Pre­ston slam the door again

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Mikail McKen­zie

PRE­STON North End recorded their fourth con­sec­u­tive clean sheet, but they couldn’t find a goal at the other end as they drew at home to Lan­cashire ri­vals Bolton Wan­der­ers.

The derby game was the first meet­ing be­tween the sides since the 2001 Divi­sion One Play-Off fi­nal, which was the be­gin­ning of the Trot­ters’ 11-year stint in the topflight

Shola Amobi, mak­ing his first start for the vis­i­tors fol­low­ing his goalscor­ing de­but last week­end, came the clos­est to find­ing the back of the net with a loop­ing header that went over.

Calum Woods was also for­tu­nate to re­main on the field af­ter bring­ing down Max Clay­ton as the last de­fender. Joe Gar­ner was the main at­tack­ing threat from the hosts but the game lacked any fire­works as both man­agers seemed con­tent on set­tling for a share of the spoils.

The Li­ly­whites made one change from their trip to Brighton with last sea­son’s top-scorer Joe Gar­ner com­ing in for Jor­dan Hugill, who dropped to the bench.

Neil Len­non made three changes from last week­end’s draw with Leeds as Josh Vela and Ameobi re­placed Neil Danns and Gary Ma­dine, while Do­rian Dervite came in for the sus­pended Prince-De­sir Gouano.

Gar­ner cre­ated the hosts first chance of the evening on the 11th minute, beat­ing two de­fend­ers and lay­ing the ball off to Mar­nick Ver­mijl on the edge of the area but he scuffed his shot wide. Ben Amos was the busier of the two keep­ers early on, mak­ing a cou­ple of rou­tine stops to deny the lively Gar­ner.

Bolton’s best chance of the first half fell to the vet­eran Ameobi, mak­ing his first league start in over 17 months, but he headed Jay Spear­ing's free-kick nar­rowly over the bar af­ter beat­ing Jor­dan Pick­ford in the air.

And a minute later con­tro­versy ar­rived. Max Clay­ton was bun­dled over by Woods as the winger raced to­wards goal but referee Dean White­stone opted for the yel­low card when he could eas­ily have shown red.

Jose Manuel Casado stepped up for the re­sult­ing free-kick but he lashed it way over the cross­bar.

In typ­i­cal derby style tack­les be­came fiery and the game drew scrappy. Dar­ren Prat­ley was booked for a ridicu­lously late slid­ing tackle on Bai­ley on the half-hour mark which caused hand­bags in the penalty area.

Pre­ston con­trolled the end of the first pe­riod but showed lit­tle threat at goal as David Wheater and Do­rian Dervite dom­i­nated the aerial du­els.

Af­ter the break Amos con­tin­ued his per­sonal bat­tle with Gar­ner, but the keeper pro­duced a com­fort­able save from a long-dis­tance ef­fort.

Full-back Casado al­most un­did all of the vis­i­tors’ hard work when he lofted a clear­ance over the own defence and played sub­sti­tute Hugill through on goal but the for­ward failed to con­nect prop­erly with the ball and Amos grate­fully grasped the tame shot.

Len­non in­tro­duced Ma­dine from the bench and six min­utes from time the for­ward drilled a low shot to­wards goal fol­low­ing Clay­ton’s cor­ner but Pick­ford was equal to it, palm­ing the ball clear down to his right.

Dervite caused a last minute Hal­loween scare for Bolton as he con­nected with a deep Adam Reach cross from the left.

But Amos read the dan­ger and was able to ad­just and make the save ac­cord­ingly and se­cure a share of the spoils.

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

CHAL­LENGE: Daniel John­son of Pre­ston in ac­tion with Do­rian Dervite of Bolton

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