Football: Gross ends Brighton’s 34-year wait for top-flight win

Brighton's Pascal Gross celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates.
Brighton's Pascal Gross celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates.PHOTO: REUTERS

BRIGHTON, United Kingdom (AFP) – Pascal Gross was Brighton’s hero as the Seagulls clinched their first top-flight win since 1983 with a 3-1 success against West Bromwich Albion at the Amex Stadium on Saturday (Sept 9).

German midfielder Gross bagged a brace and laid on the third for Tomer Hemed to give the Premier League new boys their maiden three points since last season’s promotion.

Chris Hughton’s side had failed to find the net in their first three league outings, taking only one point in the process, but they deservedly brought West Brom’s unbeaten start to the campaign to a halt.

Shane Duffy had the ball in the net inside 15 minutes but was flagged offside, following up Solly March’s shot that was spilled by Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster.

Just when Brighton feared a dominant first half would go unrewarded, up popped Gross with his club’s first top-tier goal for 34 years.

Bruno’s raking cross-field ball let March chip to the far post, where Allan Nyom was caught out.

The ball dropped over the veteran West Brom full-back, allowing Gross to control, cut inside, and squeeze the ball past Foster.

There was even greater elation when Gross drilled his second of the day just moments after the break.

Hemed trapped well into his feet, fending off Ahmed Hegazi with his back to goal, before turning a smart ball round the corner to split the West Brom defence.

Gross cantered through the centre, drilling home to double the lead.

Pulis threw on all his three substitutes in a bid to reverse his side’s fortunes, but Brighton kept their cool and pounced again.

Hemed reached Gross’ teasing near-post delivery first, and nodded past the outstretched Foster.

West Brom clutched at respectability thanks to James Morrison’s late goal, Kieran Gibbs crossing in and Oliver Burke heading back for the opening.