Huddersfield Town 0 Preston North End 0 - Match report on a stalemate at the John Smith's Stadium

Preston North End and Huddersfield Town battled out a dour goalless draw which only threatened to come to life in stoppage-time.
Preston's Ryan Ledson makes a challenge against HuddersfieldPreston's Ryan Ledson makes a challenge against Huddersfield
Preston's Ryan Ledson makes a challenge against Huddersfield

The draw extended PNE's run without a win to seven games either side of the lockdown - the result nudged them up to ninth place - and again a lack of invention up front found them wanting.

For much of the game, set-pieces looked their most likely route to goa with patrick Bauer putting a couple of headers wide.

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Then in six minutes of stoppage-time at the end of the game, North End found a bit of cutting edge and had three chances.

Preston North End midfielder Ben Pearson in action against HuddersfieldPreston North End midfielder Ben Pearson in action against Huddersfield
Preston North End midfielder Ben Pearson in action against Huddersfield

Scott Sinclair put two of them wide, with fellow substitute Sean Maguire firing in the side-netting with the last kick of the game.

Alex Neil had made four changes to the starting line-up, Patrick Bauer, Ryan Ledson, Josh Harrop and Tom Barkhuizen returning to the side.

Paul Huntington was suspended, Paul Gallagher missed out through injury, with Scott Sinclair and David Nugent moving to the bench.

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North End's 4-2-3-1 system saw Ben Pearson and Ledson in deeper roles, with Alan Browne further forward, flanked by Harrop on the left and Brad Potts on the right.

Preston skipper Alan Browne makes a tackle against HuddersfieldPreston skipper Alan Browne makes a tackle against Huddersfield
Preston skipper Alan Browne makes a tackle against Huddersfield

Barkhuizen led the attack, a role he had operated in at times earlier in the season.

Chances wise, there wasn't a lot of goalmouth action in the first half.

North End had the better of the play, Ledson showing some tidy touches and Potts getting involved well down the right.

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In the third minute when Harrop's free-kick from the left was headed across the box, Potts retrieved it and drove over a cross which was too close to the keeper who gathered,.

Their best chance came in the 36th minute, Harrops's right-wing corner met by Bauer who sent a header wide of the far post when he really should have got it on target.

Andrew Hughes got his head to another Harrop corner six minutes later but put it over the bar.

Huddersfield's single first-half chance was a Lewis O'Brien shot from the edge of the box which went straight at Declan Rudd.

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The first 20 minutes of the second half followed the same pattern as the first, with little in the way of attacking invention from either side.

When Joe Rafferty slid a fine ball down the right-wing for Barkhuizen to chase, Christopher Schindler slid across with an excellently-timed tackle to halt the danger.

In the 64th minute, Harrop sent over a corner from the left with hit Bauer on the shoulder as he rose to meet it, keeper Jonas Lossl punching clear.

Neil introduced Jayden Stockley and Sean Maguire from the bench in the 72nd minute, the strikers replacing Browne and Harrop.

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Bauer got his head to Ledson's corner with 13 minutes to play but off balance put the chance wide.

A late flourish from North End in stoppage-time saw them three times come close to breaking the stalemate.

With three minutes of the added on six played, Maguire hooked the ball through to Sinclair in the box but the substitute pulled his shot wide of the near post.

In the next attack, Sinclair cut inside from the left channel and curled a shot from 20 yards wide of the far post.

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Then with the last kick of the game, the ball broke to Maguire on the left hand side of the box but he pulled his shot into the side-netting.

Huddersfield: Lossl, Chalobah (Stankovic 85), Schindler, Stearman, Toffolo, Pritchard (Smith Rowe 55), Hogg, O'Brien, Kachunga (Quaner 46), Campbell (Mounie 46), Grant (Willock 76). Subs (not used): Pyke, King, Duhaney, Coleman.

PNE: Rudd, Rafferty, Bauer, Davies, Hughes, Pearson, Ledson (SInclair 83), Potts, Browne (Stockley 72), Harrop (Maguire 72), Barkhuizen (Bodin 89). Subs (not used): Fisher, Storey, Bayliss, Nugent, Ripley.

Referee: Darren Bond (Wigan)