FULL TIME: Wanderers 1 Brighton 0
WANDERERS claimed a priceless victory in their bid for a play-off place, with Marcos Alonso snatching the only goal of the game against Brighton.
The Spanish full-back struck after 21 minutes with an angled drive from the edge of the box – his third goal of the season and first since December.
The win was hard fought and tense at times but puts the Whites right into the chase for a top six spot, now just three points away.
Brighton ended the game with 10 men after Ashley Barnes was handed a straight red in stoppage time for dissent.
Dougie Freedman had made just one change from the team that beat Blackburn, bringing back midweek hero Chris Eagles for Medo in midfield.
It was nip and tuck all the way through, but Wanderers were indebted to Andy Lonergan for a pair of fine saves to deny David Lopez and then Ashley Barnes within a few minutes of each other.
Wanderers then forged ahead when Alonso found space on the left to drill a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
And they could have doubled their lead just before the break when David Ngog touched Alonso's cross just wide of the post.
Brighton continued to manufacture half-chances, with Vicente, Lopez and El-Abd all going close.
But Wanderers had by far the clearest opportunity when Ngog forged into the box and drove a shot against the post before Chung-Yong Lee and Spearing had goalbound chances blocked.
From there Brighton seized the advantage. Wanderers continued to defend doggedly but as the chances stacked up, it seemed an equaliser was on the cards.
El-Abd headed just over the top and sub Will Buckley thrashed a golden opportunity wide from the angle.
By the time Barnes saw red we were well into stoppage time and that proved the last action of the game.
It was the first time since October 2006 that Wanderers have strung together five wins on the bounce.