Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 2, Birmingham City 1.
Bobby Zamora's fourth goal of the season earned unbeaten Brighton a deserved win over Birmingham City to send them top of the Championship.
The veteran striker struck the winner after the break, tapping in after great work by the impressive Solly March.
It was March's thumping shot which put the hosts ahead in the first period.
Although Jon Toral headed Blues level, Brighton stretched their unbeaten start to the league season to 18 games thanks to Zamora's 47th-minute effort.
The margin of victory should have been far greater, with Manchester United loan striker James Wilson hitting the post on his debut late on and the Seagulls spurning numerous first-half opportunities.
March twice had sights of goal before netting the opener at the second attempt after Liam Rosenior and Jamie Murphy had combined to tee him up on 17 minutes.
Toral levelled four minutes later, heading in after home goalkeeper David Stockdale made an unconvincing attempt to keep out Jacques Maghoma's original strike.
Blues keeper Tomasz Kuszczak was lucky not to gift Brighton a second goal when he fumbled the ball over his own line only to be saved by referee Gavin Ward, who spotted a foul.
The visitors, who remain in the final Championship play-off place, could have made it 2-1 in five minutes of first-half injury time played because of a nasty-looking injury to Rosenior, who had to be taken off on a stretcher.
But midfielder Toral's fine left-foot effort went just wide and the Seagulls were back in front two minutes after the restart when Zamora - making his first Brighton home start in 12 years - tapped home his fourth goal in seven games.
Teenager Wilson replaced Zamora with 25 minutes to go and had the best chance to add a third home goal but saw his attempt come back off the foot of the post after running through one-on-one.
Stockdale then had to pull off a fine low save from David Davis in injury time to ensure former Birmingham boss Chris Hughton's Brighton have won all seven of their home games in which they have gone ahead this season.
Brighton manager Chris Hughton:
"Bobby Zamora has a certain know-how. He knows what he can't do. But he is not missing a lot of chances. The opportunities he's had, he has put away.
"He and Tomer Hemed can learn from Bobby. He is very good behind the scenes and does things in subtle ways.
"I think we recruited well in the summer and had a very good pre-season."
Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett:
"Solly March gave Brighton real impetus but, once we got the defensive side of our game right, we had chances.
"Jon Toral equalised and could have scored again before half-time. He's been really good for us and could have had seven or eight goals this season.
"We are still in sixth place. We have lost a couple recently, but performances are the main thing. I'm sure we'll keep improving."
- 13StockdaleBooked at 90mins
- 23RoseniorSubstituted forCalderonat 27'minutes
- 20MarchBooked at 90mins
- 6StephensBooked at 56mins
- 7KayalBooked at 85mins
- 10HemedSubstituted forInceat 83'minutes
- 25ZamoraSubstituted forWilsonat 66'minutes
- 27van La Parra
- 31CaddisBooked at 62mins
- 3GroundsBooked at 32mins
- 8GleesonBooked at 62mins
- 6KieftenbeldBooked at 35mins
- 19MaghomaSubstituted forDavisat 64'minutes
- 7GraySubstituted forSolomon-Otaborat 83'minutes
- 44Brock-MadsenSubstituted forVaughanat 64'minutes
- Gavin Ward
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 2, Birmingham City 1.
Attempt missed. David Davis (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jonathan Grounds.
Attempt saved. Beram Kayal (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Wilson.
Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Jonathan Spector.
Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card.
Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City).
Attempt saved. David Davis (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by James Vaughan.
David Stockdale (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt missed. James Vaughan (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jonathan Grounds.
Attempt missed. Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Viv Solomon-Otabor with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Bruno.
Attempt blocked. David Davis (Birmingham City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Viv Solomon-Otabor.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Dale Stephens (Brighton and Hove Albion) because of an injury.
Foul by Dale Stephens (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Jon-Miquel Toral (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.