Nottingham Forest 0 – 0 Brighton & Hove Albion

Nottingham Forest yielded the top spot in the Championship after a drab 0-0 draw at home with Sami Hyypia’s Brighton. Forest had long spells with the ball at their feet but failed to craft any clear cut opportunities, often resorting to long range efforts. Meanwhile the visitors came with a clear game plan; to soak up pressure and hit Forest on the break with quick counter attacks, and if not for the width of the post it would have been plan which earned them 3 points.

Brighton started and finished the first half the better side, playing some very intricate stuff at times, while for the brunt of the half Forest where trying to break them down. Crosses from Chris Burke and Michail Antonio have been Forest’s most threatening weapon this season but up against two tall, imposing centre halves in Dunk and Greer this approach was neutralised. The closest the hosts got was a long range effort from Tesche being deflected and almost looping over the Seagulls’ keeper David Stockdale. The second half followed a similar pattern, except that Brighton were committing more men forward, and it should have paid off. Kazenga Lua Lua missing the target when presented with a couple of decent opportunists, and Craig Mackail-Smith horribly missing great chance from a few yards out. Brighton looked more likely to snatch a win towards the end but then in stoppage time Forest had a glorious chance – Mancienne heading into the turf and over when found free from a corner.

Forest side (top) vs Brighton side (bottom)

Forest side (top) vs Brighton side (bottom)

Nottingham Forest

Karl Darlow Another clean sheet for the Forest number one, and it wasn’t easy to come by. Made several decent stops as well as playing in a Manuel Neuer-esk sweeper role when Forest had a high line 8.0
Jack Hunt Lost his man a few times but still contributed to a defence which got a clean sheet and played well going forward 5.5
Michael Mancienne A last minute miss away from being another flawless display by the former Chelsea prodigy, showed good pace when having to back track and chase Brighton nippy front 3. 8.5
Kelvin Wilson Followed up his great performance vs Tottenham on Wednesday with another solid performance at the back, but did have his lack of pace exploited on occasion 8.0
Danny Fox Very poor going forward and misjudged the ball several times defensively, had next to no end product 4.5
Ben Osborn Wasn’t announced in the original starting XI, but an injury in the warm up for David Vaughan meant his was throw in last minute, and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. As Osborn played very well in the middle of the park in both his dribbling and passing 8.0
Robert Tesche Playing the deepest of the midfielders Tesche didn’t help out his defence an awful lot, but still had an alright match overall, coming closest to scoring for forest via a deflection 7.0
Chris Burke Struggled to find a red shirt with his usually lethal crosses, but showed a good touch and ball control throughout 5.5
Michail Antonio Had a quiet match by the his high standards of this season, not running at his man often enough – did show glimpses of what everyone knows he can do though 6.0
Henri Lansbury Wasn’t fully at it and looked to tire in the second half, Lansbury didn’t have his shooting boots on either but still put a shift in and played his part in moving the ball around 5.0
Britt Assombalonga Had next to nothing to feed on and hardly even touched the ball all game 3.5

Substitutions

Jorge Grant Fitted in well for the final few minutes of the game 6.0
Lars Veldwijk Struggled to get the ball under control when he got it but put himself about a bit, almost getting on the end of a Fox free kick 3.0
Jamie Paterson Barely touched the ball after coming on, did not have close to the desired impact 2.5

Brighton & Hove Albion

David Stockdale Only had a couple of saves to make but one was impressive, did show poor distribution though 7.0
Bruno The Spaniard had a impressive game at right back, dealing with Antonio easily enough and also advancing on as all good full backs do 8.5
Gordon Greer The experienced Scot played very well winning every header and marked the dangerous Assombalona out the game 8.5
Lewis Dunk Played just as well as his defence partner, the two 6 foot plus centre backs dominating Forest’s attack, but fell over like a horse at Aintree under a slight touch from a player a foot shorter then him, so docking him some points purely out of bitterness 8.0
Joe Bennett The first of two Villa loanees that appeared for Brighton and the left back didn’t have a good match particularly with his end product, finding himself in good positions to cross a few times and failing to produce anything 5.0
Danny Holla Put his body on the line to stop Forest having a go from range and covered his back four very well when forest had them under sustained pressure 7.5
Jake Forster Caskey The England U21 international had a fairly quiet match, playing with Crofts in the middle he occasionally got on the ball and took it forward, but didn’t do this often enough 5.5
Andrew Crofts Expected more from the Welsh international after an impressive 2013-14, didn’t play particularly well 5.0
Adrian Colunga Very poor end product from Brightons winger, as his pace got him into good positions a few times but his crosses always found one of Mancienne or Wilson 4.5
Kazenga Lua Lua Had some very good dribbles and got out of confined spaces well, but was also greedy taking shots (and missing) from range when passing may have been a better option 6.0
Craig Mackail-Smith Had a good game without scoring, as opposed to the other former Peterborough striker on the pitch>  “CMS” was involved a lot, holding the ball up brillaintly and if he finished some of the chances he found himself presented with it could have been a very good day for Brighton 7.5

Substitutions

Rohan Ince The big midfielder came on the shaw up the visitors midfield and you could say he did this, albeit getting booked in the process 6.0
Paddy McCourt Had an uninspiring cameo, didn’t really notice him  3.0
Gary Gardner Didn’t have long to show what he can do 3.5 

Man of the Match

Gordan Greer: The MOTM award was always going to go to a defender and in my opinion Greer was the best on the pitch. A rock at the back he never lost his man a stopped the Championships top scorer even having a sniff at goal 8.5

 


About Author

Nottingham Forest supporter home and away, Andy Reid's left foot appreciator. 17 at college and hoping to go on to take Sports Journalism at uni.