Nottingham Forest 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 2
Steve Sidwell’s first Albion goal since 2002 gave the Seagulls a priceless three points after Forest drew level and at times threatened to take the lead.
Lewis Dunk gave Albion the lead after another superb Jiri Skalak set-piece.
Henri Lansbury and Chris Cohen went close for Forest in the first half.
Albion continued to take the game Forest in the second half but were undone by a Dexter Blackstock header in similar circumstances to Dunk’s opener as the Forest forward equalised on 50 minutes.
Albion were up against it for a while. Dunk was lucky to escape with just a yellow card after a wild lunge at former Albion loanee Gary Gardner.
Then Connor Goldson lost out to Cohen in just inside the Albion half. He sent Lansbury away but the forward fired over.
Dunk then wildly diverted a loose ball into the side netting after Beram Kayal lost possession in midfield.
Tomer Hemed should have scored from another Skalak corner but sent his header just wide.
Blackstock had a great chance for Forest but put his header wide when inside the six-yard box – a huge let off for Albion.
With time running out two Albion substitutes came to the fore. First, Anthony Knockaert twisted his way through the Forest defence only to see his shot pushed away by Dorus De Vries.
Then Knockaert again worked his magic. As the clock ticked towards 90, the ball fell to Sidwell 12 yards out and he smashed home a precious Albion winner.
The Seagulls move to within two points of leaders Burnley and within one of Middlesbrough who play their game in hand against Reading tomorrow.
Albion take on Fulham at the Amex on Friday (15 April). The fixture changed to fit around Brighton Marathon weekend.