Blackpool 2-3 Nottingham Forest: Premier League side move into FA Cup fourth round

Premier League side Nottingham Forest needed extra-time to see off League One’s Blackpool in a thrilling FA Cup third-round replay at Bloomfield Road.

Forest had looked to be cruising into the fourth round when Danilo made it 2-0 in the first minute of the second half after Andrew Omobamidele had scored in the 16th minute on his Forest debut.

But Blackpool fought back in style at a raucous Bloomfield Road.

Albie Morgan, whose poor backpass had led to Danilo’s goal, pulled one back with a great strike from 25 yards before substitute Kyle Joseph headed in from close range to make it 2-2 to set up a frantic finish.

Then, in the eighth minute of additional time, Blackpool almost won it but Orel Mangala made an incredible block on the goalline after Karamoko Dembele had gone round Forest goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos.

Early in the second period of extra-time, the visitors retook the lead as Ryan Yates’ low cross from the left was turned in by Chris Wood for what proved to be the winning goal.

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley felt the goal could have been disallowed for offside and said the fact video assistant referee technology was used at the first match (because it was held at a Premier League ground) and not the replay was damaging the “integrity of the competition”.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side will now play away at Bristol City on Friday, 26 January in the fourth round.

Forest’s touching tribute to Kouyate

There was a touching tribute to Forest midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate, who had been with his country Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations but left the camp earlier on Wednesday following the death of his father.

After Forest’s first goal, Omobamidele held up a shirt that read ‘Thinking of you, Kouyate’ with his team-mate’s number 8 on the back. The Forest players all posed with the tribute shirt after the match.

Tribute to Kouyate
Forest’s tribute to midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate

“Cheikhou has been through a tough time, he lost his father,” said Espirito Santo. “We heard the news before the game and wanted to show we care and our thoughts are with him.

“He is a very important guy in the dressing room and on the pitch with his experience and his knowledge, and our thoughts are with him.”

The first match saw Blackpool take a two-goal lead, only for Forest to fight back and make it 2-2 to force the replay. At Bloomfield Road the exact opposite happened with the top-flight outfit letting their advantage slip.

There was no sign of the drama to come in the first half, when Forest looked in control.

Republic of Ireland international defender Omobamidele, on his Forest debut following an £11m move from Norwich City on September’s transfer deadline day, volleyed in at the back post after Nicolas Dominguez’s corner had been flicked on by Yates.

Danilo doubled Forest’s lead within a minute of the second half after a poor backpass from Morgan, with home goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw having to go off after getting injured saving the shot from which Danilo converted the rebound.

But Morgan made amends with a stunning strike from 25 yards to give Blackpool, eighth in League One, hope of causing a shock, before Joseph’s close-range header made it 2-2 and set up a thrilling finish.

Wood scored with 10 minutes of extra-time left to put Forest back ahead, but there was still time for more drama.

Substitute goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell came up for a corner in the 122nd minute, only for Forest to quickly counter, but they could not take advantage as a 60-yard shot went wide.

Forest had been beaten 4-1 at Bloomfield Road against Blackpool in last season’s FA Cup third round, but they were able to hold on to their lead to ensure there would not be a repeat as they advanced in a thrilling match.

For Forest, it was a welcome and hard-fought win after a tough week.

On Monday it was announced they, along with Everton, had been charged with breaching the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules and could face a points deduction that would threaten their future in the top-flight.

But they still are in the FA Cup and avoided what would have been an embarrassing exit.

Nottingham Forest score a goal
Andrew Omobamidele has played five club games this season, four for Norwich in August and this was his first for Nottingham Forest

‘This is why I love the FA Cup’

“This is the FA Cup and that’s why it is so special,” added Espirito Santo. “It allows every team to show, play and fight. We had our problems but all credit to Blackpool.

“This is why I love the FA Cup. It is very special and we have to go for it. It was tough and very demanding but we did the job.

“At the beginning of the second half I thought the game was over, we made mistakes and that allowed Blackpool to get back into the game, but in extra-time we showed we deserved to win.”

Critchley had before the game challenged his side to “create a memory in a magical competition” and afterwards was proud of his players’ efforts.

He said: “To go all that way and to not have anything to show for it is hard to take. Over the course of 120 minutes you couldn’t really tell the difference between the two teams.

