A double from Glenn Murray helped Brighton record a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Nottingham Forest this evening.
Albion led at the break through Anthony Knockaert’s 36th-minute goal, before Murray’s first goal back in a Brighton shirt made it 2-0 midway through the second half. Murray then added a late third as Albion eased to all three points.
It was the visitors who started brightly, with Bruno and Lewis Dunk blocking shots in the opening 90 seconds.
Albion then threatened as Lewis Dunk poked a Knockaert corner just wide on four minutes, before Beram Kayal blazed a couple of shots over from distance.
Forest always looked dangerous on the break and after Steve Sidwell gave the ball away, Oliver Burke burst forward on 30 minutes but then shot wide of the far post with just David Stockdale to beat.
Knockaert had a curling free kick comfortably saved by Forest keeper Stephen Henderson after 34 minutes, before Brighton went ahead two minutes later. Glenn Murray held the ball up and laid it back to Gaetan Bong, whose excellent cross was swept home by Knockaert from close range.
Forest’s Pajtim Kasami fired a free kick into the side netting on 43 minutes, before Brighton had two opportunities to increase their lead in first half injury time. Steve Sidwell flashed a header from Jiri Skalak’s corner straight at Henderson, before Bruno fired into the side netting from six yards from another Skalak corner.
Stockdale got down well to save Kasami’s low shot five minutes into the second half, before Murray cut in and shot inches wide of the far post.
The visitors had an opportunity to level on 64 minutes when Alex Iavcovitti headed a corner back across goal but Damien Perquis could only head over from six yards.
Brighton doubled their lead just four minutes later when Skalak’s free kick was headed back across goal by Tomer Hemed for Murray to tap home from six yards for his first goal since returning to the club.
Hemed could not quite stretch enough to turn home Skalak’s dangerous low cross on 70 minutes and Forest almost got a goal back five minutes later when Stockdale parried Kasami’s fierce drive and Lars Veldwijk could only turn the rebound over.
Albion added a third to put the game beyond Forest on 82 minutes. Knockaert drove forward and released substitute Sam Baldock, who unselfishly squared for Murray to tap home his second.
Murray then almost completed a hat-trick but was denied by Henderson shortly afterwards.
The only blemish for Albion was keeper Stockdale limping off injured in injury-time, which meant Dunk finished the game in goal.
BRIGHTON: Stockdale; Rosenior, Bruno, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert, Sidwell, Kayal (Stephens 75), Skalak (Norwood 83); Hemed (Baldock 75), Murray. Subs: Maenpaa, Murphy, LuaLua, White.
FOREST: Henderson; Mancienne, Lansbury, Osborn, Veldwijk, Perieira, Ward (Traore 62), Kasami, Perquis, Iavcovitti (Paterson 74), Burke (Vellios 78). Subs: Smith, Traore, Paterson, Vaughan, Vellios, Iacovitti, Cash.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!