Pascal Gross struck the winner as Brighton earned their first Premier League victory in eight games – on the day Seagulls defender Connor Goldson played his first competitive game since heart surgery.
Sleigh bells were jingling and nerves were jangling but Brighton clung on to earn three precious points. Their first win in eight games means they are now in mid-table, five points clear of the drop. It is a position that could quickly change and, once again, the narrow margin of victory did not allow for a sense of comfort to spread over the home supporters. But there were more than enough positives for fans and club alike to believe things are moving in the right direction.
This was not the afternoon of Premier League quality that Brighton supporters had envisaged upon their promotion from the Championship, but it was at least the sort of result that will go some way to keeping them here in the top flight.
Our last visit to Brighton was memorable for all the right reasons. After taking the lead in the first half, the game had been a bit of a slog, before Vydra’s injury time goal sent us all away happy. It having been the lunchtime game, we retired to a lovely pub and, after spending the preceding couple of hours in the garden anxiously checking phones, we interrupted a quiet afternoon by erupting in joy as last minute goals confirmed our promotion.
It’s Christmas Eve and I’ve been up since 5:30am. Not because I’m wrapping presents, or applying the final touches to the decorations whilst listening to Christmas classics, or even being the stereotypical man and getting ready to do the final bit of Christmas shopping, but because I have to get something off my chest.