Championship
Cardiff0Preston0

Cardiff City 0-0 Preston North End

Lee Tomlin of Cardiff City is brought down by Preston North End's Paul Gallagher
Lee Tomlin of Cardiff City is brought down by Preston North End's Paul Gallagher

Preston were forced to settle for a share of the spoils despite a dominant display in the Welsh capital against Cardiff City.

The hosts failed to register a shot on target until stoppage time as Preston showed why they are looking like promotion contenders in this stalemate.

Midfielder Alan Browne missed the visitors' best opportunity.

The draw sees Cardiff move up to 11th while Preston remain third in the Championship.

Etheridge's splendid save

Both sides made changes from their last contests ahead of the busy festive period, with Cardiff making five changes and Preston two.

The headline news saw Jazz Richards make a first league start for the Bluebirds in 691 days as they looked to build on their stunning comeback which earned a draw against Leeds at Elland Road last time out.

However, while the Bluebirds' form since Neil Harris' appointment has been vastly improved, they have been a better second-half side than first, with sluggish starts a feature of this season.

This was certainly the case for the visit of Alex Neil's side who were unlucky not to lead at the interval after a first half in which they dominated for long spells and created far more scoring opportunities.

Welshman Billy Bodin sent a dipping effort just over the crossbar after seven minutes and also should have scored midway through the first half when Neil Etheridge's splendid point-blank save denied him the chance to score from the best opportunity of the contest.

Preston's high press and relentless work rate was forcing the Bluebirds onto the back foot and the visitors continued to press out of possession and look to win the ball in high areas, creating two opportunities for Sean Maguire, but he twice found the side-netting.

Cardiff seek inspiration

Maguire also flashed just wide on the stroke of half time, while Lee Tomlin's curling effort from 20-yards was Cardiff's only effort on goal before the break.

Preston were looking to improve their away form having won just one of their last five on the road and scoring a solitary goal in that time and they started the second half again on the front foot with Paul Gallagher curling inches wide.

Cardiff sent on Danny Ward and Gary Madine in search of inspiration, but none was forthcoming with Curtis Nelson conceding possession before Browne fired tamely at Etheridge to hand the hosts a major reprieve with 20 minutes remaining.

Preston's lack of confidence in front of goal was clear to see and, despite a fine performance, they had to settle for a point when Ben Pearson's drive was beaten clear by Etheridge in the closing stages, while Tomlin finally forced Declan Rudd into action, but he tipped over.

Cardiff City manager Neil Harris told BBC Sport Wales:

"It was not the most exciting game, not the excitement we have been used to anyway.

"In some ways I am pleased, because we got a clean sheet and looked relatively reliable... but we lacked creativity.

"Credit goes to Preston. But we weren't good enough in possession today.

"I wouldn't say I am grateful for a point, there wasn't much in it, but Preston look a well-oiled ship after two years with Alex Neil."

Preston manager Alex Neil told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"I think everyone who watched the game would have recognised we were by far the better side.

"I don't think Cardiff had a shot on target, the one at the end might have been going over... I felt we dominated the game in both boxes.

"It was just that final little bit, we needed to find that first goal. I am pleased with how we played, but disappointed we didn't win.

"We have played a lot worse than that this season and won... so it is frustrating."

Line-ups

Cardiff

  • 1Etheridge
  • 2Peltier
  • 5Flint
  • 16Nelson
  • 21Richards
  • 7Bacuna
  • 15Pack
  • 19Mendez-LaingSubstituted forPatersonat 85'minutes
  • 17TomlinBooked at 45mins
  • 11MurphySubstituted forWardat 62'minutes
  • 9GlatzelSubstituted forMadineat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Vaulks
  • 12Smithies
  • 13Paterson
  • 20Whyte
  • 22Bamba
  • 23Ward
  • 24Madine

Preston

  • 1Rudd
  • 5ClarkeBooked at 35mins
  • 21Bauer
  • 23Huntington
  • 16Hughes
  • 4Pearson
  • 12GallagherBooked at 21minsSubstituted forPottsat 85'minutes
  • 39BodinSubstituted forStockleyat 86'minutes
  • 8Browne
  • 24Maguire
  • 29BarkhuizenSubstituted forNugentat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Harrop
  • 14Storey
  • 18Ledson
  • 20Stockley
  • 28Hudson
  • 35Nugent
  • 44Potts
Referee:
Jeremy Simpson
Attendance:
22,625

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamPreston
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home3
Away16
Shots on Target
Home1
Away3
Corners
Home1
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Cardiff City 0, Preston North End 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Cardiff City 0, Preston North End 0.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Declan Rudd.

Attempt saved. Lee Tomlin (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Curtis Nelson with a headed pass.

Foul by Sean Maguire (Preston North End).

Callum Paterson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by David Nugent (Preston North End).

Jazz Richards (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Sean Maguire (Preston North End) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Brad Potts.

Ben Pearson (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Aden Flint (Cardiff City).

Attempt saved. Ben Pearson (Preston North End) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Brad Potts.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Jayden Stockley replaces Billy Bodin.

Attempt missed. Alan Browne (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Brad Potts.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Brad Potts replaces Paul Gallagher.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Callum Paterson replaces Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

Attempt missed. Billy Bodin (Preston North End) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Tom Clarke.

Attempt missed. Billy Bodin (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Paul Huntington (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Gary Madine (Cardiff City).

Offside, Preston North End. Declan Rudd tries a through ball, but Billy Bodin is caught offside.

Tom Clarke (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Curtis Nelson (Cardiff City).

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. David Nugent replaces Tom Barkhuizen.

Foul by Paul Huntington (Preston North End).

Gary Madine (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Sean Maguire (Preston North End).

Lee Peltier (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Alan Browne (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Offside, Cardiff City. Lee Tomlin tries a through ball, but Danny Ward is caught offside.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

Attempt blocked. Sean Maguire (Preston North End) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Andrew Hughes with a headed pass.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Danny Ward replaces Josh Murphy.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Gary Madine replaces Robert Glatzel.

Attempt missed. Ben Pearson (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt blocked. Alan Browne (Preston North End) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Paul Gallagher with a cross.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

Attempt missed. Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Alan Browne.

Offside, Preston North End. Andrew Hughes tries a through ball, but Sean Maguire is caught offside.

Foul by Billy Bodin (Preston North End).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1West Brom23148146242250
2Leeds23145436152147
3Fulham23115735251038
4Preston2311573527838
5Brentford23114834181637
6Swansea2310763027337
7Sheff Wed22106633201336
8Bristol City229853432235
9Nottm Forest229762823534
10Blackburn2210483028234
11Hull239683731633
12Cardiff238963432233
13Millwall238962930-133
14QPR239593744-732
15Birmingham2384112434-1028
16Reading2275102827126
17Derby236892131-1026
18Charlton2367103032-225
19Huddersfield2367102635-925
20Middlesbrough235992132-1124
21Luton2362152847-1920
22Barnsley2347123146-1519
23Stoke2353152537-1218
24Wigan2246122035-1518
View full Championship table

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