Match ends, Nottingham Forest 0, Preston North End 0.
Preston North End earned a deserved fourth-round FA Cup replay with a fine defensive display against Championship side Nottingham Forest.
The Reds barely tested Declan Rudd after the North End goalkeeper made an early save from Simon Cox and the visitors had the better of the chances.
Joe Garner twice went close and Forest keeper Karl Darlow made three stops.
But neither side did enough to justify victory in a tame encounter played in teeming rain.
Fifth in the Championship against fourth in League One had promised plenty but the first half delivered very little.
Facing a team on an unbeaten 10-game run and with a home record of four wins from four, a trip to the City Ground looked a daunting prospect for North End.
But with only two defeats in their last 19 games, and having already disposed of Championship opposition in the previous round, the visitors had plenty of reason for optimism.
And despite a promising first few minutes Forest looked anything but a side who had smashed West Ham 5-0 in round three and had scored 13 goals in four games at home, only conceding twice.
They had plenty of possession but little penetration. Cox did have a good early attempt on goal well saved by Rudd and Jamie Mackie shot wide after a good move and fine pull-back by Gonzalo Jara.
In-form winger Jamie Paterson was Forest's main threat and screamed for a penalty after one jinking run saw him beat three men before tumbling in the box.
But the visitors looked disciplined and comfortable and centre-backs Tom Clarke and Bailey Wright were rarely troubled.
Preston did not muster a shot on target before the interval although Garner arguably had the best chance, hooking an effort off target from 12 yards against his former club.
Thankfully the Friday FA Cup fare improved slightly after the break.
Forest, most probably spurred on by a stern half-time team-talk by former Preston manager Billy Davies, began to play with greater purpose and tempo.
But the promise once again faded and Preston looked just as likely to score. Garner blasted a decent shot over after a swift counter-attack and substitute Lee Holmes had a stinging shot pushed away by Darlow - one of three relatively comfortable late stops.
Paterson's pace and trickery remained the most likely source of a home goal, but they failed to test Rudd, much to the frustration of their increasingly animated boss Davies.
And North End, to the delight of their 2,000-plus noisy travelling supporters, looked the more likely winners in the closing stages and will no doubt fancy their chances in the replay.
- 28MajewskiSubstituted forDerbyshireat 74'minutes
- 31CoxSubstituted forHendersonat 60'minutes
- 12MackieSubstituted forAbdounat 60'minutes
- 29de Vries
- 37KilkennySubstituted forHumeat 82'minutes
- 14GarnerSubstituted forKingat 85'minutes
- 7HumphreySubstituted forHolmesat 71'minutes
- Mike Dean
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Nottingham Forest 0, Preston North End 0.
Attempt saved. Josh Brownhill (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Foul by Gonzalo Jara (Nottingham Forest).
Jack King (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Tom Clarke.
Foul by Iain Hume (Preston North End).
Gonzalo Jara (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Matt Derbyshire (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.
Attempt saved. Jack King (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Attempt missed. Jack King (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high following a corner.
Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Eric Lichaj.
Attempt blocked. Lee Holmes (Preston North End) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.
Substitution, Preston North End. Jack King replaces Joe Garner.
Foul by Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest).
John Welsh (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Iain Hume (Preston North End) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Andy Reid (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.
Substitution, Preston North End. Iain Hume replaces Neil Kilkenny.
Attempt missed. Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.