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Nottingham Forest v Albion - from the City Ground
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- FOREST 1 ALBION 2 - RESULT
- READING 2 BURNLEY 2 - RESULT
- SECOND HALF IN PROGRESS
- Derbyshire heads Forest opener (22)
- Ward levels (53)
- Ulloa nets in added time
- Reading lead, trail, then level
- Albion must better Reading's result
- Extensive coverage in The Argus on Monday
Celebrations in full swing in front of the away section.
Some players have thrown shirts to the crowd
And now a super ovation for the Albion players from Forest fans
ALBION MAKE THE PLAY-OFFS
Reading have drawn.
Then, in added time, Albion went ahead.
Forest claimed handball as an attack broke down on the edge of the Albion box.
The Seagulls broke, Mackail-Smith crossed from the left and ULLOA headed in from close range.
Suddenly Albion had Forest pegged back but LuaLua wasted the momentum with a ashot which sailed a long way high and wide.
The visiting fans were sensing a late charge and Calderon popped up in the box to produce a volley which De Vries parried left-handed.
Albion's final push saw Mackail-Smith replace Buckley.
Greening went on for Vaughan at the same time
Albion were struggling to mount any threat. Buckley got on the ball and tried to take Harding wide and isolate him. But the full-back had support and, when Calderon crossed, the ball was cleared.
The Seagulls' momentum was not helped by the fact some of their players were struggling to keep their feet.
Suddenly a chance opend up but Buckley's shot was blocked.
LuaLua had had little joy so far but he was a little further infield when he next got the ball. He burst bwteen two tackles and flashed a shot wide of the far post.
It brought "oooohhhs" from the Albion fans but it was hard to tell from their angle and ours whether the ball had gone that close to the far post.
Forest sent on Rees for Majewski.
Collins' next action was to drag back Buckley, earning him a yellow card. But March's free-kick into the box was cleared.
But Forest almost moved further ahead when Kuszczak denied his compatriot Majewski at the near post.
LuaLua's first chance to run at makeshift right-back Mackie saw him go outside his man but his low cross was easily blocked.
Forest were arguably looking the side most likely to score.
Cox, on for Tudgay, got away to the left of goal and his shot was blocked for a corner.
The resulting flag kick set up a very presentable chance which Collins headed over the bar and into the Trent End.
Vaughan was booked for a foul on Ulloa in midfield.
Calderon's attempt at a dragback gave Forest chance to break and Majewski's driven cross was turned past the near post by Tudgay - although home fans on the far side thought the ball had gone in.
Albion sent on March for Orlandi.
Back at the City Ground, Forest fans near the away section were taunting their Albion counterparts after hearing Reading were level.
Forest almost went ahead as Kuszczak did well to turn yet another McLaughlin blast behind.
Att: 22,209 (1,959 away fans)
The Royals returned to the top six as McCleary volleyed home.
Orlandi had a long range drive held by De Vries as Albion chased the lead.
Forster-Caskey was first in the book for a foul and two things happend before the free-kick was taken.
LuaLua replaced Lingard and news came through of a goal at Reading.
Buckley got down the right to win a corner out of very little - and it brought a goal. Orlandi's flag kick caused problems, there were ironic cheers from home fans as Ulloa mis-kicked but the ball fell to WARD who thumped in a fierce low shot with his right foot.
Forest the first to offer any signs off attacking life in a low-key start to the half as McLaughlin skips past Calderon but his ball inside is cut out.
At the other end of the ground, Albion's fans were finding their voices again and trying to rouse their side. They were also calling for the introduction of LuaLua.
No changes at the break as Albion now look to attack the away end.
And Reading 1 Burnley 2 confirmed as HT score
Buckley had a go down the left just before the interval but Mackie jostled him and forced him to run the ball out of play for a goal kick.
There was an eerily quiet atmosphere around the ground as the interval neared.
McLaughlin, not afraid to have a go from five yards outside the box, saw his shot dflect behind for a corner which was cleared.
Half-time: Forest 1 Albion 0.
Orlandi took the next corner from the left and got it on to the head of Greer ahead of the near post. But the skipper got too much contact on his header, rather than a glancing touch, and sent it firmly past the near post.
An advantage played by ref Stroud allows Buckley to get away down the right and loop in a cross which forces a corner.
Calderon drills the corner in low (mis-hit or intentional?) and it bounces right across the goalmouth with no one getting a touch.
Just a few flickers of life from Albion.
Blackburn are enjoying the afternoon if no one else is. Gestede has put them 3-1 up.
So Albion and Reading trail and the miracle just about flickers for Blackburn, who lead 2-1.
Realistically it remains between Albion and Reading - and the Seagulls are doing themselves no favours so far.
Ings nets - and the Albion fans know it. Reading trail as well now.
27: Albion work a quick free-kick down their right. Buckley gets away and drives in a low cross which Ulloa tucks away - but he is ruled offside.
So Albion have the favour they wanted at Reading but are second best at Forest.
22: Albion concede. A DERBYSHIRE header looks comfortable for Kuszczak but he somehow loses its flight and the ball bounces gently home to the horror of Albion fans behind that goal.
Trippier makes amends by setting up Arfield to level for Burnley.
Meanwhile Albion have not really got going at Forest.
One of the best players in the Championship this season, Burnley right-back Kieron Trippier puts Reading ahead with an own goal on 16 minutes.
15: Slip by Ward and subsequent confusion gets Tudgay in behind the defence but produces neither a shot nor cross as Kuszczak charges out to meet him. It sparks a bright spell by Forest.
17: Blackburn concede an equaliser.
13: Blackburn, chasing a miracle set of results, start to do their bit by going ahead against Wigan
Forest had plenty of the ball in the very early stages and Andrews headed clear a Harding cross.
But Albion had the early chance they wanted when Ulloa dragged a shot across goal and wide of the far post after being sent clear down the inside right channel by Calderon.
Forest with Peltier and Collins in central defence and Mackie at right-back
Here comes the City Ground anthem.
No change of ends. Albion defend the away end and attack the Trent End in the first alf.
Albion emerge in their yellow and navy away kit - as they wore at Leicester.
I wonder if there is any superstition involved in that. They don't need to change here and indeed didn't last year, as can be seen from the Leo Ulloa story elsewhere on the website.
It comes down to this then. A sunlit afternoon by the Trent with attention paid to events down near the M4.
I'm sure you know the scenario. Albion will book a play-off semi-final against Derby if they pick up more points than Reading today.
They have not enjoyed much success here at the City Ground in the last ten years, although a 0-0 draw on Easter Monday 2008 nudged them into sixth place in League One for a few days.
Reading are the only relegated Premier League side from last year yet to confirm their play-off place.
A win against promoted Burnley changes that. But Albion need to do their bit here.
The away section, which holds precisely 2,002 fans according to a tweet I saw from Nottingham Police, looks packed already and we await the teams.
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