Brighton do like to keep the fans on the edge of their seats for the whole game don’t they, and this game was no different. The game was fast-paced, back and forth and tight for large parts of the game, but Brighton managed to snatch a late winner, which might of seemed harsh on a very well drilled Forest side.
The game started fast for the Seagulls, giving Forest little room to breathe, but it was Forest who had their first chance of the game; Henri Lansbury’s long range shot was tipped round the post. Brighton had a good spell afterwards though, and were soon in front from a Lewis Dunk header, via Daniel Fox’s shoulder; Jiri Skalak whipped in a dangerous ball and Dunk, who was unmarked, header the ball in off of Fox’s shoulder to give the Albion a 1-0 advantage. Forest were pushing for an equaliser, and felt they should of had a penalty when David Stockdale charged out of his goal and bundled Jamie Ward down after he won a header, but the referee gave nothing. Forest did grab an equaliser soon after the half time break; a Lansbury free-kick was flicked on by Dexter Blackstock who managed to squeeze the ball into the far corner. Tomer Hemed had his first chance of the game when a Bruno cross fell kindly for him via a Beram Kayal flick on, his overhead kick was well saved by Dorus De Vries. Forest had a glorious chance to take the lead moments later; Connor Goldson was caught napping in possession, and was swiftly tackled by Blackstock, and after driving at Dunk, he threaded the ball through to Lansbury, who’s chipped shot went just over the bar. Substitiute James Wilson had a long range effort go narrowly wide of De Vries’s post, while Knockaert used his excellent ball control ability to manoeuvre his way into shooting range, and his powerful shot was tipped wide by De Vries; from the resulting corner Hemed headed the ball inches wide of the post, while if it had been on target it was a certain goal. Blackstock did the same thing up the other end, heading inches wide from a Lansbury corner minutes later. But ther was late drama; Knockaert weaved his way into the Forest box, and after a bit of pinball, the ball fell into the path of Steve Sidwell who cannoned the ball into the corner, leaving De Vries motionless. Harsh on Forest who looked good for a point, but Brighton grind out yet another win to keep their promotion hopes alive.
Stockdale (6); Not much to do, but was fortunate not to give away a penalty in the first half for the challenge on Ward.
Bruno (6); Found lots of space on the wing in the first half, but was restricted in his forward movements in the second.
Goldson (7); Solid as always, except for his little moment of relaxation where he was pickpocketed by Blackstock.
Dunk (7); Great header for his goal, and was defensively very good.
Rosenior (6); Like Bruno, he had acres in front of him in the first, but had to tighten up in the second to quell the Forest attacks.
Skalak (7); Another superb free-kick which was rewarded with a goal, but his delivery was fantastic all night.
Kayal (7); Passing looked a little off at times but his work rate in the middle of the pitch gave Gary Gardner and David Vaughan a hard night.
Stephens (6); Not his best game, wasn’t involved as much as he is used to but had a presence in front of the centre backs.
LuaLua (6); Still working his way back, but has some little moments of magic when he skipped past Eric Lichaj.
Murphy (7); Played in a new role off of Hemed, but looked at home. Hassled the Forest defense and was solid defensively when he was moved back out wide.
Hemed (6); A few chances here and there, but not much for him to work with without an out and out strike partner.
Wilson (6); Looked energetic and helped control the ball when the ball was cleared out.
Knockaert (8); Wasn’t on for long, but made the impact which subs are used for; defenders worst nightmare with his ball ability and presistance.
Sidwell (7); Starting to get better as game time increases, and got the vital goal which could prove decisive in this promotion race.
NFFC - BHAFC; Blackstock (50); Dunk (27), Sidwell (90+1)
Att; 17,642 (645 Brighton)