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Amex Stadium (ATT 26,293) 20th October 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: A D'Urso

Brighton Brighton and Hove Albion vs Middlesbrough M'boro

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M'boro 1

M Emnes (21)

Marvellous Marvin earns Boro win

Last Updated: 20/10/12 5:35pm

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Emnes: Hit the winner for Boro

Emnes: Hit the winner for Boro

A deflected first-half strike from Dutchman Marvin Emnes was enough to give Middlesbrough a 1-0 victory at Brighton in the Championship.

Middlesbrough earned their fourth successive away win - in manager Tony Mowbray's 100th match in charge.

Striker Emnes enjoyed a fair slice of good fortune in notching his fourth goal of the campaign, his 21st-minute effort from the edge of the penalty area taking a wicked deflection to wrong-foot Brighton's Polish international keeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

It proved to be the only goal of the game as Middlesbrough extended their impressive record against the Seagulls to 10 matches in all competitions.

In contrast Gus Poyet's men have tumbled from their lofty early-season heights. They topped the Championship after a five-match winning sequence, but have now taken just two points from a possible 12.

Yet they will feel they should have drawn level just after the hour mark. A shot from Moreno David Lopez was bravely blocked by Jonathan Woodgate, outstanding Boro keeper Jason Steele then kept out a header from Ashley Barnes, before Craig Mackail-Smith sent his header from six yards over the top instead of into the back of the net.

Brighton had also enjoyed most of the possession in the early stages of the game at the Amex Stadium. That was mainly down to mistakes in Boro's midfield, with stray passes from Nicky Bailey and Josh McEachran, but Grant Leadbitter produced a good tackle inside the penalty area to deny a clear chance for Mackail-Smith.

But Boro looked dangerous on the counter-attack and Dutch attacker Emnes silenced the home crowd by making the breakthrough.

Brighton tried to hit back and in the 28th minute an outswinging corner from the left by Lopez was met by Dean Hammond but his header from six yards flew over the crossbar.

Two minutes later striker Craig Mackail-Smith latched onto a low ball sent in from the left but his 12 yard shot was superbly turned over the top by Steele.

The Seagulls kept pressing and 10 minutes before half-time midfielder Andrew Crofts was presented with a good opportunity 10 yards out, in a central position, but he sent his header over the top.

Stuart Parnaby started a league game for Boro for the first time since 2006, replacing Justin Hoyte who suffered a pulled hamstring at Watford two weeks ago, and he and his fellow defenders managed to keep Brighton at bay in the second half.

Poyet sent on attacking substitutes Stephen Dobbie and Will Buckley - and both players went close to levelling matters, before Boro keeper Steele pulled off a fine save to push away an Ashley Barnes effort from 25 yards.

The Seagulls did have other chances, particularly through Mackail-Smith, but they failed to score for the fifth Championship match in a row.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Norwich City 10 20
2 Nottingham Forest 10 20
3 Watford 10 20
4 Derby County 10 19
5 Ipswich Town 10 18
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 9 18
7 Charlton Athletic 10 18
8 Middlesbrough 10 17
9 Sheffield Wednesday 10 16
10 Reading 9 14
11 Blackburn Rovers 10 14
12 Brentford 10 14
13 Cardiff City 10 13
14 Leeds United 9 13
15 Bournemouth 10 12
16 Millwall 10 11
17 Rotherham United 10 11
18 Brighton and Hove Albion 10 10
19 Birmingham City 10 10
20 Wigan Athletic 10 9
21 Huddersfield Town 9 8
22 Bolton Wanderers 9 5
23 Fulham 9 4
24 Blackpool 10 3