Preston North End – 1
Nottingham Forest – 2
Billy opted for a more conventional-than-expected line-up for the FA Cup third round, none of the returning loan players were included – and the line-up could easily have been one that would start a league game (not that they are particularly predictable either, it has to be said!).
The Reds started well enough but faded into a bit of a shambles after the first twenty minutes. According to Ned post-match, some choice words from Billy at half time – with Forest a goal down – were to be credited with Forest coming back and winning by 2-1 with goals from Paul Anderson and Luke Chambers.
Forest started the match with a strong line-up as mentioned above, McGoldrick and Lynch continuing to be handed game-time, with Tudgay cuptied making Billy’s striking decision somewhat easier I imagine!:
Gunter Morgan Chambers Lynch
Anderson Moussi McGugan Cohen
Whilst the first twenty minutes was reasonable from Forest it didn’t translate to us peppering Andy Lonergan’s goal with chances. Indeed, it took a quarter of an hour to register a chance, a freekick from Lewis was fumbled, Chambers’ follow-up was blocked and fell for Joel Lynch whose effort was saved by the ‘keeper.
A turn and effort from McGoldrick from the edge of the area again saw Lonergan fumble the shot, with Billy Jones on hand to clear before the ball could trouble the goal. Another effort from McGugan from an angle was just wide, as Forest looked to be turning the screw it turned out to be the home side who roared back into life.
Craig Morgan had a good opportunity to head in from a corner – but was only able to glance it wide of the far post. Paul Hayes took the ball deftly past Luke Chambers and forced Camp into a save, the Forest ‘keeper holding onto the ball. Forest lost possession when Morgan gave it away, Mayor latched onto the loose ball but his shot was hopelessly off-target.
The pressure the home side were exerting did come to fruition though – a curling shot from the edge of the area by Darren Carter beat Camp with the Forest defence standing and watching. A really nice finish. Preston bossed the remainder of the half with the Reds defence at sea – things weren’t boding particularly well for the boys in Red at this point.
By all accounts (well, by Ned Kelly’s post-match account) Billy Davies had quite a bit to say to the lads at half time, and it seemed to have the right kind of effect, as Forest looked much more composed and in control when they came out from the break unchanged.
It was a mere five minutes before we had secured the equaliser – Robbie Earnshaw turned provider by playing a lovely through-ball for Paul Anderson to run on to. The pace of the winger saw him clear of the two defenders nearby in no time, and he kept his composure to slot the ball under Lonergan and into the back of the net.
Lewis came close from range – Lonergan dived for it but the strike was just wide. Billy now mixed things up a little, McGoldrick – who’d had limited impact – was withdrawn and the more direct figure of Dele Adebola replaced him. Forest created further chances, Anderson feeding Gunter in the area, but the defender put his effort wide.
Nathan Tyson was introduced for the last ten minutes at the expense of Robbie Earnshaw. Forest continued to mount pressure on the home side but nearly came undone from a counter-attack, losing the ball from a corner Preston broke forward with Mayor getting the better of Chambers and forcing an excellent save from Lee Camp to tip it over the bar.
At the other end a quick break forward by Tyson pushed us forward and created a great opportunity for McGugan, but the midfielder miscontrolled the ball enabling Lonergan to claim it. McClearly was thrown on to replace Anderson at this point with the Reds still in the ascendency – although Preston were still plugging away too. Lewis had another chance from a freekick but again was just off-target.
The winner came pretty much in the last minute – the best time to score a winning goal surely? A corner whipped in by McGugan to the back post where it found Joel Lynch who put it back across goal where it found Luke Chambers to bury it in the net from around six yards out to give Forest the win and a place in the fourth round.
Glancing around the results there’ve been some really interesting ones – Notts County went to Sunderland and won 2-1, Burton Albion beat Middlesbrough by the same score and Stevenage beat Newcastle 3-1! Not a great weekend for the North East! All that remains is to wish Crawley the very best of luck on Monday!
Filed under: Matches |