Here We Go Again
February 20, 2007. 7.45pm
This was a game that could have seen Forest land second place in the League if all the points had been won. Instead they failed to kill off a plucky and determined Blackpool. A draw at the end of the day is probably a fair result from a neutral perspective, even if the Pool equaliser was a little dubious to say the least.
Forest may be able to say they had the better of the first half, but that is only because they took the lead. It was a strange goal and a bit of a defensive howler from Scothern, whose attempted clearance cum pass on the half way line bounced off the chest of Agogo. The Reds striker found himself clear and with an eternity in which to decide where to put the ball calmly slid the ball beyond the keeper Evans.
In the meantime it was more of the same old from Forest with some neat football at times, but not enough. All too often the ball was given away or simply lost. Blackpool to their credit were one of the more adventurous teams to visit the City Ground this year, not content with putting eleven men behind the ball, they came here and gave it a go. Hoolahan was a pain in the arse all night long, he had a penalty shout denied in the first half, but that was to be rectified later. Parker also came close in the first half, forcing a good save from Smith. Two penalty shouts came from Lester and one of them looked as though it might actually be worth it, but complete waste of space Mr. G. Sutton, from Lincolnshire of all places was having none of it. Agogo had an opportunistic strike from thirty yards bounce off the bar, it would have been goal of the season if it had gone in.
The interval came with another chorus of boos, although not quite as vocal as at the Northampton game. The half time scores from elsewhere gave reason for optimism as The Reds now temporarily at least resided in second spot. Not for long though.
Forest started the second half with a sense of purpose and when Lester found Holt in space a second looked on the cards, alas the strikers shot was a weak effort and easily saved by Evans. Prutton was the next to force a good save from the keeper, once again being picked out by Lester. Prutton was to again go close, as was substitute Dobie, but that was about it and Forest made their weekly cardinal mistake of taking their foot off the gas.
The Seasiders would not lie down and were always looking to hit Forest on the break and when they did, they did it effectively and with speed. Smith was forced into three great saves on the night that probably kept us in the game.
Just as it looked as we might hold out and get that much needed win the most controversial moment of the game occurred. The thorn in the Forest backside, that was Hoolahan ran twenty yards with the ball, without being challenged and when in the box and surrounded by a posse of Red shirts, contrived to trip over his own legs. Mr. Sutton, God Bless Him, astonishingly pointed to the spot. A bit of gamesmanship was to take place and the kick had to be retaken, but Hoolahan made no mistake and buried the ball in the net. Three minutes of extra time were added, where you might have thought Forest would have laid siege on the Pool goal, but no effort was to be made. Instead it was the visitors who could have nicked it, when a Burgess shot had Smith well beaten and came back off the bar.
The final whistle came and the referee was surrounded by the Forest players who made their protests. Bennett saw his name go into the book again. The draw was a fair result and one that might normally be seen as a positive one against a decent side, but these are important times at this stage of the season and Forest now need to string together a run of results to have any chance of promotion. They get the chance again on Saturday, away at Chesterfield where it's two months since an away win. Despite all the doom and gloom though, a look at the League table is surprisingly uplifting. Despite the best endeavours of the players, we are amaisingly only one point off second and still joint third in the table.
Forest: Smith, Curtis, Morgan, Breckin, Bennett, Prutton, Gary Holt, Perch, Lester (Commons 79), Agogo, Grant Holt (Dobie 60).
Subs Not Used: Pedersen, Chambers, Clingan.
Booked: Perch, Prutton, Bennett.
Goals: Agogo 16.
Blackpool: Evans, Barker, Jackson, Evatt, Gorkss, Gillett, Southern (Forbes 76), Fox, Hoolahan, Vernon (Burgess 76), Parker.
Subs Not Used: Rachubka, Joseph, Bean.
Goals: Hoolahan 90 pen.
Ref: G Sutton (Lincolnshire).