MIDDLESBROUGH boss Tony Pulis was left to bemoan his lack of fortune for the second successive home game after seeing Fulham grab a league victory at the Riverside Stadium a fortnight ago with a stoppage-time penalty.
Brighton counterpart Chris Hughton said he had no qualms about casting match-winner Glenn Murray in the role of hero despite his arrest as part of a £1.1m tax probe.
The winner came as Murray and George Friend closed on Markus Suttner’s 90th-minute cross with the defender getting there first, but blasting the ball against the striker and watching it cannon into his own net.
Pulis said: “It was very similar to the last home game where we created chances, especially in the first half, and didn’t take the chances and then ‘Lady Luck’ has not shone on our side in the last couple of minutes of the game.
“There were a lot of positives and there was a lot of good play. You can’t fault the players for the effort and commitment.
“But we are playing with players on the pitch who the club have invested a lot of money in to score goals and if you are going to do that, then you have got to give them the ammunition to score those goals.”
There were a lot of positives and there was a lot of good play. You can’t fault the players for the effort and commitment.Middlesbrough boss, Tony Pulis
The Teessiders will concentrate on the task of the promotion battle, although Pulis is not expecting chairman Steve Gibson to spend again this month.
Asked if he had any hesitation in including Murray in his matchday squad, Hughton said: “No hesitation at all. He’s been focused as normal and I had no hesitation in bringing him off the bench.”
Middlesbrough: Randolph, Shotton, Ayala (Fry 65), Gibson, Friend, Howson, Clayton, Traore, Braithwaite (Downing 56), Bamford, Fletcher (Assombalonga 56). Unused substitutes: Konstantopoulos, Leadbitter, Johnson, Christie.
Brighton & HA: Krul, Rosenior, Goldson, Hunemeier, Suttner, Knockaert, Stephens (Propper 46), Kayal, Skalak (Izquierdo 61), Baldock, Hemed (Murray 72). Unused substitutes: Dunk, Maenpaa, Gross, Schelotto.
Referee: A Taylor (Cheshire).