A 73rd minute Inigo Calderon header held Middlesbrough to a draw at the American Express Community Stadium.
Boro made two changes from the side that drew at Ipswich in midweek, with Stephan McManus back in the side after being re-called from his loan spell at Bristol City and Lukas Jutkiewicz replacing Adam Hammill who dropped to the bench.
The home side were the first to have an attempt on goal when left-back Joe Mattock collected a ball from Sam Vokes and hit a powerful shot goal-wards, which was well parried by Jason Steele. The Teesiders nearly hit back when Barry Robson’s free-kick curled goal-wards, but the Scotland international’s effort couldn’t dip quickly enough and crept over the Brighton bar.
Up the other end Brighton winger Vicente’s free-kick took a massive deflection off the defensive wall and, much to Jason Steele’s relief, landed just wide of the Boro goal. The Seagulls came close again shortly after when Will Buckley’s corner was flicked on to the post by Adam El-Abd as they attempted to take control of the game.
This shocked Boro in to action and they came close when Lukas Jutkiewicz charged forward, but his drilled effort went straight in to the hands of Brezovan.
It was Marvin Emnes however that had the first opportunity of the second half. The Dutchman shifted the ball well before striking just wide of the target.
Vicente then tried from a similar range moments later for the hosts but Steele got down well to deny him.
Tony Mowbray’s men did eventually take the lead however, as stand-in Captain Robson whipped in a corner from the left and Boro top-scorer Emnes flicked in at the near post to score his 16th goal of the season and send the 2072 visiting fans in to raptures.
Emnes’ strike partner Lukas Jukiewicz nearly doubled Boro’s lead only a couple of minutes later. The former Coventry man; who scored his third goal in a Boro shirt at Ipswich last week cut inside from the right and rattled a strike off the post.
Brighton didn’t collapse under pressure and levelled only 12 minutes later. LuaLua’s corner was met by Calderon at the back post who escaped his marker and powered a low header past Jason Steele.
Both sides continued with their fluent attacking play until the final whistle, but neither side could find the prized breakthrough.
Boro fall to 7th in the league following Blackpool’s win against Southampton whilst Brighton remain one place above them on goal difference.