Match Report: Preston North End 0-0 Watford - Tough test for North End draws a blank

Preston North End made it four draws out of five with a 0-0 draw against Watford on Saturday in the Championship.
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PNE had their moments in the game, their best chance coming the way of Alan Browne who saw his effort from close range saved by Daniel Bachmann.

Manager Ryan Lowe named and unchanged side for the visit of the Hornets, off the back of a 0-0 draw with Rotherham United were the Lilywhites did everything but score.

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The 3-4-2-1 system persisted as well, with Tory Parrott leading the line on his own, in search of his first Championship goal.

Troy Parrott battles for the ball at Deepdale.Troy Parrott battles for the ball at Deepdale.
Troy Parrott battles for the ball at Deepdale.

North End started the game quickly and had the first chance of the game after four minutes, Andrew Hughes' low cross was collected by skipper Browne whose touch took the ball into the air and his volley was straight at Daniel Bachmann in the Watford goal.

The Hornets were by no mean second best in the contest in the opening exchanges and could have taken the lead after a quarter of an hour. Hughes' clearance was blocked into the path of Vakoun Bayo who went through one on one but saw his underwhelming strike saved by the legs of Freddie Woodman.

Troy Parrott and Daniel Johnson had efforts from range either side of the substitution of Hughes on 16 minutes, the Welshman suffering a shoulder injury that he could not shake.

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Ryan Ledson was the next man to try his luck from outside the box, his firmly hit effort beaten away by Bachmann after 28 minutes.

PNE had a spell of dominance shortly after, rotating well on the ball and getting into good areas without really testing the Hornets' 'keeper.

The visitors came back into it before the break, Edo Kayembe twisting and turning on the edge of the box to make room for a shot that went wide of the post just five minutes before the break.

They continued the way they finished the first half after the interval, but the first chance of the second half came the way of North End after 59 minutes. Brady stepped inside from the left to cross on his right foot and Browne crashed into the box to connect with an effort on goal forcing a fine stop from Bachmann.

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Two minutes later Watford could have instead had the lead. Rey Manaj was played clean through on goal as he entered the PNE half, with the Hornets on the counter, but as he came to pull the trigger on the edge of the box he found only the back row of the Bill Shankly Kop behind the goal.

Parrott saw a shot snuffed out after 63 minutes having been played through by Ben Whiteman.

Edo Kayembe and Bayo both had shots at the North End goal just before and after 70 minutes, though neither tested Woodman.

There were no more clear cut chances between that and the end of the game, both sides giving what they could but being cancelled out.

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Christian Kabasele nodded the ball over from a free kick into stoppage time but it was not something that worried Woodman.

PNE Starting XI: Woodman, Storey, Lindsay, Hughes (Cunningham, 19'), Potts, Whiteman, Ledson (McCann, 74'), Brady, Browne (Woodburn, 74'), Johnson (Riis, 66'), Parrott.

PNE subs not used : Cornell, Bauer, Evans.

Watford Starting XI: Bachmann, Cathcart, Kabasele, Sierralta, Kamara, Choudhury, Kayembe, Sema, Asprilla (Gosling, 80'), Bayo, Manaj (Hungbo, 83').Watford Subs: Okoye, Gaspar, Troost-Ekong, Pollock, Forde.

Attendance: 15,317 (1,125 away)