Blackpool 4 – 1 Nottingham Forest

Championship strugglers Blackpool humbled Premier League Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round.

The Seasiders, in the relegation zone in the second tier, took a 17th-minute lead through Marvin Ekpiteta.

Forest, who changed their entire starting XI, spurned a host of chances to draw level at Bloomfield Road.

Ian Poveda, CJ Hamilton and Jerry Yates struck in the second half before Ryan Yates claimed a consolation.

The fourth-round draw takes place on Sunday at 16:05 GMT.

Forest’s thrilling run to last season’s quarter-finals buoyed their ultimately successful push for a long-awaited promotion back to the Premier League.

But Steve Cooper’s team selection suggested Forest was happy to sacrifice this season’s competition to focus on avoiding an immediate return to the Championship.

Blackpool’s James Husband volleyed narrowly wide of the far post before Forest failed to deal with Hamilton’s left-wing cross and Shayne Lavery’s scuffed shot found Ekpiteta. The centre-half, who had stayed forward following a free-kick, stabbed the ball past Wayne Hennessey from 10 yards.

Forest was on top on either side of half-time, with Ekpiteta making a couple of important blocks in the second half.

But Neco Williams gave the ball away in his own half to Blackpool substitute Yates, whose run into the box resulted in on-loan Leeds winger Poveda bundling the ball in.

Hamilton exchanged passes with another sub, Kenny Dougall, before hitting a fine volley inside the far post from the left side of the box, and Yates wrapped up a fine win with a half-volley via the crossbar from Poveda’s cross.

Forest has made more than 20 signings this season and Cooper gave several of those who have not played regularly a chance to impress. They did not take it.

Emmanuel Dennis, making a rare start, curled a shot against the Blackpool bar in the first half, while Williams twice went close.

Sam Surridge missed three clear chances and Lewis O’Brien was also off-target in the second half.

The tie was beyond Forest by the time Yates came off the bench to head in from Harry Toffolo’s cross in stoppage time.

Cooper has said there could be more signings in the January transfer window as Forest aims to stay out of the Premier League relegation zone.

They face Wolves at home in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday and remain hopeful of reaching a first cup semi-final since 1992.

source – BBC

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