Albion 2, Bournemouth 2

Albion's bad habit of conceding from corners has become as much of an issue as their shyness at the other end of the pitch.

They corrected the latter at the beginning of both halves against Bournemouth with well-worked goals to score two in a game for the first time since the home stalemate with Stoke in November.

The Seagulls courageously came from behind twice that night. This time they led twice, only to be let down by what has turned into a familiar failing of their otherwise resilient identity.

Both Bournemouth equalisers were from corners, the source now either directly or indirectly of five of the last eight goals Albion have let in.

Prior to that it was also the breakthrough route for Liverpool in their emphatic victory at the Amex.

The recurring theme undid all their good attacking work in an end-to-end, entertaining Premier League launch to 2018 containing the most shots (42) of any contest this season.

The first equaliser, by former Seagull Steve Cook in the first half, was the one which really frustrated Chris Hughton.

The Hastings-born central defender rose above Shane Duffy to angle in a looping header.

Albion are not the first team to be hurt by Cook. He has now scored eight Premier League goals in the last two-and-a-half years.

Crystal Palace's Scott Dann, with nine, is the only central defender who has scored more over that period, but Cook's latest contribution was particularly annoying since Albion had escaped with a severe warning moments earlier when Markus Suttner got a blocking touch to another of his headers from a corner.

The Argus: The second equaliser by Callum Wilson (above), 11 minutes from time, was intensely disappointing in terms of the result but less concerning in the way it came about.

Wilson prodded in from close range after a considerable scramble and several rebounds which defied Albion's attempts to clear the danger.

It was an early contender for scruffiest goal of the year - or any year for that matter.

Hughton said of the corner frailities: "You are either going to go zonal or man-for-man. We have always gone man for man. We have changed some things but ultimately it's about the responsibility of a player of marking somebody.

"He has got to make sure, which ever way it is, he doesn't get a header at goal or certainly a clear header at goal."

Hughton was entitled to feel he would have a happier tale to tell in his 150th match in charge after Anthony Knockaert gave Albion a fifth minute lead, with three clean sheets achieved in the four previous games.

Duffy, Markus Suttner and Pascal Gross were involved in a neat build-up which ended with Jose Izquierdo flashing the ball across the face of goal for Knockaert to convert from a tight angle.

It was not an easy finish for the Frenchman in doubling his tally, having also scored at home against Everton earlier in the season.

Glenn Murray (below) has been going through a lean patch but an opportunity to get the better of the club that discarded him proved inspiring.

The Argus: A fine, all-round display was rewarded with a sixth goal of the season, which restored Albion's advantage soon after the restart.

Record signing Izquierdo, having comfortably his best game for Albion, was involved again, as was Gross who impressed once more with his intelligence.

Gross's pass released Izquierdo to square for Murray to calmly place his shot past covering defenders on the line.

The adventurous philosophy of Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe ensures they are a side invariably involved in high-scoring games.

The pivotal moment was at 2-1, when Izquierdo raced the length of the field on the counter-attack. He was through but, with Davy Propper in support, dallied and Asmir Begovic smothered.

Both keepers were busy - it was that sort of match. Shortly before Wilson's equaliser, Jordan Ibe hit a post from 20 yards with a shot which then rebounded off the diving Mathew Ryan and narrowly wide.

Jordan came off the bench to turn the match when the teams met at Bournemouth earlier in the season. Howe's attacking options, restricted by injuries this time which ruled out Jermain Defoe and Johsh King, meant he had a 20-year-old rookie in Matt Butcher on the bench.

That makes the two dropped points for Albion that bit more painful, along with having only one to show for their efforts across the two games against the Cherries, despite leading overall three times.

Together with six home draws, the New Year has begun with a 'what might have been' feeling. Albion could be well on their way to safety by now, up with Everton and Leicester, instead of still looking a little nervously over their shoulders with one win in 11.