Deepdale defeat dents Forest hopes

13 March 2010 05:38
Forest boss Davies remains a hate figure among Preston followers after he controversially quit the Lancashire outfit to take over at Derby in 2006.[LNB]Booed and jeered as he took his place in the visiting dug-out, the fiery Scot's day got steadily worse as Forest fell 3-0 behind by half-time thanks to Ross Wallace's breakaway effort, Callum Davidson's penalty and Matt James' stunning piledriver.[LNB]Forest improved vastly after the break and Dexter Blackstrock hit back for Forest with a 57th-minute penalty before substitute Robert Earnshaw cut the gap further with 14 minutes remaining.[LNB]Yet there was to be no equaliser for Davies to savour as Forest were condemned to their fifth successive away defeat in the Championship.[LNB]Davies' players struggled badly to cope with Preston's first-half vibrancy and could have easily fallen behind inside the opening minute.[LNB]Home captain Davidson swung in a teasing cross from the left flank and striker Chris Brown rose unmarked to send a header wide of the post.[LNB]It was an early warning sign for Forest but was not heeded in the slightest.[LNB]North End began to up the tempo as the half wore on and duly led in the 20th minute after a superb counter-attack.[LNB]Neil Mellor embarked on a strong run down the right flank and advanced forward at pace before spotting Wallace unmarked to his left.[LNB]Mellor's perfect pass was gratefully received by Wallace, who took one touch to steady himself and another to drill a fierce low shot into the net from the edge of the 18-yard box.[LNB]Preston boss Darren Ferguson punched the air in delight and it soon got better for the home side as their advantage was doubled in the 29th minute following a corner from the left by Wallace.[LNB]Forest defender Chris Cohen was adjudged to have tugged at Billy Jones' shirt and Davidson dispatched the resultant penalty with a well-struck left-footed effort.[LNB]The visitors showed little as an attacking force and in the 32nd minute Preston struck again with a brilliant goal from on-loan Manchester United midfielder James.[LNB]James, 18, collected a pass from Wallace 25 yards out and unleashed a venomous right-footed shot which flew into the top right-hand corner.[LNB]Preston defender Youl Mawene succumbed to injury in the 41st minute and was replaced by Liam Chilvers before Forest grabbed a lifeline in the 57th minute.[LNB]Jones clumsily handled the ball as Cohen threatened to break clear and Blackstock fired home left-footed from the penalty spot.[LNB]Forest threw on Earnshaw with 21 minutes remaining and seven minutes later he collected Blackstock's pass and fired past Preston goalkeeper Andy Lonergan from close range.[LNB]Forest pushed hard for an equaliser in the closing stages but Preston held on - much to Davies' dismay.[LNB][LNB]

Source: Team_Talk