Albion 1, Southampton 1

Often a draw at home feels like a defeat.

It certainly did against Everton in the previous home game, when Bruno gave away a late penalty.

Not this time. Another 1-1 draw feels like a point gained in the quest to stay in the Premier League.

Chris Hughton would certainly have accepted that at half-time, with his team trailing early and Southampton looking relatively comfortable.

By the end, the visitors were grateful for parity. Albion were the likelier winners once Glenn Murray levelled early in the second half with his third goal in two games.

Just past the opening quarter of the season, Hughton's side resembles an authentic mid-table Premier League team, good enough not to be humiliated by the top six and to take points, home and away, from everybody else.

Since finishing runners-up to Albion in League One in 2010-11 and coming second again in the Championship the following year, Southampton have ended up 14th, eighth, seventh, sixth and eighth.

In spite of several managerial changes, Mauricio Pellegrino the latest, they are a well-established and well-organised Premier League outfit.

Although Albion were a little fortunate that central midfielder Mario Lemina, comfortably Southampton's best player so far this season, was missing through injury, they more than matched them.

That bodes well for the challenges ahead. Rest assured, there are many more to come.

A decent haul from the next two games either side of the international break, at Swansea on Saturday and at home to Stoke, would be helpful, with Manchester United, Liverpool and Spurs looming in the next five fixtures after that.

Every point matters in inching to the 40, or slightly fewer, that will be required to survive.

After scoring early themselves at West Ham, Albion eventually ran out comfortable winners, such was the ineptitude of the Hammers.

The Seagulls' own response to initial adversity at home was contrastingly robust, at least in the second half when they lifted the tempo and Southampton felt the heat.

One area they need to be wary of is conceding cheap free-kicks in dangerous positions. They are making a bit of an unwanted habit of that and, in the Premier League, you risk severe punishment.

So it proved seven minutes in, when Dale Stephens brought down Sofiane Boufal 25 yards out.

The ensuing free-kick from James Ward-Prowse (below), expertly struck with elevation to clear the defensive wall and then dip, beat Mathew Ryan as it struck the upright.

The Argus: Steven Davis stooped to conquer, nodding the rebound to give Southampton a platform to earn their first away win of a lopsided start to the season in which they had played twice as many matches at home as away.

Albion were back on terms seven minutes into the restart, via the combination that provided swift impetus against West Ham.

Pascal Gross crossed from the right and Glenn Murray, although having to retreat to reach it beyond the far post, planted a precise header into the roof of the net.

Fraser Forster really ought to have saved it. He could not shuffle his 6ft 6ins frame across the line with sufficient speed and the ball was across the line before he got an airborne hand to it.

No matter, it was still a fine header and Murray (below) has three goals in two games, the scoring touch he had in the Championship rediscovered now that he is approaching a return to peak fitness after ankle trouble.

The Argus: Gross has been a bargain revelation in the No.10 role since his £3 million move from Ingolstadt, relegated from the Bundesliga.

He now has five assists in ten games to accompany two goals against West Brom and the free-kick which led to Tomer Hemed's winner against Newcastle.

That is some impact, and in addition to that, he has an insatiable work ethic.

Hughton said: "Particularly second half, the tempo of our game was very good. When you go 1-0 down so early against a team that maybe are not having the season they would have liked but have so much quality, credit to our lads for the way they responded. We thoroughly deserved to get back in the game.

"Everyone knows the circumstances against Everton. If it had been the other way around, we had scored first and then conceded, it's a little bit of a different feeling.

"The feeling is we showed great character to come back into the game, get the goal and probably finished the stronger team."

They might not have been accumulated in the anticipated order but five points from Everton, West Ham and Southampton will do nicely.