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Match Report


Posted Sat 01 Oct 11 at 14:21 PM


A Michael Chopra brace saw Town come from behind to beat Brighton 3-1 at Portman Road.

The striker scored either side of an Ibrahima Sonko header, after Vicente had earlier put the Seagulls in front.

Paul Jewell named the same side that beat West Ham last time out, with the only change seeing new loan signing Reece Wabara replacing Jack Ainsley on the bench.

Town started the game very brightly, with Keith Andrews glancing a header just wide from a Carlos Edwards cross when the game was only a minute old.

Three minutes later and Jimmy Bullard almost scored a bizarre goal, when he reacted to a loose ball by back-heeling the ball back over the 'keeper only to see the ball rise just over the crossbar.

Town were dominating the early stages and Chopra forced a remarkable save out of Casper Ankergren, after he connected with an Edwards cross with a well hit volley.

Chopra's strike partner Jason Scotland went close after 16 minutes. Edwards was again the creator with a driven cross from the right, but Jason Scotland couldn't direct his snapshot towards goal and it went just past the post.

Skipper Grant Leadbitter was linking up well in midfield and after picking up on a loose ball he tried his luck from distance, only to see his drive go over the bar with Ankergren well beaten.

Town were playing some superb football and a well worked move after 35 minutes saw Chopra lay the ball into the path of Lee Bowyer, but the midfielder couldn't add to his midweek strike, as his shot flashed just wide of the goal.

The visitors fashioned their first chance of the half a minute later, but Spanish midfielder Vicente couldn't keep his shot down and David Stockdale in the Town goal watched it sail harmlessly over his bar.

Another good passing move from Town saw Leadbitter pick out Chopra, who cut inside Calderon to shift the ball onto his right foot but he couldn't keep his shot down and the sides went in level at the break.

The second-half started in a similar fashion to the first and Bullard saw a shot from the edge of the box well saved by Ankergren, four minutes after the restart.

However, against the run of play, the visitors took the lead after 53 minutes. Chopra was disposed of the ball in the middle of the park before Vicente ran dangerously into the Town half before cutting inside Bullard and finding the top corner of the net.

Four minutes later and Ashley Barnes should have made it two, after he found himself free in the box, but his header from an Inigo Calderon cross was straight at Stockdale who calmly gathered the ball.

However Town were soon level, with Chopra netting his first goal at Portman Road. The striker cut inside his marker before curling the ball beyond Ankergren and into the net.

The game was becoming a real end-to-end affair and Seagulls' captain Gordon Greer thundered a header towards goal from a Vicente corner that went just over Stockdale's bar.

Town were close to taking the lead after 69 minutes but Andrews' shot was blocked, before Bullard's effort was deflected for a corner.

From that corner Town did go in front, Bullard's centre powerfully headed home at the back post by Sonko after 70 minutes.

Town were in control and were playing some superb football, Andrews releasing Edwards down the right whose low cross was eventually cleared by the visitors under pressure from substitute Nathan Ellington.

Chopra made it three on 73 minutes with a carbon copy strike of his first goal, cutting inside and curling a right foot effort into the far corner.

Brighton did go close with five minutes remaining through Barnes, who turned in the box but his shot was easily saved by Stockdale.

Chopra was replaced with three minutes remaining and he went off to a standing ovation from the Blue Army and new boy Reece Wabara came on in his place to make his Town debut.

The win sees Town close the gap on a Play-Off place to just one point and are next in action a week on Saturday when Blues travel to Cardiff (Oct 15th).

Town: Stockdale, Edwards, Cresswell, Sonko, Collins, Leadbitter, Bowyer (Emmanuel-Thomas 78), Andrews, Bullard, Chopra (Wabara 87), Scotland (Ellington 60). Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Delaney. Booked: Leadbitter, Bowyer.

Brighton: Ankergren, Calerdon, Greer, Vincelot, Painter, Bridcutt, Navarro (Harley 72), Dicker (Hoskins 80), Barnes, Mackail-Smith, Vicente (Noone 72). Subs not used: Brezovan, Hoskins, Cook. Booked: Barnes.


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