Brighton brush Forest aside with convincing victory

Date published: Friday 12th August 2016 10:33

Anthony Knockaert: Opened Brighton scoring

Glenn Murray scored twice as Brighton comfortably beat Nottingham Forest 3-0 to record their first Sky Bet Championship win of the season.

Murray, on a season-long loan from Bournemouth, secured the points with a second-half brace after Anthony Knockaert had given Brighton a 36th-minute lead.

The Seagulls suffered an injury blow in stoppage time when keeper David Stockdale was helped off with a leg injury and defender Lewis Dunk was forced to take over with three substitutes used, but Forest could not take any advantage.

Brighton, who missed out on automatic promotion last season on goal difference before being beaten in the play-off semi-finals by Sheffield Wednesday, have not lost at the Amex Stadium since New Year`s Day, and they ensured that record continued with a confident display.

The hosts were unchanged from the side that drew at Derby last time out, while Forest were forced into a late change when Alex Lacovitti was called up in place of migraine victim Thomas Lam.

Despite that setback, Forest started brightly and a goal-bound shot from Jamie Ward was blocked by Dunk in the first minute.

Dunk then went close for the Seagulls at the other end as he headed wide from a corner from Knockaert.

Brighton began to claim the upper hand and Israel international midfielder Beram Kayal tried his luck from 30 yards before former Leicester winger Knockaert curled a free-kick wide.

Forest keeper Stephen Henderson was well positioned to hold a powerful cross by Liam Rosenior after Murray played the ball out wide.

Midfielder Oliver Burke threatened for Forest with a 50-yard run but, with Rosenior covering well, he was unable to get a shot away.

Burke displayed his lightening pace again on the half-hour by getting free down the right, but he dragged a right-footed shot wide.

Just when it looked like Forest were getting on top, Albion broke the deadlock when Frenchman Knockaert struck from point-blank range.

Jiri Skalak released Gaetan Bong down the left and his cross was delivered with pace for Knockaert to score from inside the six-yard area.

Forest came close to levelling when Bong fouled Burke and Pajtim Kasami shaved the post with the resultant free-kick, but the visitors were on the back foot again just before half-time with Henderson forced to parry a header from Steve Sidwell after a Skalak corner.

Albion keeper David Stockdale was called into action himself five minutes after the break to block a goal-bound effort from Kasami, before Murray went close for the home side with a fierce shot which flew just wide.

Polish defender Damien Perquis should have hit the target for Forest in the 64th minute when he wastefully put a close-range header over, and Brighton made him pay by doubling their advantage four minutes later.

Tomer Hemed powerfully headed back a free-kick from Skalak to strike partner Murray and he did the rest from six yards out.

Skalak, seeing a lot of the ball, set up Hemed shortly after but the Israel international failed to make contact sliding in at the far post.

It mattered little, though, as Murray completed Brighton`s win eight minutes from time by shooting home from eight yards after substitute Sam Baldock set him up following a strong run by Knockaert.

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