A late Sam Vokes equaliser maintained Brighton and Hove Albion's unbeaten league start to 2012 as Cardiff City halted their Championship slump.
Cardiff striker Joe Mason opened the scoring, calmly slotting in from close range after the Seagulls could not clear Don Cowie's cross.
Ashley Barnes prodded in an equaliser from Craig Noone's cross but Albion were level for less than 90 seconds.
Peter Whittingham's wonder strike, however, was cancelled out by Vokes.
The Wales striker denied the the Welsh team a first away win of 2012 with 90 seconds remaining in normal time as Vokes tapped in Barnes' cut-back after Liam Bridcutt's deep cross.
Brighton remain a point and a place above play-off chasers Cardiff in seventh but the last-gasp leveller prevented Malky Mackay's men moving back into the top six.
Brighton were protecting the longest unbeaten run in the Championship, a sequence which now stands at 11 games thanks to substitute Vokes' fourth goal during his loan spell with the Seagulls.
BRIGHTON v CARDIFF FACTS
- Brighton have the longest unbeaten run in the Championship (11 games) and are the only undefeated side in the English league in 2012
- Cardiff are the Championship's away draw specialists, drawing 10 of their 18 games.
- Cardiff have opened the scoring a division-best 23 games this season
Gus Poyet's men should have taken a 15th-minute lead when Craig Mackail-Smith wriggled free in the penalty area but his effort was well saved by Cardiff keeper David Marshall.
Mackail-Smith then hit a free-kick over while Gonzalo Jara hit a post following a Bridcutt free-kick as Cardiff sat back and absorbed long spells of Brighton pressure.
Then the Bluebirds, who had lost four of their last five league games, took the lead against the run of play as Mark Hudson found Mason in the area.
The Republic of Ireland youth international evaded two defenders before stroking the ball wide of Brighton keeper Peter Brezovan and into the corner of the net for his ninth goal of the season.
Barnes had been denied twice in a matter of seconds by Hudson and Marshall but the striker, who scored twice in the reverse fixture in October, levelled with an improvised strike.
Noone, a Cardiff target in the January transfer window , was allowed time to cross from the left and picked out Barnes, who leapt to poke home his 12th goal of the season from close range.
Whittingham restored Cardiff's lead almost immediately as a ball broke loose on the edge of the box from Mason's corner and Whittingham clipped a 20-yard shot with the outside of his left foot into the top right-hand corner of Brezovan's net for his 11th goal of the season.
Vokes' clinical, poked equaliser rescued Brighton a deserved point and Poyet's men are now the only team in the English league to remain undefeated in 2012.
Brighton & Hove Albion
- 01 Brezovan
- 02 Mattock
- 03 Greer
- 06 El-Abd
- 36 Jara
- 08 Navarro
- 26 Bridcutt Booked
- 28 Razak (Buckley - 60' )
- 09 Barnes
- 12 Mackail-Smith (Vokes - 60' )
- 13 Assulin (Noone - 59' )
- 16 Ankergren
- 14 Calderon
- 11 Noone
- 30 Buckley
- 24 Vokes
- 01 Marshall
- 02 McNaughton
- 03 Taylor
- 05 Hudson Booked
- 25 Turner Booked
- 07 Whittingham
- 08 Cowie Booked
- 13 Lawrence
- 17 Gunnarsson (Kiss - 80' )
- 09 Miller
- 20 Mason
- 22 Heaton
- 04 Kiss
- 11 Conway
- 19 Vuckic
- 23 Blake
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.90:00 +4:24
Shot on goal by Kenny Miller from just inside the area clears the crossbar.90:00 +3:46
Andrew Taylor sends in a cross, clearance by Adam El-Abd.90:00 +1:21
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Craig Noone by Kevin McNaughton. Alan Navarro restarts play with the free kick. Gonzalo Jara Reyes has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the goal.88:44
Assist by Ashley Barnes.88:44 Goal scored
Goal! - Sam Vokes - Brighton 2 - 2 Cardiff A goal is scored by Sam Vokes from close in low into the middle of the goal. Brighton 2-2 Cardiff.88:37
The ball is crossed by Ashley Barnes,87:01
Shot from just outside the area by Craig Noone misses to the right of the target.86:07
Joe Mason is ruled offside. Gordon Greer takes the free kick.85:29
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Liam Bridcutt by Kenny Miller. Craig Noone delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, David Marshall makes a save.84:42
The ball is swung over by Craig Noone, Mark Hudson manages to make a clearance.82:41
Foul by Filip Kiss on Ashley Barnes, free kick awarded. Craig Noone restarts play with the free kick.81:04
Ashley Barnes takes a shot. Save by David Marshall. Corner taken right-footed by Gonzalo Jara Reyes from the right by-line to the near post, Peter Whittingham manages to make a clearance.79:19 Substitution
Substitution (Cardiff) makes a substitution, with Filip Kiss coming on for Aron Gunnarsson.76:29
Sam Vokes is flagged offside by the assistant referee. David Marshall takes the indirect free kick.73:16
Assist on the goal came from Liam Lawrence.73:16 Goal scored
Goal! - Peter Whittingham - Brighton 1 - 2 Cardiff Peter Whittingham scores a goal from the edge of the area to the top left corner of the goal. Brighton 1-2 Cardiff.72:52
Corner taken right-footed by Liam Lawrence, save made by Peter Brezovan.71:44
Craig Noone provided the assist for the goal.71:44 Goal scored
Goal! - Ashley Barnes - Brighton 1 - 1 Cardiff Ashley Barnes grabs a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Brighton 1-1 Cardiff.
