Nottingham Forest 1 Preston North End 1 - Match report from the City Ground as Lilywhites put first away point on the board

Preston North End put their first Championship away point on the board this season and were only a few minutes away from taking all three in their clash with Nottingham Forest.

Saturday, 31st August 2019, 5:57 pm
Updated Saturday, 31st August 2019, 6:57 pm
Billy Bodin fires Preston in front against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground

A dominant first-half performance at the City as capped by Billy Bodin's fine finish in the 40th minute, a lead they thoroughly deserved.

It was one they held on to until the 80th minute when Forest substitutes Joao Carvalho and Albert Adomah linked-up, Adomah running on to a Carvalho through ball to shoot past Declan Rudd - perhaps the home side's one decent shot on target.

North End will have felt they should have put the game to bed in the first half, Bodin, Daniel Johnson and Josh Harrop all having chances.

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Billy Bodin in action for PNE against Nottingham Forest

In the second half it was Forest who saw a lot more of the ball but until their equaliser didn't particularly threaten.

Before the game, PNE probably wouldn't have sniffed at a draw, especially with them missing some regular starters.

Tom Barkhuizen, Sean Maguire and Darnell Fisher all sat this one out, Maguire with an eye injury suffered in training on Thursday.

Alex Neil was forced to shuffle the pack, Bodin leading the attack with Brad Potts and Harrop playing down the side of him.

PNE midfielder Daniel Johnson shadows Forest's Ben Watson

There was another stint as a stand-in right-back for Alan Browne and Joe Rafferty again operated at left-back.

North End were lively from the start and that was the theme for the whole of the first half.

Potts' low centre flashed across the six-yard box and out the other side in the sixth minute.

Bodin and Harrop tested Forest keeper Brice Samba twice in quick succession, Bodin getting behind the home defence to the left of goal and seeing his shot pushed up into the air by Samba.

When the loose ball dropped in the box, Harrop put a follow-up attempt too close to the keeper who saved.

Johnson saw a shot from the edge of the box pushed out by Samba as North End maintained their pressure.

That pressure paid off five minutes before half-time when they took the lead.

Bodin got possession on the left side of the box, moved inside and hit a right-foot shot which was blocked, the ball rolling out to Browne outside the box.

The Irishman scuffed a low shot goalwards, it falling into the path of Bodin who moved the ball on his favoured left foot before drilling a low finish through a crowded six-yard box into the net, sparking celebrations among the 1,610 travelling Preston supporters at the other end of the ground.

It could have been 2-0 moments later when Paul Gallagher's cross found Harrop and his volley dropped inches wide of the target.

Forest sent on Samba Sow for Alfa Semedo at the interval and the substitute certainly gave the hosts more presence in midfield - an area PNE had bossed in the first 45 minutes.

Lewis Grabban put a shot too high in the 53rd minute, with Joe Lolley shooting over later on.

And while Forest saw lots more possession than they had in the first half, North End looked reasonably comfortable.

However, they were breached in the 80th minute Carvalho's low pass splitting the Preston defence, Adomah running through and steering a low shot past Rudd.

The PNE keeper pushed out a Lolley shot soon after but the visitors finished quite strongly, substitute Ryan Ledson seeing a late shot bobble wide.

North End go into the two-week international break with three wins, a draw and two defeats from their first six Championship games, plus progress through two rounds of the Carabao Cup where they face Manchester City in September.

It represents a decent start and one which actually could have been even better, bearing in mind they led here and at Swansea a fortnight ago.

Forest: Samba, Jenkinson, Worrall, Dawson, Robinson, Watson (Carvalho 67), Semedo (Sow 46), Lolley, Silva, Ameobi (Adomah 77), Grabban. Subs (unused): Cash, Mir, Rodriguez, Muric.

PNE: Rudd, Browne, Bauer, Davies, Rafferty, Pearson, Gallagher (Ledson 65), Potts, Johnson (Green 84), Harrop, Bodin (Stockley 65). Subs (not used): Bayliss, Storey, Ginnelly, Ripley.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham (County Durham)

Attendance: 27,249 (1,610 PNE)