Brighton manager Gus Poyet has described his side's performance against npower Championship promotion rivals Blackburn as "spectacular", despite only sharing the spoils.
A second half penalty from Spanish playmaker Vicente rescued a 1-1 draw for the Seagulls after defender Scott Dann headed Blackburn in front against the run of play mid-way through the first half.
Brighton wasted several opportunities before Dann broke the deadlock and midfielder Dean Hammond was twice denied by keeper Jake Kean in first-half stoppage-time. The Seagulls levelled when a Markus Olsson handball was spotted by the assistant referee and Vicente stepped up to score for the second game running.
That goal was the first Blackburn had conceded in five-and-a-half hours of playing time and Poyet was fully satisfied with his team's efforts. "In terms of technical ability, speed and precision we were absolutely spectacular," he said.
"That for me was enough. The (admission) money was worth it already. We'll try for the play-offs and won't give up. The players want it and the club wants it. It's a strange feeling as normally I'm a bad loser. I should be really upset but we'll see. I need to be realistic, maybe we are overachieving to be playing the way we are."
Blackburn manager Appleton felt this match was the perfect tester for his side ahead of their FA Cup clash at Arsenal on Saturday.
He said: "It`s an ideal warm-up. We`ll have to concede a lot of territory against Arsenal but we want to be part of an attractive tie. Our quality was not a good as when we played Ipswich last Saturday but, as the away side, we`re bound to be a lot happier with the result than Brighton."
Appleton described the penalty his men gave away as a "bit harsh" and suggested Rovers were unfortunate not to have been awarded a spot-kick themselves when defender Adam El-Abd appeared to handle.
"The penalty (against) was a bit harsh as the ball hit Markus Olsson`s thigh before it went to his hand," he said. "Before that, El-Abd made the best save of the night. It was very disappointing.
"But six or seven weeks ago we would have lost a game like that 4-1 or 5-1. There`s more about us now. We had to deal with a lot of balls in the box and we showed a lot of steel"