A replay was the last result either of these clubs wanted and, although Steve Bruce was celebrating as Hull City grabbed a late equaliser to keep his team in the FA Cup, he questioned the Uefa ruling which means the sides must now play two matches in three days.
The replay, at the KC Stadium next Monday, follows Hull's visit to Cardiff City on Saturday, a key game in both clubs' battles to stay in the Premier League, while Brighton, just outside the Championship play-off places, are at home to Wigan Athletic on the same day.
"I find that ridiculous," Bruce said. "Uefa say that nobody plays on the same night as the Champions League. Brighton have the same problem. It's quite bizarre for Uefa to say that to the FA. I don't think many would tune out of [Olympiakos versus] Manchester United to see Hull versus Brighton."
Until the 85th minute Brighton must have thought they had held Hull at bay and that Leo Ulloa's ninth goal of the season, scored after 30 minutes, had secured a sixth-round tie at home to Sunderland – managed by Gus Poyet, whom they dismissed last summer. However, Yannick Sagbo levelled and Hull had two chances to win in injury time.
"You can see why Brighton are at the top end of their division and we knew it wasn't going to be easy," Bruce said. "We gave the ball away too easily but once we got the goal there was only one team going to win it and we had two great chances. On another night we could have been through but with five minutes to go we're delighted we're still in the Cup."
He is pleased, too, with a second chance to take further revenge on Sunderland, his previous club, Hull having beaten them twice in the league this season? "The Sunderland thing has gone and I'm sure the Brighton fans want Gus Poyet back here," he said. "But there's a little ring to it either way."
Bruce, who lifted the trophy three times as a Manchester United player, fielded a strong side despite the enforced absences of his Cup-tied strikers Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic, but Hull looked less threatening than Brighton until the 26th minute, when Sagbo's flying volley from Ahmed Elmohamady's cross rebounded from the angle of post and bar. Instead it was Brighton who took the lead on the half-hour. Ulloa started and finished it, exchanging passes with Will Buckley before outpacing the defence and clipping the ball over Allan McGregor.
Back came Hull and from a corner on the left Curtis Davies headed against the bar. But Brighton should have gone into the interval 2-0 up. The unmarked Ulloa headed weakly wide from five yards in the second minute of first-half injury time following Buckley's cross from the right.
Hull played with increased urgency after the break but, with Brighton looking certain to record a fifth successive 1-0 home win, and seconds after Elmohamady had made a last-ditch challenge to frustrate a breakaway, Sagbo beat Lewis Dunk to Sone Aluko's cross and shot home on the turn.
Dunk, though, redeemed himself by deflecting Robert Koren's injury-time shot to safety and Jake Forster-Caskey nodded away David Meyler's fierce goal-bound header.
"I'm happy, not with the result but because most of my players showed that they could play in the Premier League," said Oscar Garcia, the Brighton head coach, who was also critical of the scheduling of the replay. "Over a whole season we would maybe have to have a stronger squad." And he reacted testily when told that Robbie Savage, the TV pundit and briefly a Brighton player, had criticised his seven team changes on Twitter. "After 85 minutes we were in the quarter-finals," he said.