Preston North End and Fleetwood Town played out a goalless draw in a feisty pre-season friendly at Highbury.
Mads Frøkjær and Brad Potts were among those to come close for North End in the first half, while Dai Cornell was required to save a promising Phoenix Patterson free-kick.
Both sides were reduced to ten men in the second period, with Ryan Broom and Josh Seary both seeing red for strong challenges within ten minutes of each other, and neither team could find a breakthrough.
North End were lively right from the off on the Fylde coast, with Will Keane having an early effort blocked while Frøkjær – fresh from his brace against Aberdeen – came close to scoring again, but his clever flick on the end of Duane Holmes’ cross was well saved by Jay Lynch.
After Keane had headed over in the 13th minute, Cornell came up with an impressive save at the other end, diving acrobatically to his left to keep Patterson’s free-kick out.
The Fleetwood backline were coming up with some important blocks to keep the game goalless, firstly to deny Keane’s close-range effort before 18-yard strikes from Frøkjær and Lewis Leigh had bodies thrown in front of them.
No one was there to block Potts’ left-footed 39th minute effort, but ‘keeper Lynch dived to make sure the sides went into the break goalless.
North End made seven changes for the second half and one of those introduced – Patrick Bauer, who later went off with a nose injury – rose highest to head Kian Best’s corner towards goal, only for Brendan Wiredu to get in the way.
It looked, on 55 minutes, like the hosts were going to go ahead out of nothing as Ryan Graydon went charging through on goal, but captain Greg Cunningham came up with a crucial touch to knock the ball out for a corner before he could get a shot away.
Fleetwood went down to ten men just after the hour mark as Broom saw red for a late and dangerous challenge on Leigh, while less than ten minutes later Seary also received his marching orders for a foul on Junior Quitirna.
After all that drama, there wasn’t too much action of note at either end, with Maleace Asamoah's acrobatic effort which went wide in stoppage-time about as close as either side came to scoring in the second half.
PNE first half XI: Cornell; Storey, Lindsay, Hughes; Potts, Holmes, Leigh, Frøkjær, Best; Keane, Stewart.
PNE second half XI: Cornell; Diaby, Bauer (Seary, 66), Cunningham; Potts (Ramsay, 63), Taylor, Leigh (Kamara, 63), Mawene, Best (Pasiek, 76); Rodriguez-Gentile, Woodburn.
Subs not used: Woodman.
Referee: Mr J Simpson.
Attendance: 2,116 (1,059 PNE fans).