Preston North End 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

5 Mar

Brighton boss Chris Hughton checks his watch at Deepdale


Chris Hughton’s Brighton have now drawn 11 times away from home this season

Championship promotion hopefuls Brighton maintained their fine away record this season with a goalless draw at play-off hopefuls Preston.

In the fourth successive 0-0 draw between these two sides, North End went closest to a goal when Calum Woods volleyed against the bar.

But Brighton twice had the ball in the home net, each time denied for offside.

Brighton stay fourth, four points off top spot, while Preston remain 10th, six points shy of a play-off place.

Chris Hughton<!–

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Hughton on Preston v Brighton

Chris Hughton’s Seagulls have only lost two of their 18 Championship away games this season, of which they have now drawn 11.

Preston maintained their record of never having lost a home game to Brighton in 15 visits by the Seagulls to Deepdale.

Jamie Murphy was the first to be denied by the linesman’s flag in first-half injury time from Dale Stephens’ free-kick – and the same happened to Tomer Hemed after home keeper Chris Kirkland had spilt Murphy’s low drive.

Apart form that, Woods’ left-foot angled volley, which bounced down off the bar, and Sam Baldock’s right-foot shot just wide at the other end were the closest either side came until Preston’s Murphy glanced a late near-post header just wide.

Don’t expect goals when these two play

The previous three meetings between these two sides – the October meeting at the Amex and both games in the 2005-6 season – also ended 0-0.

The last player to score in this fixture was David Nugent, who got North End’s third goal in a 3-0 Championship win in April 2005.

Preston boss Simon Grayson: “They are a very strong team but off the ball we did very well. The shape was very good and defensively we limited them to few opportunities.

“Second half I thought we were the better team, so I’m disappointed we haven’t won it, but two clean sheets against Brighton is a big ask from the players.

“We’ve got a number of games left now and we’ll just keep approaching it as we have over the last few weeks. We want the players to go out and express themselves.”

Brighton manager Chris Hughton: “We had a couple of good chances and so did they. On the balance of play I thought we threatened but we didn’t retain possession well enough in the areas we needed to.

“They worked very hard and restricted the quality balls we were able to put in. Away from home if you can’t play as well as you’d like you’ve got to make sure not to lose the game.

“Defensively, we were solid again. As a back four we had a fair bit to deal with.

“The only disappointment is that we didn’t keep possession well enough and if you don’t do that then you make life harder for yourself.”

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