Ross McCormack snatched an equaliser deep into stoppage time as Leeds stopped Brighton from returning to the top of the Championship table.

Leeds raced into a two-goal half-time lead courtesy of strikes from Andy Keogh and McCormack.

Craig Mackail-Smith reduced the arrears then turned provider, winning the penalty which Ashley Barnes scored.

Barnes then supplied Mackail-Smith, who slotted home, but McCormack grabbed a point for Leeds in the final seconds.

Brighton manager Gus Poyet made five changes to the team that lost against Liverpool in the Carling Cup on Wednesday night but despite the fresh faces, they looked weary in the opening exchanges.

Leeds were soon ahead through Keogh.

The striker found Adam Clayton on the edge of the area and when the midfielder's shot was blocked Keogh gathered the loose ball to slot home his first Leeds goal.

Ashley Barnes of Brighton (L) evades Darren O'Dea of Leeds (R)

Ashley Barnes of Brighton (left) evades Darren O'Dea

Six minutes later McCormack turned to unleash a superb left-foot drive into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

Brighton thundered out of the blocks after the break and less than two minutes after half-time Mackail-Smith collected Barnes' pass from the right to coolly slot the ball into the bottom corner.

Leeds were now the team under pressure and Leigh Bromby was the first man to buckle, inexplicably bringing down Mackail-Smith in the box with an hour played.

Barnes netted from the spot in the 2-1 defeat by Liverpool  and he was again on hand to complete the formalities.

But the game was far from over.

First Inigo Calderon and Barnes combined effectively down the Leeds left to leave Mackail-Smith with a simple finish.

And with barely a minute remaining of stoppage time the impressive McCormack slammed home his ninth of the season from Jonathan Howson's cutback.

Leeds boss Simon Grayson vented his frustration that his side could not see the game out from being in a commanding position.

He said: "We can't keep conceding goals and my players must understand it.

"We shouldn't be delighted at getting a point right at the death from the situation that we were in."

Opposition manager Gus Poyet had mixed emotions after the game.

He told BBC Sussex: "It was a great game of football to watch and great for supporters, but not a good game for managers.

"There were things we needed to put right. It was important to go back in the second half and score early. Things we normally do we did better, until the 92nd minute.

"It's a mix of emotions. We were practically out of the game and then nearly won it. Then we conceded not a very good goal at the end."

Lineup, Bookings (10) & Substitutions (6)

Brighton & Hove Albion

  • 16 Ankergren Booked
  • 03 Greer Booked
  • 05 Dunk
  • 14 Calderon
  • 22 Painter Booked
  • 11 Noone (Vicente - 46' )
  • 18 Dicker Booked
  • 25 LuaLua (Hoskins - 86' )
  • 26 Bridcutt
  • 09 Barnes Booked
  • 12 Mackail-Smith (Vincelot - 90' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Brezovan
  • 20 Vincelot
  • 08 Navarro
  • 15 Vicente
  • 07 Hoskins

Leeds United

  • 01 Lonergan
  • 22 Lees
  • 26 Bromby Booked
  • 28 White
  • 48 O'Dea
  • 14 Howson Booked
  • 15 Clayton
  • 16 Pugh Booked (Vayrynen - 81' )
  • 23 Snodgrass (Forssell - 86' )
  • 38 Keogh Booked (Becchio - 68' )
  • 44 McCormack Booked

Substitutes

  • 12 Rachubka
  • 03 Kisnorbo
  • 07 Vayrynen
  • 10 Becchio
  • 18 Forssell
Ref: Probert
Att: 20,646

Match Stats

Shots

9 10

On target

7 7

Corners

6 2

Fouls

8 18

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:15 Full time

Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.

90:00 +3:51

Luciano Becchio challenges Lewis Dunk unfairly and gives away a free kick. Marcos Painter takes the free kick.

90:00 +2:56 Booking

Booking Ross McCormack goes into the book for dissent.

90:00 +1:54

Assist by Jonathan Howson.

90:00 +1:54 Goal scored

Goal! - Ross McCormack - Brighton 3 - 3 Leeds Ross McCormack grabs a goal from inside the area high into the middle of the goal. Brighton 3-3 Leeds.

