Preston 0-0 Bolton Player Ratings: Wonderful Wheater

Mavididi, starting his 5th EFL game, tussles with Henry, who is in his 18th season –

With Preston edging the first half of this Lancashire derby and Bolton edging the second, the eventual 0-0 draw was a fair reflection on the balance of play. Here’s six things from the game.

Preston North End

Chris Maxwell – commanded his area well in the first half and made one or two simple saves with minimal fuss, before an impressive stop from Armstrong after the break. 7

Calum Woods – held his ground well against Armstrong for the most part, although he was turned inside out by the forward on one occasion in the second half. Didn’t offer much going forward. 4
Paul Huntington – some good cross-field passes out from the back in the first half and was colossal in the air, even if he couldn’t turn home Gallagher’s early delivery from a tight angle. Provided the kind of experience Preston will need at the back with some many established first teamers out. 9
Andy Boyle – his passing early on could have been better and he might have scored from a deft header from Gallagher’s ball in, but he made one or two good headers and interceptions towards the end of the first half and steadily grew in confidence from there. 7
Kevin O’Connor – put in a good cross on 30 minutes that was headed wide by Mavididi but was less adventurous after the break, partly due to his minor second half injury that forced him to play within himself. 5

Ben Pearson – he was a controlling influence in the first half hour, when he was always picking up second balls. While he was forced back a little more as the game went on, he never lost his tenacity and was always committed to the cause. 7
Paul Gallagher – the low-intensity nature of Bolton’s play suited him in the first half as he had time to pick his passes, as well as posing a threat from set pieces. After the break, the tempo increased and the game passed him by, before he was taken off with a quarter of an hour to play. 6

Tom Barkhuizen –hugely impressive in the first half hour and showed great pace and movement, causing problems for the opposing left-back. Waned in influence thereon, seeing less of the ball in the final third. 5
Alan Browne – showed boundless energy. Sometimes he was pressing in the final third to win a corner, at other times he made a covering run in the defensive third to concede one. Wanted to be where the action was. 6
Callum Robinson – at times switched over to the right flank to provide overloads and showed some nice touches, but other players were more influential in Preston’s positive first half and it is telling that he was the first man to be taken off. 4

Stephy Mavididi – a willing runner throughout the first half, when he was either pressing Beevers or trying to drive beyond him after picking the ball up on the half-turn. This all-go mentality perhaps hindered him in the second half, when he had nothing left in the tank. 4

Daryl Horgan (on 68) – one or two nice touches, but lacked the explosive bursts of speed that would have been ideal in the helter-skelter nature of the contest. 5
Daniel Johnson (on 75) – couldn’t quite adjust to the tempo of the game. 4
Josh Harrop (on 82) – no shortage of energy but appeared reluctant to use his left foot, which at times slowed things down. 5

Bolton Wanderers

Ben Alnwick – his attempts to find Madine with almost every goal-kick in the first half didn’t help Bolton’s play, but he did recover from an early flap to save from Gallagher, Robinson and Browne. 6

Mark Little – in the first half he was at times the only player looking to apply pressure on the ball – in the second he made a couple of powerful runs that went unrewarded. Had he been given the freedom to get forward more often, Wanderers might have had more joy. 6
David Wheater – made some good defensive headers that helped Bolton stay in the game when they were under the cosh and was commanding throughout. Not a free-kick taker though! 9
Mark Beevers – struggled to cope with the pace of Mavididi in the first half, but grew more comfortable with the Arsenal loanee after the break. 7
Antonee Robinson – couldn’t get close to Barkhuizen in the first half hour and looked timid defensive. Put in some nice crosses in after the break, but without adequate protection, Preston might feel they could have tested him more. 4

Darren Pratley – didn’t engage with the ball early enough in the first half, but imposed himself far more after the break, when he made a number of crunching challenges. 5
Karl Henry – picked up a yellow card inside the first two minutes and from the rest of the first half, he played within himself. Became braver after the break and had a rasping long-range drive that flew just over. 5

Sammy Ameobi – Bolton’s liveliest player, even in the first half when he set up an opening for Vela. Completed plenty of dribbles and could hold the key to his side’s survival chances. 6
Josh Vela – his set pieces weren’t the best. Had the closest effort of the first half, firing over with his left-foot, but might have been more influential from a deeper role. 3
Adam Armstrong – struggled to escape the attentions of Woods, with one tame shot in the first half at the keeper. Came alive to provide the biggest test of the evening for Maxwell in the second half, but that was one moment in 90 minutes – to play out wide, he needs to be more alert out of possession. 3

Gary Madine – didn’t get the best service. Not the type of striker that likes running in behind and only for brief periods did he get balls into him from good areas. Often won the initial ball, as he did three times in the first 60 seconds, only to be crowded out due to a lack of support. It’s not his fault Bolton didn’t score. 5

Will Buckley (on 72) – looked lively and put in a couple of teasing crosses, helping his side finish on the front foot. 7
Filipe Morais (on 87)