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Blackpool 0-0 Academy

24 March 2015

Preston North End were held to a frustrating goalless draw in an end-to-end local derby against Blackpool.

Despite a slow start to the first half, Preston soon find their rhythm, but they were unable to break the deadlock in a game where both sides were guilty of missing chances.

PNE manager Nick Harrison said: “Yes we were very disappointed with the first ten minutes, we just stood off them, but what I was impressed with was how our players worked it out for themselves.

“They realised what they needed to do and we started to compete and when we passed the ball properly and quickly I thought they couldn’t get anywhere near us.

“I thought it was a very good game, two teams in a derby trying to compete, I thought we were the better team if I’m being honest.

“We created some good chances and I thought we dominated possession very well in terms of passing the ball progressively, I was really pleased with how our boys played today.”

With both sides having trialist goalkeepers as their last line of defence, it could have been a game of many goals or inspired performances, but neither were to be properly tested as poor finishing meant a cleansheet for the two shotstoppers.

Preston took their time to settle into the game as Blackpool looked to take an early lead and they nearly did so through Elliot Pond, but he was unable to find the target after a ball over top found the Blackpool forward in yards of space.

Blackpool continued to ask questions of the North End defence early on by forcing a series of corners but they were again unable to hit the target.

The Lilywhites began to get the ball down and play after seeing out a good period of possession from Blackpool, Bradley Roscoe recording Preston’s first shot on goal.

Preston soon went even closer as James Quigley’s shot on the turn required a fingertip save from the trialist keeper to keep the scores level.

But Blackpool were to have the closest chance of the half as a deflected header from a James Doyle free kick rattled the Preston crossbar.

PNE started the second half much quicker than they had the first, with Eddie Dsane posing a constant threat, and his low cross almost found Lamin Jagne, but he was unable to find the finishing touch.

The Seasiders went even closer when a goal bound header from Joe Moulden was cleared off the line by Clive Smith.

The best chance of the match went to Blackpool, but Tyler Rufus was unable to make the most of his chance as he wildly fired the ball over the bar from just six yards out.

The game eventually became more and more stretched as both sides looked to counter one another, but neither were really able to hit the target with the chances that they had.

Both sides had to settle for a point in a game that could have gone either way, but neither will be too disappointed with the draw, although Preston will know that they could have picked up all three points.

Roscoe said: “I thought we were possibly the better side today, I thought we created chances and played good football but we didn’t finish our chances and obviously that’s what you need to go and win a game.

“We were getting into the final third but I don’t think we were pulling the trigger or taking enough shots and that is what gets you goals.”

This was a sentiment that Roscoe’s manager agreed with, but having gone undefeated against Blackpool this season, it has been an important learning curve for the future Lilywhites.

Harrison added: “We said to the boys after the game that sometimes you can’t have a perfect goal, some of our lads maybe taking one or two extra touches were they wanted the net to open up a bit more, but sometimes you’ve just got to hit it and get it on target.

“For me, they should treat every game as if it’s a derby. To compete and to play with a good tempo, to try and attack and score goals and defend properly, that’s how every game should be played.”

Blackpool – Trialist, Higham, Richards, Doyle, Roscoe, Moulden, Steele, N’Guessan, Pond, Nije, Robinson

Preston – Trialist, Smith, Whelan, Roscoe, Hancox, Quigley, Robinson, Dsane, Robinson, Jagne

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