Brighton came from behind against Nottingham Forest to secure a play-off place thanks to a stoppage-time winner by Leonardo Ulloa.

A clumsy mistake by Brighton goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak allowed Matt Derbyshire to put Forest ahead with a tame header.

Stephen Ward levelled with a fine half-volley, while Kazenga Lua Lua and Will Buckley went close in the final stages.

All hope seemed lost for Brighton until top scorer Ulloa headed home Craig Mackail-Smith's cross from close range.

The 90th minute header sparked wild celebrations from the visiting fans and players as Brighton sneaked into the play-offs at Reading's expense by a point, setting up a two-legged semi-final tie against Derby.

Brighton needed to better Reading's result against Burnley, but even with the Royals merely drawing 2-2 at home it seemed as if the Seagulls were going to agonisingly miss out on sixth spot.

Substitute Lua Lua unleashed a thunderous 25-yard effort which flew fractionally wide while, in the final five minutes, Buckley attempted to dance around Dorus De Vries, only for the Forest goalkeeper to snatch the ball from his feet.

 Leonardo Ulloa.

Time was running out, but the visitors counter-attacked in what proved to be a glorious final fling, with Mackail-Smith's perfectly placed cross finding Ulloa.

Up until that point, Ulloa had been far from ruthless in front of goal, missing a glorious opportunity to give his side the lead in the opening 10 minutes as he dragged his effort wide of the far post when through on goal.

Forest's hopes of finishing in the top six ended last weekend, but they have a fine record against a Brighton team which had last beaten them in December 2011 - and it seemed as if their hex over the Seagulls would continue when Kuszczak made his awful error.

David Vaughan found Derbyshire lurking inside the box, but there seemed to be no danger for the Pole until he fumbled and allowed the Forest striker's weak effort to bounce over the line.

Brighton had only won once this season by coming from behind and their lack of potency in the final third during the first half suggested that the statistic was unlikely to change.

Ulloa had a goal rightly disallowed for offside, but De Vries was unemployed in the Forest goal until his defenders failed to deal with a corner and on-loan Wolves midfielder Ward struck with an unstoppable half-volley.

Forest continued to threaten, with Kuszczak diving low to his left to prevent Stephen McLaughlin from restoring the lead, while Marcus Tudgay went a fraction wide moments later.

Chances continued to fall for Forest, but Brighton held their nerve and took their opportunity to keep alive their hopes of playing in the Premier League next season.

Nottingham Forest caretaker boss Gary Brazil: "It was another game that we should have gone on and won.

"I could point to Charlton, Millwall and Brighton- all games we should have won, which would be an extra nine points.

"Where would we be with those nine points? We did not hurt Brighton enough. We gave them the opportunity to get back in the game."

Brighton boss Oscar Garcia on playing Derby in the play-offs: "They have beaten us twice this season. But we will be ready this time, we will be prepared and we will look to beat them this time around.

"We knew that our players would never give up; that they would fight until the end and we got the goal we deserved.

"It is a special time to score, in injury time, but I was happy for the players and for the fans, because they deserved this."

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (6)

Nottingham Forest

  • 29 de Vries
  • 12 Mackie
  • 03 Harding
  • 24 Vaughan Booked (Greening - 87' )
  • 37 Peltier
  • 05 Collins Booked
  • 30 McLaughlin
  • 28 Majewski (Rees - 76' )
  • 27 Derbyshire
  • 20 Tudgay (Cox - 69' )
  • 38 Osborn

Substitutes

  • 09 Henderson
  • 13 Fox
  • 14 Greening
  • 26 Evtimov
  • 31 Cox
  • 36 Rees
  • 40 Blake

Brighton & Hove Albion

  • 29 Kuszczak
  • 14 Calderon
  • 17 Ward
  • 04 Andrews
  • 03 Greer
  • 20 Upson
  • 18 F-Caskey Booked
  • 11 Orlandi Booked (March - 66' )
  • 19 Ulloa Booked
  • 30 Buckley (Mackail-Smith - 87' )
  • 35 Lingard (Lua Lua - 59' )

Substitutes

  • 05 Dunk
  • 12 Mackail-Smith
  • 15 Chicksen
  • 16 Ankergren
  • 25 Lua Lua
  • 27 March
  • 38 Ince
Ref: Keith Stroud
Att: 22,209

Match Stats

Shots

16 10

On target

2 4

Corners

9 5

Fouls

14 15

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Nottingham Forest 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.

90:00 +6:05 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Nottingham Forest 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.

90:00 +4:40

Foul by Josh Rees (Nottingham Forest).

90:00 +4:40

Stephen Ward (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90:00 +3:38

Attempt missed. Josh Rees (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Ben Osborn with a cross following a corner.

90:00 +3:19

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Matthew Upson.

90:00 +2:19 Booking

Booking Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

90:00 +1:10 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Nottingham Forest 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 2. Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Craig Mackail-Smith with a cross.

90:00 +0:51

Attempt missed. Simon Cox (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Stephen McLaughlin.

88:45

Attempt saved. Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Jake Forster-Caskey with a headed pass.

87:45

Attempt missed. Kazenga Lua Lua (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Solly March.

86:26 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Jonathan Greening replaces David Vaughan.

86:25 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Craig Mackail-Smith replaces William Buckley.

84:06

Attempt blocked. William Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Solly March.

