Preston North End 0 Nottingham Forest 0 - stalemate at Deepdale as PNE extend unbeaten run to seven games

Preston striker Sean Maguires gets above Nottingham Forest centre-half Alexander Milosevic to get a header away
Preston striker Sean Maguires gets above Nottingham Forest centre-half Alexander Milosevic to get a header away

Preston North End and Nottingham Forest battled out a rather forgettable goalless draw at Deepdale.

The Lilywhites looked as though their exploits on Wednesday night in beating Norwich City had caught up with them, this a rather laboured performance.

Preston striker Jayden Stockley challenges Tendayi Dariwaka and Ryan Yates in the clash with Nottingham Forest

Preston striker Jayden Stockley challenges Tendayi Dariwaka and Ryan Yates in the clash with Nottingham Forest

Their use of the ball at times was poor, too many passes going astray which allowed Forest to mount counter-attacks.

Forest twice had the ball in the net only to see both efforts ruled out - a Lewis Grabban effort because he was offside and a shot from Joe Lolley due to a foul on Declan Rudd.

North End's best chances was probably a second-half volley from Brad Potts which keeper Costel Pantilimon saved with his legs.

The draw extended North End's unbeaten run to seven matches, with 14 points taken from the last 18 on offer.

Alex Neil had stuck with an unchanged starting XI and bench from the Norwich game, North End again starting in a 4-1-4-1 formation.

In the second minute, Paul Gallagher played a corner short to Ben Pearson who worked it to Potts outside the box, the midfielder's shot catching a deflection and going wide.

Gallager's resulting corner was met by Jordan Storey who powered a header over the bar.

Perhaps North End's best chance of the first half came in the seventh minute, Pearson's pass playing Darnell Fisher in behind the Forest defence on the right hand side of the box.

Fisher drove a cross into the middle, once which hit Potts on the leg and bounced against Pantilimon.

After that some of Preston's play was rather laboured, with them not having the zip and movement from previous games.

They found the going tough against Forest's rigid 4-4-2 system, the two banks of four frustrating them.

In the 23rd minute, a Fisher clearance on the half-way line was charged down, that allowing Lolley to break forward and head towards the PNE box.

Pearson was the saviour, coming across to get in a fine challenge with the ball bouncing off Lolley for a goal kick.

Grabban had the ball in the net in the 29th minute, a long throw in from Jack Robinson having been flicked on into his path at the far post.

But the assistant's flag went up for offside against the Forest striker and the effort was chalked off.

As Forest maintained their pressure, Daryl Murphy's shot on the turn clipped off Fisher and flew behind for a corner.

North End fashioned a half chance when Gallagher's cross from the right found Sean Maguire, the Irishman sending a header straight at Pantilimon.

Just before the interval, Grabban got beyond Ben Davies when chasing a long ball forward.

Davies recovered to force him down the side of his box, Grabban getting a shot away with Declan Rudd blocked at the expense of a corner.

Neil made a half-time substitution, bringing on Jayden Stockley for Gallagher.

An early second half chance came PNE's way, Alan Browne's pass chested down by Potts who volleyed over.

The game continued to be scrappy, neither side really getting a grip of play.

North End did fashion a decent chance in the 63rd minute, Fisher's cross won in the air by Stockley - his header dropping to Potts whose volley struck Pantilimon on the leg.

Lukas Nmecha and Daniel Johnson were introduced in a double change in the 65th minute, Maguire and Tom Barkhuizen giving way.

Forest had the ball in the net again in the 78th minute but for the second time in the afternoon referee Tim Robinson ruled it out.

Rudd dived to parry a low shot from Grabban and as he tried to retrieve the lose ball, Ryan Yates challenged him as Lolley shot into the net.

In the 89th minute, Browne met an Andrew Hughes cross with a volley with the outside of his boot, the ball going over and landing on the top of the net.

The final act of the game involved Browne again, the Irishman getting on the end of Johnson's free-kick but heading over.

PNE: Rudd, Fisher, Storey, Davies, Hughes, Pearson, Barkhuizen (Johnson 65), Browne, Potts, Gallagher (Stockley 46), Maguire (Nmecha 65). Subs (not used): Earl, Clarke, Ledson,, Crowe.

Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Benalouane, Milosevoic, Robinson, Lolley, Yates, Colback, Osborn, Grabban, Murphy (Carvalho 70). Subs (not used): Wague, Goncalves, Yacob, Pele, Bonatini, Steele.

Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex)

Attendance: 13,904 (1,913 away)