Preston North End 0-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • November 17, 2017 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton made it six Championship games unbeaten and moved to within a point of safety, after playing out a goalless draw with Preston North End at Deepdale.

Both sides struggled to seriously trouble their opposition throughout, with each having short spells of dominance at either end of the game.

North End were the ones to have enjoyed the lion's share of the possession, but it was Wanderers who would have been the happier at the full-time whistle as they picked up another point on the road - despite seeing their winless away record in the second tier move on to 32 games.

Having emerged from a home clash against Norwich City with a 2-1 victory prior to the international break, Trotters manager Phil Parkinson opted to name the same team for the short journey across Lancashire as they looked to move out of the relegation zone ahead of the weekend fixtures.

After a slight delay due to a floodlight failure, the action got underway and it wasn't long until the tone was set - with Karl Henry going into the referee's notebook inside the opening 90 seconds for a late challenge on Ben Pearson.

The hosts should have been ahead moments later, with Ben Alnwick caught out by the flight of a cross into his box, but Tom Barkhuizen was unable to turn the ball home at the far post with the angle against him.

Preston remained on the front foot inside the opening quarter-hour, with Callum Robinson next to see a flick fly over the crossbar, shortly before Paul Huntington glanced a header inches wide of the far post as he connected with a free-kick from Barkhuizen.

Bolton's first chance arrived on 30 minutes as Sammy Ameobi picked out Josh Vela 20 yards from goal. With space opening up ahead of him, Vela took aim at goal only to see his effort tipped behind by Chris Maxwell.

Adam Armstrong was next to try his luck for the visitors, although his tame strike rolled harmlessly into the waiting arms of Maxwell as the sides went in at the break with nothing to show for their efforts.

Despite the lack of quality on show in the opening period, there were to be no changes in personnel as the players arrived back on the field for the start of the second half.

With the ball back in play, it was Wanderers who created the first shooting opportunity of the half, as Ameobi sliced aimlessly wide of the target from 30 yards.

They came close to breaking the deadlock on the hour, with Henry firing just over the crossbar with a thundeous half-volley from the edge of the box, shortly before both Gary Madine and Armstrong brought saves out of Maxwell as Bolton continued to press for a breakthrough.

Preston hit back midway through the half, with Alan Browne's dipping shot from 30 yards bringing Alnwick into a routine save.

Both managers made substitutions in the closing stages, as they made late attempts to take all three points, but aside from two stoppage-time corners for Wanderers, there was to be no further goalmouth action as the Championship's only Lancashire derby of the campaign thus far ended goalless.

Wanderers move up to 22nd place in the table as a result of their draw, and could finally move out of the drop zone on Tuesday when they host Reading at Macron Stadium.

Preston North End: Maxwell, Woods, Huntington, Boyle, O'Connor, Pearson, Gallagher (Johnson 75), Barkhuizen, Browne (Harrop 82), Robinson (Horgan 68), Mavididi
Subs Not Used: Rudd, Clarke, Pringle, Welsh
Booked: Huntington, Boyle

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Robinson, Beevers, Wheater, Little, Pratley, Henry, Vela (Morais 87), Ameobi, Armstrong (Buckley 72), Madine
Subs Not Used: Howard, Noone, Osede, Burke, Hall
Booked: Henry, Ameobi, Beevers

Referee: Simon Hooper
Attendance: 15,213

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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