Match report: PNE 0 Millwall 0

Preston North End endured a frustrating afternoon as they were held to a goalless draw by Millwall at Deepdale.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 23rd September 2017, 6:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 11:44 am
PNE boss Alex Neil
PNE boss Alex Neil

The Lilywhites failed to produce the flowing football they had done in the last two games and struggled to find a way through a resolute Lions defence.

Their best chances fell to Sean Maguire and Josh Harrop either side of the interval.

Maguire sliced a shot into the side-netting just before half-time after being played in by Daniel Johnson, while Harrop got a Tom Barkhuizen cross stuck between his feet as he slid in at the far post.

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The draw did stretch their unbeaten run to six games but all the same, North End will be disappointed not to have converted having the better of the play into clear-cut chances.

PNE's side had shown two changes to the one which won at Birmingham, John Welsh and Darnell Fisher returning to the starting XI at the expense of Calum Wods and Alan Browne.

They had the better of the first half without overly stretching the Millwall defence, the decision-making and final pass sometimes needing to be better.

Early doors, a 30-yard free-kick from Harrop was blocked in the box by James Meredith.

Millwall's first sight of goal came when a corner dropped across the box to George Saville, the midfielder's shot parried by Chris Maxwell with Steve Morison blazing the follow-up over the bar.

In the 16th minute, Barkhuizen cut inside from the right-wing and hit a left-foot shot which keeper Jordan Archer got a touch on to take it beyond the far post and out for a corner.

Daniel Johnson and Harrop put efforts over the bar, while a low drive from Maguire went wide.

North End's best chance of the first half came just before the interval, some patient build-up play leading to Johnson sliding a pass down the left side of the box to play in Maguire.

But slightly off balance and to the left of goal, the Irishman sliced a shot into the side-netting.

A flowing move led to Preston carving-out a great chance eight minutes after half-time.

Johnson threaded a fine pass down the right of the box to release Barkhuizen behind the Millwall defence.

The winger's low cross across the six-yard box found Harrop sliding in at the far post but the ball seemed to get stuck between his feet before it bounced off a defender and behind for a corner.

Soon after, Harrop lifted the ball across the box which Fisher volleyed over the top.

With an hour played, Harrop was replaced by Browne as North End looked for a way to break the stalemate.

But toil as they might, they couldn't find a way through, seeing plenty of the ball but unable to convert that in worthwhile chances.

There was a chance at the other end for Millwall in the 75th minute, Shaun Williams' ball over the top met by Saville who had stolen forward but he flicked a shot over Maxwell and over the bar.

PNE: Maxwell, Fisher, Huntington, Davies, Earl, Welsh, Johnson (Robinson 82), Barkhuizen (Mavididi 68), Maguire, Harrop (Browne 60), Hugill. Subs (not used): Horgan, Woods, Spurr, Hudson.

Millwall: Archer, McLaughlin, Hutchinson, Webster, Meredith, Wallace (Romeo 90), Saville, Williams, O'Brien (Tunnicliffe 84), Onyedinma (Ferguson 55), Morison. Subs (not used): Craig, Twardek, Cooper, Martin.

Referee: Darren Bond (Wigan)

Attendance: 12,363 (574 away)