Nottingham Forest 1-2 Brighton & Hove Albion

Steve Sidwell scores Brighton's winner

Steve Sidwell had only been on the pitch for six minutes before scoring Brighton’s winner

Steve Sidwell scored in stoppage time as Brighton closed the gap on the top two in the Championship to a point with a late victory at Nottingham Forest.

Lewis Dunk had headed the Seagulls into the lead midway through the first half from Jiri Skalak’s free-kick.

Substitute Dexter Blackstock equalised for Forest early in the second half from an almost identical move.

Both sides went close to a winner before Sidwell latched on to Anthony Knockaert’s surging run into the area.

Relive Brighton’s win at Forest

Seagulls eye top flight

The late victory moves Chris Hughton’s side one point behind second-placed Middlesbrough, who have a game in hand and face Reading at home on Tuesday.

Sidwell, who came off the bench with just five minutes remaining, clinched an entertaining contest at the City Ground in the first minute of injury time.

Forest, who have lost five of their past six league games, were more than good value for the draw as head coach Paul Williams saw a spirited response from his side following Dunk’s opener.

They were rewarded moments into the second half when Blackstock, who replaced injured striker Jamie Ward before the interval, glanced in off the far post to level.

Captain Henri Lansbury should have completed a turnaround for the hosts, but dinked a shot over the crossbar after Blackstock played him in on the counter attack.

Brighton substitutes James Wilson and Anthony Knockaert then both went close before leading scorer Tomer Hemed headed wide.

But, it was Hughton’s final change which paid off as Sidwell drilled in a right-foot effort from 12 yards to secure a fourth win in five games and extend Albion’s unbeaten run to nine games.


Lewis Dunk’s second goal in as many games had given Brighton the lead


Dexter Blackstock levelled for Forest early in the second half


Steve Sidwell’s shot on the turn proved the decisive strike at the City Ground

What the managers said

Nottingham Forest head coach Paul Williams:

“At half-time we asked the players to believe in themselves. Brighton have got some good players, but so have we and we wanted the players to believe in themselves.

“In the first half, we showed too much respect to Brighton but in the second, we did the hard miles.

“We created plenty of chances and we did not take them, but they took one in injury time and took all three points.

“Brighton are up there in the table for a reason, but we wanted the players to get amongst them and we did.”

Brighton manager Chris Hughton:


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Chris Hughton: Brighton boss on win over Forest

“Every game is the same, there is always apprehension whether it’s the first game or the last – but this is an exciting period of the season.

“The players are all excited about what the next game will bring; they are excited about the end to the season and what is to come. We have to embrace that.

“We felt that the game was becoming open and we felt we could bring players off the bench who could influence the game.

“One thing about Steve Sidwell is that he can break forward from midfield. I did not bring him on for that, but I am very glad he did it.”

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