Report: Middlesbrough 0 Albion 1
Matthew Upson’s late header earned Albion a hard fought victory over Middlesbrough.
In a game of few chances the Seagulls looked set for a point until the former England international struck with four minutes remaining.
The 1-0 win extends Albion’s unbeaten away record to five games and seals back-to-back victories in the league.
The first real threat from either side almost produced a goal as Craig Conway’s corner found the unmarked and in-form Ashley Barnes, who was unlucky to see his header crack the post.
Albion had started the brighter side and Shay Given was called into action to prevent David Lopez from sweeping home before Upson received an accidental boot to the face from Daniel Ayala, which required treatment.
Play restarted and Mustapha Carayol tested Peter Brezovan – again deputising for the injured Tomasz Kuszczak - only for the big Slovak to push the low drive around the post.
The game fell slightly flat after that with neither team able to produce a creative spark, however Middlesbrough’s Lukas Jutkiewicz was guilty of spurning a good chance as he mistimed his header shortly before the interval.
After the re-start, Brezovan was forced to push another Carayol drive away as the home fans found their voice.
Jutkiewicz also missed with another header before Adam El-Abd’s block denied Ayala.
Substitute Curtis Main came on for the hosts and within 60 seconds he almost created a goal for Carayol, only for Stephen Ward’s brilliant last-minute intervention.
Albion, in truth, had rarely threatened in the second half and with nine minutes to play Leo Ulloa made a welcome return from injury but it wasn’t the Argentinean striker who broke the deadlock.
Instead Conway, in the last game of his loan spell from Cardiff, sent a corner over from the right that Upson directed into the ground and up into the top corner to give the Seagulls all three points.