Preston North End 0-1 Nottingham Forest (EFL Championship) 02.01.21
After ducking responsibility for a goal conceded midweek at Stoke City and coming under some tough criticism (from some of our own writers included), Reds captain Lewis Grabban was on spot to convert a second half penalty for Nottingham Forest which was enough to give Chris Hughton’s men all three points at a cold and snowy Deepdale today.
Our very own Steve Corry only yesterday questioned the demeanour of Grabban and whether he has the right attributes to skipper his side but the striker had his own say today after doing what he does best and winning his team the game with only his second goal of the season and his 39th total net bulger in under three years at Forest.
Some debate on whether his penalty should have stood. Grabban seemingly touching the ball twice as he slipped on the snowy surface whilst others questioned how the Reds were awarded the spot kick after Cafu’s goal bound effort was blocked by the shoulder of Fisher from close range.
Earlier, Forest went close in a tense first half as Grabban turned provider for Knockaert who blazed over when it looked easier to score but it was Preston who started the better in the second half as Brice Samba saved brilliantly from Bayliss on 53 minutes, diving to his left to turn a header around the post after dazzling work by Daniel Johnson down the right wing, before Barkhuizen found space at the back post a few minutes later to clip the crossbar.
Forest worked hard though and got their rewards with a penalty on 70 minutes and defended until the 99th minute of the match, Davies hitting the bar on 82 minutes the closest Alex Neil’s men would come to scoring.
A great performance, not all that pretty but a solid three points nonetheless and a clean sheet on the road that Manager Chris Hughton is relieved about after last night dropping into the bottom three, Forest are now back up to 19th in the table and three points above the drop zone.
Preston North End: Rudd, Fisher, Huntingdon, Davies, Hughes, Bayliss (Gallagher 77), Ledson, Potts (Riis 77), Johnson, Barkhuizen, Maguire (Stockley 87).
Nottingham Forest: Samba, Christie, Figueiredo, Worrall, Ribeiro, Yates, Sow, Ameobi (Lolley 63), Cafu (Arter 88), Knockaert, Grabban (Taylor 90).
*Main image @NFFC Lewis Grabban scores the winner from the spot.