Nottm Forest 1-2 Brighton: Match Report

11 April 2016 09:34

Steve Sidwell winner keeps Brighton's promotion bid on track

Steve Sidwell's injury-time goal snatched a 2-1 victory for Brighton just as Nottingham Forest were threatening to put a dent in their promotion push.

Dexter Blackstock cancelled out Lewis Dunk's 27th-minute header with one of his own five minutes into the second half and Forest looked the more likely to snatch all three points.

But after both sides spurned good opportunities it was Brighton who finally took one, as Sidwell - only on the pitch for six minutes - swept home the winner in the 91st minute after fellow substitute Anthony Knockaert had danced through the Forest defence.

The result left the Seagulls two points behind leaders Burnley and a point off second-placed Middlesbrough as the Championship promotion race reaches an exciting finale.

The first chance came when Brighton's Israel international Tomer Hemed found some space on the edge of the box and though he hit his shot well enough, it bounced several feet wide of the post.

Hemed remained at the centre of things, with Matt Mills forced to concede a free-kick by halting the striker's progress as he threatened to ghost through on goal. Referee Andy Davies delivered a deserved yellow card, but it was an important challenge from the Forest man.

The home side did not muster a meaningful moment of menace until the 17th minute, but it was one that almost saw them snatch the lead against the run of play. Henri Lansbury saw space open up for him as he advanced towards goal and he let fly from 22 yards but saw David Stockdale push his curling drive around the foot of the post.

Forest were conceding a host of free-kicks - with Bojan Jokic also booked for a foul - and it was to prove costly in the 27th minute when Jiri Skalak whipped in a free-kick from the left side. Lewis Dunk beat the Forest defence and the advancing Dorus de Vries to the ball on the edge of the six-yard box to power a simple header home, albeit with a slight deflection off Danny Fox.

Forest wanted a penalty when Jamie Ward beat Stockdale to a high ball just inside the box and went down after colliding with the keeper, but it would have been a generous decision with seemingly little contact made.

There was another moment of controversy before half-time as Connor Goldson appeared to impede Lansbury when he looked to close down the keeper - and injured himself in the process.

With the Brighton man prone on the turf, Forest played on and Ben Osborn's cut-back set up a golden chance for Chris Cohen, who shot over. The Brighton players reacted furiously, but the goal would have stood had Cohen found the target.

Forest started the second half brightly with Osborn seeing an instinctive low shot take a deflection that made Stockdale's work harder, although the keeper made a solid enough save.

And it took only five minutes for them to claw themselves level, after Bruno Saltor conceded a free-kick on the Forest left. Lansbury's delivery was enticing and Blackstock's header was just as accurate as he flicked the ball across goal and into the net off the inside of the post to make it 1-1.

Keeper De Vries had to make a fine save to deny Hemed after he connected with an acrobatic volley. But, shortly after Dunk had been booked for a bad foul on Gardner, Forest should have taken the lead when Blackstock fed Lansbury through only for the Reds skipper to lift a shot over the bar.

The same could be said for Brighton, however, when Hemed sent a fine headed chance inches wide. Blackstock then did likewise for Forest.

But it was Sidwell who was to decide the outcome with his injury-time strike.


Source: PA


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