FOREST Green Rovers' FA Cup run for 2023 came to an end at Bloomfield Road on Tuesday night as League One Blackpool proved too strong in their second-round tie.

It was Blackpool who drew first blood after 18 minutes when Dale charged down a loose ball and beat keeper Luke Daniels in a 50-50 challenge before tapping into an empty net.

Dom Thompson and Matty Virtue both missed chances to extend the lead before half-time.

Kyle Joseph then had another opportunity to put the game beyond Forest Green but could not find the net.

Rovers manager David Horseman made a triple substitution midway through the second half in search of a route back into the game, including the introduction of player-coach Troy Deeney.

It had little impact as Blackpool continued to dominate, and Gabriel smashed home a second 15 minutes from time.

Ekpiteta put the game beyond doubt when he headed Karamoko Dembele’s free-kick into the net to round off a good night’s work.

Forest Green manager David Horseman admitted Blackpool "were quicker and stronger all over the pitch" but thought the score-line "flattered" The Tangerines in the end.

"They were bigger, quicker and stronger all over the pitch and won every duel," said Horseman.

"We were OK and organised. Luke hasn’t had many saves to make, but to give the first goal away makes it an uphill challenge.

"The second one is a 60-yard ball diagonal from the wide man that splits two players and goes through and at the end it’s a free header. We gave away three really soft goals.

"It’s a marker we need to do much better.

"The goals were really bad individual errors. We knew when we made the changes and bring the boys on, we give the second goal away.

"The three goals were really, really bad. The 3-0 I think flatters them, they deserved to win but it flatters them. It leaves a really bad taste."