It may not have been the most exhilarating game, but Brighton came away with a point from Ipswich, a point which could be crucial come the end of the season. In a game of few chances, neither team could take them when, and if they came, with both defences on top throughout.
Ipswich started off brightly, and had the first chance when Cole Skuse tested David Stockdale with a low effort, which the Albion keeper managed to parry away to safety before recovering to pick it up. Ipswich broke out quickly after Dale Stephens had been fouled, but the free-kick not given, and Jonas Knudsen’s effort hit the side netting of Stockdale’s goal; Stephens getting a yellow card for dissent soon after. Josh Emmanuel was in the thick of things, when he turned the ball around the post from a dangerous Bruno cross in the 2nd half. From the resulting corner, Shane Duffy blasted over when the ball feel to his feet after a bit of pinball in the box. Stephens was Mae to pay for his earlier actions, when he made a reckless challenge on Johnathan Douglas, and got himself a 2nd yellow card. After a spell of Ipswich pressure, Brighton’s defences held strong and managed to hold out to keep a fourth straight league clean sheet.
Stockdale (7); Only real work was saving Skuse’s low driving shot in the first half, other than that it was business as usual for the Albion stopper.
Bruno (7); Rarely troubled and controlled the ball easily; had a solid game defensively too.
Duffy (8); Much more like the player from his Blackburn days. Completly smothered Best and anything that came within his vicinity.
Dunk (7); The partnership is starting to strike at the heart of oppositions attackers. Commanding performance again, against Best and Sears when he replaced the former midway through the 2nd half.
Pocognoli (7); Not a bad league debut for the on-loan West Brom man. Had a tricky evening against Emmanuel, but nothing he couldn’t handle.
Knockaert (6); Had a couple out-of-your-seat moments, but it was a generally frustrating evening for the Frenchman.
Stephens (6); Up until the 2nd yellow, he was probably one of the better players on the pitch. Moved the ball quickly and effectively, but will be dissapointed with both the yellows he received.
Norwood (6); Unlike Kayal, Norwood’s first instinct is to play forward, and in most games that would be enough to grab you a goal, but in a tight and defensively minded game, it didn’t play out for him. Will be interesting to see what he does on Saturday.
Skalak (5); Very quiet for most of the match, and rightly taken off with him sitting in Emmanuel’s pocket.
Murray (6); Involved in a few chances, but not enough for him to make an impact. Gave Bialkowski a scare early on with his dipping long-range volley in the first half.
Hemed (6); Not much was seen of him, but looked better in the 2nd half, and was at the heart of Brighon’s counter-attacks.
Sidwell (6); Good performance from the veteran up top, before he was drafted into midfield with Stephens’s red card.
Murphy (6); Added a bit more energy to the team, and kept Emmanuel at bay better than Skalak, but not much to offer.
ITFC - BHAFC;
Att; 15,228 (568 Brighton)