Albion stalwart Gary Hart has urged teenager Joel Lynch to "learn with us" before moving onto a higher level.

Lynch's outstanding start to the season in the centre of defence continued as he made the 13th-minute goal for Hart which should have guaranteed another three points for the Seagulls.

"He's made mistakes but the good things overpower the bad things that he does," Hart said.

"At the moment this year he's been exceptional. It's just a shame because sometimes you want to hold onto players like that.

"You know people are going to be looking at him left, right and centre but we'll just enjoy him while he is here.

"I hope they can persuade him to stay, because if he has a good season he will go at the end of the season anyway but some players go too early when they need this experience.

"Joel's got no experience at the moment. If he goes to a top side and plays and has a bad game it will hit him hard.

"I think he has got to learn with us and take a risk, because if he is a good enough player he will get to the top anyway."

Lynch provided the abiding memory of a match thrown away by Albion. He made a majestic surge into the Brentford box before crossing perfectly to the near post for Hart to poke into the roof of the net from close range.

You will not see that kind of play from many centre halves in League One this season. It was, as one experienced Albion watcher remarked, almost Lawrensonesque.

Of course, Lynch has a long way to go to reach that standard but he has already made it into the England Lynch must stay and learn trade under-19 reckoning and he unquestionably has a very big future.

He has pretty much everything you would want of a central defender - strong in the air, pace, power and the bonus of a wonderful left foot.

He used it not just to provide the cross for Hart's goal but also for a glorious crossfield pass to Jake Robinson during the second half.

The Seagulls were already a goal to the good by the time Hart pounced for his first of the season.

Four minutes earlier, on-loan West Ham midfielder Tony Stokes was upended just inside the box by Thomas Pinault following a positive run not dissimilar to Lynch's.

It was a clear penalty and Dean Hammond confidently sent Brentford keeper Stuart Nelson the wrong way from the spot. That should have been that as far as the result was concerned but Albion lost their way once Kevin O'Connor halved the arrears seven minutes before the break.

The Brentford captain and rightback, troubled by Robinson's speed and trickery, curved a terrific free-kick from 20 yards over the wall and beyond the diving Wayne Henderson following a rash challenge by Stokes.

Brentford's revival continued in the second half but they did not look like scoring from open play until the Seagulls conceded the softest of equalisers three minutes into stoppage time.

A straight ball out of defence by Adam Griffiths was missed in the air by Adam El-Abd.

Chris Moore, gifted Brentford's winner at Northampton four days earlier by a goalkeeping howler, could not believe his luck again as he nipped in to roll the visitors level.

It was unfortunate for El- Abd, because he has struck up such an encouraging partnership with Lynch.

He had come impressively to the rescue of his more naturally gifted sidekick in the second half with a covering tackle when a slip on the rain-sodden Withdean turf by Lynch threatened to let in Jo Kuffour.

McGhee was understandably grim-faced afterwards. He branded Brentford's equaliser "shambolic" and was equally concerned by the impact of O'Connor's goal, which completely changed the complexion of the contest.

"It totally affected us for some reason," McGhee said.

"It's one of the things we need to consider, where are we going to be if we go a goal down?

"People have got to have the bottle to go a goal down and they've got to have the bottle when they are 2-0 up to keep the ball and to play at 2-0.

"It's not an easy scoreline - we've seen it before - but we need to get better."

Albion are lacking a natural leader on the pitch in the absence of the injured Charlie Oatway and following the retirement from the professional game of Jason Dodd.

They would not have let the lead slip if Dodd had been in defence or, for that matter, former captain Danny Cullip.

  • Albion: Wayne Henderson (GK), Paul Reid (RB), Adam El-Abd (CB), Joel Lynch (CB), Kerry Mayo (LB), Dean Hammond (CM), Richard Carpenter (CM), Tony Stokes (CM), Alex Revell (F), Gary Hart (F), Jake Robinson (F). Subs: Doug Loft (for Robinson, 85), Dean Cox (for Hart, 73), Michel Kuipers, Joe Gatting, Keith Lowe.
  • Brentford: Stuart Nelson (GK), Kevin O'Connor (RB), Matt Heywood (CB), Andrew Frampton (CB), Adam Griffiths (LB), Gavin Tomlin (RM), Olafur-Ingi Skulason (CM), Thomas Pinault (CM), Sam Tillen (LM), Chris Moore (CF), Jo Kuffour (CF). Subs: Calum Willock (for Tomlin, 64), Paul Brooker (for Pinault, 74), Alex Rhodes (for Tillen, 83), Clark Masters, Karleigh Osborne.