SAINTS conceded a 90th-minute equaliser to draw 1-1 with Middlesbrough in a blow to their promotion hopes.

It looked as though the first-half goal from northeast-born forward Adam Armstrong would secure a vital three points.

But Emmanuel Latte sent the visiting supporters in the Northam into raptures with his craned header. 

These are the biggest talking points from the match... 

Same old story - is it going to cost Saints their season? 

Daily Echo: Russell MartinRussell Martin (Image: PA)

It is another case of Saints doing everything to deserve the win but putting the ball into the back of the net.

The 1-1 draw with Rotherham at St Mary's earlier this season, in similar circumstances, still haunts Russell Martin to this day. 

On the return from an extended three-week international break, typically free scorers Saints came up stuck once again.

Only four teams have hit the net more than Martin's side in the Championship this season but when it goes wrong, it goes badly wrong.

Saints missed all three of their 'big chances' in front of the Chapel end and scored just one goal from 2.53 expected goals.

By comparison, Middlesbrough scored the one from 0.53xG. Will failing to get a fit, clinical number nine in another season prove costly? 

How has Che Adams not scored? 

Daily Echo: Che AdamsChe Adams (Image: PA)

In an alternate universe, Che Adams is a 15-goal-a-season striker in the Premier League and plays for Wolves or West Ham.

In this universe, it is three minutes of torment against Boro that have summed up once again why he is a Championship player at present. 

The Scottish international had a goal ruled out for offside, hit the keeper with a one-on-one and put wide from six yards in 180 seconds. 

Adams came off to applause minutes later in Martin's first round of changes and it is not for lack of trying from the 27 year old.

Links emerged this week suggesting the aforementioned top-flight clubs are among those in a race to sign him on a free transfer. 

He is and will be an important player for the run-in but it is painful for both parties to see his limitations laid bare again.

Jack Stephens performance presents a selection dilemma...

Daily Echo: Jack StephensJack Stephens (Image: PA)

The biggest applause of the afternoon came for the skipper in a pivotal moment to keep Saints on course for a win. 

Boro were twice spared from close range before Emmanual Latte raced through on goal on the counterattack. 

It could have gone from the prospect of 2-0 to 1-1 in seconds but for a colossal tackle from Jack Stephens to keep Saints ahead. 

Not known for his pace, the 30 year old turned on the afterburners to catch up with his younger counterpart. 

Jan Bednarek was named among the substitutes bench after a bout of illness while on international duty with Poland.

Although they did not see out the win, Martin will surely not drop Stephens for the visit to Ipswich, presenting him with another selection dilemma.

Adam Armstrong still going for the Golden Boot! 

Daily Echo: Adam ArmstrongAdam Armstrong (Image: PA)

The Saints number nine made his 19th goal of the Championship season look simple and, for him, it was. 

He capitalised on a combination of the sliced clearance and tentativeness in his full-back to pull across Seny Dieng in the net. 

It brought him within two goals of current Championship top-scorer Sammie Szmodics, who has 21, with a game in hand. 

Armstrong's 11 assists are also the most of anyone in the race and could be the difference in the event of a tie. 

The former Blackburn Rovers man was beaten to the award by only Ivan Toney in his last Championship season. 

He is a proven goalscorer at this level and will be integral to Saints achieving their aims in the final nine games of the campaign. 

Is it going to work for Kamaldeen Sulemana at Saints? 

Daily Echo: Kamaldeen SulemanaKamaldeen Sulemana (Image: Stuart Martin)

Kamaldeen Sulemana is Southampton's club-record signing, costing more than £20million to sign in January last year. 

He could end the season as the third-choice left winger but was given the nod from the start by Martin to face Boro.  

For everything good he does, there is a trapped ball in the box that gets stuck in his feet and a cross that goes straight out of play.

Kamaldeen has done a lot of work tactically with Martin to be available for selection but is yet to add the finishing touches. 

It was his cross for Armstrong's goal to give Saints the opening but that was on one of few occasions he beat his man. 

If he is stood up by the full-back, he has to go back. Will it work for Kamaldeen at Saints? Time is running out.