Preston 1-1 Nottingham Forest: Paul Huntington snatches draw
By Press Association
Last Updated: 23/12/17 7:02pm
Paul Huntington's equaliser 15 minutes from the final whistle snatched Preston a 1-1 draw at home to Nottingham Forest.
The point ends a run of four away defeats for Forest, who took the lead midway through the second half through Ben Brereton, while Huntington's strike extended Preston's unbeaten run to seven Championship games but brought to an end their three-match winning run.
It was Preston who dominated the first half hour at Deepdale with a string of openings. The first fell to Alan Browne after six minutes as he picked the ball up inside the area, but his strike was deflected over by the legs of goalkeeper Jordan Smith.
Paul Gallagher's delivery was the main weapon for the hosts as he picked out top-scorer Jordan Hugill at the far post after 23 minutes, but his header from 12 yards was straight at Smith.
Three minutes later, Gallagher's pinpoint free-kick picked out Huntington inside the area but his header was comfortably over the bar when he should have at least hit the target.
Preston were continuing to trouble the visitors as they burst down the right after 28 minutes but Tom Barkhuizen's low cross was prevented from reaching Callum Robinson by a strong hand from Smith.
On the 30-minute mark Forest, who have lost just one of their last 10 meetings with Preston, had their first chance when Ben Osborn picked out Kieran Dowell, but his tame volley was easily pushed wide by Chris Maxwell.
After an even start to the second half it was Forest who made the breakthrough with a well-executed counter-attack after 58 minutes. Kieran Dowell burst free in the midfield and slipped the ball in behind for Brereton, who broke the offside trap before slotting under Chris Maxwell.
Substitute Matty Cash threatened to extend that lead after 71 minutes as he surged forward from midfield, but his low drive from 25 yards went just wide of the post.
Preston were level four minutes later through an unlikely source when centre-back Huntington picked the ball up on the edge of the area following a corner, and hit a swivel-shot with his left foot which Smith could not prevent from finding his bottom left-hand corner.
Forest had the best opportunity to snatch a winner in the closing stages when Dowell's cross from the left picked out Cash at the far post but his header one minute from time was high over Maxwell's crossbar.
Alex Neil: "I feel that we did enough to win it, some of our performances here have been good but I thought today was possibly the best. I thought we played better today than we have in some of our recent wins here. Just our quality of ball at times was poor. We lacked a bit of incisiveness in the final third. We relied on a centre-back to come and score us a goal.
"They managed to get their goal and we made one error which is what they got their goal from. For the opportunities we had and the pressure we put on we deserved to win the game. So I go away with a bit of disappointment for my players. Their effort and how well they played was excellent."
Mark Warburton: It was almost like we got the goal and we stopped doing what we do well. That's the time we needed to do more and we let them get back into the game. But it's a tough place to come, they have some quality players and are well managed so we should be delighted with the point.
"It tells you something that we are disappointed not to get all three in front of those fans. It was pleasing, we take the point and we move on to Boxing Day. The only negative for us was when we got the goal and we stopped doing what we do well."
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