Jack Hinshelwood announces himself as Brighton’s latest academy star in win over Brentford

Jack Hinshelwood celebrates scoring Brighton's winner against Brentford

Jack Hinshelwood will not forget the 52nd minute of his first game at the Amex in a hurry. First the 18-year-old Brighton academy graduate made a goal-saving clearance off his own line and within seconds was celebrating winning the game against Brentford with his first senior goal at the other end.

He is the fourth generation of his family to play professional football and the third Hinshelwood with Brighton connections. His defender father Adam played for the club and his uncle was both youth-team and first-team manager. Jack himself came through the youth system as a central midfield player but has played in both full back positions in Roberto De Zerbi’s team.

It was the icing on the cake that his goal, in only his seventh first-team appearance, sealed Brighton’s first home win in the Premier League since September and only their second anywhere in their past nine games.

“It is an unbelievable feeling,” Hinshelwood said. “It was my first game playing here at the Amex in front of all these fans. And it was a brilliant feeling to get a standing ovation when I came off. I am just delighted to get the win. The fans, players and manager have all shown great belief in me and I am just trying to repay them.”

De Zerbi added: “I said Jack is Pascal Gross’s son, because he plays like an older player. He has personality and he’s very smart on the pitch.”

Brentford went ahead with a 27th-minute penalty converted by Bryan Mbeumo after Vitaly Yanelt fell theatrically under the lightest challenge from Jan Paul van Hecke. Brighton have not kept a clean sheet in the league since a 3-0 victory away to Arsenal in May, 19 games ago.

But they have not failed to score in 31 league games and levelled four minutes later when Gross hit a low shot low into the far corner from 18 yards.

Hinshelwood’s moment of glory came when Brighton gifted Brentford a chance to take the lead but ended up taking it themselves. Gross lost the ball to Frank Onyeka, but Hinshelwood blocked Yoane Wissa’s shot on the line. And the youngster’s heroics were not finished, as he leapt at the far post to head in Gross’s cross from the left.

“I don’t think we hit our highest level,” Brentford manager Thomas Frank said. “I tried something new, a 4-4-2, and it was not perfect but it was not a disaster either.”

Hinshelwood led the celebrations at the final whistle to rapturous applause from the home fans. His dad and uncle probably told him there would be nights like these.