England Under-19 international Jack Hinshelwood claimed his first Premier League goal to earn Brighton a 2-1 comeback win over Brentford at the Amex Stadium.
The 18-year-old full-back, making only his fifth top-flight appearance, headed home Pascal Gross’ cross early in the second half, having cleared Yoane Wissa’s effort off his own goal-line just a minute earlier.
Stand-in Albion skipper Gross levelled for the hosts in the opening period after they fell behind against the run of play to a Bryan Mbeumo penalty.
Bees forward Mbeumo was later forced off by a nasty-looking ankle injury on a disappointing evening for the visitors, while his replacement Wissa was perhaps fortunate to avoid a second-half red card for swinging a hand into the face of Billy Gilmour.
The match-winning contribution of Sussex-born Hinshelwood, whose father Adam played 100 league games for Brighton between 2002 and 2009, earned his side a first home victory since September 24 following three successive score draws.
Depleted Brighton were once again without a host of key players due to injuries and suspensions as they went in search of only a second win in their last nine top-flight outings.
The Seagulls shaded a forgettable opening period devoid of goalmouth action before Brentford capitalised on sloppy defending to snatch the lead in the 27th minute with their first attack.
Bees captain Vitaly Janelt was pulled down by Jan Paul van Hecke following an impressive burst into the box and Mbeumo coolly sent Jason Steele the wrong way to find the bottom left corner from 12 yards.
Brighton had scored and conceded in each of their previous 18 Premier League fixtures.
Roberto De Zerbi’s hosts swiftly resumed their intricate interplay and ensured that statistic would continue just four minutes later.
Gross, leading the team in place of the banned Lewis Dunk, thumped home the eye-catching equaliser, taking a touch on the edge of the Bees’ 18-yard box after collecting the ball from Kaoru Mitoma before rifling a left-footed drive into the bottom right corner.
Brentford then suffered a major setback when the hobbling Mbeumo was helped from the field by medical staff after going over on his right ankle.
Teenager Hinshelwood took centre stage after the restart with a couple of key contributions in the space of two minutes to decisively turn the game in Brighton’s favour.
The academy graduate, who joined the club at the age of seven, was alert to deny Wissa a certain goal before rising above Bees substitute Keane Lewis-Potter at the other end to nod in Gross’ scooped cross from the left.
Brentford rarely threatened to snatch a point and could have finished the game a man down after Wissa swung his right arm at Gilmour, which resulted in a booking from referee Peter Bankes.
Brighton had chances to make the result comfortable, with Simon Adingra twice going close, before Hinshelwood jubilantly celebrated a night to remember with the home fans.