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Match Reports

Brighton v Forest

7 February 2015

Brighton 2-3 Forest

Dougie Freedman led Nottingham Forest to a 3-2 victory at Brighton and Hove Albion in his first game in charge.

On an eventful afternoon on the south coast Danny Collins, making his first appearance of the season, cancelled out Lewis Dunk’s opener to send the sides into the break level.

Henri Lansbury and Ben Osborn extended the lead to 3-1 before Beram Kayal set up a nervy finale with a 90th-minute header.

But The Reds held firm to seal another memorable victory at the Amex Stadium.

Freedman made five changes to the side that lost against Millwall last weekend, Collins replacing the absent Kelvin Wilson.

Karl Darlow was also reintroduced to the starting 11, while Eric Lichaj and Danny Fox were brought in at right and left back respectively.

Gary Gardner, who spent time on loan at Brighton earlier in the season, recovered from illness in time to reclaim his place in central midfield.

On the bench were Dorus de Vries, Jamaal Lascelles, David Vaughan, Robert Tesche, Jamie Paterson, Matty Fryatt and Dexter Blackstock.

Brighton claimed the first clear-cut chance of the match after Lichaj conceded a corner on ten minutes. The ball came all the way through for Seagulls skipper Gordon Greer at the back post but he could only head it harmlessly across goal.

They managed to test Darlow for the first time minutes later, again floating the ball to the back post from a set piece. This time it was Dunk who met it with his head, forcing Darlow to make a close-range save.

Albion were forced into their first change of the match on 19 minutes when Solly March, who had earlier received treatment after a clash with Lichaj, was replaced by Kazenga Lua Lua.

The substitute’s side had enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, and they carved out another chance on 28 minutes when Rohan Ince rolled the ball across the edge of the area for Inigo Calderon. The Spaniard fired it a yard over Darlow’s crossbar.

Forest’s first opportunity came ten minutes before the break when Antonio won a corner after an excellent run. Hobbs rose highest to meet Burke’s corner but he couldn’t get full contact on his header, glancing the ball across goal. Britt Assombalonga managed to keep it in play near the corner flag but Brighton eventually quelled the danger.

Lansbury was next to have a go, skipping away from Ince and blasting the ball over the bar from 25 yards, before the midfielder conceded a free-kick when he tripped Lua Lua in a dangerous position.

Danny Holla took charge of the set piece, rattling the crossbar with an excellent effort.

But the Seagulls’ frustration was short-lived as they opened the scoring two minutes later. Lichaj conceded a free-kick near the left-hand corner flag and Holla’s subsequent delivery presented Dunk with the chance to glance the ball home.

It looked like Forest would be heading into the break behind but two minutes later they had an equaliser after The Reds won a free-kick near the left touchline. 

Osborn whipped the ball towards the penalty spot where Collins was able to meet it, heading it against the inside of David Stockdale’s post and over the line.

There were no changes for either side at the break but Darlow had to be alert within five minutes of the restart to prevent an alteration to the scoreline.

Joe Bennett’s deep cross from the left missed everyone in the middle and the ball fell for Joao Teixeira in the right-hand side of the area. Darlow was out quickly to narrow the angle and block the shot.

Teixieira was involved again shortly afterwards, Lua Lua wriggling away from a number of challenges before offloading the ball to the Liverpool loanee on the edge of the ‘D’. Teixeira struck the ball towards goal but Gardner did well to slide in and divert it over the bar.

The Portuguese midfielder had yet another chance as the hour mark approached, dropping into space in the area and meeting Calderon’s cross with his head. He could only send the ball harmlessly wide.

But it was Forest who took the lead on 63 minutes. Antonio was brought down by Ince on the left-hand edge of Brighton’s area, earning the Seagulls midfielder a booking. With everyone expecting a cross, Burke shifted the ball to his right for Lansbury,who fired it low through the crowd and into the far corner of the net. The ball may have taken a slight deflection on its way in.

Keen to put the game out of their hosts’ reach, Forest went in search of a third. Burke showed excellent persistence to draw a foul from Lua Lua down the right, presenting Osborn with the chance to deliver a dangerous cross into the middle. The young midfielder did so, picking out Antonio who outleapt everyone before nodding the ball over from six yards.

Brighton, who had sent on Leon Best in place of Calderon, soon offered a response. It came from Teixeira once again, the midfielder striking the ball towards goal from the edge of the area. Hobbs managed to divert the ball on to the post, the rebound striking the floored Darlow on the back. Forest managed to clear the danger.

Brighton were ramping up the pressure as time ticked by, creating a number of skirmishes in Forest’s area without being able to turn the ball home.

Darlow had to dive to his left to palm away Chris O’Grady’s strike with 11 minutes to play, before Freedman sent on Fryatt in place of Assombalona.

But Forest grew back into the game and added a third goal with four minutes to play. Fryatt flicked the ball into Burke’s pass from a throw-in and the Scotsman squared the ball for Osborn, who arrived late in the area to slide it past Stockdale.

Lascelles replaced Lansbury shortly afterwards but the substitute was unable to prevent the hosts from narrowing the lead to 3-2. The game restarted with a corner and debutant Kayal, who had replaced Holla minutes earlier, met the ball in the middle, glancing it across goal and into the far corner.

It was a baptism of fire for Lascelles who, during the four minutes of injury time, had to clear the ball off the line to prevent Kayal from scoring a dramatic equaliser.

Brighton kept up their pressure right to the death but the game came to an end when Darlow did well to claim Dunk’s desperate cross, confirming an excellent win on his return to the side.

Forest: Darlow, Lichaj, Collins, Hobbs (c), Fox, Antonio, Gardner, Osborn, Lansbury (Lascelles 89'), Burke, Assombalonga (Fryatt 80')

Subs: De Vries, Paterson, Blackstock, Vaughan, Tesche

Goals: Collins 44', Lansbury 63', Osborn 86'

BrightonStockdale, Bruno, Greer, Dunk, Bennett, Holla (Kayal 85'), Ince, Teixeira, Calderon (Best 66'), O'Grady, March (LuaLua 19')

Subs not used: Walton, Hughes, Forster-Caskey, Mackail-Smith

Goals: Dunk 42', Kayal 90'

Booking: Ince 62'

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Attendance: 26,267 (1,727 away)

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