Albion 1 Nottingham Forest 3Ten-man Nottingham Forest produced a stunning second-half comeback to defeat Albion 3-1 at the Amex.
Oscar Garcia’s side had taken a 1-0 lead into half-time, thanks to an Andrew Crofts header, but the in-form visitors hit back after the break to end Albion’s four-game unbeaten home run.
In an enthralling contest, Kazenga LuaLua caused early problems for Forest, firstly his deflected cross forcing Karl Darlow into action before the winger flashed a powerful drive over.
Ashley Barnes tried his luck next with a low left-foot drive that Darlow was equal to, and Danny Collins was next to deny the Seagulls with an excellent intervention to cut out LuaLua’s dangerous low cross.
Tomasz Kuszczak’s brilliant save low to his left on 14 minutes stopped Darius Henderson’s goalbound header, and the Polish keeper was on hand once again to beat away Radoslaw Majewski’s fierce half volley.
Both Henri Lansbury and Andy Reid came close with strikes from distance as the visitors started to show the quality that has seen them lose just once this season.
But it was Albion who struck just past the half-hour mark as Stephen Ward’s looping cross was directed back across the face of goal for the stooping Crofts to guide home with his head.
LuaLua then fired over while Nathaniel Chabolah’s strike was too hot for Kuszczak to handle, but the loose ball fell kindly for Albion.
Barnes also dropped a shot wide and Inigo Calderon headed over as an entertaining half drew to a close.
Supporters were barely back in their seats though when Forest levelled; Lansbury expertly directing his header past Kuszczak after out-jumping the Albion defence to meet Majewski’s corner.
The travelling fans were still celebrating as Oscar’s side came within inches of regaining the lead - Crofts seeing his effort magnificently tipped onto the post by Darlow, with the Forest defence then scrambling the ball away to safety.
Calderon headed over before a two-minute spell that turned the game on its head. First, Simon Cox’s flick from Chris Cohen’s cross landed invitingly for Henderson, who made no mistake in firing first time past Kuszczak.
Then Matthew Upson was penalised for a foul on Lansbury inside the box, and the number 10 dusted himself down before emphatically dispatching his penalty in front of the jubilant City followers.
The drama didn’t stop there though as Chalobah collected his second yellow card for a trip on LuaLua, giving Albion an extra man for the final quarter of the game.
However, the deep lying Forest defence allowed no room for the Seagulls to exploit as they left Sussex with the victory.