Nottingham Forest survive FA Cup shock against Blackpool

Forest battle for 2-2 draw and force replay on Sunday

Nottingham Forest's Neco Williams battles for the ball with Blackpool's Andy Lyons during their FA Cup clash. Reuters
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Nottingham Forest had to dig deep as they came back from two goals down to eke out an FA Cup third-round 2-2 draw with League One Blackpool.

Forest looked like heading out at the same stage for a second straight year when they conceded twice in three first-half minutes, with Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel and Albie Morgan finding the back of the net.

But the Premier League side hit back with goals from Nicolas Dominguez and Morgan Gibbs-White either side of the break to force a replay.

They could not find a winner, which means the tie will be settled with a replay at Bloomfield Road, where Forest were beaten 4-1 last season.

After a subdued opening 20 minutes, Forest had their first sight of goal when Chris Wood latched onto Gibbs-White's pass but could not keep his effort down.

And soon, Blackpool struck back with a double.

In the 25th minute Gonzalo Montiel's poor clearance fell straight to Lawrence-Gabriel, who headed home from 12 yards against his former club.

Less than three minutes later, Blackpool were right on top as Morgan was left unmarked at the far post and he squeezed home CJ Hamilton's cross.

Forest got back on track in the 39th minute as Dominguez powered home Montiel's cross with a well-placed header.

They should have gone in level as Gibbs-White slipped in Wood but the in-form New Zealand striker clipped just wide.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side drew level in the 56th minute with the goal of the game as Gibbs-White received the ball on the edge of the area from Callum Hudson-Odoi and sent a solid drive into the corner.

Meanwhile, Premier League strugglers Luton were held 0-0 by third tier Bolton at Kenilworth Road.

In their first top-flight campaign since 1992, Luton's primary goal is survival and a draining replay was the last thing Hatters boss Rob Edwards needed.

Also, West Ham were held to a 1-1 draw against second tier Bristol City at the London Stadium.

Jarrod Bowen struck for West Ham in the fifth minute but Tommy Conway's 61st minute equaliser sent 9,000 travelling City fans wild.

Leeds United had no such problems as striker Patrick Bamford netted a brilliant volley in a 3-0 hammering of Peterborough United, and West Bromwich Albion cruised to a 4-1 win at home to Aldershot Town.

Wrexham edged past Shrewsbury Town 1-0 to reach the FA Cup fourth round for the second time in successive seasons.

The buzz around Wrexham and their celebrity owners - Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds and fellow actor Rob McElhenney - reached new levels last year when they beat second-tier Championship team in Coventry and then took Premier League-bound Sheffield United to a replay.

Updated: January 07, 2024, 5:27 PM