The match turned on Tom Bayliss' controversial equaliser which prompted Forest protests
Preston fought back to beat Nottingham Forest and end the season with a fourth straight win.
Forest led when James Garner took a touch before smashing a superb 25-yard strike into the top-right corner of the net.
Tom Bayliss equalised in controversial fashion after the break with his first senior goal, appearing to help Scott Sinclair's cross into the net with his left arm.
And the Lilywhites soon found a winner when Ched Evans nodded a cross back into the box where Liam Lindsay headed in off the underside of the bar.
- Relive Saturday's EFL action
Only Derby have scored fewer Championship goals than Forest's tally of 37 this season, and Chris Hughton's side had won just two of their previous 13 matches, but they created plenty of chances in a free-flowing first half.
After Garner's stunner ended Preston's impressive run of four clean sheets, Lewis Grabban was twice denied by on-loan goalkeeper Daniel Iversen, while Anthony Knockaert fired an effort just past the post, and Joe Worrall had a goal chalked off.
After Preston levelled with their first attempt of the match - with a goal which should not have stood - Forest continued to come forward and Iversen once more saved from Grabban.
But Lindsay then completed the turnaround and Evans almost added a third when his strike was tipped round the post by Brice Samba.
While Forest ended the season 17th and winless in six, Preston climbed to 13th under Frankie McAvoy who has overseen five wins and just one defeat in eight matches since taking caretaker charge following Alex Neil's departure.
- Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text
- 30SambaBooked at 53mins2Christie6Mbe Soh4Worrall5Ribeiro22Yates37Garner28Knockaert7GrabbanSubstituted forMurrayat 82'minutes27KrovinovicSubstituted forMightenat 74'minutes33Taylor
- 3Figueiredo8Colback12Smith16Jenkinson17Mighten18Ribeiro Dias24Blackett25Murray26McKenna
22Iversen14Storey6Lindsay16Hughes2van den Berg18Ledson7Bayliss37Cunningham8Browne26Evans31Sinclair
- 22Iversen14Storey6Lindsay16Hughes2van den Berg18LedsonBooked at 63minsSubstituted forWhitemanat 70'minutes7BaylissSubstituted forBarkhuizenat 70'minutes37Cunningham8Browne26EvansSubstituted forMaguireat 89'minutes31SinclairSubstituted forPottsat 82'minutes
- 17Whiteman19Riis Jakobsen21Molumby23Huntington24Maguire25Ripley29Barkhuizen42Gordon44Potts
Referee:Darren BondMatch StatsHome TeamNottm ForestAway TeamPrestonPossessionHome56%Away44%ShotsHome16Away7Shots on TargetHome3Away3CornersHome4Away3FoulsHome10Away12Live TextPost update
Match ends, Nottingham Forest 1, Preston North End 2.
Second Half ends, Nottingham Forest 1, Preston North End 2.
Ryan Yates (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Brad Potts (Preston North End).
Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Yuri Ribeiro.
Attempt blocked. Brad Potts (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sean Maguire.
Substitution, Preston North End. Sean Maguire replaces Ched Evans.
Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Sepp van den Berg.
Foul by Joe Worrall (Nottingham Forest).
Ched Evans (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Glenn Murray replaces Lewis Grabban.
Substitution, Preston North End. Brad Potts replaces Scott Sinclair.
Yuri Ribeiro (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Sepp van den Berg (Preston North End).
Attempt blocked. Lyle Taylor (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by James Garner with a cross.
Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Liam Lindsay.
Offside, Preston North End. Greg Cunningham tries a through ball, but Ched Evans is caught offside.
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Alex Mighten replaces Filip Krovinovic.
James Garner (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ched Evans (Preston North End).
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