Campbell puts promised land in sight for Blackpool

Nottingham Forest 3 Blackpool 4 (Blackpool win 6-4 on aggregate)

Blackpool, who languished in the fourth tier as recently as 2001, stand within one win of regaining the top-flight status they last enjoyed 40 years ago. A hat-trick by DJ Campbell, who is on loan from play-off rivals Leicester City, crushed Nottingham Forest to earn Ian Holloway's side the chance to paint Wembley tangerine in the Championship final on 22 May.

Their opponents will be Cardiff or Leicester, the club who fired Holloway as manager when he led them out of the division at the wrong end two years ago. Blackpool finished sixth, three places behind Forest, but it counted for nothing as Campbell ran amok in the second half, his goals coming during a stunning 23-minute spell in which another loan attacker, Swansea's Stephen Dobbie, also scored.

Campbell is on loan from Leicester and will not be able to play against his parent club in the final if they overturn their first-leg deficit in Wales tonight. Blackpool, having established themselves as the more fluid side after conceding an early goal to Robert Earnshaw, will fear no one after ravaging Forest's impressive defensive record.

Billy Davies' team had won 14 of their previous 15 home fixtures and last conceded a goal here 793 minutes ago. Picked apart by the perpetual motion of David Vaughan and precision of Charlie Adam's passing, they had no answer to the mobility and ruthlessness of Campbell.

"DJ looks good in our colours, but can we afford him?" Holloway said. "Our place seems to suit him but he's still contracted for Leicester next season. They quite rightly put a little clause in saying he can't play against them."

Holloway had "felt like a burglar" when Blackpool won here earlier in the season, but there was no robbery this time. "I said we'd have to play the best we've ever played – and we did," Holloway added. "I'm very proud because I knew how tough it was going to be. It was a fantastic game that I'd have paid to watch myself. I enjoyed every second, even when Forest scored."

Davies magnanimously said the outcome proved what he has long said – that Forest's young team were "not ready" for the Premier League. "All credit to Blackpool," he said. "They've got more experience and nous than us."

Earnshaw swiftly levelled the aggregate scores, but Campbell exploited keeper Lee Camp's misjudgement to restore Blackpool's overall lead after half-time. Forest went 2-1 up through Earnshaw's 17th goal of the season only for Campbell to respond swiftly after a one-two with Dobbie, who stretched the advantage with a shot that deflected in off Wes Morgan.

Campbell, converting the rebound after Camp saved from Dobbie, put Blackpool's 2,000 followers in dreamland. Dele Adebola's stoppage-time tap-in was no consolation for Forest.

Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Camp; Gunter, Morgan, Wilson, Perch (McGoldrick, 82); Tyson, Majewski, McKenna (Anderson, 78), Cohen; Blackstock (Adebola, 78), Earnshaw. Substitutes not used Smith (gk), Chambers, McGugan, Adebola, Boyd.

Blackpool (4-3-3): Gilks; Coleman, Baptiste, Evatt, Crainey; Southern, Adam (Edwards, 90), Vaughan; Campbell, Ormerod (Dobbie, 69), Taylor-Fletcher (Burgess, 77). Substitutes not used Rachubka (gk), Clarke, Euell, Bannan.

Referee M Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine