We rode our luck - Hughton relieved after Brighton hold off Hammers
Chris Hughton admitted Brighton and Hove Albion had to rely on a strong defensive display, as well as the odd slice of good fortune, to record a battling 1-0 win over West Ham on Friday.
Glenn Murray scored the only goal of the Premier League fixture in the 25th minute, applying the finishing touch to Beram Kayal's cross at the Amex Stadium.
The hosts were good value for their lead at the break but were forced to fend off a West Ham fightback in the second half, with centre-back pairing Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk - who had both signed new long-term contracts prior to kick-off - excelling at the heart of the Brighton defence.
Hughton was pleased with how his players stood firm under pressure to record a first clean sheet in the league this season, with the three points lifting them up to 12th place in the table.
"We rode our luck against a very good West Ham side," he told the club's official website.
"You can see them scoring goals, they're very strong in the final third and we had to defend very well.
"The real plus is the three points on a Friday night before an international break, that gives us a nice feel. We had to work really hard for our clean sheet.
"For as many poor decisions that we made on the ball, and the chances they had, we defended really well - players throwing themselves in front of the ball and getting blocks in.
"It takes all of that to get a result. It’s really pleasing and the three points are the most important thing."
12 - In 2018, the only Englishmen to score more Premier League goals than Glenn Murray (12) are Harry Kane (17) and Jamie Vardy (14). Clinical. pic.twitter.com/HrQgXWpsXD— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 5, 2018
West Ham counterpart Manuel Pellegrini was disappointed to see his team's four-match unbeaten run come to an end on the road, particularly as they wasted opportunities to get on level terms after a tepid performance in the first 45 minutes.
"We didn't play in the first half in the way we must," he said. "We talked before the game that it would be decided by one or two balls and we were unlucky to lose the game in the end.
"We created three clear chances in the second half. They had just one [in the first] and they scored.
"I think we played well [in the second half], we dominated, we created chances but we just didn't score. They didn't create too many chances, but it was not a game we should lose."