Camp save helps Forest secure a point at Brighton
AN outstanding save from Lee Camp helped Nottingham Forest hold on for a point at promotion rivals Brighton.
The keeper reacted brilliantly to deny Will Buckley, just as it seemed the winger was poised to snatch all three points for the Seagulls late in the game.
The first half had been dominated almost entirely by the home side, with Will Hoskins alone missing a trio of golden chances against his former club – although Billy Sharp rattled the bar in injury time before the interval.
Forest were much improved after the break and saw substitute Henri Lansbury come close to breaking the deadlock.
Come and enjoy one of our side orders for only £1 when you order a main here at THE SOUL KITCHEN LONG EATON
*Must be ordered with a main dish.
terms and conditions apply
Please present voucher, show on SMARTPHONE or mention website when ordering by phone
Contact: 0115 8962290
Valid until: Monday, May 27 2013
But the visitors also owed a debt of thanks to Camp for denying Brighton a late winner for the second year running.
O'Driscoll made four changes to the team that had beaten Burnley last weekend, with Chris Cohen, Adlene Guedioura, Guy Moussi and Daniel Ayala brought in and Lewis McGugan, Simon Gillett, Lansbury and Elliott Ward relegated to the bench.
A powerful run down the centre from Dexter Blackstock had Forest looking dangerous on the counter-attack but, after doing all the hard work by carrying the ball half the length of the pitch, the move broke down when the striker delivered a poor pass to Andy Reid wide on the left.
Brighton were committing men forwards with ambition early on and, after winning a corner, Inigo Calderon looped a header a few feet over the bar.
A well-timed challenge from Dan Harding on Will Buckley instigated a quick break, but this time it was Reid who was off target with a pass, ensuring that the move broke down.
A strong piece of hold up play from Craig Mackail-Smith carved out the best chance of the game so far, as he laid off the ball to Calderon on the edge of the box, from where the full back planted a shot against the foot of the post.
Former Forest man Will Hoskins then came close with a great chance, as he fired a shot into the side netting after Andrew Crofts had picked him out at the far post, with the Forest defence caught flat footed.
The Reds hit back as a shot from Sharp was charged down and fell kindly to Reid, who lashed a wild effort of his own high into the stands.
Harding had escaped a booking for a rugged challenge on Will Buckley but, when Reid brought down the winger in the 16th minute referee Graham Salisbury did show a yellow card to the Forest man.
Former England man Wayne Bridge pushed forward from left back and found himself with a shooting chance, but his powerful effort was always bending away from goal.
Brighton were building pressure and, after Buckley had headed a ball across goal, Hoskins lifted an acrobatic volley narrowly over from six yards.
A corner at the other end reminded Brighton of Forest's attacking threat, although Guedioura's low effort, following a short corner from Reid, never threatened the Brighton goal as it bobbled harmlessly wide.
Hoskins missed another glorious chance as Moussi's missed interception allowed Crofts to cross into the centre, where the on loan Watford player headed badly over.
Still, it was Forest who could have taken the lead when Sharp pulled the ball across goal for Reid, who hit a powerful shot that rose only a foot or two over the bar, from 12 yards.
Mackail-Smith then eluded the Forest defence with a darting run down the centre, latching onto a ball from Buckley, before angling a shot across the face of goal that was not far wide. Brighton were the better side at this stage, with Forest holding on to some degree.
Brighton were pushing forward with increasing menace, with Calderon again coming close with a shot that was deflected just over the bar after he had shown some clever footwork to carve out the room for a shot on the edge of the area.
Forest had been second best for much of the first half, but they still almost snatched the lead, as Sharp prodded a Cohen cross onto the bar. It was a clever effort from the striker, which just did not quite dip enough as it dropped towards the far post.
Greg Halford was introduced for Harding at half time and, following what was presumably something of a talking to from O'Driscoll during the interval, the visitors began brightly, with Cohen stabbing a shot wide following good work from Reid.
Halford had only been on the pitch for nine minutes when he was booked for a foul on Buckley, who continued to torment the Forest back four. And he received another long lecture from the referee following another foul two minutes later, with the Brighton fans baying for him to be shown a second yellow.
Reid was then involved in an off the ball class with Buckley, who furiously appealed for the Forest man to be shown a second yellow card, with almost the entire Forest team surrounding referee Salisbury to complain that the Brighton man had made a meal of it.
Forest made a second change as Henri Lansbury was introduced in place of Guedioura with an hour gone.
Lansbury's impact was almost immediate as he picked up a knockdown from Blackstock and drove a low shot towards goal that Tomasz Kuszczak saved with some degree of uncertainty.
Ayala then lifted an instinctive shot over from close range as Forest built their first sustained period of pressure in the game, winning a flurry of corners.
A deep cross from Halford then picked out Blackstock, who rose brilliantly to glance a downward header six inches the wrong side of the post.
Camp's reactions were tested when sub LuaLua drove a shot towards his near post, with the keeper doing well to push it away.
But Forest were looking more dangerous themselves going forward, with Blackstock again connecting with a Cohen cross and Sharp poised to pounce if the keeper had spilt the striker's header.
Camp had to make the save of the game after a slip from Halford allowed Buckley to race clear, with the keeper stretching out a hand to push the ball away when it seemed Brighton were certain to score.
Ayala then had to make a vital clearance to snatch the ball off the toes of substitute Ashley Barnes, when it seemed the striker was about to strike from close range.
But, unlike last season, when Forest were beaten by a late winner, this time they were able to hold on and make the long journey home with a point in the bag.
Brighton: Kuszczak, Greer, El-Abd, Hoskins (LuaLua 70), Crofts, Mackail-Smith, Calderon, Lopez (Barnes 78), Bridcutt (Hammond 85), Bridge, Buckley. Subs: Brezovan, Dunk, Dobbie, Harley.
Forest: Camp, Hutton, Ayala, Collins, Harding (Halford 45), Cohen, Moussi, Guedioura (Lansbury 60), Reid (Gillett 92), Sharp, Blackstock. Subs: Darlow, McGugan, Majewski, Ward.
Referee: Graham Salisbury.
Attendance: 26,684 (1,860 away)