BRIGHTON: Jack Hinshelwood saved on the line and then headed a winning first senior goal for Brighton and Hove Albion as the south coast side came from a goal down to beat visitors Brentford 2-1 in the Premier League on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old academy graduate put the Seagulls ahead in the 52nd minute after the two sides had been 1-1 at the break when he nodded into the bottom-left corner off a cross from captain and man of the match Pascal Gross.
Moments earlier, Hinshelwood had made a block on the line from substitute Yoane Wissa, who came on in the 37th minute after Brentford’s top scorer Bryan Mbeumo went off with a rolled ankle after Neal Maupay also had a shot stopped.
“I probably had my eyes shut but the ball ended up in the back of the net and that’s all that matters and we got the three points,” said Hinshelwood of his goal.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling. My first game playing here at the Amex, in front of all these fans,” added the youngster who came off later in the second half to a standing ovation.
Brighton are eighth in the table on 25 points, with Brentford 11th on 19.
The visitors took the lead through a 27th-minute penalty after their first meaningful attack, with Mbeumo coolly stroking home for his seventh goal of the season as Jason Steele dived the wrong way.
Captain Vitaly Janelt had won the penalty when he surged into the area and was pulled down by Jan Paul van Hecke.
Brighton levelled four minutes later when Gross, captain in the absence of the suspended Lewis Dunk, shot left-footed into the bottom corner off a pass from Japanese winger Kaoru Mitoma.
Brighton moved up a gear in the second half and, while celebrating a first home league win since September, were unlucky not to win by a more comfortable margin.
Simon Adingra forced a full-stretch save from Brentford’s Mark Flekken in the 81st and then blasted just wide three minutes later with the goalkeeper beaten.
Brentford might also have considered themselves lucky to end the match with 11 players after Wissa was booked but avoided a potential red card for a hand in the face of Billy Gilmour.
“It was important to win again at home,” said Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi. “We were unlucky in the last two games at home against Sheffield and Fulham and today we played a great game.”
Brentford manager Thomas Frank said his side had lost to a better team on the night.
He said Mbeumo, who has stepped up in the absence of banned Ivan Toney, would be assessed in the morning for his ankle injury.