Nottingham Forest 3-0 Preston North End: The Reds back to winnning ways as they smash three past Preston North End
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 06: Jack Colback of Nottingham Forest celebrates scoring his teams second goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Preston North End at City Ground on November 06, 2021 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

Steve Cooper got a response from his Nottingham Forest side as they beat Preston North End, with goals from Lewis Grabban and Jack Colback.

Grabban opened the scoring for the hosts from the penalty spot, as Brennan Johnson was tripped by Ben Whiteman just after the half hour mark. 

Colback got the second for Forest, as his well struck volley from the edge of the box flew past the Preston goalkeeper and ensured the home fans has a very enjoyable half time break.

Johnson once again was the catalyst for the third goal, as he channelled his "inner Lionel Messi" by beating two defenders before squaring it to Grabban for his second. 

  • Story of the game

The game started quickly with both sides trying to attack down the flanks. Forest's Max Lowe was the first man to do so as five minutes into the game the left back found space and fired a cross into the box. He was unable to find a red shirt but the warning signs were there for Preston early on. 

Preston were able to grow into the game and enjoyed more of the ball in the first half an hour of the game. Josh Earl and Brad Potts were controlling the tempo of the game as the visitors methodically advanced up the pitch.  

Despite having to be compact in their defending, the hosts always looked dangerous on the counter attack. Johnson was the man to spark Forest into life as he combined well with Spence and found himself in a pocket of space on the right of the Preston penalty area, before being tripped by Whiteman and earning his side a penalty. 

Captain and top scorer Grabban stepped up and calmly placed the penalty past the diving Daniel Iversen in the Preston goal, much to the enjoyment of the home fans. 

The opening goal seemed to wake the home side up as they began controlling the ball in much better areas of the pitch. Johnson was again a huge threat down the right hand side, and on the stroke of half time won a free kick 20 yards out from goal. 

Philip Zinckernagel floated the cross into the box which was cleared but only as far as Colback, who was waiting on the edge of the box. The Englishman did well to control the high ball, before setting himself and hitting a magnificent strike into the corner of the goal, doubling the hosts’ lead.

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The second half continued in the same vein as the first half, as both sides were playing with urgency and trying to attack from the outset. Despite this however, the game remained fairly even with neither side really threatening. 

That was until Johnson got on the ball midway insdie the Preston half and showed his ability on the ball. He beat two defenders and broke into the penalty before crossing the ball into the box, which landed at the feet of Grabban. His strike, with the help of the post, only just crossed the line and brought even more delight to The City Ground.

As the game came to a close, Forest continued their search for more goals. Johnson and Lyle Taylor created some half chances for the hosts, but Forest struggled as they were reluctant to commit too many players forward at the end of the game.

Steve Cooper's side thoroughly deserved the three points that they picked up, and will hope to build on this performance in the coming weeks when they face Reading and Luton.