Match ends, Nottingham Forest 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.
Steve Sidwell scored in stoppage time as Brighton closed the gap on the top two in the Championship to a point with a late victory at Nottingham Forest.
Lewis Dunk had headed the Seagulls into the lead midway through the first half from Jiri Skalak's free-kick.
Substitute Dexter Blackstock equalised for Forest early in the second half from an almost identical move.
Both sides went close to a winner before Sidwell latched on to Anthony Knockaert's surging run into the area.
Seagulls eye top flight
The late victory moves Chris Hughton's side one point behind second-placed Middlesbrough, who have a game in hand and face Reading at home on Tuesday.
Sidwell, who came off the bench with just five minutes remaining, clinched an entertaining contest at the City Ground in the first minute of injury time.
Forest, who have lost five of their past six league games, were more than good value for the draw as head coach Paul Williams saw a spirited response from his side following Dunk's opener.
They were rewarded moments into the second half when Blackstock, who replaced injured striker Jamie Ward before the interval, glanced in off the far post to level.
Captain Henri Lansbury should have completed a turnaround for the hosts, but dinked a shot over the crossbar after Blackstock played him in on the counter attack.
Brighton substitutes James Wilson and Anthony Knockaert then both went close before leading scorer Tomer Hemed headed wide.
But, it was Hughton's final change which paid off as Sidwell drilled in a right-foot effort from 12 yards to secure a fourth win in five games and extend Albion's unbeaten run to nine games.
What the managers said
Nottingham Forest head coach Paul Williams:
"At half-time we asked the players to believe in themselves. Brighton have got some good players, but so have we and we wanted the players to believe in themselves.
"In the first half, we showed too much respect to Brighton but in the second, we did the hard miles.
"We created plenty of chances and we did not take them, but they took one in injury time and took all three points.
"Brighton are up there in the table for a reason, but we wanted the players to get amongst them and we did."
Brighton manager Chris Hughton:
"Every game is the same, there is always apprehension whether it's the first game or the last - but this is an exciting period of the season.
"The players are all excited about what the next game will bring; they are excited about the end to the season and what is to come. We have to embrace that.
"We felt that the game was becoming open and we felt we could bring players off the bench who could influence the game.
"One thing about Steve Sidwell is that he can break forward from midfield. I did not bring him on for that, but I am very glad he did it."
- 1de Vries
- 5MillsBooked at 13mins
- 3JokicBooked at 22mins
- 22GardnerSubstituted forTescheat 84'minutes
- 24VaughanBooked at 61minsSubstituted forMendes da Graçaat 68'minutes
- 19WardSubstituted forBlackstockat 42'minutes
- 15Mendes da Graça
- 5DunkBooked at 67mins
- 7KayalSubstituted forSidwellat 85'minutes
- 30Lua LuaSubstituted forWilsonat 63'minutes
- 15MurphySubstituted forKnockaertat 68'minutes
- Andy Davies
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Nottingham Forest 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.
Attempt missed. Chris Cohen (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.
Robert Tesche (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Tomer Hemed (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Goal! Nottingham Forest 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 2. Steve Sidwell (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Anthony Knockaert.
Attempt missed. Robert Tesche (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Dale Stephens (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Foul by Ryan Mendes (Nottingham Forest).
Connor Goldson (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Steve Sidwell replaces Beram Kayal.
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Robert Tesche replaces Gary Gardner because of an injury.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Gary Gardner (Nottingham Forest) because of an injury.
Offside, Nottingham Forest. Daniel Fox tries a through ball, but Ben Osborn is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Dexter Blackstock (Nottingham Forest) header from very close range misses to the right. Assisted by Henri Lansbury with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Lewis Dunk.
Attempt missed. Beram Kayal (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Attempt missed. Tomer Hemed (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jiri Skalak with a cross following a corner.