83:16

Lee Peltier (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83:16

Foul by William Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion).

82:41

Foul by Danny Collins (Nottingham Forest).

82:41

Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

82:04

Josh Rees (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82:04

Foul by William Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion).

80:23

Foul by Simon Cox (Nottingham Forest).

80:23

Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79:44

Attempt missed. Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Solly March.

78:39

Foul by Simon Cox (Nottingham Forest).

78:39

Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

77:05

Matt Derbyshire (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the left wing.

77:05

Foul by William Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion).

76:42

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Kazenga Lua Lua.

75:15 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Josh Rees replaces Radoslaw Majewski.

74:36

Attempt missed. Kazenga Lua Lua (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Stephen Ward.

70:17 Booking

Booking Danny Collins (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

70:07

Foul by Danny Collins (Nottingham Forest).

70:07

William Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

69:34

Attempt missed. Danny Collins (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ben Osborn with a cross following a corner.

69:06

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Matthew Upson.

69:04

Attempt blocked. Simon Cox (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matt Derbyshire.

68:29 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Simon Cox replaces Marcus Tudgay.

66:09

Danny Collins (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:09

Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion).

65:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Solly March replaces Andrea Orlandi.

65:18

Hand ball by William Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion).

64:00

Attempt missed. Marcus Tudgay (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Radoslaw Majewski with a cross.

62:15 Booking

Booking David Vaughan (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

61:48

Foul by David Vaughan (Nottingham Forest).

61:48

Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

60:45

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Tomasz Kuszczak.

60:43

Attempt saved. Stephen McLaughlin (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Marcus Tudgay.

60:06

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Gordon Greer.

59:43

Daniel Harding (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the left wing.

59:43

Foul by Andrea Orlandi (Brighton and Hove Albion).

58:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Kazenga Lua Lua replaces Jesse Lingard.

57:44 Booking

Booking Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

57:40

Radoslaw Majewski (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

57:40

Foul by Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton and Hove Albion).

57:12

Attempt saved. Andrea Orlandi (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Stephen Ward.

52:32 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Nottingham Forest 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 1. Stephen Ward (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner following a corner.

52:04

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Daniel Harding.

51:32

Foul by Matt Derbyshire (Nottingham Forest).

51:32

Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

51:27

Attempt blocked. Radoslaw Majewski (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

51:02

David Vaughan (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the left wing.

51:02

Foul by William Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion).

45:00

Second Half begins Nottingham Forest 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

45:00 +2:09 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Nottingham Forest 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

45:00 +1:36

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Jake Forster-Caskey.

45:00 +1:33

Attempt blocked. Stephen McLaughlin (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ben Osborn.

45:00 +0:50

Ben Osborn (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +0:50

Foul by Keith Andrews (Brighton and Hove Albion).

44:11

Foul by Lee Peltier (Nottingham Forest).

44:11

Jesse Lingard (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

40:04

Attempt missed. Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Andrea Orlandi with a cross following a corner.

39:33

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Jamie Mackie.

38:54

Danny Collins (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:54

Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion).

38:38

Attempt missed. Stephen McLaughlin (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

37:52

Foul by Lee Peltier (Nottingham Forest).

37:52

Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

36:39

Hand ball by Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton and Hove Albion).

34:46

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Jamie Mackie.

32:54

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Andrea Orlandi tries a through ball, but William Buckley is caught offside.

28:21

Foul by Stephen McLaughlin (Nottingham Forest).

28:21

Stephen Ward (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

26:25

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Íñigo Calderón tries a through ball, but Leonardo Ulloa is caught offside.

26:10

Foul by Stephen McLaughlin (Nottingham Forest).

26:10

Jesse Lingard (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

25:55

Foul by Daniel Harding (Nottingham Forest).

25:55

Jesse Lingard (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

25:03

Attempt missed. Lee Peltier (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ben Osborn with a cross following a set piece situation.

24:17

Stephen McLaughlin (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the right wing.

24:17

Foul by Andrea Orlandi (Brighton and Hove Albion).

23:24

Attempt missed. Ben Osborn (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Radoslaw Majewski.

22:43

Foul by Daniel Harding (Nottingham Forest).

22:43

Jesse Lingard (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

21:35 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Nottingham Forest 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 0. Matt Derbyshire (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by David Vaughan with a cross.

20:20

David Vaughan (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:20

Dangerous play by Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion).

19:34

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Daniel Harding.

18:55

Danny Collins (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:55

Foul by Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton and Hove Albion).

18:02

Attempt missed. Stephen McLaughlin (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.

17:34

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Matthew Upson.

17:30

Attempt blocked. Matt Derbyshire (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marcus Tudgay.

16:21

Attempt missed. Radoslaw Majewski (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

16:04

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Andrea Orlandi.

15:35

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Íñigo Calderón.

13:53

Offside, Nottingham Forest. Marcus Tudgay tries a through ball, but Matt Derbyshire is caught offside.

13:52

Attempt missed. Marcus Tudgay (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Radoslaw Majewski with a through ball.

11:15

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

10:43

Delay in match Jesse Lingard (Brighton and Hove Albion) because of an injury.

10:20

Foul by Jesse Lingard (Brighton and Hove Albion).

10:20

Jamie Mackie (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

8:13

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Ben Osborn.

7:33

Hand ball by Daniel Harding (Nottingham Forest).

5:52

Attempt missed. Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Gordon Greer with a through ball.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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