Rotherham United 0 Preston NE 0: Millers draw blank but test well-fancied Preston to the limit

The New York Stadium staged its first goalless draw as two sides who had defeated Championship opposition in the first round of the League Cup in midweek failed to break through.

Millers captain Craig Morgan

The result left both clubs waiting for their first league wins of the season after a frantic encounter.

Following their Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United assistant manager Paul Raynor said: “We feel it is two points dropped, because of the way we played second half.

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“But people aren’t going to come here and make it easy for us, we knew it was always going to be difficult and Preston are a good side, I think they’ll certainly be up there challenging.

“Given the opportunities we created in the second half, it is slightly disappointed that we’ve not come away with three points.”

Following their Cup triumph over neighbours Blackpool, Preston North End manager Simon Grayson, the former Leeds United and Huddersfield Town manager, said: “It’s been a tough week for us and we knew this would be a tough game for us.

“We played some good stuff and passed it around well. I’m pleased because, if you can’t win a game, keeping a clean sheet and getting a point away from home could prove valuable at the end of the season.

“We knew we were going to be tested because of the personnel Rotherham have got and the way they play.”

North End, whom Millers chief Steve Evans has tipped to finish in the top two, confirmed before the game that versatile front man Jack King will be out for at least two months with a broken bone in his foot.

Both sides had chances to score, with Preston’s former Derby County player Lee Holmes drawing a decent save from Scott Shearer and Kari Arnason heading into the side-netting for Rotherham.

Millers debutant Matt Tubbs flashed a 16-yard drive narrowly off target on 27 minutes, and Preston hit the post through Bailey Wright’s second-half header.

Rotherham’s Alex Revell also headed wide from a cross by Ben Pringle and Michael O’Connor volleyed a great chance over from a long throw in the closing stages.

Preston played some neat football in the second period to test the home defence.

But Wales international defender Craig Morgan, who joined Rotherham a year ago after Preston let him go, was in no mood to let his former club take the upper hand and the Millers turn their attentions to Saturday’s trip to Evans’s former club, Crawley Town.

Rotherham: Shearer, Bradley, Morgan, Arnason, Skarz,Agard, Frecklington, O’Connor, Pringle, Revell, Tubbs (Worrall 57). Unused substitutes: Brindley, Davis, Milsom, Noble, Collin, Tidser.

Preston: Rudd, Clarke, Huntington, Wright, Buchanan, Humphrey (Garner 81), Keane, Welsh, Hayhurst (Laird 74), Holmes (Monakana 87), Davies. Unused substitutes: Stuckmann, Wroe, Cummins, Mousinho.

Referee: Trevor Kettle (Rutland).