Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Cardiff City 1.
Brighton moved two points clear at the top of the Championship despite being held to a draw by Cardiff City.
The visitors took the lead in the fifth minute when Scott Malone's low cross was tapped in by Joe Mason.
Dale Stephens drew a dominant Brighton level, guiding a volley past Cardiff keeper Simon Moore.
Although Brighton had to settle for a third successive draw, Middlesbrough's defeat at Reading allowed the Seagulls to stretch their lead at the top.
Despite losing their 100% home record this season, Albion remain the only unbeaten side in the top four divisions.
They fell behind in a league game for the first time this term when Cardiff scored from their first meaningful attack, but Chris Hughton's side rallied well.
Moore had to make a smart double save from Sam Baldock and Liam Rosenior before Sam Baldock put a near-post header just wide.
Brighton had the majority of possession and, after Stephens equalised in the 38th minute, striker Tomer Hemed hit the side-netting.
The home side continued to create opportunities in the second half, Baldock sending a header wide and Moore saving a low shot from Solly March.
Cardiff, who had moved to within sight of the play-offs after four wins in six games, offered little apart from a Sammy Ameobi effort which was cleared off the line by Lewis Dunk.
Brighton substitute Elvis Manu and centre-back Gordon Greer failed to convert a low cross in stoppage time.
Brighton manager Chris Hughton:
"There is a touch of disappointment as we could have more points than we have.
"But I can't ask for more. If we'd know that after 10 games we would have been unbeaten and top of the division, we would have been incredibly delighted.
"We've drawn our last three games and points have slipped away; we should have won two of them.
"But being top is a reflection of how the players have performed. Overall, the levels of performance has been good but we've a lot of really good teams to play and the challenges will be never ending."
Cardiff boss Russell Slade:
"Brighton are a very good and very strong side and they deserve to be top.
"Last season I'm not sure if we would have eked out a result. We were not near our best and Brighton were very fluent, but we still hung in there so in a sense that is encouraging."
- 9BaldockSubstituted forManuat 82'minutes
- 10HemedSubstituted forZamoraat 67'minutes
- 3da SilvaBooked at 45mins
- 28MaloneBooked at 34minsSubstituted forPeltierat 83'minutesBooked at 85mins
- 13PilkingtonSubstituted forNooneat 54'minutes
- 7WhittinghamBooked at 65mins
- 9JonesSubstituted forAmeobiat 63'minutes
- 5Ecuele Manga
- Charles Breakspear
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Cardiff City 1.
Attempt missed. Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion) with an attempt from very close range is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Dale Stephens with a cross following a set piece situation.
Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Sammy Ameobi (Cardiff City).
Foul by Bobby Zamora (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Fabio (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Lee Peltier.
Attempt missed. Dale Stephens (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Beram Kayal.
Attempt missed. Beram Kayal (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Liam Rosenior.
Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Bruno tries a through ball, but Elvis Manu is caught offside.
Lee Peltier (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Lee Peltier (Cardiff City).
Substitution, Cardiff City. Lee Peltier replaces Scott Malone.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Elvis Manu replaces Sam Baldock.
Attempt missed. Craig Noone (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Matthew Connolly following a corner.
Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Lewis Dunk.
Attempt blocked. Sammy Ameobi (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kagisho Dikgacoi.
Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Bobby Zamora tries a through ball, but Sam Baldock is caught offside.