Friday, 24 January 2014

Nottingham Forest 0 v Preston North End 0 - FA Cup 4th Round

Friday 24th January 2014, at the City Ground
FA Cup 4th Round
Nottingham Forest 0
Preston North End 0
Admission £10, Programme £2
Attendance 26,465 (inc. 2,055 in the away end)
Nottingham Forest:
Darlow, Lichaj, Collins, Reid, Mackie (Abdoun, 60), Halford, Jara, Paterson, Vaughan, Majewski (Derbyshire, 78), Cox (Henderson, 60).
Unused Subs - Harding, Moussi, Lascelles, De Vries.
Preston North End:
Rudd, Wiseman, Buchanan, Kilkenny (Hume, 83), Clarke, Wright, Humphrey (Holmes, 71), Welsh, Garner (King, 86), Brownhill, Gallagher.
Unused Subs - Stuckmann, Keane, Laird, Beavon.
I must get the DVD of this one when it comes out, it would be the ideal cure for the regular bouts of insomnia I suffer from.
Preston defended well as a unit tonight, sometimes putting ten men behind the ball ... and they succeeded in stifling Forest's forwards of any service, by packing out the last third.
Not that the home side ever gave much of an impression that they were exactly busting a gut to provide any cutting edge and penetration to add the the long spells of possession they enjoyed.
Early in the game, PNE's keeper Declan Rudd was tested by Simon Cox and the 26,465 strong crowd's expectation levels must have been soaring ... particularly in light of Forest's recent home form, which included the 5-0 thrashing of West Ham United in the previous round of the FA Cup, the last time I visited the City Ground.
But from then on in, this was a game of very few noteworthy chances, a real anti-climax ... and the few scraps of inventiveness we did see in front of goal, came from the visitors in the main, apart from one Andy Reid effort for the Reds in the second half.
Preston's manager Simon Grayson, will be delighted that his players have contained a side from an higher division tonight, while giving themselves the chance to finish the tie off at Deepdale.
Billy Davies on the other hand conceded that Forest had got what they deserved on this rain lashed and miserable night at the City Ground ... and he was right, they put very little in and couldn't really of had any complaints if the visitors had snatched a winning goal late on, when Karl Darlow, the Forest keeper, kept his side in this season's FA Cup.
As for the replay.
Well, I haven't actually checked what date it is on yet, but I'm sure I was planning to stay in and wash my hair that night.
Preston arrived in Nottingham with a rigid formula and game plan, designed to frustrate the home side, so fair play to them, they admirably stuck to their task and doggedly earned themselves a second chance to turn over their Championship opponents on home turf.
But I hope, that for the benefit of the supporters who turn up for the sequel, that both teams are slightly more cavalier than they were tonight.