90:00 +0:34

Foul by Adam Clayton on Rodriguez Vicente, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Lewis Dunk.

89:27 Substitution

Substitution (Brighton) makes a substitution, with Romain Vincelot coming on for Craig Mackail-Smith.

88:13 Booking

Booking Casper Ankergren booked.

87:52

Effort from deep inside the area by Adam Clayton misses to the left of the goal.

87:27

Mika Vayrynen takes a shot. Save by Casper Ankergren.

86:58

Aidan White crosses the ball, save made by Casper Ankergren.

86:30

Rodriguez Vicente takes a shot. Blocked by Leigh Bromby.

85:46 Substitution

Substitution Mikael Forssell on for Robert Snodgrass.

85:36 Substitution

Substitution Will Hoskins joins the action as a substitute, replacing Kazenga LuaLua.

83:19

The assist for the goal came from Ashley Barnes.

83:19 Goal scored

Goal! - Craig Mackail-Smith - Brighton 3 - 2 Leeds A goal is scored by Craig Mackail-Smith from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Brighton 3-2 Leeds.

80:04 Substitution

Substitution Mika Vayrynen replaces Danny Pugh.

78:37

Kazenga LuaLua sends in a cross.

76:57

Gordon Greer takes the direct free kick.

76:57 Booking

Booking Danny Pugh receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

76:47

Foul by Danny Pugh on Inigo Calderon, free kick awarded.

76:36

The ball is delivered by Aidan White, Gordon Greer makes a clearance.

75:00

Tom Lees restarts play with the free kick.

75:00 Booking

Booking Caution for Marcos Painter.

74:53

Free kick awarded for a foul by Marcos Painter on Robert Snodgrass.

73:47

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Andy Lonergan.

71:23

Liam Bridcutt fouled by Luciano Becchio, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Casper Ankergren.

71:15

Leigh Bromby concedes a free kick for a foul on Casper Ankergren. Casper Ankergren restarts play with the free kick.

70:40

Direct free kick taken by Adam Clayton.

70:40 Booking

Booking Gary Dicker is shown a yellow card.

70:20

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Danny Pugh by Gary Dicker.

69:41

Unfair challenge on Aidan White by Craig Mackail-Smith results in a free kick. Andy Lonergan takes the direct free kick.

68:21

Andy Lonergan takes the direct free kick.

68:21 Booking

Booking Ashley Barnes is given a yellow card.

68:11

Ashley Barnes challenges Luciano Becchio unfairly and gives away a free kick.

67:25

Rodriguez Vicente takes the direct free kick.

67:25 Substitution

Substitution Luciano Becchio is brought on as a substitute for Andrew Keogh.

67:25

Foul by Robert Snodgrass on Kazenga LuaLua, free kick awarded.

65:52

Effort from deep inside the area by Ashley Barnes misses to the right of the goal.

64:29

Kazenga LuaLua takes a shot. Andy Lonergan makes a save.

63:35

Robert Snodgrass takes the inswinging corner, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Andrew Keogh misses to the right of the target.

62:47

Ross McCormack produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick, save by Casper Ankergren.

62:47 Booking

Booking Booking for Gordon Greer.

62:31

Free kick awarded for a foul by Gordon Greer on Ross McCormack.

61:17

The referee blows for offside against Craig Mackail-Smith. Andy Lonergan restarts play with the free kick.

60:34

Free kick taken by Lewis Dunk.

60:34 Booking

Booking Booking for Andrew Keogh for unsporting behaviour.

60:21

Foul by Andrew Keogh on Marcos Painter, free kick awarded.

60:16

Assist by Craig Mackail-Smith.

59:44 Goal scored

Goal! - Ashley Barnes - Brighton 2 - 2 Leeds Power penalty scored by Ashley Barnes. Brighton 2-2 Leeds.

58:42 Booking

Booking Leigh Bromby goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.

58:31

Leigh Bromby gives away a Penalty for an unfair challenge on Craig Mackail-Smith.

57:25

Andrew Keogh gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Marcos Painter. Lewis Dunk takes the free kick.

56:37

Inigo Calderon delivers the ball.

