A resilient display by Nottingham Forest saw them defeat Preston North End 2-0 to progress to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup. Ian Darby and Matthew Beardsley offer a fan’s eye view from Deepdale…


Forest went into the game with a distinct second-string feel. So it was de Vries replacing Darlow and Derbyshire playing upfront alongside Cox. But, as against Yeovil, Forest were bright for the first 10 minutes or so.

The only problem was a determined Preston who, much like Yeovil on Sunday, were up for a battle. Following Forest’s early intent, Abdoun managed to find space on the left for a great ball that eluded Derbyshire, Preston began to throw their weight around. Kevin Davies looked to me more like a pumped-up version of a WWE wrestler than a third division footballer and had a few grapple moves to prove it.

This didn’t distract Forest who scored after the ball broke loose from a corner and Lascelles held it up for Jamie Mackie to hit from the right edge of the box into the top left-hand corner. A belter.

Preston came back into it and should have been on equal terms by half-time but the talking point was a ‘tackle’ by big Davies on Abdoun that could have resulted in far worse for our player.

The first-half was to prove far more fluent than the second. Throughout the second 45, Preston’s energy levels seemed greater than Forest’s and they created sustained pressure, resulting in a fantastic save, around the three-quarter mark, from de Vries. Preston fought hard against a Forest side that was intent on sitting deep. Collins seemed culpable when there was a chance to clear and the resulting shot hit the woodwork.

Both managers rolled the dice early. Forest bringing on Henderson alongside Majeski and Paterson. Somehow Forest survived, despite an inability from Henderson to find a team mate. Preston had several penalty appeals turned down and Leicester reject Paul Gallagher missed two tap-ins.

Then Henderson made up for all his poor touches, got on the end of a through ball and smacked it into the left corner. We went wild.

Sheffield United next. The first time we’ve made the Fifth Round of the FA Cup since 2005.

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