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West Ham scored three on their way past a resilient Brighton side trying to find their way in the league this season.
Martha Thomas' close-range goal on 24 minutes put the Hammers ahead at the break.
A Kenza Dali penalty in the 70th minute was followed by Alisha Lehmann's strike three minutes later as West Ham created a scoreline which did not reflect the even nature of the match.
Substitute Megan Connolly's grabbed a consolation for the hosts late on, but the Seagulls remain winless so far in the fresh campaign.
Brighton will regret not taking an excellent chance in the 19th minute when Aileen Whelan hit the post. Forward Ellie Brazil was unable to do anything with the follow-up.
Five minutes later, Thomas scored from close-range to put the visitors in front. A good run from Swiss international Lehmann found the American under-23 international who was able to score her second goal of the season from eight yards out.
The match had been finely poised until West Ham took control with 20 minutes to go. Thomas was fouled in the penalty box, and French midfielder Dali stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way.
The match was settled three minutes later when Lehmann was able to get her name on the scoresheet with a spectacular strike.
Connolly's stoppage time goal from a corner helped to lighten the atmosphere following a tense game but it wasn't enough to disappoint the victorious Hammers.
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West Ham's Gilly Flaherty said: "The main thing was that we came away with the three points. Obviously, we got the three goals as well.
"We are all gutted in the dressing room that we did not get a clean sheet, but the most important thing was picking up the three points which was well needed and well deserved as well.
"We don't want revenge next week against Tottenham Hotspur but for me, it's another must-win game. We want to repay the fans who came to support us on that day against them in the league.
"We want to put in a better performance. Winning here today and setting the tone can set us up for a good week of training and go into another must-win match next weekend."
West Ham (4-3-3): Brosnan, Kvamme, Flaherty, Baunach, Vetterlein (Hendrix 60), So-hyun, Dali, Middag (Longhurst 70), Lehmann, Kiernan (Leon 70), Thomas.
Unused subs: Moorhouse, Galabadaarachchi.
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