Huddersfield Town one point closer to survival aim following 0-0 draw with Preston North End

Huddersfield Town picked up a precious point in their Championship survival fight ahead of another crucial week in their bid to beat the drop.

RARE CHANCE: Lewis O'Brien had the only shot on target of the match in a tight contest. Picture: Tony Johnson.
RARE CHANCE: Lewis O'Brien had the only shot on target of the match in a tight contest. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Their 0-0 draw against Preston North End will now be followed by a trip to Reading on Tuesday night before the visit of Luton Town on Friday.

After back-to-back defeats in their first two matches since the restart, the Terriers have now made it four points from the last six without conceding a goal.

Preston had come into the fixture without a win in six matches and despite dominating the possession failed to trouble the hosts until the the dying embers of the contest.

STALWART: Jonathan Hogg made his 200th league appearance for Huddersfield Town in their 0-0 draw with Preston North End. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Huddersfield did not have much joy going forward either, as both sides remained disciplined and kept their shape well for the entirety, with Preston failing to record a shot on target.

The result puts the Terriers on 46 points, level with Charlton Athletic and Stoke City but they sit in 20th with an inferior goal difference.

Town could still drop back into the bottom three by tomorrow evening with Hull City and Middlesbrough still to play this weekend.

Manager Danny Cowley feels that 50 points will be enough for his side to secure their second-tier status, although with five games to go it is likely they will need more than that to avoid back-to-back relegations.

Forty-two points would have been enough to keep the Terriers up in the last two Championship campaigns, while Blackburn Rovers failed to beat the drop in the 2016-17 season with 51 points.

In an extremely tight contest, Huddersfield didn't manage an attempt on goal until the final minute of the first half when Lewis O'Brien picked the ball up inside the visitors' half before unleashing an effort from 25 yards which was easily dealt with by Declan Rudd.

Jonathan Hogg was making his 200th league appearance for the Terriers and was key in securing the point, keeping Huddersfield organised throughout while working to win the ball back in key areas.

The Lilywhites had dominated possession in the opening 45 minutes but were unable to fashion any clear-cut chances.

Christopher Schindler was called upon midway through the half to block a low cross with an attacker waiting to pounce in the six-yard box while North End had two headers from corner kicks miss the target as each side cancelled each other out.

Schindler had his head bandaged in first-half stoppage time but was able to continue as the second half got underway.

He produced another fine piece of defending in the final quarter of the game, tracking Tom Barkhuizen down the right and producing a perfectly-timed challenge to avert the danger.

Preston's biggest threat came from corner kicks, with Patrick Bauer heading a good chance wide in the latter stages.

Huddersfield's best opportunity came when Emile Smith-Rowe glided through the Preston midfield and found Chris Willock on his left, the loanee cut the ball back to Lewis O'Brien but Ryan Ledson got his foot on the ball and put it behind for a corner to stop a certain goal.

The point felt sweeter for Huddersfield at full-time after Scott Sinclair snatched at an effort in the fourth minute of added time and with the final kick of the contest, Sean Maguire chested the ball down and looked set to score but smashed the ball into the side netting.

Huddersfield Town: Lossl; Chalobah (Stankovic 85), Stearman, Schindler, Toffolo; O'Brien, Hogg; Kachunga (Quaner 45), Pritchard (Smith-Rowe 55), Grant (Willock 76); Campbell (Mounie 45). Unused substitutes: Coleman, Pyke, Stankovic, King, Duhaney.

Preston North End: Rudd; Rafferty, Bauer, Davies, Hughes; Browne (Stockley 72), Pearson; Harrop (Maguire 72), Ledson (Sinclair 84), Barkhuizen (Bodin 89); Potts. Unused substitutes: Fisher, Bayliss, Storey, Ripley, Nugent.

Referee: Matthew Donohue (Sale)