By Liam Dawes
Substitute Will Buckley scored an injury time winner to give Brighton a third consecutive Championship win against Nottingham Forest at the Amex Stadium.
Image used courtesy of jamesboyes
The 22-year-old struck in the 92nd minute after great play by Craig Mackail-Smith and Romain Vincelot to send Albion into a play-off position.
The last gasp effort was the Seagulls only shot on target in a drab affair, with Albion manager Gus Poyet suggesting his side were lucky to take all three points.
Poyet said: “If I’m honest, we probably didn’t deserve to win the game. We were not great on the ball, but we also have to give credit to Nottingham Forest, because they pushed us very high up the pitch.
“The only thing you can do as a manager is to make substitutions. Will was waiting for his chance because he’s been out for a while, but today was the right time for him to be on the bench and I’m very pleased for him.”
A dull first half was only briefly ignited when Paul Anderson shaved Albion goalkeeper Casper Ankergren’s post from 25 yards as both teams cancelled each other out.
Forest – who are in the relegation zone after a midweek mauling by Leeds – came out much the better side in the second half, and should have taken the lead.
Right-back Chris Gunter delivered a perfect cross for Worthing-born Marcus Tudgay, but the striker’s diving header went wide of Ankergren’s post.
Anderson then fired another shot across goal which did beat Ankergren, but not Albion centre-half Lewis Dunk, who cleared off the line.
Poyet introduced Kazenga LuaLua on 55 minutes, and he immediately created a chance at the opposite end, but Craig Noone couldn’t quite direct his header on target.
With the game looking destined to end in stalemate, Buckley stole the headlines after great work from Mackail-Smith.
The Scottish international charged down the right and played a low cross towards Vincelot, who laid the ball off perfectly to Buckley, who showed great composure to slot the ball past Lee Camp, and send the Amex faithful into raptures.
Brighton: Ankergren, Jara Reyes, Greer, Dunk, Taricco, Navarro (Vincelot 85), Noone (Buckley 76), Bridcutt, Paynter, Mackail-Smith, Barnes (LuaLua 55). Subs not used: Brezovan, El-Abd.
Nottingham Forest: Camp, Cunningham, Chambers, Morgan, Gunter, Anderson (Moloney 89), Greening, Moussi, Majewski, McCleary (McGoldrick 82), Tudgay. Subs not used: Smith, McGugan, Blackstock.