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Match Reports

Preston North End 1 Nottingham Forest 1

11 July 2020

Preston North End had to settle for a point at Deepdale, despite coming from behind against Nottingham Forest.

Lewis Grabban converted an early penalty, but Jayden Stockley fired home from Brad Potts’ low drilled cross and despite dominating the chances, the Lilywhites couldn’t convert for a winner.

Both managers had made four changes from their midweek encounters, with North End lining up in a 4-4-2 formation, with Stockley partnering Sean Maguire down the middle, with Potts and Scott Sinclair on the flanks, and Daniel Johnson back in the centre of the midfield, skippering the side for the first time.

The game was full of intensity and attacking intent from the off and before the first 60 seconds were up Maguire put over a cross from the left and Stockley flicked a header backwards, over Brice Samba but just over the bar from 15 yards out.

However, the visitors were in front after only five minutes, when referee Jeremy Simpson pointed to the spot for a foul by Ben Pearson on Nuna Da Costa; Grabban firing from 12 yards out into the bottom left hand corner – sending Declan Rudd the wrong way – for his 20th goal of the season.

But this just saw North End push harder and they saw a 12th minute effort from an Andrew Hughes shot cleared off the line, after a Joe Rafferty corner from the right won by Potts.

And on 15 minutes they were level, when Rafferty played a clever ball from the right to free Potts, who drove a cross over from the right-edge of the penalty area and Stockley slid home from six yards out to level matters.

The Lilywhites suffered a blow either side of half-time, losing Ben’s Davies (first half) and Pearson (half-time) through injury with Jordan Storey and Ryan Ledson replacing them.

Just three minutes into the second half, Ben Watson conceded a corner that Ledson delivered, with a powerful header from Patrick Bauer, only for the Nottingham Forest No.8 to again be involved, this time blocking it on the line, with Samba beaten.

In the 19th minute of the second half there was a gilt-edged chance to go ahead as Stockley flicked on perfectly for Potts, who ran into the box, only for the visiting skipper Michael Dawson to get across and make a superb block and push the ball behind for a corner.

Josh Harrop and Paul Gallagher replaced Johnson and Stockley in the final ten minutes as the Lilywhites went in search of a winner.

Gallagher almost had an immediate impact with a ball over the top for Maguire, who got away from Dawson and from a tight angle, arrowed a shot in, that Samba just managed to get a toe on to direct out for a corner.

In the first minute of added on time, a brilliant block denied Barkhuizen, after a reverse pass from Harrop sent him into the box and he side-stepped a defender until Worrall somehow got in the way with his face to push the ball wide, which was heading for the bottom corner.

Preston North End line-up: Rudd, Rafferty, Hughes, Pearson (Ledson, 46), Bauer, Davies (Storey, 44), Potts, Johnson (c) (Gallagher, 82), Stockley (Harrop, 83), Maguire, Sinclair (Barkhuizen, 64). Subs not used: Ripley, Fisher, Nugent, Bodin.

Nottingham Forest line-up: Samba, Riberio, Worrall, Grabban, Watson, Costa (Mighten, 82), Jenkinson, Ameobi (Diakhaby, 89), Dawson (c), Sow (Silva, 68), Yates. Subs not used: Smith, Figueiredo, Carvalho, Semedo, Darikwa, Walker.

Referee: Mr J Simpson.

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