Boss Chris Hughton has welcomed an end to the goal drought for Albion's stand-in skipper Dale Stephens.

The midfielder opened the scoring with his first goal for 13 months - and first at the Amex since April 2016 - in last night's FA Cup win over Crystal Palace.

Stephens, captaining a much-changed side in the absences of Bruno and Lewis Dunk, latched onto a pass from Ezequiel Schelotto to drive a shot through Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey.

It was the first goal scored by an Albion midfielder or defender in all competitions this season.

Hughton told The Argus: "I'm pleased for Dale. Probably with how we are in the Premier League it's more difficult for him to get into those type of areas.

"He is very much that type of player, a box-to-box player, but with the system that we play it's a little bit more difficult for him to get into those positions.

"I am pleased for him and it is also a goal from a different area of the pitch, which we will need."