Preston North End had to settle for a point at the City Ground after a controversial late equaliser from the home side.
A superb and controlling performance for the majority of the game from the Lilywhites saw Billy Bodin give them a deserved first half lead, but substitute Albert Adomah, who looked clearly offside, equalised with just over ten minutes left.
Bodin had driven home the opener five minutes before the break after seeing an initial shot saved, only for the Reds to take a point in a hard-fought encounter.
With three changes made by manager Alex Neil from the previous league game – two enforced with Darnell Fisher and Sean Maguire missing through injury – the team saw Bodin leading the line and Alan Browne at right back.
However, the changes didn’t affect them, as the came out of the blocks quickly and were outstanding in the first half, taking the deserved lead into the break.
They kicked into full gear around the quarter hour mark. Josh Harrop sent Bodin through on goal, Brice Samba making a fine save from the Welshman, before Harrop won the ball straight back and then exchanged a one-two – via a back heel – with the No.39 and then was himself denied by the Forest custodian.
Next up to test the stopper was Daniel Johnson. Harrop again won the ball and headed it into the path of the No.11, who rode a challenge and unleashed a shot from the edge of the box that the keeper used both hands to push away.
The opening goal came five minutes before the break and it was more brilliant play. Ben Pearson found Joe Rafferty on left, and the full back’s clever ball put the ball in behind for Bodin, he chopped from left to right, putting the defender on his backside before his drilled shot was saved by Samba, it only came out to Browne though, whose scuffed shot was collected by again Bodin. He did chop No.2m this time going to his left foot before drilling his shot across goal into corner of the net.
It could have been 2-0 less than 90 seconds later, the Lilywhites inches away as Harrop arrived at back post onto a whipped Paul Gallagher cross and PNE’s No.10 fired a volley inches wide from making it four goals in as many games.
But despite this, the home side drew level with 11 minutes to go. It was two substututes who combined as Joao Carvlaho played the ball through to a seemingly offside Albert Adomah, who fired low into the bottom right hand corner. Ben Davies was livid with the officials and rightly so, with the replay showing he and Lewis Grabban were both offside as the ball was slid through.
Six minutes of stoppage time was added with it beginning with a 30-yard free kick from Brad Potts that was saved by Samba and North End spent much of the remaining time in the opposition half, but had to settle for a point as the final whistle came.
Nottingham Forest line-up: Samba, Worrall, Grabban, Watson (Carvalho, 68), Jenkinson, Semedo (Sow, 46), Robinson, Ameobi (Adomah, 77), Dawson (c), Lolley, Silva. Subs not used: Muric, Cash, Mir, Rodriguez.
PNE line-up: Rudd, Browne, Rafferty, Pearson, Bauer, Davies, Potts, Gallagher (Ledson, 66), Bodin (Stockley, 65), Johnson (Green, 84), Harrop. Subs not used: Ripley, Bayliss, Storey, Ginnelly.
Attendance: 27,249 (1,610 PNE fans)
Referee: Mr G Eltringham
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