Barnsley 0 Preston 0: Stalemate in clash of play-off chasers

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A feisty Roses clash at Oakwell ended goalless.

The battle of the two Championship play-off chasers was exactly that at times, but neither side could find that all-important breakthrough.

The teams couldn’t be separated after an opening 45 minutes which featured precious few chances at either end.

The Reds probably created the lion’s share of those, with Adam Armstrong nodding an early effort over the top as he met Marlkey Watkins’ smart cross..

Midfielder Matty James dragged a low strike inches wide, while Ryan Kent’s in-swinging corner-kick almost beat North End ‘keeper Chris Maxwell at his near post.

The visitors’ best opportunity came when Simon Makienok headed straight at Reds’ ‘keeper Adam Davies.

The Reds almost broke the deadlock five minutes after the restart in spectacular fashion.

After meeting a short pass from Tom Bradshaw, Armstrong tried an audacious strike from 35 yards that only just cleared the crossbar.

Bradshaw was the provider again as he teed up Kent, only for the young Liverpool loanee to fire well over the top.

Preston responded just prior to the hour mark when Paul Gallagher curled a 20-yard free-kick just past the far post, with ‘keeper Davies stranded.

The Reds came mighty close in the 69th minute when Bradshaw’s sliding effort was frantically hacked off the line by Preston striker Jordan Hugill.

Barnsley (4-4-2): Davies; Jones, MacDonald, Roberts, Elder; Scowen, James, Watkins, Kent (Hedges, 82); Bradshaw (Hammill, 69), Armstrong.

Subs not used: Townsend, Evans, Jackson, Moncur, Lee.

Preston (4-4-2): Maxwell; Browning, Clarke, Huntington, Cunningham; Gallagher (Robinson, 66), Pearson, Browne, McGeady; Makienok (Beckford, 72), Hugill.

Subs not used: Lindegaard, Vermijl, Horgan, Johnson, May.

Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands).