FA Cup - Forest claim smash-and-grab win at Preston

FA Cup, Deepdale – Preston North End 0 Nottingham Forest 2 (Mackie 18, Henderson 90+3)

Nottingham Forest could count themselves fortunate to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup after a 2-0 replay victory at Preston North End.

The Championship high-fliers started well and deserved their first-half lead, which came courtesy of a Jamie Mackie chip on 18 minutes.

But League One Preston dominated the rest of the match, laying siege to the Forest goal and racking up nearly 65 per cent possession.

But, for all their good football, the woodwork was struck twice, two clear penalty handball shouts were rejected and countless opportunities went begging before Darius Henderson struck a sweet finish deep in injury time to put the game beyond the hosts.

The Lilywhites were furious at full-time, surrounding referee Jonathan Moss, who refused to award either of two cast-iron penalties after clear handballs in the second half.

Forest, meanwhile, were angered at a hefty challenge from Kevin Davies in the first half, which led to midfielder Djamel Abdoun being substituted with an injury.

However, it was an entertaining Cup tie played in difficult conditions, as a small crowd braved the driving rain to watch Forest extend their unbeaten run for 15 matches.

Forest, managed by former Preston boss Billy Davies, will face another third-tier side in Sheffield United after the Blades scalped Premier League sides Aston Villa and Fulham.

That will pit Billy Davies against old adversary Nigel Clough, with whom he clashed when the former Burton Albion boss was at Derby County.