Protests, two red cards and a last-gasp equaliser: A look back at the last time Blackpool hosted Nottingham Forest

Ahead of Blackpool’s return to action, The Gazette takes a look back at the last time the Seasiders hosted Nottingham Forest at Bloomfield Road.

Friday, 1st April 2022, 1:00 pm

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Blackpool 4-4 Nottingham Forest – February 14, 2015

A supporter protest, a sending off, a penalty, Blackpool ending the game with nine men, eight goals and a last-minute equaliser…

Where on Earth am I supposed to start with all that?

In recent weeks, you'll have become used to these reports starting with talk of off-the-field issues at Bloomfield Road. Today there's simply not enough space.

So let's for once just talk football – what a sensational afternoon's entertainment!

I'm not going to tell you that Blackpool are all of a sudden going to make a miraculous run to safety, but it wasn't half enjoyable.

David Ferguson heads home a stoppage-time equaliser for the nine men of Blackpool

It was the type of game managers hate, but in a season of quite shocking displays this was one to remember – for right and wrong reasons.

If Pool go down, and it's highly likely they will, it's important they at least restore a little pride among supporters by showing this sort of fight.

And although manager Lee Clark would never admit it, Saturday's team selection already had one eye on the future, with starts for Tom Aldred, Charles Dunne and young Henry Cameron – all likely to be here next season.

Add to that a strike pairing of Dom Telford and Gary Madine, who the manager hopes to keep, and you can see Clark is thinking ahead.

David Ferguson celebrates with Jamie O'Hara

One thing he won't want to keep is the Bloomfield Road pitch, which was in its worst state ever on Saturday and made for a scrappy old first half.

Pool gave as good as they got in the opening stages but never really created much, rather like in Tuesday's defeat by Middlesbrough.

The travelling Forest fans were having plenty of fun at Pool's expense, with chants like, ‘Worst pitch in history' and ‘We should play you on the beach'.

But the surface was doing more damage to the away side than Pool, with Michail Antonio seeing a promising break ruined by a bobble at the worst possible moment.

It took 15 minutes for the game's first effort on goal, and surprisingly it came from the Seasiders as David Perkins broke forward and fired only for Karl Darlow to save easily.

Moments later, Forest had a chance of their own when Matty Fryatt met a right-wing cross, though his awkward effort was easily saved by Joe Lewis.

One of the shining lights for Pool in the last couple of weeks has been young striker Dom Telford, with his energy and skill. And the 18-year-old almost opened the scoring on 24 minutes, when he burst through from halfway before testing Darlow with a curling effort from 18 yards.

A very decent spell followed for the Seasiders, with Madine looking particularly lively in atack and Clark's men committing plenty of men in and around the box.

Despite winning a number of corners and set-pieces in decent areas, the delivery was sadly lacking and they came to nothing.

On the stroke of half-time, Pool's effort was rewarded, and it was no surprise that Telford was at the heart of the build-up. He picked out Madine eight yards from goal and the striker fired past Darlow.

The pair had looked lively all half and Madine's strike rewarded their effort. It was a lovely finish.

As things stood at the break, the Championship table showed Pool off the bottom for the first time since October. Sadly, it wasn't to last.

The second half started much more openly than the first, which would have been music to Forest's ears, and it was no surprise to see them opt for two up front when Dexter Blackstock was introduced on 51 minutes.

What followed was a pretty scrappy spell and, with the pitch getting worse, there was very little quality football being displayed.

Luckily, there was plenty to follow. On 62 minutes, Andrea Orlandi couldn't have come much closer to doubling the lead when he cut in from the right only for his 18-yard deflected effort to rattle the bar.

The good news for Blackpool was that although this was far from a classic, Forest were doing very little in atack.

And on 66 minutes Orlandi finally managed to score – and what a sensational strike it was.

He again cut in from the right with real purpose and fired a perfect curling effort into the far corner. Brilliant stuff from the Spaniard.

Just when Pool were starting to look comfortable for once, they threw it all away in a terrible two-minute period.

First Blackstock fired home at the second attempt from two yards before Gary Gardner tapped in an equaliser seconds later.

Pool's defence was all over the place and all the hope drained away... or so it seemed.

This was now a game you couldn't take your eyes off, and just four minutes later Pool again fired themselves ahead.

Orlandi, who was having his best game in a Pool shirt, did brilliantly to cross towards substitute Steven Davies, who fired into the roof of the net after his first efort was well saved by Darlow.

All of a sudden this game had turned into a thriller, and there was more drama to follow three minutes later, when Aldred was adjudged to have fouled Antonio as he raced in on goal. Referee Lee Probert not only pointed to the spot but also sent off the debutant defender.

Having viewed the incident since, it was the correct call and Henri Lansbury sent Lewis the wrong way from the spot to draw Forest level.

At this point anyone could win it, and on 80 minutes came a bizarre episode as Clark appeared to change his mind about a substitute.

With Peter Clarke primed to come on, the fourth official indicated striker Madine would be replaced. The whole of Bloomfield Road booed the decision and Clark opted to take off full-back Tony McMahon instead.

Or so it seemed at the time – apparently it was an error from the officials and Clark always intended replacing McMahon.

The end of the game was extended by what appeared a horror injury for defender Darren O'Dea. He went over heavily on his ankle and was stretchered off after a long delay.

Scans afterwards showed nothing more than heavy bruising, which is great news for the Irishman, and credit must go to the Forest fans who showed real respect in clapping O'Dea off the field.

The injury also saw Blackpool down to nine men, with all three substitutes used, as the fourth official indicated nine minutes of added time.

Pool were clinging on for dear life, and deep into stoppage-time Chris Burke fired a sensational goal that looked like the winner.

There was yet another twist as Pool somehow found an equaliser, despite an injury to Orlandi reducing Pool to eight fit players.

They were all over the place, with Davies at centre-back and Madine on the left wing.

As keeper Lewis came up for a corner six minutes into stoppage-time, his presence caused havoc as Jami O'Hara's brilliant delivery was headed in by David Ferguson.

In the grand scheme of things, a point does Pool little good but it's all about pride for Clark and the players.

There's a long way to go to repair the damage done this season, but it's nice to know the players have a bit of fight

I suppose that in such a crazy season this was just another day at the office.

TEAM: Lewis, McMahon (Clarke), Aldred, Dunne, O’Dea, Cameron (Ferguson), O’Hara, Orlandi, Perkins, Madine, Telford (Davies)

Attendance: 11,712