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Match Reports

Preston 1-1 Forest

11 July 2020

Nottingham Forest picked up an important point in the race for the play-offs as they drew 1-1 at Preston North End.

Lewis Grabban's fifth-minute penalty, his 20th goal of the campaign, was cancelled out ten minutes later by a close-range finish from Jayden Stockley as the two sides couldn't be separated for the second time this season.

Sabri Lamouchi shuffled his pack for the trip to Lancashire as Tiago Silva, Joe Lolley, Tobias Figueiredo and Matty Cash were replaced in the starting line-up by Ryan Yates, Nuno Da Costa, Carl Jenkinson and Michael Dawson with the latter captaining the side.

Forest needed a good start at Deepdale and they made the perfect one inside five minutes. Having got on the end of a pass from Ben Watson, Nuno Da Costa was bundled over inside the box by Ben Pearson and Grabban stepped up to find the bottom corner for his 20th goal of the season.

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To their credit, the home side responded well and they drew level within ten minutes of going behind. Brad Potts raced down the right-hand channel and delivered a low cross which Stockley was able to tuck home from close range.

It had been an entertaining start to the contest and Forest went a whisker away from restoring their lead. Sammy Ameobi cut in from the right-hand side and fired a left-footed shot inches over Rudd's crossbar with the goalkeeper at full-stretch to try and turn the ball over.

Forest were thankful to Watson for keeping the scores level four minutes into the second half. Patrick Bauer met Joe Rafferty's corner with a bullet header from close range but Watson was able to block the ball on the line and clear the danger before Stockley could get to the rebound.

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Alex Neil's Preston knew they had to go for the three points and they were beginning to create goalscoring opportunities. The ball broke kindly for Brad Potts inside the Forest penalty area but Jenkinson came across to make a superb block to prevent the former Barnsley man from finding the bottom corner of the net.

Da Costa and Ameobi switched wings in the second half and the latter almost put Forest back in front on 66 minutes. Having cut in from the right-hand side, Ameobi curled a terrific effort towards goal but it whistled past Rudd's far post and behind for a goal-kick.

As the game entered its final stages, it became a more end-to-end affair with both sides pushing for victory. A long ball over the top from Preston set Sean Maguire in behind the Forest defence but Brice Samba came out to push him wide and was able to make the save with his legs.

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Preston had a superb chance to win the game in the final minute of normal time as substitute Tom Barkhuizen jinked his way into the Forest penalty area but his goal-bound effort was blocked behind for a corner by Joe Worrall.

That proved to be the final opportunity of the afternoon for either side as Forest maintained the six-point gap between themselves and seventh-placed Swansea City before the Welsh side entertain Leeds United on Sunday.

Forest: Samba; Jenkinson, Dawson (c), Worrall, Ribeiro; Watson; Ameobi (Diakhaby 89'), Sow (Silva 68'), Yates, Da Costa (Mighten 82'); Grabban

Subs not used: Smith, Figueiredo, Carvalho, Semedo, Darikwa, Walker

Goal: Grabban (pen) 5'

Preston: Rudd; Rafferty, Bauer, Davies (Storey 44'), Hughes; Pearson (Ledson 46'), Johnson (c) (Gallagher 83'); Maguire, Potts, Sinclair (Barkhuizen 64'); Stockley (Harrop 83')

Subs not used: Ripley, Fisher, Nugent, Bodin

Goal: Stockley 15'

Bookings: Bauer 16', Hughes 49'

Referee: Jeremy Simpson


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