Rohan Ince’s first league goal for Brighton & Hove Albion gave the Seagulls a 1-0 win at Charlton Athletic.
The midfielder added to his tally of three cup goals with a second-half header at The Valley which was enough to give Chris Hughton a victory in his first league game in charge of the Seagulls.
Hughton made two changes to the side that won 2-0 at Brentford as the Albion boss brought Joe Bennett and Jake Forster-Caskey back into the side, with Adam Chicksen missing out and Joao Teixeira dropping to the bench.
Albion, backed by vociferous Seagulls fans in the Jimmy Seed Stand, controlled the opening half an hour but were unable to find a way through Charlton’s backline.
The Seagulls nearly fell behind against the run of play, when Andre Bikey-Amougou was unmarked at the back post, but his shot was easily collected by David Stockdale; then Lawrie Wilson flicked over the bar from close range after some pinball in the Albion box.
Despite Albion controlling long spells of the game it was the hosts creating the better chances and Hughton’s men had Joe Bennett to thank for keeping the scores level as he cleared Johnnie Jackson’s diving header off the line.
It was goalless at the break but the Seagulls almost changed that within three minutes of the restart as Sam Baldock’s excellent first-time ball played in Forster-Caskey, but the young midfielder couldn’t find a way past Addicks keeper Neil Etheridge.
Stockdale then had to show his quality as he spread himself well to deny Charlton’s new signing Tony Watt from making an immediate impact off the bench, while Bennett couldn’t find a way past Etheridge after meeting Inigo Calderon’s deep cross.
Charlton came within inches of the lead as Chris Solly let fly from 20 yards only for his effort to cannon back off the underside of the bar and the Seagulls immediately capitalised on their slice of good fortune.
Solly March’s deep free-kick from the right wing found Rohan Ince at the back post, who powered a header into the net in front of the Albion fans to put Hughton’s side ahead just past the hour mark.
The hosts responded to falling behind through Watt, but the former Celtic man failed to find the target after the ball dropped to him kindly in the box. At the other end Baldock fired over on the angle for the Seagulls as Albion looked for a two-goal cushion.
As time ticked away Charlton threw Bikey-Amougou up front in an attempt to salvage a draw, with Hughton bringing on Greg Halford to solidify his side and sit in front of the back four as the Seagulls held on to clinch a third straight win in London.