Report: Nottingham Forest 2 Blackpool 0Blackpool’s 2014/15 campaign didn’t get off to the start new manager José Riga would have wished for, after Nottingham Forest ran out comfortable winners at The City Ground.
Two first half goals from Michail Antonio and Chris Burke did the job for the hosts, as life under Riga began with a 2-0 defeat for Pool.
Blackpool, who had ten debutants on show, threatened sporadically, but found clear-cut chances hard to come by.
Nathan Delfouneso headed a presentable opportunity off target, while Andrea Orlandi twice struck wide after the break on a frustrating afternoon for The Seasiders.
Riga named nine debutants from the start for his first competitive match as Blackpool manager at an atmospheric City Ground.
However it was the hosts, also under a new regime with Stuart Pearce, who threatened first, as Antonio headed Burke’s cross wide.
The next opportunity arrived on 19 minutes and really should have brought the opening goal for the visitors. John Lundstram’s whipped free-kick was met by Delfouneso at the back post, but the striker’s header flew wide of the post.
And Pool were made to rue that missed chance six minutes later when the hosts took the lead. Andy Reid picked up on a loose ball midway through Blackpool’s half, and after his long-range effort cannoned off the post, Antonio was on hand to slam home the rebound.
Forest now looked a real threat, and Britt Assombalonga fired wide soon after, but that was only a momentary rest bite for Pool, who were soon 2-0 down.
This time Burke cut inside onto his left foot and fired an unstoppable effort past Joe Lewis and into the top corner.
It could have been worse minutes before half time, after Matty Fryatt skipped past a number of challenges before feeding Antonio, but the winger’s low effort was held by Lewis.
Half Time: Nottingham Forest 2 Blackpool 0
After the break the hosts were going for the kill, but some desperate defending from Peter Clarke denied Assombalonga, while Orlandi shot wide from the edge of the Forest box.
And the Spaniard was getting closer, next he bent a left footed effort narrowly wide from a similar distance.
However Forest were now in cruise-control, as Stephen McLaughlin dragged an effort well wide.
In the closing stages both Jacob Mellis and Orlandi were booked, as Pool’s frustration grew.
Lundstram tested Karl Darlow with five minutes left, but his drilled effort flew straight into the hands of the stopper.
Soon after Riga handed a professional debut to Dom Telford, as the youth team player replaced Sergei Zenjov.
However by then the game was won by the hosts, and Blackpool’s players left the pitch defeated.
Full Time: Nottingham Forest 2 Blackpool 0
By Mark Ridgway