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Brighton 0 Middlesbrough 2

Boro made three changes to the side that drew at Huddersfield on Tuesday. Grant Leadbitter returned from suspension, there was a rare start for Luke Williams and Lee Tomlin stepped up off the bench. Jacob Butterfield, Emmanuel Ledesma and Nate Chalobah dropped to the bench.

Oscar Garcia, a former Olympic team-mate of Aitor Karanka, made two changes from the side that lost 1-0 to an injury-time goal away to Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday. David Rodriguez and Jake Forster-Caskey dropped to the bench, replaced by Leonardo Ulloa and David Lopez.

It took over three minutes for either side to get near the opposition penalty area, but it was Brighton who sprang into action first as Will Buckley crossed low from the right and Lopez saw a shot from 12 yards deflected out of harm's way.

Ulloa was next to test the Boro rearguard as the game began to pick up pace, but after creating space Ulloa shot straight at Dimi Konstantopoulos from the edge of the penalty area.

Boro stepped up their game and low crosses Albert Adomah and George Friend from both flanks whistled through the penalty area, before Williams brought a diving save away to his left from Tomasz Kuszczak, who had go full-stretch to tip away a low curler from 19-yards.

Albion won the game's first corner when Bruno was allowed too much time to cross from the right and Ben Gibson turned behind. Good defending from Gibson saw Boro concede another corner a couple of minutes later, but neither delivery from the right caused any problems while a third was similarly overhit a couple of minutes later.

The next time Boro ventured forward they brought Kuszczak into action once more as Tomlin curled in an effort from 20 yards and the goalkeeper was again seen diving away to his left.

Another save, this time to his right, was more routine as Leadbitter, having been allowed as much space as he wanted to run through the middle, shot low from the edge of the box.

Boro's first corner came when Albert Adomah pounced on the loose ball after Williams was tackled and picked out Tomlin. A quick dart into the penalty area and a low cross ended with a clearance, but Boro kept up the pressure with a run into the penalty area from Friend ended with a blocked shot.

The first yellow card of the game came on 28 minutes, it was shown to Dean Whitehead and with it came a two-game suspension as it was the midfielder's 10th yellow of the season.

Boro came under pressure when a rare piece of mis-control from Kenneth Omeruo handed Brighton their fourth corner. That led to two shots in quick succession, both well blocked as Jozsef Varga then Gibson threw themselves into action.

The home fans weren't too impressed by what they had seen as a well-organised Boro side had equipped themselves well and the Albion faithful vented their feelings as the teams made their way off at half-time.

Half-time: Brighton 0 Middlesbrough 0

An open start to the second half brought pressure at both ends as Tomlin was sent away just right of centre with well-weighted pass from Omeruo, but his pull-back was cut out before reaching its intended target, Danny Graham.

A back-heel from Forster-Caskey set up Jesse Lingard perfectly inside the Boro penalty area but he curled a low shot just wide, before Konstantopoulos saved well away to his left to grab a shot Forster-Caskey from distance.

Early Albion pressure continued to build until Boro broke and awareness from Tomlin released Adomah way on the right deep in the visitors' half. A low cross-shot proved comfortable for Kuszczak.

When sub Kazenga Lua Lua teased his way into a position to cross from the left deep in Boro territory the home side were on the move. What looked like good defending denied Keith Andrews as he shot from close range, however referee Graham Scott failed to spot any Boro touch and awarded a goal-kick.

The opening goal came after 65 minutes as Boro peeled away down the left. Excellent work from Graham deep in Brighton territory saw him tenaciously hold on to possession and cross low for Albert Adomah, who slotted in his 12th goal of the season from the edge of the six-yard box. It came after a combination of great work from Graham and excellent awareness from Adomah.

Lua Lua headed powerfully for goal when meeting a right-wing cross and Konstantopoulos saved well, but when Lua Lua went for goal again his shot was blocked, Boro hesitated, Solly March pounced and was adjudged to have been brought down inside the penalty area by Friend.

Ulloa stepped up to take the penalty and shot horribly high and wide with 79 minutes played.

That proved an even more costly miss as Boro went further in front on 86 when a Williams was cross was intercepted, Leadbitter picked up and swept to his left and picked out Danny Graham, who sent a low shot across Kuszczak from right yards.

Early in injury-time Konstantopoulos was called into action as he dived away to his left to turn away a low shot from Lingard.

This was Boro's afternoon as they won away for the first time since January 11 at Blackpool.

Scorers: Adomah, 65; Graham, 86.

Brighton: Kuszczak; Bruno, Greer (Capt), Upson, Andrews, Ulloa, Buckley (Forster-Caskey 33), Lingard, Ince (March 72), Lopez (Lua Lua 59). Subs: Ankergren (gk); Dunk, Rodriguez, Calderon.

Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos; Varga, Gibson, Omeruo (Chalobah 79), Friend, L Williams, Leadbitter (Capt), Whitehead, Adomah (Ledesma 87), Tomlin (Butterfield 60), Graham. Subs: Steele (gk); Atkinson, Morris, Kamara.

Referee: Graham Scott


Brighton: None
Middlesbrough: Whitehead
, 28, foul.

Attendance: 27,486 (932 Boro)

Conditions: Warm and sunny with a cool breeze

Possession: Brighton 49% Middlesbrough 51%

Website Boro Man of the Match: Danny Graham




On target

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