Coventry still await a first win at Preston as Championship rivals draw a blank

Coventry goalkeeper Ben Wilson would not be beaten at Deepdale (PA)
PA Sport staff

Coventry’s record of never winning a league game at Preston continued as the mid-table rivals shared a 0-0 draw in the Sky Bet Championship.

Both sides created chances during what was an entertaining clash, although a clinical finish was clearly lacking.

The Sky Blues’ three-match winning run was halted by a well-organised North End outfit who are now unbeaten in four games.

After a cagey opening 10 minutes at Deepdale, the visitors created the first opportunity.

Jake Bidwell touched the ball neatly to Callum Doyle and his powerful left-footed strike from 25 yards was smartly beaten away by goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.

The visitors began to dictate proceedings and Jamie Allen was unfortunate when his well-struck volley from Doyle’s cross fizzed narrowly over the top.

North End, looking to build on their first home league win in four months at the weekend, finally gained a foothold and almost struck after 20 minutes.

Ched Evans, back in the starting line-up following a four-game suspension, fired into the side-netting as he met a clipped ball in from Daniel Johnson.

Coventry ought to have taken the lead a minute later when Allen raced clear of the Preston backline but he fired a woeful effort straight at a grateful Woodman.

As the half-hour mark passed, Evans was clearly desperate to impress following his recent enforced absence.

The Welshman cracked in a snapshot on the turn which flicked off a defender before only just clearing the crossbar.

Sky Blues’ midfielder Bidwell missed the final chance of an end-to-end opening period when he blazed over after being neatly teed up by Viktor Gyokeres.

The hosts registered the first opportunity of the second half. Johnson sent over a deep cross for Brad Potts, only for the winger to guide a disappointing effort wide of the angle of post and crossbar.

With Ryan Lowe’s men looking to build some momentum, skipper Alan Browne then saw a glancing header saved by Ben Wilson as he rose to meet Alvaro Fernandez’s cross.

Goalkeeper Wilson was also alert when diving full-length to keep out Johnson’s curling shot.

By the 70-minute mark the opportunities were drying up and defences were on top, although Preston still looked the more likely to make the breakthrough.

They almost broke the deadlock in spectacular style with 15 minutes left when defender Bambo Diaby’s overhead kick flew a foot over the crossbar.

North End substitute Liam Delap wasted the best chance to snatch a winner late on when he turned a close-range shot frustratingly wide.