Tim Mercer’s PNE Fans’ Panel: Ben Davies stood out in draw with Forest
A jaded-looking North End stretched their unbeaten run to seven matches.
Both sides had some clear-cut chances to notch up a goal or two and both came up against opposing keepers in good form. At the start it looked like Preston were going to carry on from where they left off against Norwich in midweek.
Brimming with confidence, they pressed forward from kick-off and could have quite easily been one or two goals to the good, especially following a run by Darnell Fisher into the six-yard box with a cut-back for Brad Potts to strike, the combination of a good save and it being a little too close to the keeper preventing an opening goal.
However, 15 minutes later the men in white shirts started to look like they all needed a good night’s sleep, as simple passes and other unforced errors went astray.
To this fan it looked like a clear case of a Wednesday night hangover (without sufficient recovery) that seems to play a big part in the modern game – such are the fine margins of fitness at this level and above.
The sponsors gave Ben Pearson man of the match, but for me it was Davies who stood out the most amongst his colleagues.
A substitution at half time to replace Paul Gallagher with Jayden Stockley came as no surprise as he took up a centre-forward role to relieve Sean Maguire of the battering he had been subjected to in the first 45.
The second half continued in the same vein as the end of the first, with both sides having opportunities to score but without either dominating the game.
In fairness to the referee, one of those opportunities for the visitors saw them put the ball in the net following a parry and spill by Declan Rudd.
A lot of referees would have let the goal stand, despite momentum taking a Forest player into the path of Rudd who was clipped as he lay on the ground.
Instead the ref blew for a foul and so ruled out the goal.