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Match Reports

Forest v Preston

14 December 2016

Forest 1-1 Preston

Nottingham Forest had to settle for a point as, despite a strong second-half performance from The Reds, Preston North End left The City Ground with a 1-1 draw.

A Chris Maxwell own goal drew Forest level in the second half after Simon Makienok had given the visitors the lead on the stroke of half time but strong pressure on the PNE goal could not produce a winner and both sides had take a point into the weekend's fixtures.

Philippe Montanier made three changes to the side which lost at Derby on Sunday, with Pajtim Kasami, Mustapha Carayol and Michael Mancienne being replaced by David Vaughan, Hildeberto Pereira and Joe Worrall.

It was an open start to the game with a flurry of chances inside the opening 10 minutes. The first fell to the visitors in the second minute as a kind break meant the ball landed at the feet of Callum Robinson inside the six-yard box, but a stunning stop from Vladimir Stojkovic denied the Preston forward.

Forest immediately went up the other end as Nicklas Bendtner chased down a loose ball and Thomas Lam fed the ball for Ben Osborn to strike but he couldn't beat Chris Maxwell. 

The Reds were indebted to their keeper again moments later as Stojkovic again denied North End, this time stopping Alan Browne's effort with his legs, and the PNE midfielder came even closer on 12 as he hit a superb effort from 30 yards which Stojkovic tipped onto the post at full stretch.

In between those two chances for Preston, Matty Cash had an effort from an Osborn cross which he volleyed wide, and Bendtner had a sighter on 17 minutes but shot straight at Maxwell after cutting in from the left.

After the frenetic start, Forest came into the game more and had some good spells of pressure with Cash providing good energy and runs from midfield.

That pressure didn't produce any clear-cut chances until the 43rd minute when Eric Lichaj crossed for Bendtner, who found himself at the back post but volleyed over when he should have hit the target.

That miss proved costly as Preston took the lead right on the stroke of half time. Daniel Johnson produced a great cross to the back post for former Forest loanee Greg Cunningham, who nodded a header back across goal for Simon Makienok to tap home past a helpless Stojkovic.

A half-time change saw a change in formation for The Reds as Armand Traore replaced Damien Perquis with Forest reverting to four at the back, and it almost paid dividends as Cash was denied by two smart stops by Maxwell. 

Firstly on 50 as good work by Osborn found Cash, now playing just off Bendtner, in the area and secondly four minutes later as he volleyed at goal only for Maxwell to tip his effort round the post. 

The PNE stopper pulled off an even better save on 62 as Bendtner raced through on goal and opened up his body to curl an effort towards the far corner, but Maxwell was there to tip the shot round the post with his fingertips.

Forest were not to be denied though as they found the equaliser that their second-half pressure had deserved on 68. Apostolos Vellios, on for Bendtner, played a great pass out to the right for Lichaj who crossed for the arriving Thomas Lam. His first-time shot cannoned off the post and into the back of the net off the heels of the unfortunate Maxwell.

The Reds were in the ascendency and were pushing for the winner. Kasami, on for Lam, tested Maxwell again on 75 but the keeper was up to the challenge, and Osborn came close to breaking through on 79 as his header was blocked on the line by Alex Baptiste. 

Stojkovic denied Browne again on 83 and Makienok's follow-up, and Forest were denied again by Baptiste as he cleared off the line and onto his own crossbar after Vellios flicked Kasami's cross over Maxwell. The assistant referee adjudged the effort to not have crossed the line, denying what would have been a deserved winner for The Reds after a superb second-half performance. 

Forest: Stojkovic, Pereira, Mills (c), Perquis (Traore 46'), Worrall, Lichaj, Lam (Kasami 74'), Vaughan, Cash, Osborn, Bendtner (Vellios 66')

Unused subs: Henderson, Mancienne, Carayol, Grant

Goal: Maxwell og 68'

Yellow cards: Lam 54', Vaughan 77'

Preston: Maxwell, Baptiste, Clarke (c), Wright, Cunningham, Vermijl (Huntington 88'), Pearson (Pringle 50'), Johnson, Browne, Robinson (Hugill 78'), Makienok

Unused subs: Lindegaard, Spurr, Grimshaw, McGeady

Goal: Makienok 45'

Yellow cards: Browne 53', Baptiste 89'

Attendance: 15,864 (Away: 709)

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