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Preston vs Derby County
 0 - 0 
Date: 
08/12/2009
Venue: 
Deepdale
Attendance: 
11,755
Referee: 
Phil Gibbs

Derby County extended their unbeaten run to 3 matches in an entertaining 0-0 draw at Preston North End this evening.

Both sides hit the woodwork in a lively encounter at Deepdale, with DJ Campbell hitting the bar and sub Chris Porter going agonisingly close late on.

In the first half Ross Wallace hit the post with a curling free-kick for the hosts, as did Callum Davidson late on with a glorious chance.

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In a resolute defensive display by the Rams goalkeeper Stephen Bywater produced two outstanding saves to keep out Neil Mellor in the second half.

Paul Green returned to the Derby midfield after being absent from the 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday with a tight hamstring as Nigel Clough made 4 changes to the side that started against the Baggies.

Fredrik Stoor (ankle) and Rob Hulse (tight hamstring) picked up knocks missed out, prompting a recall for Paul Connolly at right-back and a first start in Derby colours to DJ Campbell. Stoor was fit enough for the bench, however leading scorer Hulse was not.

Lee Croft made way for Green's return while fellow winger Gary Teale reverted to the bench to allow Lee Hendrie to come in for just his second start since joining from Sheffield United in August.

In their black and grey away colours Derby got proceedings underway and forced the issue early on.

The Rams had a good shout for a penalty inside the opening ten minutes when Campbell looked to have been brought down by Preston goalkeeper Andy Lonergan in the box.

McEveley sent the striker clear on goal and Lonergan seemed to clip Saturday's goal hero as he took the ball around him, but the Referee signalled for a goal kick to Derby's dismay.

The home side had claimed just a single victory in their last 10 games and that was evident early on as the home side - and crowd - made an edgy start to the evening.

Preston eventually found their feet though and on 20 minutes created a good opening, but Jon Parkin headed over six yards out when he should have done better after Chaplow's wayward shot fell invitingly into his path.

Chris Sedgwick spurned a decent chance on the halfway point of the half on the break for Preston, but the wideman volleyed over unmarked at the far post from Jones' right-wing cross.

On 33 minutes the Derby defence was breached from a set play as Wallace lined up a 20-yard free-kick, but the ball crashed back off the angle of post and bar and away to safety.

That was the final wave of first-half pressure from Preston during a spell which required Derby not to switch off for a second and defend for their lives, and they did just that with Moxey and Leacock both throwing themselves in the way of shots at goal to make heroic blocks.

As Derby ended the half strongly Campbell's pace caught Preston on the break when he latched onto another of McEveley's balls forwards, but Neill Collins forced the striker wide and he just ran the ball out of play.

Bywater was called into action moments after the break to produce a fine save to thwart Neil Mellor who was quickest to get on the end of Liam Chilvers' long ball forwards and get a shot away, but the Rams custodian turned the ball behind.

Moments later he was performing heroics again, once more from Mellor. A loose ball fell invitingly to Mellor 30 yards out and he drove into the area before blasting and effort at goal which Bywater superbly blocked and Leacock was on hand to hack the ball away.

10 minutes into the half Derby made a change with Stoor coming on for Leacock, which saw Connolly move into the centre of defence.

Hendrie tried his luck with a thunderous long-range drive immediately after Stoor's introduction, but he couldn't find the target.

Gary Teale entered the fray on 64 minutes as Derby sought more width in a tight game in place of Hendrie.

After undergoing hip surgery in August and not playing a competitive game since March, it was a big moment for Chris Porter when he was introduced into the action with just under 20 minutes remaining in place of Dickov up front.

Derby almost took the lead with just shy of 15 minutes left when Stoor delivered a telling cross to the far post from the right, but Campbell's powerful header crashed back off the bar and Pearson's rebound shot drifted wide of the mark.

Teale tried his luck from 25 yards as Derby chased the breakthrough but shot straight at Lonergan.

Preston had a fantastic chance with just 5 minutes left to win the game when Davidson made a neat run in behind Stoor with a clear run on goal. He beat Bywater, but not the post as the ball came crashing back out to the frustration of the home crowd.

As the game opened up in a dramatic finale both sides had chances to win it.

First Porter was denied by Lonergan and then immediately on the break Bywater made a good stop from Brown.

4 minutes of added time were signalled to add to the drama, but neither side could find the decisive goal in a breathtaking end to the game.

There were no goals in this one, but it wasn't for the want of trying!

Derby are now 3 unbeaten and will look to make it 4 when they travel to an in-form Watford on Saturday.

Preston North End: Lonegan, Davidson, Chaplow, Collins, Sedgwick, Chilvers, Tonge (Parry 81), Jones (Nolan 65), Wallace, Parkin (Brown 81), Mellor
Subs Not Used: Shumulikoski, Carter, Henderson, Elliott
Booked: Tonge, Wallace

Derby County: Bywater, Connolly, Leacock (Stoor 55), McEveley, Moxey, Green, Pearson, Savage, Hendrie (Teale 65), Campbell, Dickov (Porter 71)
Subs Not Used: Deeney, Addison, Croft, Livermore
Booked: Leacock, Stoor, Dickov

Referee: Mr P Gibbs

Attendance: 11,755

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pne 5
Derby earn a point on the road at Deepdale.
 Match Information
 
  Preston Derby
Goals : 0 0
Possession : 51% 49%
Shots On Target : 8 6
Shots Off Target : 13 6
Corners : 7 4
Fouls : 14 13
Most Fouls : Sedgwick (3) Stoor (2)
Yellow Cards : 2 3
Red Cards : 0 0
 
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