56:03

Leigh Bromby concedes a free kick for a foul on Craig Mackail-Smith. Direct free kick taken by Gary Dicker.

53:32

Unfair challenge on Rodriguez Vicente by Adam Clayton results in a free kick. Rodriguez Vicente takes the free kick.

52:14

The free kick is swung in right-footed by Gary Dicker.

52:14 Booking

Booking Jonathan Howson is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

51:41

Ashley Barnes fouled by Jonathan Howson, the ref awards a free kick.

51:14

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Rodriguez Vicente by Adam Clayton. Free kick taken by Casper Ankergren.

46:55

Assist by Ashley Barnes.

46:55 Goal scored

Goal! - Craig Mackail-Smith - Brighton 1 - 2 Leeds Goal scored by Craig Mackail-Smith from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Brighton 1-2 Leeds.

46:00

The ball is swung over by Kazenga LuaLua.

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Rodriguez Vicente on for Craig Noone.

45:00 +2:05 Half time

Half Time The match has reached half-time.

44:11

Outswinging corner taken by Craig Noone.

42:29

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Craig Noone from the left by-line, Darren O'Dea makes a clearance.

42:01

Kazenga LuaLua produces a cross, Leigh Bromby makes a clearance.

39:23

Aidan White produces a cross, clearance by Gordon Greer.

38:18

Foul by Inigo Calderon on Danny Pugh, free kick awarded. Andy Lonergan restarts play with the free kick.

37:22

Corner taken left-footed by Craig Noone from the left by-line, Craig Mackail-Smith takes a shot. Save made by Andy Lonergan.

36:24

Unfair challenge on Ashley Barnes by Darren O'Dea results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Craig Noone, Jonathan Howson manages to make a clearance.

36:00

Inigo Calderon crosses the ball.

33:28

Outswinging corner taken by Craig Noone from the left by-line played to the near post.

33:22

The ball is crossed by Kazenga LuaLua, Leigh Bromby gets a block in.

32:00

The ball is sent over by Danny Pugh.

30:13

Liam Bridcutt fouled by Ross McCormack, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Liam Bridcutt.

29:12

Unfair challenge on Ashley Barnes by Jonathan Howson results in a free kick. Gary Dicker crosses the ball in from the free kick, save made by Andy Lonergan.

28:49

The ball is sent over by Kazenga LuaLua, Leigh Bromby makes a clearance.

27:32

Craig Noone decides to take the corner short.

27:23

Ashley Barnes takes a shot. Blocked by Leigh Bromby.

25:09

Craig Mackail-Smith is caught offside. Andy Lonergan restarts play with the free kick.

23:02

Robert Snodgrass provided the assist for the goal.

23:02 Goal scored

Goal! - Ross McCormack - Brighton 0 - 2 Leeds Goal scored by Ross McCormack from outside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Brighton 0-2 Leeds.

21:41

Centre by Craig Noone.

20:48

Tom Lees is ruled offside. Direct free kick taken by Marcos Painter.

17:53 Goal scored

Goal! - Andrew Keogh - Brighton 0 - 1 Leeds Andrew Keogh grabs a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Brighton 0-1 Leeds.

16:57

Corner taken left-footed by Robert Snodgrass from the right by-line, Gordon Greer manages to make a clearance.

16:35

Adam Clayton has an effort at goal from 25 yards. Blocked by Lewis Dunk.

16:12

Tom Lees takes a shot. Blocked by Gordon Greer.

15:31

Robert Snodgrass produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.

13:21

Gary Dicker concedes a free kick for a foul on Adam Clayton. Leigh Bromby restarts play with the free kick.

10:39

Unfair challenge on Aidan White by Craig Noone results in a free kick. Darren O'Dea takes the free kick.

9:34

Tom Lees concedes a free kick for a foul on Kazenga LuaLua. Free kick taken by Lewis Dunk.

6:51

A cross is delivered by Tom Lees, Lewis Dunk makes a clearance.

4:58

Free kick awarded for a foul by Adam Clayton on Gary Dicker. Direct free kick taken by Gordon Greer.

2:39

Shot from inside the area by Lewis Dunk clears the bar.

1:44

Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Craig Noone, Inigo Calderon takes a shot. Blocked by Leigh Bromby.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers