Maisie Symonds scored an injury-time free-kick as Brighton moved up to third in the WSL table by inflicting a seventh straight loss on Leicester.
The substitute curled her effort over goalkeeper Kirstie Levell and into the top corner with just minutes left.
It was the one moment of quality in an otherwise poor game and a cruel blow for the Foxes, who had battled bravely.
Leicester stay bottom of the table with zero points, but Albion now have three wins on the bounce and are looking up.
The goal was testimony to Albion’s determination to battle to the end, but it was probably the same appetite that ultimately cost Leicester that first crucial point.
In their desire to preserve the goalless scoreline, the Foxes were guilty of a rash challenge at the back to concede the free-kick on the right side of their box from which Symonds scored.
Prior to that they had been solid and composed, restricting the home side to just a few chances – the best of them a Danielle Carter effort saved by Levell and a fluffed shot from Katie Robinson following a corner.
They offered next to nothing themselves in attack with a tame poked effort from Esmee de Graaf and a blocked scramble featuring Samantha Tierney their only notable efforts.
Somehow they must now pick themselves up from the concession of a league-high 18th goal of the campaign and go again when Everton visit next Sunday.
Brighton next travel to Reading, with the top two in their sights.
- 6Le Tissier
- 3GibbonsSubstituted forRobinsonat 87′minutes
- 16BrazilSubstituted forKaagmanat 57′minutes
- 8ConnollySubstituted forSimpkinsat 86′minutes
- 18CarterSubstituted forSymondsat 76′minutes
Leicester City Women
- 22PlumptreBooked at 85mins
- 14de Graaf
- 27O’BrienSubstituted forBailey-Gayleat 70′minutesBooked at 75mins
- 9SigsworthSubstituted forFlintat 76′minutes
- Ryan Atkin
Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion Women 1, Leicester City Women 0.
Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion Women 1, Leicester City Women 0.
Foul by Inessa Kaagman (Brighton and Hove Albion Women).
Molly Pike (Leicester City Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt saved. Natasha Flint (Leicester City Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Abbie McManus.
Goal! Brighton and Hove Albion Women 1, Leicester City Women 0. Maisie Symonds (Brighton and Hove Albion Women) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top right corner.
Inessa Kaagman (Brighton and Hove Albion Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Paige Bailey-Gayle (Leicester City Women).
Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion Women. Megan Walsh tries a through ball, but Aileen Whelan is caught offside.
Inessa Kaagman (Brighton and Hove Albion Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Natasha Flint (Leicester City Women).
Corner, Leicester City Women. Conceded by Danique Kerkdijk.
Attempt missed. Katie Robinson (Brighton and Hove Albion Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high following a corner.
Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion Women. Conceded by Ashleigh Plumptre.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion Women. Katie Robinson replaces Felicity Gibbons.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion Women. Emily Simpkins replaces Megan Connolly.
Attempt missed. Emma Koivisto (Brighton and Hove Albion Women) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Inessa Kaagman with a cross following a fast break.
Ashleigh Plumptre (Leicester City Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Megan Walsh (Brighton and Hove Albion Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ashleigh Plumptre (Leicester City Women).