- Albion progress through to the Emirates FA Cup fifth round
- Glenn Murray scores 90th minute winner for the Seagulls
- Adama Traore and Patrick Bamford come closest for Boro
- Beram Kayal and Jose Izquierdo have good chances for the visitors
Brighton & Hove Albion booked their place in the Emirates FA Cup fifth round, after Glenn Murray's 90th-minute winner ensured the Seagulls edged out Middlesbrough 1-0 on Teesside.
Murray's fortuitous effort was enough to settle an otherwise cagey and lacklustre fourth round tie, as Chris Hughton's side claimed their place in the last 16 of the competition.
The Seagulls boss made seven changes to the side that lost 4-0 against Chelsea the previous Saturday, with only Connor Goldson, Markus Suttner, Dale Stephens and Tomer Hemed retaining their places in the starting line-up.
Boro had their first chance inside the opening couple of minutes when Ashley Fletcher took advantage of some indecisive Albion defending on the edge of the box but fired his long-range effort wide.
Albion worked their first opening when Jiri Skalak cut inside off the left flank and drifted in a ball towards Sam Baldock, but the striker couldn’t make a decent connection.
Boro had another chance when George Friend delivered an enticing cross into the box, but Martin Braithwaite couldn’t divert his header on target.
Adama Traore then got the better of Suttner and Beram Kayal to tee up Fletcher, but the forward fired wide from deep inside the box.
Daniel Ayala was next to come close for the hosts after meeting Braithwaite’s looping corner, but his header was straight at Tim Krul.
The hosts came closer to breaking the deadlock moments later, as Patrick Bamford’s overhead kick from Ryan Shotton’s long throw hit the roof of the net.
Traore then took advantage of some indecisive Albion defending only to see his fierce strike clip off the outside of the post.
After a quiet start to the second half, the game sprang to life when Kayal’s strike was punched by Darren Randolph into the path of Skalak. His attempt was blocked while Baldock saw his subsequent shot cleared.
Hughton freshened up the left flank with the introduction of Jose Izquierdo in place of Skalak, and he looked to make his mark after a surging run forward, only to see his shot go wide.
The Colombian was involved in the thick of the action again moments later when he fed in Kayal down the right, who took a touch before firing an effort over from a tight angle.
The livewire Traore continued to pose a threat and he sent a low drive just wide of Krul’s near post.
But just as the game looked to be heading for a replay, Suttner's ball into the box was cleared by Friend, only to richochet off Murray and back beyond Randolph, to send the away end into raptures.
ALBION: Krul; Rosenior (c), Goldson, Huenemeier, Suttner; Knockaert, Stephens (Propper 45), Kayal, Skalak (Izquierdo 61); Hemed (Murray 72), Baldock.
SUBS NOT USED: Maenpaa (GK), Schelotto, Dunk, Gross.