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3 things we learned from Preston North End’s draw with Brighton & Hove Albion

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Preston North End hosted Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday in the Sky Bet Championship’s only 0-0 amongst ten fixtures in the league.

Chris Hughton's Brighton were held by in-form Preston yesterday

Chris Hughton’s Brighton were held by in-form Preston yesterday

Promotion hopefuls Brighton maintained their good away record this season by picking up another point on the road, consolidating their position in fourth and still in with a great chance of promotion this season.

However, as Burnley won 1-0 against Blackburn Rovers at Turf Moor, the gap between Chris Hughton’s men and the automatic promotion places stretches to three points behind Middlesbrough, who have one game in hand. So, if Middlesbrough do win their game in hand, there will be a four point gap between Brighton and the top two.

For Preston, they also consolidate their position in tenth. Luckily for Simon Grayson’s men, who missed out on all three points today, play-off rivals Sheffield Wednesday also dropped points in a 1-0 home defeat to relegation-battlers Rotherham United.

The goalless draw sees both sides in similar positions as to where they started the day, meaning that both will remain optimistic of finishing the season in the play-off places.

FootballLeagueWorld writer Reece Chambers identifies THREE things that we learned from the goalless draw at Deepdale…

1) Brighton’s attack is hit and miss

After scoring eight goals in their last two matches, many predicted more goals for Brighton in this fixture.

However, and to the surprise of a lot of fans, they failed to hit the back of the net in 90 minutes. And, with 53% of possession throughout the game, Brighton had 11 shots. Most crucially, though, only two of those shots were on target.

Before this fixture, top scorer Tomer Hemed had scored three goals in the last two games, however he failed to hit the back of the net in this one. Jamie Murphy came closest for the away side when his low shot was saved by Chris Kirkland.

The reoccurring question for Brighton fans is who is the back up for Hemed?

Despite their impressive wins against Leeds United and Bristol City in previous weeks, there is constant questioning of their attacking force being consistent.

2) Preston can compete with the top sides

Admittedly, Preston North End’s promotion hopes are slim as they still sit six points behind sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday. However, the 0-0 draw with an impressive Brighton side shows how well Grayson’s side can compete with the sides at the top end of the table.

They went close early into the second half through Calum Woods’ left-foot volley, but his shot hit the bar and the threat was halted.

Preston also had the final clear-cut chance of the afternoon through Murphy, but he could only glance his late near-post header wide of the post.

The draw for Preston is a good result, but perhaps they would’ve been left wanting more come the final whistle given the late chances they had.

3) Don’t expect goals in this fixture

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

Neither side could seem to muster up any sort of attacking issues for the other and, as a result, left both of them leaving Deepdale with a point each.

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

Preston and Brighton fans… what did you make of the game yesterday? Can Preston reach the top six? Can Brighton get automatic promotion? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

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Regular writer for FLW on a range of Football League teams. Please feel free to e-mail in connection with anything published in my name, enjoy reading!

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