Chopra brace sees off Seagulls

Michael Chopra bagged a brace as resurgent Ipswich came from behind to see off Brighton 3-1 in their Championship clash at Portman Road.

Last Updated: 01/10/11 at 17:58

Chopra: At the double for Town

Chopra: At the double for Town

The defeat meant there was to be no celebration for Albion boss Gus Poyet just 24 hours after penning a new five-year contract.

The Suffolk club have a new-found spring in their step having taken 10 points from a possible 12 in their last four Championship outings, coming after losing four of their opening six.

But they had to do it the hard way at Portman Road as former Spain and Valencia winger Vicente Rodriguez curled home a superb 53rd-minute effort to register his first goal for Brighton on what was his first start since his summer switch.

Yet Chopra, at fault for the opener having been dispossessed, redeemed himself with his first goal since the opening day just minutes later.

Centre-back Ibrahima Sonko got in on the act with his first goal in Ipswich colours to put the hosts in front before Chopra grabbed his second of a successful afternoon.

It left Poyet and his Seagulls side nursing a third defeat from their last four games and having conceded three goals in each of their previous three outings.

Both sides made a bright start to proceedings amid an unusually glorious October afternoon but it was the hosts who enjoyed the better chances from the off.

After Jimmy Bullard had seen his early effort land on the roof of the net, Chopra volleyed Carlos Edwards' cross goalwards and forced a great reflex save from Casper Ankergren, who would surely have been beaten had the strike not been fired straight down the middle.

Bullard, Jason Scotland and Grant Leadbitter all tried their luck but failed to seriously test the Seagulls stopper.

The tempo seemed to descend into somewhat of a pre-season encounter amid the summer temperatures.

But the Portman Road crowd were roused in the 28th minute as Chopra's perfectly weighted touch set up Scotland, who saw his shot well blocked by Gordon Greer.

Bowyer, twice, Leadbitter and Keith Andrews all let fly as Town continued to wrack up their tally of shots on goal, which read 11 to one come the half-time whistle following a harmless solitary effort from Vicente.

The opening stages of the second half were a tame affair until Vicente broke the deadlock in stunning fashion.

Chopra was robbed of possession in the middle of the park and the Spaniard charged goalwards, skipped around Bullard and curled a super effort into the top corner from 20 yards.

But Chopra redeemed himself just minutes later with his first goal on home soil since his summer switch from Cardiff, striking home from 25 yards after being given space to pick his spot.

Ashley Barnes, for the second time in three minutes, should really have done better for Brighton with a header from 12 yards.

At the other end, the lively Edwards crossed for Bullard, who saw his shot blocked by Romain Vincelot. And from the resulting Bullard corner, Sonko rose to head Town into a 70th-minute lead.

And it was soon three for Town as Chopra, again afforded too much time, finished well from 12 yards.

Brighton pushed forward as they looked to get back into the game but they failed to seriously test David Stockdale.

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