Aiden McGeady earns Preston a draw against Nottingham Forest
Aiden McGeady rescued a point for Championship play-off hopefuls Preston North End as they drew 1-1 against relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest.
Striker Britt Assombalonga's cool finish handed Forest the advantage but McGeady drew the Lilywhites level after the break at Deepdale.
Preston are now six points outside the top six, while their opponents are just two points clear of the drop zone, with seven games left.
Everton loanee McGeady drove at the Reds rearguard within the first minute to tee up Paul Gallagher, whose long-range effort was deflected over.
McGeady then cleverly slotted in Paul Huntington, who turned in the box and forced Jordan Smith into a fifth-minute save.
Tom Barkhuizen raced clear of Danny Fox to go one-on-one with Smith but the stopper dealt with the forward's low shot, while Jordan Hugill's curling effort shortly after went agonisingly over the bar as North End started brightly.
Forest responded through left-back Daniel Pinillos whose good delivery found Reds skipper Chris Cohen and his 19th-minute header looped into Chris Maxwell's arms.
But the visitors took a 22nd-minute lead when the diminutive Zach Clough played in Assombalonga, who fired convincingly past Maxwell for his 10th strike of the campaign.
At the other end, Eric Lichaj spared Smith's blushes after dropping Hugill's cross and the American cleared with Daryl Horgan lurking.
Forest came forward once more through Assombalonga and his 38th-minute shot rebounded to Ben Osborn, whose low drive through a crowd was smothered by Maxwell.
Impressive youngster Ben Brereton drove through the Preston midfield and defence with ease and only Maxwell's legs denied him extending Forest's lead two minutes before the break.
After Greg Cunningham's 49th-minute corner was cleared, Barkhuizen tried his luck with a thundering long-range effort which sailed just over Smith's goal.
Gallagher fed Hugill to go one-on-one but Joe Worrall's expertly-timed challenge snuffed out the danger.
But McGeady handed the Lilywhites a lifeline moments later with a low drive past Smith for his sixth strike in Preston colours.
Forest's Osborn was inches away from restoring his side's lead as his curling effort after the hour sailed just wide with Maxwell beaten.
Preston substitute Callum Robinson then counter-attacked on 70 minutes down the left and darted into the box, only to find Smith equal to his effort.
As the home side pressed, Huntington met Gallagher's cross but Smith calmly collected, while Apostolos Vellios drew a stop from Maxwell with 10 minutes left at the other end, as neither side could fashion a winner.
Source : PA