Reds Win Again
19 August 2006
Come the end of the season, Forest may well look back on this game as one of the toughest they faced. A strong Brighton side made the Reds work hard for there forth victory in as many games, that saw Forest concede there first goal of the campaign but also break there penalty hoodoo.
The game started with Forest passing the ball all over the pitch neatly, confidently and along the deck, just the way the fans like it, but with no end product. Nicky Southall came close when beating his man, he turned on the spot, to force keeper Henderson into a smart save at the post. The Seagulls were allowed to come into the game and have sustained periods of pressure, but like Forest they had no end product. Nicky Southall almost turned provider when his neat pass to Gary Holt saw him drive the ball inches wide of the post.
The Seagulls took the lead on 39mins when keeper Smith seemed to spill a harmless looking cross. The ball ended up at the feet of Alex Revell, who passed to Jake Robinson who had the easiest of tap ins. Forest almost hit back immediately, when Grant Holts' effort was somehow cleared off the line.
At half time most fans would have probably been glad of a draw. Colin Calderwood on the other hand was still wanting the three points. He took off Morgan and introduced Curtis. Forest now played a more conventional 4-4-2.
The second half started at a fair pace and saw Brighton almost increase there lead when Revell raced into the box, but was met by a timely challenge from Breckin. Forest also came close after being awarded a free kick. Ian Breckins' knock down header was fired over the bar by Grant Holt from six yards out. Soon after on 63mins the Reds were awarded a penalty after Lester was brought down by El Abd. The City Ground held it's breath as Grant Holt became the third penalty taker of the season. Although Henderson dived the right way and nearly saved it, Holt hit the ball with such ferocity that he had no chance. Forest had deservedly equalised. Minutes later Holt could have had his second, but was denied by a saving block by El Abd. Once again Lester was replaced by Harris for the last 20 mins. Straight away Holt put him through on goal with Mayo in pursuit, but Harris ran into the defender and lost out. The winner came from some good play from the Reds. Perch won the ball in mid field and his neat pass found Grant Holt. He played it out wide to Southall who quickly made ground, his cross into the box was met by Holt who headed home from six yards.
Brighton were reduced to ten men after El Abd was dismissed for a second yellow for holding onto Harris in the 90th min. Brighton thought they had won a point when Cox hit a thunderbolt that was saved by Smith, the keeper redeemed himself for his earlier mistake.
Four games and four wins, now see the Reds sharing top spot in League 1 with Port Vale. It's going to be a long hard season, but Forest will take heart from the fact that they had come from behind and got a victory against a team that will surely be challenging for the top spot come the end of the season.
Forest: Smith, Morgan (Curtis 45), Breckin, Cullip, Southall, Perch (Thompson 84), Gary Holt, Clingan, Bennett, Grant Holt, Lester (Harris 70).
Subs Not Used: Pedersen, Weir-Daley.
Goals: Grant Holt 63 pen, 78.
Brighton: Henderson, Reid (Santos 90), Lynch, El-Abd, Mayo, Hammond, Carpenter, Stokes (Frutos 73), Revell, Hart, Robinson (Cox 54).
Subs Not Used: Kuipers, Lowe.
Sent Off: El-Abd (90).
Booked: Mayo, El-Abd.
Goals: Robinson 39.
Ref: M Clattenburg (Co Durham).