Nottingham Forest defender shines in FA Cup fourth round replay

Nottingham Forest progressed into the FA Cup fifth round draw after overcoming a dominant Preston 2-0, thanks largely to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur target Jamaal Lascelles.

''The better team lost the game'' was the first sentence out of the mouth of Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies during his post-match presser, and it's hard to find reasons to disagree with him.

The first-half started very typical of a game you would expect from two teams with a whole division separating them, Forest took the initiative and Preston defending valiantly.

However, as soon as former QPR man Jamie Mackie netted the opening goal, the complexion of the game changed completely and it was Billy Davies's men that were defending for their lives and that's how it remained for the rest of the game.

Preston bore down on the Forest goal around 30 times, yet could only muster six shots on target with their decision making in the final third and finishing ultimately being their downfall.

One of the very few positives in the game for Nottingham Forest was England U20 centre-back Jamaal Lascelles, who acted as the saviour for the team on numerous occasions.

One incident that stands out in particular is the moment centre-half partner Danny Collins gifted former Forest striker Joe Garner a shot on goal from 10 yards out. However, a sliding tackle from Lascelles proved to be the difference between goal and no goal, as his deflection diverted the ball onto the post, keeping Forest in the lead. 

The stand-out performance from the young centre-back is likely to be received well by both North London sides who are reportedly interested in signing him.

Although a move to either side in January didn't materialise, it stands to reason that if he can keep up this level of performance until the summer, he could be picked up by one of the countries top teams. 

The priority for the Forest starlet now must be to hold down a first-team place at the City Ground and finally win a call-up to the England U21s.

image: © mapperley_jas

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