INCE DEMANDS REF APOLOGY
N FOREST ........1 BLACKPOOL ....1
PAUL Ince claimed referee Craig Pawson cost his relegationthreatened Blackpool side all three points after Isaiah Osbourne was sent off on the hour in their draw at Nottingham Forest.
The Seasiders midfielder was harshly adjudged to have lunged at Greg Halford with the visitors ahead courtesy of a Ludovic Sylvestre strike.
But Osbourne’s dismissal made life difficult for Blackpool and sub Lewis McGugan scored a penalty nine minutes from time to ensure he scored for the sixth game running.
“We were robbed, totally robbed,” said Ince. “It was a poor decision. I understand the referees have got hard decisions to make but you have to get those decisions right.
“It was not a two-footed challenge and I think up until then we were comfortable. It looked like Forest had run out of ideas. Our players felt it was unjustified, it was a shame as it was a good game.
“The referee gave them a lifeline. There should be a rule that says referees should make the right decisions and be accountable.
“It’s so important, we want referees to say when they have made a mistake. I’ve seen a replay of the incident. He did not even say to my face he had got it wrong.
“He knows where I work, I want an apology. It’s madness, the biggest decisions cost games. We expect it to be overturned on appeal. We’re disappointed as we should be celebrating three points.”
The Seasiders had looked a threat on the break and Nathan Delfouneso was only denied by the crossbar after curling a beautiful effort from the edge of the area in the first half.
On 27 minutes Sylvestre grabbed his third goal of the season when he picked up the ball on the left-hand edge of the area and unleashed an effort into the far corner.
The hosts were then given a helping hand when Osbourne was bizarrely dismissed.
McGugan has had an impact in every game he has come on as sub under Forest boss Billy Davies – and did yet again. He nearly scored with his first touch from Adlene Guedioura’s cross but Gilks kept the effort out before he missed the target seconds later.
Simon Cox has not scored in all of 2013 but came within a whisker of a leveller when Gilks denied him but was then brought down by Chris Basham from the rebound. Pawson had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and McGugan confidently finished to ensure Forest have still not lost in ten under Davies.
But Blackpool did well to hold on to a point despite the momentum swing and seven minutes of added time, although they are now only four points above the drop zone.
Forest remain in fifth and Davies said: “I haven’t seen the sending off so I can’t comment. If you look at their formation, it would have made no difference. We had over 80 per cent possession.
“We were pedestrian in the first half but in the second half we were much better and they had no shots on goal. They came for a point and got it. The point for us felt like a defeat. We’re in a great position, it won’t be pretty and it’s great credit to them that teams are coming to the City Ground to sit in.
“We need to be a bit more patient, our crosses have to be better. We need to keep our quality in the final third. We just have to be more patient. Second half we probably should have scored a winning goal.”
NO WAY: Isaiah Osbourne is given a straight red for a foul on Greg Halford
SWEET AS A NUT: Ludovic Sylvestre opens the scoring for Blackpool