henderson.

2:17

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kazenga LuaLua by Bradley Orr. Free kick crossed right-footed by Moreno David Lopez from left wing, Luke Chambers makes a clearance. Corner taken left-footed by Andrea Orlandi from the right by-line, clearance made by Bradley Orr.

0:34

Gordon Greer takes the free kick.

0:34 Booking

Booking Lee Martin shown a yellow card.

0:31

Moreno David Lopez fouled by Lee Martin, the ref awards a free kick.

0:00

The referee gets the game underway.

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