An Eoin Doyle goal after only 113 seconds gave North End their first home win of the season, as they recorded their fifth consecutive clean sheet at Deepdale against Dougie Freedman’s Nottingham Forest.
North End took just under two minutes to take the lead; a long ball towards Garner was met by the frontman who headed down to Doyle. The No.13 laid the ball off to Johnson, who fired goalwards, with de Vries pushing the ball back out to the striker who fired hard and low into the bottom left hand corner from 12 yards out.
The game was an open affair in and another long goal kick by Jordan Picked was headed down once again by Garner for Adam Reach; PNE’s No.14 continued his run into the box and met the winger’s cross, but the ball flew inches over the bar from 12 yards out.
At the mid-point of the half Forest had the ball in the net, but an offside flag went up as skipper Matt Mills headed home a free kick from the right hand side. This was followed swiftly by Jamie Ward, whose shot from 25 yards was palmed away for a corner by Pickford.
Another chance came to former Forest man Garner, who fired just wide of the left hand post after great harrying and work by Eoin Doyle down the right, who drove inside and set up his strike partner.
Right on half-time a Marnick Vermijl delivery came in from the right after he had been fed by a free kick out to him by Gallagher, a Garner header from the cross forcing a diving save from de Vries, clawing the ball out of the top left hand corner.
After a tighter second half, with 18 minutes left a driving run from substitute John Welsh brought a chance for Joe Garner 20 yards out. The forward forced de Vries into a save, and the keeper just recovered in time to grab the rebound at the feet of Eoin Doyle.
In four minutes of added time the visitors threw the kitchen sink at North End, but the Lilywhites led by man of the match Bailey Wright at the heart of the defence, held on to record their first home win of the season.
PNE line-up: Pickford, Vermijl (Huntington, 83), Reach, Woods, Wright, Cunningham, Browne (Welsh, 57), Gallagher (c), Johnson, Garner, Doyle (Kilkenny, 83). Subs not used: Kirkland, Keane, May, Hugill.
Nottingham Forest line-up: De Vries, Lichaj, Mills (c), Mendes (Williams, 63), Oliveira, Trotter, Ward (Blackstock, 81), Hobbs, Pinillos, Grant (Walker, 63), Osborn. Subs not used: Evtimov, Wilson, Burke, O’Grady.
Attendance: 10,216 (658 away fans)
Referee: Mr T Harrington