Two second half Middlesbrough goals condemned Oscar Garcia’s men to a third successive defeat.
Strikes from Albert Adomah and Danny Graham were the difference on a day when, despite enjoying large spells of possession, Albion were unable to find a way through a resolute Boro defence with Leo Ulloa missing a second-half penalty with the score at 1-0.
Albion enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges and the tone was set early on when the visitors were indebted to their keeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos for keeping the scores level.
The keeper’s faintest of fingertips made all the difference as David raced on to a superb Will Buckley cross as Brighton looked to turn their opening dominance into a lead.
However, with Buckley making way on the half-hour mark, Oscar’s reshuffle saw Jake Forster-Caskey enter the fray as the first-half ended without any further chances of note.
Emerging for the second half Albion looked the livelier of the two, and came within a whisker of taking the lead as Stephen Ward’s clever back-heel found Jesse Lingard but his effort curled inches wide.
Minutes later Boro broke at pace but Tomasz Kuszczak was on hand to deny Albert Adomah before Albion came agonisingly close again through Keith Andrews, who turned Kazenga LuaLua’s low cross just past the post.
However, just minutes later, Aitor Karanka’s men took the lead as Danny Graham seized on a loose ball and teed up Adomah who finished well from close range.
In search of an equaliser Oscar threw Solly March and the youngster had an almost immediate impact, winning Albion a penalty with just over 10 minutes left after being brought down by George Friend.
With regular penalty taker David Lopez already substituted the responsibility landed on top scorer Leo Ulloa, but the Argentinian blazed his spot-kick over and Brighton’s woes were compounded when Danny Graham’s 86th minute goal sealed the 2-0 win for the visitors.