DALE STEPHENS said the winning goal epitomises Albion’s approach this season.

Everton’s Lucas Digne could only slide the ball into his own net from Leandro Trossard’s low, driven cross in stoppage time to spark ecstatic scenes at the Amex.

The Seagulls went from having their fans on the edge of their seats to leaping from them as the team played out from Maty Ryan’s penalty area to build a swift counter attack deep in stoppage time.

There was no safety first option and Stephens said: “It’s what we’re about.

“It’s what we have been working on since pre-season but we had a little more luck today than what we have had of late.

“But I feel we deserved that luck, especially considering the start of the season that we have had.”

Whether it truly was luck that changed is open to debate.

The pivotal penalty converted by Neal Maupay followed a lengthy VAR check after Aaron Connolly was undeniably caught by centre-back Michael Keane, who had his eyes fixed firmly on the ball.

Even Stephens admitted it was a spot-kick that would infuriate any team on the wrong end of the decision.

He told The Argus: “It’s a tough one to swallow, especially if it was given against us, but VAR has been brought in to cut out mistakes and they’ve seen it as a penalty so it probably evens itself out over the season.

“We’ve been on the wrong end of a couple of them so it was nice to get one for a change.”

Stephens revealed Graham Potter’s side were knocked out of their stride by the Toffees’ tactics as the rain fell at the Amex.

But they ultimately got back on track to carve out the winner even when it had looked as if the game might be going away from them after substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 74th-minute finish had put the visitors 2-1 ahead.

On slipping 2-1 behind, Stephens said: “We knew it would be tough but the first port of call is trying to get back in the game as quick as possible.

“We found it difficult to play through them.

“They came here with a game-plan that stopped us doing what we have been doing of late.

“For the winning goal especially, that was the plan from the start of the game – to go for the outside and play down the wing. And that’s what paid off for us in the end.”

He added: “It was difficult to play between the lines.

“They had obviously done their homework and had seen that was how we had been playing.

“We identified it at half-time that we need to play more down the outside of the team and I am glad it has paid off at the end.

“We showed a lot of character and desire to go and win this football match.”