The Seagulls, backed by a vocal throng of thousands on the day, set about their work with bristling intent and were unfortunate to go in a goal down at the break following Ledley King's headed goal on 40 minutes.
The lively Richard Carpenter - who had earlier rattled Paul Robinson's crossbar - levelled from a free-kick just minutes after the re-start and the most likely outcome for the remainder of the game appeared to be a replay.
It took a moment of Robbie Keane magic to settle the encounter and Michael was honest enough to admit Brighton saw to it that it was an uncomfortable afternoon at the office.
"It was very tough," reflected the midfielder, restored to the team after injury. "I expected it to be a tough game when we turned up and they didn't disappoint.
"We had to work hard and, full credit to Brighton, I thought they did brilliantly. We thought it was going to a replay before the touch of magic off Robbie got us the win."
Michael added that Brighton netting so soon after the break certainly altered the script as far as plans for the second half were concerned.
"It was hard, we came out to try and go again and get another goal. They landed a killer punch and then had a great 20 minutes.
"We didn't want a replay after the games we've had recently, but we would have dealt with that if it was the case. We kept grinding though and finally got the result we wanted."
Michael Brown was full of admiration for the performance of Brighton at the Lane on Saturday - who made it a particularly tricky passage to round four of the FA Cup.