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Forest battle from two goals down to earn FA Cup replay against Blackpool

SoccerNews in FA Cup 7 Jan 2024

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Nottingham Forest had to come from two goals down to avoid FA Cup third-round history repeating itself as they earned a 2-2 draw with League One Blackpool.

Forest looked like heading out to the Seasiders at this stage for a second straight year when they conceded twice in three first-half minutes, with Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel and Albie Morgan getting the goals.

But the Premier League outfit hit back with goals from Nicolas Dominguez and Morgan Gibbs-White either side of the break.

They could not find a winner, though, meaning the tie will be settled with a replay at Bloomfield Road, where Forest were beaten 4-1 last season.

After a flat opening 20 minutes, the game burst into life as Forest had their first sight of goal when Chris Wood latched onto Gibbs-White’s excellent pass but could not keep his effort down.

And it hurt Forest as before they knew it they were 2-0 down, with Blackpool hitting them with a double salvo.

In the 25th minute Gonzalo Montiel’s poor clearance fell straight to Lawrence-Gabriel, who expertly headed home from 12 yards against his former club and was almost apologetic in his celebration.

Two minutes and 46 seconds later Blackpool were in dreamland as Morgan was left unmarked at the far post and he squeezed home CJ Hamilton’s cross.

Forest needed to improve and got themselves back in it in the 39th minute as Dominguez powered home Montiel’s cross with a well-placed header.

They should have gone in level as Gibbs-White slipped in Wood but the in-form New Zealand striker clipped just wide.

Head coach Nuno Espirito Santo sent the hosts back out early for the second half and they drew themselves level in the 56th minute with the goal of the game as Gibbs-White received the ball on the edge of the area from Callum Hudson-Odoi and arrowed an unstoppable drive into the corner.

Forest ramped up the pressure and should have taken the lead but Ryan Yates headed Danilo’s cross straight at Daniel Grimshaw, with the Blackpool goalkeeper also saving Hudson-Odoi’s late shot.

But they could not find the winner, Wood’s failure to connect with Hudson-Odoi’s cross ensuring it ended all square, with a replay scheduled to take place the week commencing January 15.

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