Huddersfield Town played out a 0-0 draw with Preston North End in a game of few clear-cut opportunities for either side at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The visitors had the better of the late chances through substitutes Scott Sinclair and Sean Maguire, but Town held firm to pick up another important Sky Bet Championship point in West Yorkshire.
Three days on from the win at Birmingham on Wednesday night, Danny Cowley made two changes to his starting XI with Trevoh Chalobah coming in for his first start since the season’s resumption, alongside Alex Pritchard.
That meant a few landmark appearances amongst the Town team, including a 200th league start in Town colours for Jonathan Hogg, whilst Elias Kachunga made his 100th Terriers league appearance.
After a minute’s applause from both sides to mark and say thank you to the NHS on its 72nd birthday, the encounter got underway under sunny skies at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Still thriving on the energy brought by a first win since the restart in midweek, Town matched the promotion-chasing Lilywhites in the early stages, in a high tempo start from both teams.
With both sides attempting to seize the early initiative in West Yorkshire, the game’s first quarter lacked real chances at either end.
The drinks break on 22 minutes didn’t do much to change that either, but it was the visitors who registered the first half-chance, as Patrick Bauer met a corner from the right but his downward header evaded the goal.
As the break approached, it was another Josh Harrop corner from the right that provided the visitors’ bigger threat on goal, with Andrew Hughes meeting this one but he could only head over the crossbar.
Town’s first sighting of goal came courtesy of Lewis O’Brien who tried his luck from range, but his driven effort was straight down the throat of Preston ‘keeper Declan Rudd.
After a lengthy stoppage with Captain Christopher Schindler down past the 45th minute mark, a half of few chances was brought to a close by referee Darren Bond.
Looking to spark more of an attacking threat in the Town ranks, Danny Cowley made two changes at the break with Collin Quaner and Steve Mounié introduced.
Despite that, both sides continued to cancel each other out and it was the defensive work of the backlines that was most prominent.
Schindler looked to have shaken off the bang to the head he sustained in the first half, continuing to marshal Town’s defensive set up from the back, alongside Richard Stearman, with some tireless work to protect the Terriers’ goal as the minutes continued to tick away.
For an encounter that provided few clear-cut chances, Town had to be alert as the game entered five minutes of stoppage time.
Substitute Scott Sinclair had a duo of opportunities, firing wide on either side of the goal with them before fellow sub Sean Maguire saw his effort go close, but one that could only find the side netting from inside of the box.
The forward’s effort was the final kick of the game, with Town holding out to pick up another important point in the Terriers’ fight to stay in the Sky Bet Championship for next season.
Next up for Town is a trip to the Madejski Stadium to face Reading in the Sky Bet Championship on Tuesday 7 July 2020; 6pm kick-off.
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (4-2-3-1)
Jonas Lössl; Harry Toffolo, Christopher Schindler (c), Richard Stearman, Trevoh Chalobah (Jon Gorenc Stanković, 85’); Lewis O’Brien, Jonathan Hogg; Karlan Grant (Chris Willock, 75’), Alex Pritchard (Emile Smith Rowe, 55’), Elias Kachunga (Collin Quaner, 46’); Fraizer Campbell (Steve Mounié, 46’)
Joel Coleman; Rekeil Pyke, Andy King, Demeaco Duhaney
PRESTON NORTH END (4-2-3-1)
Declan Rudd; Andrew Hughes, Ben Davies, Patrick Bauer, Joe Rafferty; Ryan Ledson (Scott Sinclair, 84’), Ben Pearson; Josh Harrop (Sean Maguire, 72’), Alan Browne (c) (Jayden Stockley, 72’), Brad Potts, Thomas Barkhuizen (Billy Bodin, 87’)
Connor Ripley; Darnell Fisher, Tom Bayliss, Jordan Storey, David Nugent