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First-half strikes from debutants Michail Antonio and Chris Burke sent Forest well on their way against a depleted Blackpool side, who could name just four substitutes on the bench following a turbulent summer.
The Seasiders nearly had their turmoil compounded on eight minutes when Antonio headed a Burke cross wide of the mark.
It got worse for Blackpool five minutes later as Burke added a second by curling beyond the reach of Lewis from outside the area to give Riga's men a mountain to climb.
Britt Assombalonga should have followed his teammates in bagging debut goals, but the former Peterborough United hitman was denied by Lewis on 52 minutes.
However, their pressure petered out and Nottingham Forest held on to mark the beginning of the new season in winning style.