Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Saturday April 14 2012
Statistics can be misleading. For instance, if you were to look at the stats for today's game, it would look like Forest were much the better team. The reality is that had Blackpool not spent the vast majority of the first half trying to walk the ball into the net, they could well have left the City Ground with all three points this afternoon.
As it was, a draw was a fair result, with the hosts giving as good as they got and enjoying the better of the chances.
'Pool made two changes to the side that had drawn with Barnsley on Easter Monday; Barry Ferguson replacing the suspended Keith Southern and the fit again Gary Taylor-Fletcher replacing Lomano Tresor LuaLua, who dropped to the bench.
The Seasiders started well, and were full of energy and movement, causing Steve Cotterill's side problems everytime they went forward.
After some dogged work, Stephen Dobbie found himself through on goal with only Lee Camp to beat. However, after rounding the Forest custodian, the forward ran out of space and the ball ran out for a goal kick. That chance was to summarise 'Pool's attacking play in the first forty five perfectly; incisive until it actually came to putting the ball into the back of the net.
Despite enjoying the better of the first half though, the Seasiders nearly found themselves behind going into the inteval, with Matt Gilks making two fine saves to keep the home side out.
First he saved from Greg Cunningham after the full back had beaten Neal Eardley far too easily, then moments later he denied Dexter Blackstock.
The second half was similar to the first; a decent spectacle to watch, but with chances at a premium.
Indeed, Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Tom Ince probably had the only two notable chances of the second forty five; GTF bending a lob just wide, and Ince having a header saved at the near post by Camp.
Although results didn't really go in our favour today, we'd have taken a point before kick off and it's nice to clock up another clean sheet as well as we remain fifth.
Following Leeds' win today, Tuesday night's game suddenly looks a lot tougher, but the Seasiders remain in charge of their own destiny, with Ian Holloway stating after the game that he wants his side to have a playoff berth in the bag by the time they visit Millwall on the final day of the season.
Matt Gilks - Had everyone worried when he went down injured late in the first half; we simply cannot afford an injury to our number one. Two great saves late in the first half added to what was a controlled performance. 8/10
Bob Harris - It says a lot about how well he's been playing that today was his weakest performance in tangerine thus far. Still played well, but Ollie made the right ball in taking him off when he did; he was working a tightrope after being booked for a string of fouls. 6/10
Ian Evatt - Back to his best. I counted two errors all game - one a silly foul, one poor distribution. Apart from that he was imperious, with the rest of the side indebted to some brilliant defending by him in the second half as he threw himself infront of everything. 9/10
Alex Baptiste - The usual high quality performance from the local lad. 7/10
Neal Eardley - Poor defensively and causual in possession a few times, but played well when he burst forward. 5/10
Barry Ferguson - Continues to play within himself, with a few glimpses of how good he really is. Nearly cost us a goal late on with his casual manner, although he'll blame the slippy surface. 6/10
Angel Martinez - Man of the match. Won countless defensive balls and looked confident going forward, often driving into space. The Spaniard is rapidly proving himself to be a very useful asset. 9/10
Stephen Dobbie - Tied the Forest defence in knots early doors, but was guilty of wanting to walk the ball in. Was very poor in the second half. 4/10
Matt Phillips - Looked dangerous everytime he got the ball, although his team mates didn't find him enough. 7/10
Tom Ince - Worked his proverbials off yet again, and like Phillips, he looked dangerous everytime he had the ball. 8/10
Gary Taylor-Fletcher - A good shift. Put himself about well, holding the ball up brilliantly at times. However, by the same token, he was also very wasteful on occasions. Still, he's playing much better than he was a few months ago. 7/10
Stephen Crainey - The left side of defence looked much more secure as soon as he came on. An assured performance that may have played him back into the starting XI in time to face his old club Leeds on Tuesday. 6/10
Brett Ormerod - A typical hard working cameo. 5/10
Lomano Tresor LuaLua - Like away at Watford, he worked hard for the team when he came on, whilst still looking dangerous going forward. 6/10
Date:Saturday April 14 2012
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UPDATE: Millwall 2-1 Blackpool (Saturday August 30 2014)
UPDATE: Millwall 2-0 Blackpool (Saturday August 30 2014)
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