Fulham are going to have to wait a bit longer for Championship safety.
Once the first Brighton goal went in from a dubious penalty award, all the early bluster from those in away yellow disappeared in the sea air.
After that, they barely got a look in - and it was hard to understand why.
They bossed the first half hour without any final product to test previous White David Stockdale now in the Brighton goal.
Ross McCormack had a dig from distance, with Stockdale down well to save. And then out of nothing Beram Kyal punted a ball into the box, and Marcus Bettinelli made more of it than he should to push the ball onto the roof of the net.
It turned out to be an important switch in mood, even if the Brighton penalty was almost farcical.
James Wilson all but threw himself in the air as Richard Stearman's hand brushed his shoulder on the left side of the box - but referee Andy Woolmer pointed to the spot - eventually.
Fulham surrounded the official en masse, but it did no good. Tomer Helmed sent Bettinelli the wrong way from the spot for 1-0.
And then having been spectators for the first half hour, suddenly Brighton were two up.
Whites Achilles heel stung all the more when they allowed Helmed a free looping header as he met a fine floated free-kick from Anthony Knockaert's free-kick to place it despairingly out of Bettinelli's reach.
Only the astute keeper's last ditch block prevented Wilson making it 3-0 before the break.
The relief was short lived, when another piece of woeful defending from a Brighton corner found captain Bruno Salter unmarked at the back post to control and lash home left footed from a yard.
Sub Lasse Christensen had Fulham's best chance on 66 minutes when he was played in from the right only to bring a great double save from Stockdale, first with his feet - and then with a big gloved paw to usher the ball to safety.
Bettinelli emulated the save at the other end a minute later when he also saved feet first from Hemed once again free in the yellow shirts box.
But Brighton wrapped up the win with a double deflection, the last off Hemed to seal his hat-trick and make Whites wait until the next pair of MK Dons results to breathe easier.