Brighton settle for stalemate
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Middlesbrough 1
Middlesbrough's fourth successive 1-1 draw ensured that the Championship play-off positions remain as tight as ever. These two teams are level on points, separated only by five goals, so stalemate was predictable in an increasingly congested area of the League table, even though both sides went out for the victory.
"I don't want to draw any more games," Gus Poyet, the Brighton manager, said. "We need to win three or four games to be in the play-offs, but it was a very difficult game so we take the draw and move on. I'm a fan of Tony Mowbray's teams and the pressure was different to what we're used to. But we're still there. If you'd said last year we'd be competing with Middlesbrough at this level I'd have been happy."
Boro are without a victory in six games and seem to have mislaid the knack of winning at the worst possible time, but Mowbray, remained positive. "Bar Reading and Southampton, nobody is stringing results together in this League," he said. "It's very tight. The fine margins are there for everyone to see. Against a talented team we could have won and maybe should have won."
Brighton made the better first-half chances, but Boro attacked more than most visitors to the Amex Stadium, led by Barry Robson, their captain. After 61 minutes he flighted a corner kick to the near post where Marvin Emnes failed to make contact and the ball looped in off Liam Bridcutt – the unfortunate midfield player's third own goal of the year.
The visitors were almost two ahead after 71 minutes when a low shot on the turn by Lukas Jutkiewicz rebounded from the post. Instead the scores were level scarcely 60 seconds later as Brighton full-back Inigo Calderon headed home Kazenga LuaLua's corner kick, his second goal in three games.
"Two teams who want to create chances score from corners," Poyet said. "Strange."
Brighton (4-2-1-3): Brezovan; Calderon, Greer, El-Abd, Mattock; Bridcutt, Navarro; Vicente; Buckley (LuaLua, 69), Vokes, Barnes (Mackail-Smith, 68).
Middlesbrough (4-3-3): Steele; Hoyte, Hines, McManus, Bennett; Smallwood, Bailey, Arca; Jutkiewicz (Ogbeche, 84), Robson, Emnes (McDonald, 70).
Referee Darren Deadman.
Man of the match Robson (Middlesbrough).
Match rating 7/10.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal are so close to winning the Premier League, but sometimes Arsene Wenger holds them back, says Jamie Carragher
Arsenal transfer news: Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini set for showdown summer talks over future
David Beckham reveals secret of his success: I 'stayed in to watch Match of the Day' rather than go out with friends on a Saturday night
Real Madrid vs Juventus preview: Juventus know they must attack to match past European glory
Two new members of Floyd Mayweather's The Money Team blag their way into entourage to celebrate to celebrate with Justin Bieber
- 2 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally