The quality occasionally demonstrated by Felipe Anderson and Marko Arnautovic will regardless be cause for encouragement for West Ham's manager, Manuel Pellegrini, but of greater concern will be the ease with which they were outplayed throughout the first half.
They instead again resembled an unsettled side struggling for an identity as Glenn Murray's 99th goal for Brighton took the hosts above them and up to 12th place, and left them at risk of ending the weekend as low as 17th.
Hughton, though, was unhappy with the pressure his players brought on themselves after the break, pressure that almost yielded an equaliser for the visitors.
Brighton substitute Jurgen Locadia was then unfortunate when his finish, from a close-range rebound, was ruled out for the most marginal of offside calls. But the last 45 minutes we had the pace, we had the football; they didn't have not one chance.
West Ham, who stay on seven points after a fifth loss in eight matches, could drop as low as 17th heading into the global break if Fulham and Southampton claim unlikely wins over Arsenal and Chelsea this weekend.
Pellegrini has done well to cultivate a lot of movement in his side's attacking play, but Andriy Yarmolenko looks to be floundering a little.
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini was disappointed.
- Brighton's Spanish full-back Bruno became just the second outfield player in the last five seasons to start a Premier League game aged 38 or older, along with Gareth McAuley. The match starts at 20:00 on 5 October 2018.
Brighton won both Premier League games between the two sides last season, scoring six goals across the pair of contests.
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