Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 3, Ipswich Town 2.
Struggling Brighton dented Ipswich's promotion bid with an impressive victory at the Amex Stadium.
Third-placed Ipswich could have gone top with a win, but they were blown away by three first-half goals.
Sam Baldock opened the scoring when he cut in and blasted home a superb effort, before Ipswich's Daryl Murphy levelled at the near post.
Joao Teixeira scored a brace inside seven minutes and Brighton held on despite Freddie Sears' late strike.
Teixeira, who is on loan from Liverpool, had not scored since September until his timely intervention against the Tractor Boys.
His first, which put the hosts 2-1 up, saw him take on four defenders before cutting in onto his right foot and scoring with a deflected shot from just outside the box.
He doubled his tally for the evening on the stroke of half-time when he powered home a low shot following a good cross from Joe Bennett.
Brighton continued to look bright in the second half, but they could not add to their lead and were given a nervous final few minutes when Sears broke through and finished clinically.
However, Chris Hughton's side held on for their first win at the Amex in the Championship since 4 November.
Brighton manager Chris Hughton, whose side play Arsenal in the FA Cup on Sunday:
"It is a nice way to take us into Sunday. Up to now, I hadn't even thought about Sunday's game.
"It will certainly be a good feeling to go into the tie on the back of a good win and a good performance.
"I am most delighted with the three points. I know Mick McCarthy well and his assistant Terry Connor but the most important thing was the three points."
Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy:
"We have to give Brighton a lot of credit.
"It was not going to be easy. Brighton played well in the first half and we didn't do well with the goals we conceded.
"We've had one or two players missing through illness and injury and perhaps Brighton have gone up a couple of percent because they are playing us."
- 13StockdaleBooked at 90mins
- 17Vilaca TeixeiraSubstituted forMarchat 86'minutes
- 11O'GradySubstituted forBestat 77'minutes
- 11AndersonSubstituted forSearsat 50'minutes
- 18TabbSubstituted forHuntat 74'minutes
- 17BruBooked at 90mins
- 16HuntBooked at 58minsSubstituted forBishopat 65'minutes
- Keith Stroud
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 3, Ipswich Town 2.
Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Íñigo Calderón tries a through ball, but Leon Best is caught offside.
Kevin Bru (Ipswich Town) is shown the yellow card.
Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Tyrone Mings.
Attempt missed. Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Kevin Bru with a cross.
Foul by Leon Best (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Hand ball by Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town).
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Solly March replaces João Teixeira.
Attempt missed. Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.
Attempt blocked. Sam Baldock (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by João Teixeira.
Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Leon Best tries a through ball, but Íñigo Calderón is caught offside.
Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Gordon Greer tries a through ball, but Leon Best is caught offside.
Goal! Brighton and Hove Albion 3, Ipswich Town 2. Freddie Sears (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kevin Bru.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Leon Best replaces Chris O'Grady.
Foul by Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Stephen Hunt (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Ipswich Town. Stephen Hunt replaces Jay Tabb.
Attempt blocked. Teddy Bishop (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Luke Chambers.