Report: Albion 0 Nottingham Forest 0Albion were held to a 0-0 draw by Nottingham Forest at the Amex, but the goalless scoreline said little about the game with chances a-plenty for the Seagulls.
Gus Poyet made three changes to the side that drew at The Valley last weekend, with David Lopez, Andrew Crofts and Inigo Calderon all recalled to the starting line-up.
Poyet’s charges were on the front foot from the off; indeed it took just eight minutes for Albion to beat Forest goalkeeper Lee Camp, but Calderon’s left-footed shot hit Camp’s post following a Craig Mackail-Smith cut-back.
And that would set the tone for the first half. Moments later Crofts picked out Will Hoskins with a low cross, but the striker dragged his shot wide from six yards.
Will Buckley was his normal rampaging self and was sent tumbling by former Albion left-back Dan Harding, before being chopped down by Andy Reid – doubling up to help his left-back – and the ex-Spurs man was booked for his actions.
Hoskins again had a glorious chance to score as Buckley headed Wayne Bridge’s well-directed cross into his path, but his acrobatic effort sliced over the South Stand goal.
Then three minutes later Crofts fired in a cross from the right goal line, but Hoskins’ header blazed over.
Yet it was not all one-sided as experienced midfielder Reidsliced high and wide under pressure from from Calderon.
Lopez, Buckley, Hoskins and Mackail-Smith linked up brilliantly in midfield, providing an opportunity for the latter, but his shot skimmed past the left post from an acute angle - then minutes later Crofts set up Calderon in the Forest box but the right-back’s stinging effort was tipped over by Camp.
Ever-energetic striker Mackail-Smith created another opportunity for himself when he drifted wide to receive the ball, before jinking his way past Alan Hutton, but he also dragged the following shot wide of the target.
But in added time at the end of the first half Albion hearts were in their mouths when Billy Sharp showed a poacher’s instinct to stab the ball past Tomasz Kuszczak, but thankfully it bounced back off the angle of the goal.
Harding was switched for Greg Halford at the break, as the heavens opened above the Amex Stadium, and he took little time to make his presence felt when he was booked for a thundering challenge on Buckley. Then, moments later, he got another talking to by referee Graham Sailsbury for dragging Buckley to the ground. Just a stern warning this time though.
At the other end, Halford’s low cross was met by Dexter Blackstock, who stabbed his effort wide, while Hoskins had another opportunity for the Seagulls when he met Lopez’s free-kick at the back post, but he missed the target with his snap-shot.
Kazenga LuaLua was introduced with 20 minutes remaining to ignite more creative flair and it took him little time to skip past Hutton on the left, but his shot was turned around the post by a fully-stretched Camp.
With five minutes remaining Buckley latched onto Halford’s bad touch to run through on goal; he shot early but Camp was equal to the strike to beat the ball wide for a corner.
The North Stand was willing the ball into the goal in added time when it dropped to LuaLua 25 yards out but his powerful strike went wide of the goal, which in truth was the story of Albion’s afternoon.