Match ends, Preston North End 0, Cardiff City 0.
Preston climbed off the bottom of the Championship despite extending their winless run to eight games after being held to a goalless draw by Cardiff.
The best chance of a dour first half fell to the visitors' Joe Mason but his shot was blocked by Tom Clarke.
Clarke then came closest to giving the hosts the lead as his header from Paul Gallagher's corner hit the bar.
Peter Whittingham's late free-kick almost won it for Cardiff but his shot was well saved by Jordan Pickford.
The draw means Preston climb above Bolton and Rotherham on goal difference while Cardiff remain eighth, two points away from the play-off places.
In a tense opening period Jordan Hugill and Greg Cunningham had efforts off target for the hosts while Cardiff had to wait until the 38th minute before their first shot on goal.
However, Mason's goalbound effort, the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes, was excellently blocked by Clarke in a first half that saw neither goalkeeper forced into any meaningful saves.
Cardiff improved after the break and Sammy Ameobi should have done better but his volley flew over the bar when well placed.
Anthony Pilkington's header was just off target for the visitors before Pickford was forced to make his first real contribution to deny Mason.
Clarke had the home fans on their feet but his header clipped the crossbar as the division's lowest scorers failed to find a way past David Marshall.
Pickford tipped Whittingham's free-kick around the post and Hugill's stoppage-time header was off target as the two sides were forced to settle for a point.
Preston North End manager Simon Grayson:
"We have to have a little bit more belief in the players in themselves, that they can express themselves more, take a little bit more care in that final third to try and take a better option and cause the opposition a few more problems.
"It could have gone either way but ultimately I'm pleased we've kept a clean sheet and got a point, which hopefully we can keep building on because there are no easy games in this division.
"We've got a good spirit about us that we're determined not to get beat if that's possible."
Cardiff City manager Russell Slade:
"It wasn't a great game or spectacle by either side in the first period and not a lot of opportunities, but that was in contrast to the second half.
"Even though mistakes were made, there were opportunities to be taken and we were looking to do that. We pushed forward.
"They put their bodies on the line. They threw everything at it. I think there were three blocks on the bounce at one stage in their box, so credit to them for defending as well."
- 5ClarkeSubstituted forVermijlat 71'minutes
- 19WelshSubstituted forBrowneat 69'minutes
- 24MaySubstituted forKeaneat 68'minutes
- 16ConnollyBooked at 74mins
- 13PilkingtonSubstituted forRevellat 76'minutes
- 8RallsSubstituted forNooneat 45'minutes
- 38AmeobiSubstituted forJohnat 90'minutes
- Stuart Attwell
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Preston North End 0, Cardiff City 0.
Alan Browne (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Kagisho Dikgacoi (Cardiff City).
Adam Reach (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Scott Malone (Cardiff City).
Attempt missed. Jordan Hugill (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Greg Cunningham with a cross.
Attempt blocked. Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Substitution, Cardiff City. Declan John replaces Sammy Ameobi.
Attempt missed. Jordan Hugill (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Adam Reach with a cross.
Attempt blocked. Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sammy Ameobi.
Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Sean Morrison.
Attempt missed. Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.
Attempt blocked. Kagisho Dikgacoi (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Mason.
Foul by Marnick Vermijl (Preston North End).
Scott Malone (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Sammy Ameobi (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.
Attempt blocked. Alex Revell (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Peter Whittingham with a cross.
Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Jordan Pickford.
Attempt saved. Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.