Match ends, Nottingham Forest 1, Preston North End 0.
Nelson Oliveira's ninth goal of the season was enough to earn victory over Preston North End and halt Nottingham Forest's four-game losing streak.
The on-loan Benfica striker finished off a fine counter attack to score into an empty net before the break.
Ryan Mendes should have made it 2-0 but headed Chris Cohen's free-kick over the bar and also fired an effort wide.
Preston, who stay 10th, four points above Forest in 13th, almost levelled through Jordan Hugill's header.
However, he was denied by Reds keeper Dorus De Vries, who made a superb low diving stop to scoop the ball off the line.
And although Mendes missed another chance that would have avoided a nervy finale, the hosts were able to see out a victory which takes them to within 11 points of the play-off places.
Nottingham Forest boss Dougie Freedman:
"I am very pleased - I thought we deserved to win.
"We could have scored a few more, we created a few chances, although it was a bit nervy towards the end and credit to Preston for that.
"I thought we threatened their goal all night from start to finish, but we had to make sure we got the win after four defeats and we did that."
Preston boss Simon Grayson:
"There wasn't much in the first half, I thought we looked quite comfortable and they didn't threaten us too often.
"We were unfortunate for the goal - they broke quickly on the counter and before you know it the ball's in the net.
"We changed it at half-time to give us a bit of a threat going forward because we have to try and win games at this stage of the season."
- 1de Vries
- 4MancienneBooked at 45mins
- 8CohenSubstituted forJokicat 72'minutes
- 15Mendes da GraçaBooked at 33minsSubstituted forVaughanat 83'minutes
- 32TescheBooked at 66mins
- 17OliveiraSubstituted forGrantat 73'minutes
- 23HuntingtonBooked at 90mins
- 6WrightSubstituted forRobinsonat 45'minutes
- 11JohnsonBooked at 56mins
- 12GallagherSubstituted forDoyleat 77'minutes
- 14GarnerBooked at 39minsSubstituted forHugillat 45'minutes
- Mark Brown
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Nottingham Forest 1, Preston North End 0.
Matt Mills (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jordan Hugill (Preston North End).
Attempt blocked. Chris O'Grady (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Calum Woods (Preston North End) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Matt Mills.
Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by David Vaughan.
Paul Huntington (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
David Vaughan (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Paul Huntington (Preston North End).
Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Daniel Johnson.
Attempt blocked. Gary Gardner (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris O'Grady.
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. David Vaughan replaces Ryan Mendes.
Offside, Nottingham Forest. Chris O'Grady tries a through ball, but Robert Tesche is caught offside.
Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Dorus de Vries.
Attempt saved. Adam Reach (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Callum Robinson.
Attempt missed. Gary Gardner (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Eric Lichaj.
Attempt missed. Jordan Hugill (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Calum Woods with a cross.
Attempt missed. Ryan Mendes (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.