Preston 0-0 Nottingham Forest: Martin O'Neill's side earn point at Deepdale
Joe Lolley and Lewis Grabban both have goals ruled out for Forest
Last Updated: 17/02/19 8:19pm
Nottingham Forest's play-off hopes suffered a dent after they were held to a 0-0 draw at Preston.
The visitors enjoyed the better of the game as they watched a number of first-half chances go begging.
Alex Milosevic, Joe Lolley and Yohan Benalouane all had opportunities before the break, while Lewis Grabban and Lolley had goals ruled out.
Despite their lacklustre display, Preston could themselves have won it, with Brad Potts having two good chances to give his side all three points.
But both sides lacked real quality as the game aimlessly drifted towards a stalemate in the final 15 minutes. Potts had a fierce shot blocked in the second minute as Preston enjoyed a good spell of early pressure.
Jordan Storey headed over from a Paul Gallagher corner minutes later, before Costel Pantilimon saved Darnell Fisher's deflected effort.
Milosevic headed over the bar after 10 minutes following good work from Lolley down the right. Ben Pearson did well to cut out Lolley's dangerous cross as the unmarked Grabban prepared to fire home after 24 minutes.
Lolley had a volley deflected behind by Fisher minutes later as Forest began to dominate. Grabban had a goal ruled out after he strayed offside from Daryl Murphy's header after 29 minutes.
Benalouane headed over for Forest in the 34th minute, before Sean Maguire had a header saved three minutes later.
Rudd got a vital block in to keep Grabban out at the expense of a corner following a flowing Forest move a minute before the break.
Potts volleyed over for Preston after Alan Browne carved out an opening following a good start to the second half by the hosts. At the other end, Ben Osborn fired well over after 54 minutes as the visitors began to take control once again.
Browne cleared Murphy's knockdown brilliantly at the back post as Ryan Yates prepared to fire home from two yards after 59 minutes. Then Grabban had a header comfortably saved a minute later as the one-way traffic continued.
In response, Pantilimon beat away a powerful Potts volley from 12 yards out after 62 minutes. In the 78th minute, Lolley had a goal chalked off after Yates was ruled to have fouled Rudd in the build-up.
And Jack Robinson failed to keep a long-range effort down in the closing stages.
Next up for Forest is a crunch clash with rivals Derby on Monday 25 February, live on Sky Sports Football.
Alex Neil: "The first 10 minutes was key for us, if we had got the early goal it would have brought Forest out and made them more expansive.
"Lewis Grabban is excellent as this level but Ben Davies is a top centre-back and he dealt with him really well which was pleasing.
"I said to the lads if someone had told us we would get the results we have done over the last seven games, and played the way we have, we would have been buzzing."
Martin O'Neill: "We should have taken all three points. The (Lolley) goal should have stood in the second half.
"The keeper spilt the ball and it was there to fight for. We have been robbed of all three points again. That is four points in two games. These are the points that you cannot get back.
"Overall I was pleased with the effort of the side, they put in a big shift on Tuesday night and to come here and do it again is very good. Preston are a good side and in good form and I am pleased with the team."