‘CRAZY’ DAY HAS CLARK BE­LIEV­ING

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Scott Hunt

SEVEN sec­ond half goals saw the teams land just a paltry point apiece – no won­der Black­pool boss Lee Clark says it was one of the cra­zi­est days of foot­ball he has wit­nessed.

Chris Burke looked to have won it when he made it 4-3 to For­est in the 96th minute but David Fer­gu­son snatched a point for nine-man Black­pool a minute later at a stunned Bloom­field Road

For­est twice came from be­hind in the sec­ond half, af­ter Black­pool had led 2-0 and 3-2, to pull the scores level at 3-3 head­ing into nine min­utes of in­jury time.

The home side fin­ished with nine men af­ter Tom Al­dred was sent off and Dar­ren O’Dea was in­jured af­ter all sub­sti­tu­tions had been made.

Black­pool re­main ten points off safety but Clark says af­ter what hap­pened in this game, any­thing is pos­si­ble.

“I’m drained and I wasn’t even in­volved,” Clark said. “Me and Alan Thomp­son (first team coach) are say­ing we’ve never ex­pe­ri­enced any­thing like that in our life.

“We were down to nine and go 4-3 down but the lads dug deep to get back.

“I didn’t ac­tu­ally see the equaliser be­cause I was get­ting a bit of grief from one of our own fans for not be­ing at­tack­ing enough.

“A point is not enough, but that fight­back has told me the play­ers aren’t giv­ing up and have the fight and abil­ity.

“We need a mag­nif­i­cent run. We will have to do top two, top three form to do it.

“I’ve just ex­pe­ri­enced one of the cra­zi­est games I’ve been in­volved in so who’s not to say it can hap­pen.”

Black­pool took the lead af­ter 45 min­utes through Gary Ma­dine. Dom Telford crossed into the area and Ma­dine beat his marker to strike home from eight yards.

An­drea Or­landi made it 2-0 af­ter 66 min­utes when he su­perbly curled the ball into the far cor­ner from 20 yards.

Two min­utes later though For­est pulled one back through Dex­ter Black­stock, who brought the ball down and took an airshot be­fore gath­er­ing again and slot­ting un­der Joe Lewis from six yards.

Chaotic Black­pool de­fend­ing handed For­est an equaliser af­ter 70 min­utes through Gary Gard­ner, who tapped into an empty net af­ter Lewis had de­nied Michail An­to­nio.

Black­pool were back ahead af­ter 73 min­utes when Steven Davies latched onto a rightwing cross and saw his first ef­fort blocked but ham­mered home the re­bound from six yards.

Their joy was short-lived as For­est won a penalty af­ter 75 min­utes and last-man Al­dred was sent off for up­end­ing An­to­nio. Henri Lans­bury sent Lewis the wrong way to make it five goals in ten min­utes.

And af­ter the late drama, For­est manager Dougie Freed­man says he should have made it nine points from his first three games with victory.

“We looked to be win­ning the game with sec­onds to go and we lacked con­cen­tra­tion,” Freed­man said.“It’s very alarm­ing for me as a coach that we can give that away.You’re in the Cham­pi­onship against a team fight­ing for their life so you shouldn’t think it’s job done.

“The pitch is a def­i­nite lev­eller but it’s a lev­eller for two teams. My main con­cern for the pitch is in­juries. I’ve lost Jack Hobbs. From a foot­ball point of view it’s no ex­cuse.

“I think I could have got three wins and with a minute to go I was nearly with that. I’ve got to set the stan­dards high here and make sure peo­ple un­der­stand what it is to play for Not­ting­ham For­est.

“I’ve sat on that bench 200 to 250 times and I’ve never seen a game as bizarre as that.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

MELEE: David Fer­gu­son scores Black­pool’s last­gasp equaliser. Inset: Dex­ter Black­stock scores For­est’s first goal

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