Albion's sick skipper Dean Hammond has become the unwanted beneficiary of the Panesar Effect'.

Monty's reputation soared when he was discarded for England's opening two defeats in the Ashes series.

Hammond's stock has also risen appreciably after missing his first match of the season through illness.

The result? The Seagulls lost by two clear goals for the first time since that humiliating 3-0 debacle at home to Blackpool at the beginning of October.

Ditto Kerry Mayo. In the starting line-up for the 1-1 draw at Oldham, he was then left out of the squad for Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Port Vale and he did not make the 16 again yesterday.

It was a good match to sit out as Albion, in front of their biggest crowd since August, kicked off the second half of the season in deflating fashion.

It is stretching the bounds of reality to suggest Hammond's absence alone was responsible for the outcome but Albion certainly missed a player described by boss Dean Wilkins as a "driving influence".

Adam El-Abd, who effectively replaced nine-goal Hammond alongside Richard Carpenter in the centre of the park, admitted as much after Yeovil followed up their 2-0 win over the Seagulls at Huish Park in September.

The fit-again El-Abd, making his first start for a month, said: "He is quality professional and a quality player.

"It goes without saying that you are going to miss your captain. He provides a goal threat and he is a good leader.

Breaks "Having said that, even though the scoreline was 3-1, I still believe had we got the breaks at the right time we would still have come out with a result.

"It's a long season and this is a minor blip. We are a young side and with young players it is all about finding consistency.

"An experienced player, in ten games, will produce seven out of ten performances in most of them and maybe one eight and a six.

"A young player maybe slightly up and down but I am sure the two we have just lost in a row will be rectified somewhere along the line with two or three wins on the bounce.

"I am sure we will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season."

If that is the case then Yeovil are entitled to feel wherever Albion finish they will be above them.

Their front pair, Leon Best and Lee Morris, gave Guy Butters and Adam Hinshelwood more problems than any other League One partnership and that reliable goalscorer Marcus Stewart will be rejoining them permanently from Bristol City in the new year.

Morris, rebuilding his career after injury problems, struck a post before Best gave Yeovil a 38th-minute lead largely of Albion's own making.

They had several chances to clear their lines before Terry Skiverton, the visitors' captain, headed the ball into the penalty area.

Best, on loan from Southampton until the end of January, chested it perfectly into his own path to strike his third goal in four starts via Wayne Henderson's lefthand post.

Morris, showing why he has played at a higher level for Sheffield United, Derby and Leicester, knocked the stuffing out of Wilkins' side by doubling Yeovil's advantage two minutes into the restart.

There was an element of good fortune about it once Tommy Fraser had given the ball away in midfield.

Morris latched on to a right-wing cross from ex-Albion trialist Martin Brittain towards the near post and his shot was deflected upwards into the net by Butters as he challenged.

The Seagulls were in danger of being routed when, approaching the hour-mark, a snapshot by Arron Davies from the edge of the box bounced beyond the diving Henderson.

They rediscovered some composure and Joe Gatting, on for Fraser, side-footed against the outside of a post from 18 yards.

Gatting, the competition for forward places increased by the signing of Nathan Elder from Billericay, was not to be denied his first League goal.

Dean Cox found him deep inside the box, with Yeovil looking hopefully for an offside flag.

His shot had sufficient power to find the net, despite Yeovil's rarely troubled goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall getting a hand to it.

The impact made by Gatting was not the only plus for Wilkins. At least his team started the match well this time, enjoying their best period in the opening 20 minutes.

Alex Revell was a threat in the air, although Albion did not feed off him as well as they might of.

Henderson, who consistently picked out Revell with his kicking, can count himself unfortunate to have conceded three goals.

The keeper limited the damage with a couple of smart saves to deny Best in the first half and Davies shortly before he scored.

Albion need Hammond off his sick bed for Saturday's visit by Carlisle.

Mind you, that could be another good game to miss. The two-goal hero for the Seagulls when they last met West Ham is, like Mayo, one more booking away from being suspended from next month's glamour FA Cup tie at Upton Park.

ALBION (4-4-2): Wayne Henderson; Andrew Whing, Adam Hinshelwood, Guy Butters, Sam Rents; Tommy Fraser, Richard Carpenter, Adam El-Abd, Dean Cox; Alex Revell, Jake Robinson. Substitutes: Joe Gatting for Fraser (withdrawn, 52), Joel Lynch for Hinshelwood (injured, 66), Alistair John for El-Abd (withdrawn, 81), Alex Frutos, Michel Kuipers.

YEOVIL (4-4-2): Steve Mildenhall; Martin Cranie, Terry Skiverton, Nathan Jones; Martin Brittain, Chris Cohen, Jean-Paul Kalala, Arron Davies; Leon Best, Lee Morris. Substitutes: Wayne Gray for Morris (injured, 69), Anthony Tonkin, Scott Guyett, Anthony Barry, Ishmael Welsh.