It is tempting but maybe too easy to say Albion have allowed a comfortable Premier League position to slip through their fingers.

For one thing, as Graham Potter will tell you, there are some very good teams, players and managers doing all they can to deny the Seagulls goals and points.

For another, we know from experience over the last two years that what look comfortable situations in January, February or even March can be less so come the end of the season.

But there is a strong argument that Albion have wasted chances to give themselves a far more lofty vantage point from which to look over the relegation battle and remaining fixtures.

This rather wasteful 1-1 draw with Aston Villa was a case in point.

The result was fair. Albion were the better side in the first half and their performance dropped off, while that of Villa improved, in the second 45.

Both teams scored good goals, finished well after decent approach work and a moment which the opponent will see as a failing.

But Albion should have, if not killed this one off, at least seen it through when not at their best.

The latter is as valuable a quality as being to able to win in style and it would have served them well here.

For the second time this season, they dropped points against Villa after going ahead.

They can add that to disappointments against Tottenham, Crystal Palace and Wolves in little more than a month.

Even the memorable win at Arsenal was secured after their initial 1-0 lead had been wiped out.

Graham Potter felt his side played “really well” in the first half on Saturday.

Whether you agree with that or not, the trick is to complete the job when not playing so well in the second.

Instead, Jack Grealish scored for the fourth successive match against Albion, his 75th-minute rocket on the half volley cancelling out Leandro Trossard’s opener seven minutes before the break.

Potter told The Argus: “As a team, as a group, we have to understand you can’t control the 90 minutes.

“It’s close to impossible because the opposition always have some pressure, they always have a top player, they have somebody who can do something.

“That is probably the learning point from the game, the experience we have to take with us going forward.

“You can’t just rely on playing well to win.

“You have to be able to suffer. You have to be able to not be playing well for some time because the opposition are doing better.

“Whatever reason it us, we have to be humble enough (to understand that).

“And it’s not because the players are not working. It’s not that.

“I would argue that Jack Grealish’s strike is a great strike and sometimes you are punished.

“If we had three, four, five big chances against us and I’m saying ‘In the end one is going to go in’, then I get that.

“But I think it was one chance, one shot from a really good player and that is the challenge we are on.”

But, still, the second half was disappointing for a team and a coach who pride themselves on their passing and ball retention.

Potter said: “We played through a few times but then took too long to move the next pass.

“I didn’t think we were as good as we can be in the second half.

“We missed some passes and then it turns over.

“I didn’t think it was a second half of chances, necessarily.

“It was just we weren’t as good as in the first half.”

Albion had previously done a good job on Grealish, the obvious and perhaps only Villa threat.

Fans loved one moment from Davy Propper chased back down the Albion right, harried, hassled and then muscled Grealish off the ball before playing a poss.

Did Albion play “really well” as Potter put it in the first half.

The initial reaction from a more detached perspective is that they were scintillating.

But, on the other hand, they kept Villa quiet apart from a counter which saw Grealish drag the ball low across goal. They also had a few moments going the other way and scored a goal which was beautifully created and taken. That’s a decent 45 minutes’ work.

It was down to full-backs to provide impetus out wide and Bernardo, especially, did that.

Aaron Mooy might have scored from the Brazilian’s cross had he shot first time rather than take it down and then crash it back across goal, where neither Neal Maupay nor Aaron Connolly could get the right touch in a bit of pinball.

The front two were, however, involved in the goal.

Poise on the ball by both Steven Alzate, at right-back, and midfielder Propper started it.

Dale Stephens slid a pass, Maupay got the better of Kortney Hause on halfway and set off goalwards.

Connolly, who had a tough afternoon, takes credit for a run off the ball which dragged Ezri Konsa away and Trossard, found by Maupay in the inside-left channel, sent a super low finish across debut-making Villa keeper Pepe Reina.

So far so good at the break.

But Albion precision with the ball, in the face of greater Villa urgency, was disappointing in the second half.

Mooy’s pass was not the only one which went astray, far from it, but it is the one we will remember.

He missed his target tight to the left touchline and Potter was also unhappy with how his side had set up on the far side as play developed.

As it worked out, the recently-arrived substitute Douglas Luiz threaded a pass across field, eluding Adam Webster and Martin Montoya.

Grealish still had plenty to do but it was no great surprise when he sent a searing finish past Maty Ryan.

Reina dived to his right to push away a Maupay volley as Albion responded well to the equaliser.

Given what happened at Villa Park, how sweet would it have been had Maupay poked home Lewis Dunk’s header in the final seconds of four added minutes?

Instead, the finale was bitter with Maupay being hurried away down the tunnel after clashing with his former Brentford colleague Konsa.

There was no doubting which team were happier with the draw, judging from on-field demeanour, reaction of fans or the mood of the two bosses in their press conferences.

It is as you were for these two in terms of where they stand in relation to each other.

But Albion were the side who let an opportunity pass them by and it cannot keep happening.