Nottingham Forest miss play-off chance with draw at Preston

Preston North End v Nottingham Forest – Sky Bet Championship – Deepdale
(Image credit: Nigel French)

Nottingham Forest missed the chance to climb back into the Sky Bet Championship play-off places after they were held to a goalless draw by Preston at Deepdale.

Keinan Davis was denied a penalty for the visitors in the opening stages and Preston’s Cameron Archer missed two golden opportunities in the second half, and despite a relentless second-half onslaught by Ryan Lowe’s side, both defences came out on top as the game finished goalless.

The game’s first moment came in the 10th minute when Forest striker Davis appeared to be tripped inside the area but referee Geoff Eltringham waved away claims, much to the despair of the travelling contingent.

The home side took a while to settle down but came relatively close to opening the scoring when Ched Evans picked the ball up 25 yards out and decided to let fly, only to see his effort curl inches over the crossbar.

Preston were in the ascendency and midway through the first half, Ben Whiteman’s corner found the head of Andrew Hughes but his effort bounced over the crossbar.

A quick Forest breakaway threatened to open the scoring in the 26th minute when Davis delivered a cross from the left and James Garner saw his attempt on the stretch fly straight into the arms of North End goalkeeper Daniel Iversen.

The home side continued to seek the advantage and following some neat build-up play with Daniel Johnson and Evans, the ball was given to Alan Browne but his shot was easily saved by Ethan Horvath.

After a quiet start to the second half, the first chance fell the way of the visitors when Steve Cook tried an audacious 25-yard effort which sailed way over the crossbar.

Preston should have been in front in the 55th minute when, after a spell of possession, Johnson slipped in Aston Villa loanee Archer who blasted straight at Horvath.

Seconds later, Archer missed another chance from close range as he went one-on-one with Horvath, the 20-year-old beating the offside trap but placing his shot the wrong side of the post.

The hosts kept on forcing the issue, this time Whiteman lashing wide of the near post after a neat one-two with Evans.

Another chance went begging with 15 minutes to go as Archer’s deflected shot looped over Horvath but landed just wide of the far post.

Forest almost snatched a winner against the run of play at the death.

Djed Spence weaved in and out of the Preston defence with a dazzling run before flashing an effort across the six-yard box, but no-one was on hand to tap home, meaning both sides took home a point.

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