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Irvine left frustated by stalemate

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09 Dec 2009 09:04:11

Irvine left frustated by stalemate

In Tuesday night's Championship clash at Deepdale, Nigel Clough's visitors hit the woodwork themselves via DJ Campbell, who also appeared to be brought down early on inside the Preston area but the referee denied the appeals for a penalty. For the hosts, Ross Wallace hit the bar in the first half and Callum Davidson did likewise in the second, while Sam Parkin and Neil Mellor were also guilty of some wasteful finishing. The profligacy saw Preston's winless home run extended to six games, leaving Irvine far from happy. "Apparently we had 21 attempts at goal," the Preston boss said. "So it's a bit frustrating that we didn't get one or two in the net. "With that many shots at goal, we should be scoring. We made the the keeper work and we've hit the woodwork a couple of times, but having said that Derby did as well. "My immediate reaction was that they could have had a penalty. I've not seen it again, but that was my first reaction. "We put them under pressure after that though and could have won the game." If either side looked likely to nick a winner, it was the hosts, but it was the visitors who arguably could have been awarded a penalty after just 10 minutes, as a weak backpass from Neill Collins sold Andy Lonergan short. Campbell was alert to the danger and tapped the ball wide of the oncoming keeper only to seemingly be brought down but the referee awarded a goal-kick rather than a penalty. Preston then took control as Chris Sedgwick and Parkin both went close before Wallace hit the bar on the half-hour mark. That was the last of the first-half action, but it was Preston who looked most dangerous after the break as Mellor drew a low save from Stephen Bywater early on. The Rams responded by hitting the bar themselves through the lively Campbell, before Stephen Pearson wastefully volleyed the rebound wide. With seven minutes to go, Davidson then hit the woodwork as he was played in behind the Derby defence, but could not find a way past Bywater's near side. Campbell then went close again for the Rams - who still have not managed an away win all season - as his pace was too much for the tired Preston backline, but he could not find a goal to match his efforts. Nigel Clough was left to bemoan the denial of the early penalty shout. "We think it was a penalty," he said. "It feels like it's about our 14th that we've had turned down. Having said that, we were very good in the first half, but they came back strong in the second. "The second half was end to end and neither side really deserved to lose. It was a good match, but it was just that one elusive goal that didn't come our way. "But we can take a lot of heart and confidence from our three games unbeaten."


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