Championship
MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough1PrestonPreston North End1
Jonathan Woodgate
Jonathan Woodgate was left frustrated as his Boro side were unable to finish off Preston

In-form Preston North End extended their unbeaten league run to seven games with a draw at the Riverside that leaves Middlesbrough without a win in three games.

Alex Neil's Preston side went in front on the back of plenty of Boro pressure, Josh Harrop tucking the ball in on the rebound after Alan Browne's initial bobbling effort smacked off the post.

However, Boro - who were vastly improved from Saturday's 4-1 home defeat by Sheffield Wednesday - levelled almost immediately when Darnell Fisher bundled into his own net, after a burst down the right by Marcus Tavernier and Paddy McNair.

Both sides had chances to win it, with North End goalkeeper Declan Rudd in particular making a series of key saves. He denied Marcus Browne with his legs and then tipped over Marcus Tavernier's effort.

Daniel Johnson was unable to connect cleanly with a Tom Barkhuizen cross when well placed for the visitors, while Paul Gallagher rapped a free-kick into the wall.

The appointment of hometown hero Jonathan Woodgate at the start of the season to replace Tony Pulis as manager was supposed to herald a new dawn for the Teessiders.

But while supporters were heartened by a more adventurous approach, results have disappointed and Boro have slipped to 18th in the table

North End won only one of their opening 11 games last term, and left it too late for a promotion push despite a mid-season revival.

But Alex Neil's side, who remain fifth, have been much improved this campaign, with just a 3-0 EFL Cup defeat by Manchester City since August's 3-2 league loss at Swansea.

Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate told BBC Tees:

"I thought we deserved to win the game, I thought we played really well.

"It was a step in the right direction after that defeat the other day to Sheffield Wednesday.

"They're a good team, they're unbeaten since August, (this match) was a stepping stone, but I still think we deserved to win the game."

Preston North End boss Alex Neil told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"I think it's probably a fair result. I didn't think there was a lot in the game, I didn't think that either team did enough to win to be honest.

"The biggest disappointment is we didn't hold onto our lead until half-time. Because there wasn't a lot of opportunities in the game, you know it's going to be a tight one, so you have to see that phase out.

"Both teams didn't allow the other team to control the game. It was just a case of who was going to hurt who more."

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

  • 23Randolph
  • 2Dijksteel
  • 4Ayala
  • 6Fry
  • 5Shotton
  • 17McNair
  • 8ClaytonBooked at 86mins
  • 16Howson
  • 7Tavernier
  • 9AssombalongaSubstituted forFletcherat 80'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 10BrowneSubstituted forJohnsonat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Fletcher
  • 21Johnson
  • 22Saville
  • 26Wing
  • 27Bola
  • 36Walker
  • 42Pears

Preston

  • 1Rudd
  • 2FisherBooked at 90mins
  • 21Bauer
  • 6Davies
  • 15Rafferty
  • 4PearsonBooked at 65mins
  • 11JohnsonSubstituted forGallagherat 81'minutes
  • 10HarropSubstituted forNugentat 56'minutes
  • 8Browne
  • 24Maguire
  • 29BarkhuizenSubstituted forPottsat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Gallagher
  • 14Storey
  • 17Ginnelly
  • 18Ledson
  • 25Ripley
  • 35Nugent
  • 44Potts
Referee:
Darren England
Attendance:
17,961

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamPreston
Possession
Home42%
Away58%
Shots
Home15
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away1
Corners
Home2
Away3
Fouls
Home16
Away17

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Middlesbrough 1, Preston North End 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 1, Preston North End 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alan Browne (Preston North End) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Ben Pearson following a set piece situation.

  4. Booking

    Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Post update

    Darnell Fisher (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough).

  7. Post update

    Foul by Alan Browne (Preston North End).

  8. Post update

    Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  9. Booking

    Darnell Fisher (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Darnell Fisher (Preston North End).

  11. Post update

    Marvin Johnson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Adam Clayton following a set piece situation.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Patrick Bauer (Preston North End).

  14. Post update

    Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Darnell Fisher (Preston North End).

  16. Post update

    Marvin Johnson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Joseph Rafferty (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a set piece situation.

  18. Booking

    Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  19. Post update

    Alan Browne (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).

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