Football / Match reports

Match report: Preston North End 1-1 Nottingham Forest

North End are unbeaten in their last four matches.

Preston North End passed up another opportunity to close the gap from the play-off places, drawing 1-1 against struggling Nottingham Forest at Deepdale.

The Lilywhites have drawn three of their past five games, including most recently salvaging a point against Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers.

Forest striker Britt Assombalonga put the visitors ahead midway through the first half, after a jinking run from Zach Clough.

But PNE drew level thanks to the in-form Aiden McGeady striking a well taken shot into the bottom corner after he was teed up by Callum Robinson.

There was early pressure from Preston, when Jordan Hugill picked up a loose ball but his bending effort sailed over the bar inside 15 minutes.

Assombalonga broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute, directing a low effort beyond PNE goalkeeper Chris Maxwell after receiving Clough’s pass.

Simon Grayson’s half-time team talk paid dividends, as Preston found themselves level seven minutes after the restart.

McGeady, who rescued a point with an injury-time equalizer away to Blackburn in PNE’s last match, brought North End level once more, collecting Robinson’s square-pass before unleashing a powerful drive straight past Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Jordan Smith.

PNE tails were up as Robinson arrowed a tame shot straight down Smith’s throat, in what was a very intense second-half affair.

Jamie Ward had a chance to win it in the dying seconds for Forest but he saw his 25-yard free-kick balloon over the bar.

Forest manager Mark Warburton’s side will be pleased with avoiding defeat to Preston, who have not lost at home since suffering a 4-1 thrashing by Leeds United on Boxing Day last year. But North End now find themselves five points behind Sheffield Wednesday in the push for promotion.

PNE: Maxwell, Clarke, Cunningham, Pearson, Boyle (Baptiste, 46), Huntington, Horgan (Robinson, 46), Gallagher (Browne, 84), Barkhuizen, Hugill and McGeady. Subs not used: Lindegaard, Beckford, Spurr and May.

Nottingham Forest: Smith, Lichaj, Pinillos, Cohen, Assombalonga (Vellios, 73), Osborn, Fox, Clough (Cash, 73), Vaughan, Worrall and Brereton (Ward, 62). Subs not used: Evtimov, Mancienne, Tshibola and Carayol.

Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire)

Attendance: 12,459 (1,539)


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