Preston North End 0 Nottingham Forest 0 match report: Stalemate at Deepdale but a pulsating clash

Preston North End and Nottingham Forest fought out a thoroughly entertaining draw at Deepdale.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 10:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 10:54 pm

While neither side could break the deadlock, it was a great watch for a 0-0 draw and it was North End who looked the more likely winners.

Twice Cameron Archer went close for the hosts, the Aston Villa loanee seeing a shot saved by Forest goalkeeper Ethan Horvath and then putting an even better opportunity inches wide of the target.

In Brad Potts, PNE had the game's best player, Potts working ever so hard down the right-hand side of the pitch and was often the spark of his side's attacking play.

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Preston North End striker Cameron Archer after missing a chance against Nottingham Forest at Deepdale

Dropping points at home is always a touch disappointing but this was a marked improvement on Saturday's 3-2 defeat to Reading.

The North End side had shown two changes from the one beaten by Reading, Liam Lindsay and Ched Evans coming into the side at the expense of Scott Sinclair and Emil Riis.

Lindsay's inclusion on the left side of the back three saw Andrew Hughes move to the left wing-back slot.

Forest made the better start, with Jack Colback sending a shot wide and Keinan Davis seeing an appeal for a penalty waved away after claiming to have been clipped by Sepp van den Berg.

Preston North End wing-back Brad Potts holds off Nottingham Forest defender Scott McKenna

PNE began to find their way into the contest and went on to have the better of the first-half play.

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As it happened: Preston North End 0-0 Nottingham Forest

Evans sent a shot from 20 yards just over the bar, then Hughes met a Potts cross on the volley which was blocked by Ryan Yates and taken behind for a corner.

In the 19th minute Archer scampered inside from the left channel and reached the byline, his pull-back pushed out for a corner by Horvath.

PNE defender Liam Lindsay challenges with Nottingham Forest's Brennan Johnson

Ben Whiteman's flag kick was met by Hughes whose header into the turf bounced up over the bar.

Forest had a chance on the counter-attack, Davis breaking down the left and crossing low to find James Garner who slid to reach it and put his shot straight into Daniel Iversen's gloves.

Good link-up play at the other end involving Evans and Daniel Johnson set up a chance for Alan Browne, the PNE skipper putting his low shot too close to Horvath who saved.

Early in the second half North End lost the services of Bauer, the centre-half having been carrying an injury since the first half.

It was getting more uncomfortable for him to run and he was replaced by Josh Earl - Hughes moving inside to the back three.

Two chances in quick succession fell Archer's way as PNE looked to break the deadlock.

Played in by Johnson's pass in the 55th minute, the striker's shot from just inside the box was parried by Horvath.

A couple of minutes later, Potts slipped Archer clear in the box but he steered his first-time shot wide of the target.

Riis replaced Evans up front for the final quarter of an hour and it was shortly after that change that Archer went close again, although in different circumstances to his earlier two chances.

Archer chased a ball down the left side of the box, his cross clipping a defender's foot and looping up towards the far post - dropping just beyond it for a corner.

A late scare for PNE came in stoppage-time when Djed Spence got away down the right and saw his low ball travel across the six-yard without anyone getting a touch.

Had Forest scored then, it would have been desperately unfair on North End who were the stronger side.

PNE: Iversen, van den Berg, Bauer (Earl 53), Lindsay, Potts, Whiteman, Johnson, Browne, Hughes, Evans (Riis 74), Archer, Subs (not used): Ripley, Rafferty, McCann, Ledson, Sinclair.

Forest: Horvath, Worrall, Cook, McKenna, Spence, Garner, Colback, Yates, Lowe, Johnson, Davis (Surridge 81). Subs (not used): Smith, Figueiredo, Zinckernagel, Mighten, Cafu, Lolley.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham (County Durham)

Attendance: 12,598 (2,308 away)