Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Sunday May 9 2010
Nottingham Forest must really hate us. Three games this season, three Blackpool wins.
However, a win for Forest by a certain scoreline on Tuesday night in front of what promises to be an intimidating City Ground atmosphere will render those three victories somewhat meaningless as it would mean that Forest, and not Blackpool, progress to the playoff final at Wembley on May 22nd - such can be the cruel nature of the playoffs.
Despite this, yesterday's win has given the Seasiders a great chance of reaching Wembley. True, we'd all have loved a goal or two more, but after being a goal down, I'm happy to be taking a 2-1 lead to their place on Tuesday night.
Ian Holloway picked exactly the same squad as last weekend, with DJ Campbell passing a late fitness test on the elbow injury that he picked up against Bristol City.
However, just like last weekend, the Seasiders fell behind inside the first 15 minutes.
What a great goal it was though; Chris Cohen striking the ball ever so sweetly from the edge of the area with the outside of his foot. The ball curled and swerved into the top corner, leaving Matt Gilks in no-mans land. In a word, it was 'unstoppable'.
However, just ten minutes later, the Seasiders were level. Seamus Coleman cut in from the right, before playing in Ian Evatt, whose cutback across goal found Keith Southern who fired home from close range.
Forest nearly equalised immediately from the restart however, but a combination of the woodwork, brave defending, and wayward finishing saw the Seasiders escape unpunished.
The opening exchanges of the second half saw both Coleman and Forest's Dexter Blackstock booked for an off the ball incident. However, Blackstock knew he was lucky not to see red as were the Forest bench.
As good as Forest may be, their style of play and niggling professional fouls has all the hallmarks of a Billy Davies side. Ian Evatt was booked in the first half for a foul, but wasn't going to be booked until Paul McKenna (referred to by Ian Holloway pre-match as 'Knobender McKenna') got into referee Phil Dowd's ear. McKenna was in his ear the whole game, and we can expect similar on Tuesday night. Fingers crossed for a better refereeing performance than we saw from Dowd yesterday (at one point he failed to stop play for a head injury!).
Speaking of Davies, Dowd bottled sending him off too. After he and his coaching staff constantly got away with encroaching onto the field of play, Dowd finally had words with Davies after he shouted some abuse at him from the touchline. Given Ian Holloway's dismissal against Ipswich earlier this season, the miserable looking Ronnie Corbett lookalike was lucky to stay in the dugout.
It's a shame he wasn't dismissed given his behaviour towards Blackpool fans - he spent large parts of the game trying to have fans thrown out for bantering with him. What a miserable git.
Anyway, back to the footy. The Seasiders took the lead on 57 minutes from the spot, Charlie Adam sending Lee Camp the wrong way after DJ Campbell had been fouled.
Campbell missed a great chance to make it 3-1 just minutes later after being played in from the left hand side, firing the ball high and wide in contrast to his two goals against Forest just a few weeks ago.
Ben Burgess then replaced a bloodied Gary Taylor-Fletcher, whilst Forest threw on Rob Earnshaw and David McGoldrick for Dexter Blackstock and Radoslaw Majewski.
The substitions continued with Stephen Dobbie and Barry Bannan replacing DJ Campbell and Brett Ormerod, and Lewis McGugan replacing Nathan Tyson.
The Seasiders nearly added a third immediately after the substitutions. Barry Bannan pounced on a poor kick from Lee Camp and released Stephen Dobbie, whose effort was blocked, but fell to Burgess. Unfortunately Burgess could only fire wide when he perhaps should have done better.
The last action of the game saw Chris Cohen force a good save from Matt Gilks.
Roll on Tuesday...
Date:Sunday May 9 2010
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