An eight-goal thriller saw Blackpool and Nottingham Forest draw 4-4 as Dougie Freedman’s side came back from being two goals down. Tyler Jelley offers a fan’s eye view from Bloomfield Road…
Going in to the game against Blackpool I was optimistic which was strange; as all Forest fans know, we have history with Blackpool. And as much as I have been told it is an ‘excuse’, the pitch was terrible. I’ve played better in Sunday league football and the chant ‘can we play you on the beach’ pretty much summed it up for me.
The first-half was lacklustre from both sides, Forest tried playing football on the floor and this was evidently not working due to the pitch. The pitch did however cause an injury; Jack Hobbs seemed to slip on the pitch and was forced off and replaced by Lascelles. Nothing else of any note happened until the 45th minute when Blackpool attacked down the right-wing, a ball was played into the box and finished neatly by Madine, a fairly sloppy goal to concede by Forest who seemed to lose concentration right on half-time.
The second-half was however, a very different story. Forest continued to try and play on the floor for the first 20 minutes but it still wasn’t working, and in the 66th minute Orlandi picked the ball up around 25 yards out, was given acres of space, took the ball forwards and finished nicely.
The game seemed all but over with Forest fans furious and many leaving at this point. However, this sparked Forest into life, which was much needed. Dexter Blackstock was back on the score sheet for Forest for the first time in almost three years, which was nice to see. Forest then got back to all-square. Some brilliant work by Antonio, who was moved up front by Dougie Freedman, was finished off by Gary Gardner (whom, I would like to add, has been a brilliant addition to the team and I would love to see him back next season if possible).
Four minutes after being 2-0 down it was all square. I thought at this point that Forest would kick on and go to get the victory, but anybody that knows us, know we don’t like doing things easily. Three minutes later Blackpool regained the lead. Karl Darlow made three outstanding saves before eventually Steve Davies prodded home.
This game was absolutely nuts, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game like it. Karl Darlow then made another good save with the ball falling to Eric Lichaj who sent a long ball forwards in search of Michail Antonio who used his pace (and possibly his hand, which I thought at the time) to get past the Blackpool defenders, he was eventually brought down inside the area by Tom Aldred who was given his marching orders. There was no doubt that Lansbury was going slot the penalty home. 3-3.
Surely now we had to win against bottom of the league, 10-man Blackpool? Around five minutes before the end Blackpool were down to nine men as Darren O’Dea suffered what looked to be a very serious injury requiring a stretcher and oxygen. It was all Forest from this point, as to be expected, and in the 96th minute the inevitable happened, some very nice work from Chris Burke got him into the Blackpool box and he hit a shot that flew into the top corner and sent 2,300 Forest fans into delirium. What a comeback! Surely it was all over? No.
Blackpool attacked straight away and won themselves a corner, I feared the worst and I was right to do so as Ferguson headed in a last-minute equaliser. With two more men on the field to concede in that manner is appalling, there was again a lack in concentration — due to Hobbs not being on the pitch? Maybe, but one man does not make a team. The most frustrating thing is that with two players more we didn’t have a player on the far post, who could’ve easily have cleared the effort.
However, at 2-0 down I assume every Forest fan would have taken a point. I would also like to mention how well Oliver Burke did, he made his league debut at the age of 17 and played half an hour. He played a part in the first goal, heading down for Blackstock, and was eager to run at defenders. That’s seven points out of nine for Dougie Freedman, now on to his former club Bolton on Saturday. #Freedmania
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