Albion clung on for a tense 2-1 win over Derby today – having seemed set for a stroll in the rain.

Ashey Barnes and Andrea Orlandi scored first-half goals for the Seagulls, who should have been home and dry before Jeff Hendrick replied on 70 minutes.

That led to plenty of nerves among the home fans as crosses were thumped into their goalmouth.

But they offered Tomasz Kuszczak decent protection en route to a third successive win in 2013.

It was eventful stuff for the watching Leonardo Ulloa – the striker expected to sign for the Seagulls this week – to enjoy from the best seats in the house.

Barnes tapped in from close range in only the second minute after a nice pass by Inigo Calderon had sent David Lopez away to set up the goal.

What turned out to be the winner was a goal made in Spain on 25 minutes. David Lopez helped the ball on to Calderon and his whipped-in cross was met by a terrific header by Orlandi coming across his marker Kieron Freeman.

Calderon headed a good chance wide after the break and Paul Coutts somehow scrambled an Orlandi effort off the line.

The contest was given a new dimension on 70 minutes when Liam Bridcutt was adjudged to have fouled Hendrick.

When the arguments subsided, Jamie Ward drove in a low free-kick which the Irish midfielder diverted past Kuszczak.