Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Sunday October 23 2011
We've enjoyed some great results over Forest in recent times, but that came to an end yesterday as Steve Cotterill's side triumphed 2-1 at Bloomfield Road.
It's two wins out of two now for the new Forest boss, but he can count himself very lucky to have left the Flyde Coast with all three points in the bag yesterday.
It was probably the Seasiders' best performance of the season yesterday, but they just came up short.
We looked far more effective and dangerous in the attacking third of the pitch, and it came as no coincidence that this happened as soon as Ian Holloway dropped one of his defensive midfielders for a more attacking one - Keith Southern the unlucky man to miss out.
It was a change that many of us have been crying out for for weeks, and on any other day we would have reaped the rewards for it.
Sadly though, Forest undeservedly stole the three points, ending our hoodoo over them to the delight of their travelling fans.
Callum McManaman and Tom Ince were both rewarded with starts as well, and both enjoyed great games.
It was the first time I'd seen McManaman play, but he looks a good prospect, whilst Ince ran the visitors and Chris Gunter in particular ragged. Indeed, it was a great surprise when Ollie chose to replace Ince in the second half instead of the poor Gary Taylor-Fletcher, with some fans, including myself, reacting angrily to the change. You get the sense that we might have won at least a point had young Ince stayed on...
Anyway, to the action itself.
The opening stages were pretty even, with both sides trying to get the ball down and play at a good tempo.
The first real chance of the afternoon fell to Wes Morgan just before the half hour, but he could only direct his header from Lewis McGugan's freekick wide, with the Seasiders defence nowhere.
As the opening 45 went on though, the Seasiders started growing in confidence moving forward and for the first time in ages we had players overlapping and running into space, with the Forest defence struggling to cope.
At the other end though, Forest were again causing us problems aerially - Matt Gilks tipping over from Marcus Tudgay.
From the resulting corner though, Forest did make a header count - Wes Morgan scrambling the ball home at the back post from another good delivery by McGugan.
Just minutes later though, the Seasiders were level. Kevin Phillips was given a yard of space and that was the only invite he needed - driving the ball low and hard into the corner of the net from 25 yards.
Forest weren't happy with the goal as they had a man down at the time at the other end of the pitch, but the referee - the best we've had in ages - correctly played on; the player in question didn't have a head injury, and in fact didn't have any treatment at all. Indeed, as soon as Phillips scored he picked himself on and carried on playing.
This seems a fitting point to mention just how dirty Forest are still. We first witnessed it under Billy Davies, but nothing's changed. Their players were constantly climbing all over ours, pushing our players around off the ball, diving... the list goes on. Fortunately the referee was strong enough to deal with it.
Moving into the second half, another header nearly saw Forest regain the lead, but Luke Chambers headed wide.
As a result, Neal Eardley was replaced by Ian Evatt with Alex Baptiste switching to right back.
Just after the hour, Ince was given the opportunity to get at Chris Gunter for the first time, and had him in knots before firing just wide of Lee Camp's goal.
Ince was not at the forefront of all our attacks, and should have claimed an assist when his cross found Kevin Phillips completely unmarked two yards out with an open goal, but somehow to veteran conspired to clear the ball on Forest's behalf!
Ince then hit the post following another mazy run, before Forest undeservedly grabbed the lead with 15 minutes left.
Radoslaw's Madjewski's run into the box wasn't picked up, and he shot hard past Matt Gilks after 'Pool failed to clear their lines.
Minutes later Guy Moussi was deservedly sent off for a second bookable offence after making no attempt to tackle Tom Ince and just pushing him over.
But Ince was then bizarrely taken off, when you'd have thought that his pace would have caused even more problems for Forest with them being down to ten men. What made the change even more bizarre was that he was replaced by the half-fit Gerardo Bruna. McManaman also made way for Sutherland. By all accounts, Ince was unhappy as the fans at being subbed.
'Pool threw Evatt up top, but Forest survived out late onslaught to steal the three points.
I'm just hoping that the defeat doesn't result in Ollie going back to two defensive midfielders...
Date:Sunday October 23 2011
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Blackpool team to face Huddersfield (Saturday March 22 2014)
Meet the ref: Huddersfield Town (Friday March 21 2014)
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