STILL WAITING: 13 winless at Ashton Gate for Bristol City
Bristol City’s winless run at home continued as Preston held them to a goalless Championship draw at Ashton Gate.
The Robins have not taken three points at Ashton Gate since January 26 – 13 winless games – and it was their 10th unsuccessful attempt to do so under manager Nigel Pearson.
North End goalkeeper Daniel Iversen made the best saves of an entertaining game, but his side also went close to a winner on several occasions.
And it was the 750 travelling fans, who were in jubilant mood at the final whistle.
Preston began brightly with City goalkeeper Dan Bentley saving at the feet of Sean Maguire and Sepp Van Den Berg firing over from a good position inside the first five minutes.
The home side’s first effort came on 15 minutes, Chris Martin firing high and wide from a Matty James through ball.
Martin then played a one-two with Andreas Weimann only to be denied by a brave Iversen save.
City looked to be getting on top as centre-back Rob Atkinson stormed forward to strike a shot from 20 yards that was palmed away by the diving Iversen.
Nathan Baker’s cross from the left then picked out Han-Noah Massengo inside the Preston box, but the midfielder elected to try and control the ball, rather than volleying it and the chance was lost.
The closing stages of the first half were dominated by North End. Maguire fired against the crossbar after breaking through the middle and moments later Ben Whiteman was inches off target from the edge of the box.
Maguire shot agonisingly wide of the far post from Daniel Johnson’s incisive pass and City were grateful to hear the half-time whistle.
Pearson’s men regrouped and began the second period on the front foot, Massengo seeing a brilliant 25-yard volley tipped over by the flying Iversen.
At the other Johnson’s close-range effort was blocked for a corner. On the hour a better chance fell to Emil Riis Jakobsen, who volleyed wildly over.
Weimann did the same for City as both sides went all out for the opening goal. Preston were breaking dangerously and a Van Den Berg cross was deflected just past the near post.
Both managers made double substitutions in an effort to break the deadlock and City’s final change saw Pearson send on striker Nahki Wells for full-back Zak Vyner.
Martin’s free-kick was saved by Iversen after a foul on Massengo and the Robins forced a string of late corners without further testing Iversen.
Substitute Alan Browne headed straight at Bentley from Preston’s final opportunity and a draw was a fair outcome.
The Robins can attempt to end their winless run at Ashton Gate when the welcome Luton Town to Bristol on Wednesday.
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