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Match Reports

Preston 0-0 Forest

16 February 2019

Nottingham Forest were held to a goalless draw against Preston North End this afternoon as they picked up a point on the road at Deepdale.

The Reds did find the net on two occasions, with Lewis Grabban and Joe Lolley efforts both being ruled out by the match officials, but ultimately had to settle for a point.

Manager Martin O'Neill made two changes to the side that drew away at West Brom in midweek, with Tendayi Darikwa replacing Saidy Janko in defence with Daryl Murphy coming in for Ben Watson as The Reds faced their third match in seven days.

Preston started brightly with a succession of corners in the opening five minutes and Brad Potts coming closest for the hosts only to be denied by a smart reaction save by Costel Pantilimon.

Forest saw out the early pressure from the home side and began to dominate possession. Grabban and Murphy in particular were starting to find their rhythm and were leading the line well. The former thought he had the breakthrough half-an-hour into the match as he pounced on a loose ball in the home side's penalty box only to see his effort ruled out for offside.

The visitors enjoyed a brief spell of domination before Preston created a half chance with ten minutes to go in the first half. Potts drifted a ball into the box from the right and Sean Maguire rose above Reds defender Yohan Benalouane but could only direct his header straight at Pantilimon.

Forest hit back again with a good chance of their own as Grabban and Joe Lolley linked up well which resulted in Grabban being through on goal. However, the leading scorer for The Reds was unable to add to his 16 goals this season as North End keeper Declan Rudd managed to tip his shot around the post.

The second half began at a more steady pace but Forest were still enjoying the majority of the ball without causing too much concern for the hosts' back four.

Preston did fashion a glorious opportunity to take the lead just after the hour mark. Potts smashed a volley towards goal from deep inside the visitors' penalty area but Pantilimon was equal to the challenge to deny the striker once again with a fine reaction stop.

Forest made their first change on 70 minutes with Joao Carvalho replacing Murphy, as The Reds went in search of the winner, and they thought they had it on 78 minutes when Lolley tapped home after Rudd could only parry an effort from Grabban. However, for the second time in the match, the visitors had the goal ruled out for an infringement on Rudd, with Ryan Yates the man penalised as he tried to convert following the initial save by the Preston stopper.

Time was running out for both sides and despite a late long-range effort from Reds defender Jack Robinson, there was very little in the way of clear cut chances being created.

The home side were restricted to long balls into the box but the Forest defence remained solid on each occasion and held out for a clean sheet on the road as the match ended goalless.

Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Milosevic, Benalouane, Robinson, Yates, Colback (c), Osborn, Lolley, Grabban, Murphy (Carvalho 71')

Unused subs: Steele, Wague, Goncalves, Yacob, Pele, Bonatini

Preston: Rudd, Fisher, Davies, Storey, Hughes, Pearson, Gallagher (c) (Stockley 46'), Potts, Barkhuizen (Johnson 65'), Browne, Maguire (Nmecha 65')

Unused subs: Crowe, Earl, Clarke, Ledson

Booking: Stockley 83'

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 13,904 (1,913 away)

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