The ball is delivered by Will Buckley, clearance made by Mark Hudson. Will Buckley decides to take the corner short. Outswinging corner taken by Will Buckley. Craig Noone delivers the ball,70:17
Kenny Miller concedes a free kick for a foul on Liam Bridcutt. Gonzalo Jara Reyes takes the direct free kick.69:28
Shot from just outside the box by Don Cowie goes over the crossbar.67:49
Foul by Kevin McNaughton on Will Buckley, free kick awarded. The ball is sent over by Liam Bridcutt, Craig Noone produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.67:04
The free kick is delivered right-footed by Craig Noone from right wing, Ben Turner makes a clearance.67:04 Booking
Booking Ben Turner is booked.66:56
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Will Buckley by Ben Turner.65:46
Direct free kick taken by David Marshall.65:46 Booking
Booking Liam Bridcutt goes into the referee's book.65:42
Liam Bridcutt concedes a free kick for a foul on Mark Hudson.62:33
Ashley Barnes takes a shot. Mark Hudson gets a block in. Ashley Barnes takes a shot. Save by David Marshall. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Craig Noone, Mark Hudson manages to make a clearance. Effort on goal by Gonzalo Jara Reyes from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.61:27
Sam Vokes takes a shot. Save by David Marshall.60:17
Short corner taken by Will Buckley. Alan Navarro produces a cross, Mark Hudson manages to make a clearance.58:57 Substitution
Substitution Will Buckley replaces Abdul Razak.58:57 Substitution
Substitution Sam Vokes is brought on as a substitute for Craig Mackail-Smith.58:57 Substitution
Substitution Craig Noone comes on in place of Gai Assulin.56:07
Assist on the goal came from Mark Hudson.56:07 Goal scored
Goal! - Joe Mason - Brighton 0 - 1 Cardiff Joe Mason fires in a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Brighton 0-1 Cardiff.54:56
Foul by Joe Mattock on Joe Mason, free kick awarded. David Marshall restarts play with the free kick.53:17
Don Cowie sends in a cross.52:37
The ball is sent over by Andrew Taylor, Joe Mattock makes a clearance. Short corner taken by Peter Whittingham from the right by-line.51:45
The ball is sent over by Kenny Miller, clearance by Gordon Greer. Corner taken left-footed by Peter Whittingham to the near post, Gonzalo Jara Reyes makes a clearance.46:52
Liam Bridcutt takes the free kick.46:52 Booking
Booking Don Cowie booked.46:43
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ashley Barnes by Andrew Taylor.46:00
Ashley Barnes produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.45:01
The referee gets the second half underway.45:00 +2:08 Half time
Half Time It is the end of the first-half.44:37
Handball by Joe Mason. Adam El-Abd takes the free kick.43:47
Foul by Peter Whittingham on Alan Navarro, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Gonzalo Jara Reyes.41:59
Free kick awarded for a foul by Aron Gunnarsson on Alan Navarro. Direct free kick taken by Gordon Greer.41:13
Centre by Gonzalo Jara Reyes, clearance made by Ben Turner.37:28
Liam Bridcutt crosses the ball, Shot by Gonzalo Jara Reyes from deep inside the penalty box hits the post. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mark Hudson by Gordon Greer. Direct free kick taken by David Marshall.37:28 Booking
Booking Mark Hudson goes into the book.37:27
Ashley Barnes fouled by Mark Hudson, the ref awards a free kick.36:47
The ball is swung over by Kevin McNaughton, clearance by Adam El-Abd.33:26
Liam Bridcutt sends in a cross, clearance by Ben Turner.30:25
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gai Assulin by Don Cowie. Liam Bridcutt restarts play with the free kick.30:00
Short corner taken by Liam Bridcutt.28:57
Gonzalo Jara Reyes delivers the ball.25:11
Shot by Craig Mackail-Smith from just outside the area goes over the net.24:08
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Craig Mackail-Smith by Peter Whittingham. Liam Bridcutt takes the direct free kick.23:39
Kenny Miller takes a shot. Save by Peter Brezovan.23:31
Kevin McNaughton produces a cross, clearance by Gonzalo Jara Reyes.16:12
The ball is delivered by Joe Mattock, clearance by Andrew Taylor. Effort on goal by Craig Mackail-Smith from 25 yards. Save by David Marshall. Corner taken right-footed by Liam Bridcutt from the right by-line, clearance by Peter Whittingham.14:40
The ball is delivered by Kevin McNaughton, Aron Gunnarsson produces a header from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the goal.13:03
The ball is sent over by Abdul Razak, clearance by Mark Hudson.12:04
Free kick awarded for a foul by Kenny Miller on Liam Bridcutt. Peter Brezovan takes the free kick.8:45
Unfair challenge on Joe Mason by Gai Assulin results in a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Peter Whittingham from right channel, save by Peter Brezovan.8:12
The assistant referee flags for offside against Craig Mackail-Smith. David Marshall takes the indirect free kick.3:06
Shot by Abdul Razak from a long way out goes over the net.2:35
Foul by Andrew Taylor on Liam Bridcutt, free kick awarded. Liam Bridcutt restarts play with the free kick.0:00
The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.
Live data and text provided by our data suppliers