“I thought we were brilliant, had a real go and made it an exciting cup tie. The atmosphere was fantastic and to come back from 2-0 down shows the spirit, I’m just bitterly disappointed we didn’t take it to penalties.

“I love the cup and we did the competition proud. We’ve earned Forest’s respect and I take that as a massive positive.”

‘The integrity of the competition has to be questioned’

Despite being proud of his players, Critchley was left unhappy with Forest’s winning goal, believing Yates may have been offside before he crossed for Wood to score.

“Danilo pokes the ball to Yates and I think that was very close, borderline if he is onside or offside,” added Critchley.

“In the first game we had VAR, that would’ve gone to VAR and you draw the lines on the pitch and it might’ve been offside.

“How can you have VAR in the first game and not the second game, which means we have gone out? The integrity of the competition has to be questioned.

“It might’ve gone to penalties and we win, but to not have VAR with the same group of players just playing on a different pitch, I can’t see how that can be right.”

Player of the match

JosephKyle Joseph

Blackpool

  1. Squad number9Player nameJoseph

  2. Squad number19Player nameLavery

  3. Squad number24Player nameLyons

  4. Squad number22Player nameCJ Hamilton

  5. Squad number11Player nameDembélé

  6. Squad number8Player nameMorgan

  7. Squad number1Player nameO’Donnell

  8. Squad number4Player nameLawrence-Gabriel

  9. Squad number10Player nameCarey

  10. Squad number16Player nameRhodes

  11. Squad number6Player nameNorburn

  12. Squad number3Player nameHusband

  13. Squad number21Player nameEkpiteta

  14. Squad number7Player nameDale

  15. Squad number2Player nameConnolly

  16. Squad number32Player nameGrimshaw

Nottingham Forest

  1. Squad number32Player nameOmobamidele

  2. Squad number22Player nameYates

  3. Squad number26Player nameMcKenna

  4. Squad number11Player nameWood

  5. Squad number7Player nameN Williams

  6. Squad number4Player nameWorrall

  7. Squad number40Player nameMurillo

  8. Squad number5Player nameMangala

  9. Squad number16Player nameDomínguez

  10. Squad number28Player nameDanilo

  11. Squad number14Player nameHudson-Odoi

  12. Squad number41Player nameAguilera

  13. Squad number3Player nameNuno Tavares

  14. Squad number23Player nameVlachodimos

  15. Squad number15Player nameToffolo

  16. Squad number29Player nameMontiel

Line-ups

Blackpool

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 32GrimshawSubstituted forO’Donnellat 58′minutes
  • 2Connolly
  • 21EkpitetaBooked at 109mins
  • 3HusbandBooked at 89mins
  • 4Lawrence-GabrielSubstituted forDaleat 105′minutes
  • 6NorburnBooked at 106mins
  • 8MorganBooked at 90mins
  • 24Lyons
  • 22HamiltonSubstituted forDembéléat 71′minutes
  • 10CareySubstituted forLaveryat 71′minutes
  • 16RhodesSubstituted forJosephat 71′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1O’Donnell
  • 5Pennington
  • 7Dale
  • 9Joseph
  • 11Dembélé
  • 17Virtue
  • 19Lavery
  • 20Casey
  • 30Oakley-Boothe

Nottm Forest

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 23Vlachodimos
  • 7N WilliamsSubstituted forMontielat 103′minutesBooked at 120mins
  • 32OmobamideleSubstituted forWorrallat 105′minutes
  • 40Santiago Costa dos SantosBooked at 35minsSubstituted forMcKennaat 102′minutes
  • 3TavaresSubstituted forToffoloat 86′minutes
  • 28DaniloBooked at 90mins
  • 5Mangala
  • 22YatesBooked at 90mins
  • 16DomínguezBooked at 90mins
  • 14Hudson-OdoiSubstituted forAguileraat 86′minutes
  • 11WoodBooked at 116mins

Substitutes

  • 1Turner
  • 4Worrall
  • 15Toffolo
  • 26McKenna
  • 29Montiel
  • 41Aguilera
  • 49Osong
  • 52McDonnell
  • 53Gardner

Referee:
Darren Bond

Attendance:
8,098

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