Winger inspires Seagulls to top of Championship
Previously unbeaten Ipswich were shell-shocked during a woeful first-half performance where they struggled in possession and had no answer to Brighton’s excellent tenacity and quick counter attacking.
The home side improved after the restart with McGoldrick’s introduction at half-time particularly telling.
Sears, the only Ipswich player who deserved praise in the first half, brought hope to the majority inside Portman Road, firing in after Brett Pitman had hit the post.
Then Ryan Fraser was fouled by Bruno inside the area and McGoldrick rolled the spot-kick home.
But the comeback was quickly dampened by Hemed’s header which claimed a deserved three points.
Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy preferred to heap praise on the opposition rather than discuss his side’s below-par first half show.
McCarthy said: “I think Brighton are a very good side, they started well and were the better team.
“In the first half they were excellent – you have to give them credit. But I thought our response in the second half was great.
“Then their third goal came off a deflected cross which wrong-footed my defenders, though we also made a few little errors leading up to it. Now we know what everyone else in the league feels like.”
Hughton dedicated the three points to the memory of club employee Matt Grimstone and supporter Jacob Schilt, who both lost their lives in the Shoreham air crash while travelling to play in a game for Non-League Worthing United.
He said: “The club has done an incredible job in helping the local police and everyone wanted to do well for Matt and Jacob.”
SEARING START: Freddie Sears nets the Ipswich opener