You never know. Albion might yet get a first ever win at Goodison Park before the old place is closed down.

It never really looked like happening as they lost 1-0 on the eighth visit they have made in their long history.

They should have tested Everton’s brittle nerves rather more than they did at the end of a demanding week.

They might even have nicked only a third ever point at Goodison – and a first anywhere away from home this season after going behind.

That they didn’t was, Graham Potter felt, down not making the most of decent positions in the final third.

It is not the first time that has happened.

It is something which will have to be put right over what is looking like a significant four-day period looming large.

Aston Villa at home and Bournemouth away are not must-win but they could go some way to shaping the mood for the business end of the season in a congested part of the top flight.

Potter does not regard Everton as “direct competition” and that is based largely on money spent.

With Carlo Ancelotti at the helm and a new stadium planned by the Mersey, they aim to return to a position among the big-hitters they enjoyed in times before the Premier League.

But these are early days in that process and Potter’s men could have had a point here.

The Seagulls’ head coach said: “Everton have spent a lot of money over quite a few windows and they have employed a top manager.

“With the greatest respect, they are not our direct competition I would say at the moment.

“Our challenge is to try and get up to their level.

“You have to do that with playing well, being flexible with how you want to play and also working hard. I thought we did that, the effort was there.

“That quality, that performance level, probably wasn’t as high as you have to be to get something.”

There is certainly some flexibility about the Seagulls.

They started with a back three which did not really cope with the movement of Everton’s clever attacking players.

Bernardo moved from wing-back to midfield for a while as they switched to a four and the personnel and shape changes kept coming as subs were thrown on.

Everton posed a unique test. Sometimes you will play a side who are in decent league form and occasionally you will come up against a team forced into a reaction by an embarrassing defeat.

The Toffees had both – one defeat in seven league matches and an impressive array of home clean sheets.

But also the sting of cup defeat to Liverpool’s kids.

Anyone who spent a few hours on Merseyside ahead of Saturday’s game would have got to understand quite how deeply that Anfield afternoon had hurt the blue side.

Had they been better in possession, quicker to win the ball back – as at Newcastle or with 11 at Villa – Albion could have played on that unease. The home faithful roared their side on to the pitch but were then eerily silent apart from when they were denied a penalty as Lewis Dunk hindered Theo Walcott’s goalward run.

There were moments of worry around this old footballing home – but others when the Everton frontrunners found spaces and got into their stride.

The goal on 38 minutes was a beauty, Richarlison beating Shane Duffy to a low cross and pirouetting away from Adam Webster, who was very wary of touching him, before curling a perfect shot inside the far post.

But, as Potter pointed out, the danger started when Albion – Bernardo on this occasion – lost the ball around halfway.

Richarlison dropped off the Albion back three and picked up the ball in a lot of space to bring others into play.

In the end, moments of quality where it really matters were the difference.

That and a matter of inches.

When Leandro Trossard showed off his own twinkling toes in the second half and decided to test Djibril Sidibe’s defences, his right foot curler across the goalkeeper smacked against the bar and stayed out.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was twice denied in the second half by Maty Ryan and forced the ball home with his left arm, which was spotted by the video ref.

All of which left the stage set for Glenn Murray to salvage some reward with a first league goal of the season.

He had barely had a view of goal in his limited league minutes until Saturday. That changed in the closing stages when, looking sharp, he had a header well saved by Jordan Pickford and poked an effort wide. Maybe he should have done better with the second of those, stretching after good work by Steven Alzate and Neal Maupay.

By that stage, Everton had thrown on Yerry Mina as an extra big man at the back, the influential Bernard had departed, fans were on their team’s backs and it was all about clinging on.

“We could have got something,” Potter said. “Would we have deserved it? You get what you get and our disappointment is we probably didn’t do enough in the final third.”