Nottingham Forest 2 – 0 Blackpool Town – 9th August 2014
Stuart Pearce got off to the perfect start, with his new look Forest side overcoming an understrength Blackpool 2-0.
Pearce got a rapturous applause from the City Ground faithful, as he walked out to take control of his first competitive match of Nottingham Forest, in front of a crowd of 28,028.
The Reds dominated the first half and started off on the front foot. Chris Burke’s deep cross was headed wide of the post by Antonio after only seven minutes.
However Blackpool had their most notable chance of the half after 19 minutes. A free kick from the left found Delfouneso, but he could only direct his headed effort wide.
Forest scored their first goal under the leadership of Pearce after 25 minutes. Influential midfielder, Andy Reid found enough space to fire a long range effort towards goal, the ball beat the visiting goalkeeper but not the post, but debutant Antonio followed in on the rebound to put the Reds in front.
And Forest doubled their lead in emphatic style only five minutes later. Chris Burke received the ball from the right and sent a beautiful curling effort into the top left hand corner of the net, sending the crowd into jubilation.
Antonio had a chance for the Reds before half time, after Fryatt’s trickery allowed him into the box, his ball found the winger but his low shot was well held by Joe Lewis.
The second half was completely different to the first, with limited opportunities. Credit to Blackpool they closed down Forest more and the tempo of the match slowed as the visitors tried to get back into the game.
The visitors had the first notable chance of the second half when Orlandi found a bit of space and curled an effort just past the left hand post.
Another Forest new boy, Assombalonga, didn’t manage to get on the score sheet like fellow debutants Antonio and Burke, but near the end he had a header easily saved following good work from Osborn.
Darlow had next to nothing to do all game, but Lundstram’s fizzing long range effort kept him on his toes, but it was well held by the keeper.
The full time whistle was greeted with cheers, as Pearce announced his return to Nottingham with three points. The first half was total domination for Forest, and they should have had more goals.
The new signings fitted in well, and all of them impressed. Mancienne and Hunt were solid at the back, and of course Antonio and Burke got their Forest careers off to a great start with a goal.
Blackpool are a team in trouble, but they did make the match hard for Forest in the second half. They only managed to put four substitutes on the bench, so clearly they need to recruit, but some of their performances improved in the second 45.
The Reds however controlled the match and Pearce will be delighted with the fact that he has three points and a clean sheet on his first match as manager. The second half performance wasn’t as fluid, but they got the job done and ensured that they started the campaign off in the best way.
Forest face Tranmere away on Tuesday in the Capital One Cup First Round.
Nottingham Forest (4-4-2) Darlow; Hunt, Mancienne, Fox, Harding; Burke (Osborn 78), Cohen, Reid, Antonio (McLaughlin 57); Assombalonga, Fryatt.
Subs: Veldwijk, Paterson, Hobbs, De Vries, Paterson, Hobbs, De Vries.
Blackpool (4-2-3-1) Lewis; McMahon, Clarke, Daniels, Perkins; Mellis, Lundstram; Cywka, Orlandi, Zenjav (Telford 87); Delfouneso.
Subs: Parish, Dunn, Waddington.
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