Before sitting down to watch a must-win game for the Albion. We decided to get some pre-match food. Nandos it was. I’m generally not their biggest fan however it did the trick as was nicer than expected. As we walked in, I noticed a familiar… head. Faced away from me with his younger brother, Sami, and some friends was ex-Albion defender Adam El-Abd. I could recognised that shaved head from a mile away! They were probably going to watch Brighton on the television too.
The game had started. The first real chance of note came in the 27th minute. Jiri Skalak whipping the ball into the six yard box (aka. the corridor of uncertainty) where Lewis Dunk touched it into the net via Danny Fox. Another great delivery from Brighton’s set piece maestro and another assist! 1-0 Albion.
That was the only real chance before half time. A controversial incident where the referee failed to stop the play to allow Goldson to be treated by medical staff, allowing Forest to have a decent chance in the process. What I thought was quite wonderful from the incident was the fact that every Albion player ran over to question the decision (or lack there-of). It really showed the spirit and ‘togetherness’ of this squad.
The second half was completely different. Nottingham came out a side determined to score. Unfortunately, the Albion defence succumbed to the pressure. A Forest free kick was glanced on by substitute Dexter Blackstock. The goal would have been prevented by man marking and having someone on the post. Zonal marking fails us again!
Forest almost made it 2-1 after Blackstock dispossessed Goldson and slotted it through to Lansbury who put it just over the bar. The defence could count themselves lucky.
A rare break from Forest’s pressure saw a cross to the unmarked Tomer Hemed who somehow put the ball inches wide from about 3 yards out! However a similar situation manifested up the other end as Blackstock also managed to header a ball wide from a similar distance. Both teams fortunate not to concede.
The game started to even out towards the latter stages. However this was not good. Anything less than a win was disastrous for Albion’s promotion hopes. On comes Sidwell. Looking at Twitter, a fair amount of fans were moaning and groaning about bringing Sidwell on. However he would deny and prove the haters wrong. A twisting run from Knockaert who somehow managed to get the ball through about six Forest players landed at the feet of ‘the ginger Pele’ who smashed the ball into the bottom corner and realed away towards the bench/ stampede of Albion substitutes and coaches. An injury time winner away at Forest sounds so familiar doesn’t it?
A tense encounter where Brighton were strong for the majority of the game. However complacency prevailed and once again a preventable set piece led to them almost drawing the game. However thanks to the wizard-like powers of Knockaert and cool-head of Sidwell, the Albion were able to leave Nottingham with a relieved smile on their face and of course, the three points.
Article by George Carden (@George_Carden)