Nottingham Forest secured a 1-0 win over Preston North End on Tuesday night to secure their first win in four games, ending a run of consecutive defeats.
The Reds were well worth their victory and but for some wayward finishing and some smart goalkeeping, the scoreline could have been less flattering for the visitors.
Preston played their part in a reasonably entertaining encounter and Forest stopper Dorus de Vries did make two solid saves in the second half to deny Eoin Doyle and Jordan Hugill.
Nelson Oliveira was the hero for the Reds as he tapped home his ninth of the season after a rapid counter attacking move which caught Simon Grayson’s men off guard.
Forest will be looking to kick on this weekend as Sheffield Wednesday arrive on Trentside, whilst Preston will look to return to winning ways when they take on basement club Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium.
Football League World writer Lee Clarke takes us through THREE things which we learned following last night’s game…..
1) Dorus de Vries continues to impress
If you saw the big Dutchman play between the posts this season it would be hard to imagine that this was the ex-Swansea stopper’s first season as the Reds’ regular number one.
The 35-year-old continues to excel for the Reds and made two tremendous stops last night to preserve Forest’s lead.
A goalkeeper with vast experience, Forest have a real leader from the back in de Vries and given the young talent coming through at the City Ground, the custodian could be a big player for a few more years yet.
2) Preston won’t make the play-offs
I have to be honest and say that Preston really disappointed me last night in their performance at the City Ground.
Forest were there for the taking having lost four on the spin, yet Simon Grayson lined up with just Joe Garner in attack and although he managed to get both Reds central defenders cautioned in the first-half, he was hooked at half-time such was his ineffectiveness.
Had Preston come and had a go in the manner that Huddersfield and Bristol City have done in recent weeks, they had players on the pitch who were more than capable of collecting all three points at the City Ground.
If Preston continue to show the lack of cutting edge which was evident last night, they can kiss goodbye to a late charge for the top six.
3) Forest are desperate for a forward
Nelson Oliveira has been a magnificent signing for Forest this season and his goals have been testament to his hard working, all-action style.
But, the Portuguese forward is desperate for someone to step up and take away some of the burden of scoring goals for the team at the moment.
Andre Moritz could join the club in time for Saturday’s game with Sheffield Wednesday and it would be a real boost for a team in desperate need of some more goals.
Winger Ryan Mendes was guilty of missing a few good chances last night and the sooner Forest can start to kill teams off a little easier, the better shape they will be in.