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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 0 Watford 0

20 August 2022

Preston North End kept a fifth consecutive clean sheet in the Championship as they were made to settle for a point in a goalless draw against Watford.

The hosts had the better of the play for much of the contest, with Alan Browne perhaps having the pick of the chances in both halves, but they could not find an opening goal.

Ryan Lowe named an unchanged side from midweek against Rotherham United and the Lilywhites looked to pick up where they left off, with a bright start against the Hornets.

Robbie Brady and Andrew Hughes combined neatly down the left flank, with the latter cutting back for Browne to control superbly with his back to goal, and his effort was acrobatically turned over by goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann.

Vakoun Bayo provided an early threat at the other end, going close when he latched onto strike partner Rey Manaj’s pull-back from the right, being kept out by Brad Potts’ crucial block, before breaking in behind minutes later and being denied by a fine Freddie Woodman one-on-one save.

Hughes made way after 19 minutes, with the Welshman unable to continue having gone down around ten minutes earlier, allowing Greg Cunningham to come on in his place to make his 150th appearance for the club.

Cunningham flighted a lovely cross just over the head of Troy Parrott moments after his arrival, with the Lilywhites’ No.15 having also just stung the palms of Bachmann with an effort from distance, while Daniel Johnson was narrowly off target from similar range.

It was Ryan Ledson’s effort that was the pick of the strikes from range, though, with his effort looking destined for the bottom left corner until Bachmann parried it clear.

The final five minutes of the first half saw the visitors go close twice, as Edo Kayembe weaved his way to the edge of the box to curl just wide of the top left corner, and Francisco Sierrralta had his header well saved by Woodman on his line from a corner shortly after.

It was a quiet start to the second half until just before the hour mark, when Browne flicked a Ledson cross goalwards from the edge of the six-yard box, and the skipper was only denied by another outstretched Bachmann save.

The other side of the hour saw Manaj played in behind on a Hornets counter for an equally inviting opening, but as he moved in on goal, he blazed his shot over Woodman’s crossbar.

Browne looked to turn provider back in front of the Town End when he played Parrott in behind, but his shot was met by a sliding block from Christian Kabasele.

A spell of pressure from the visitors followed as Kayembe dragged a shot wide of the near post before Bayo went in behind again, but shot into the side netting from a tight angle down the right of the box.

Emil Riis went in behind down the left late on, but he too could only find the side netting as North End were ultimately made to settle for another point.

PNE line-up: Woodman; Storey, Lindsay, Hughes (Cunningham, 19); Potts, Ledson (McCann, 74), Whiteman, Johnson (Riis, 66), Brady; Browne (Woodburn, 74); Parrott. Subs not used: Cornell, Bauer, Evans.

Watford line-up: Bachmann; Kabasele, Sierralta, Cathcart; Sema, Choudhury, Asprilla (Gosling, 80), Kayembe, Kamara; Manaj (Hungbo, 84), Bayo. Subs not used: Okoye, Gaspar, Troost-Ekong, Pollock, Forde.

Referee: Mr D Bond.

Attendance: 15,317 (1,125 Watford fans).


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