Preston North End took a point in their first game back in the Sky Bet Championship after a goalless draw with Middlesbrough at Deepdale.It was May's Sky Bet League 1 Play-Off Final winners against the Sky Bet Championship Final's runners-up that concluded Match Round 1 of Football League action, but it was a game of few clear-cut chances.
Preston had a strong opportunity to open the scoring early in the first half as Paul Gallagher's whipped corner found Bailey Wright unmarked, but he headed off target.
Moments later it was Boro who could have gone ahead, when Grant Leadbitter's neat one-two with Kike eventually saw him fire narrowly wide.
Will Keane also had an effort cleared off the line for the Lilywhites, while in the second period, the best chance fell to Albert Adomah, who latched onto Diego Fabbrini's through-ball and rounded North End keeper Jordan Pickford, only to see the ball cleared.
Joe Garner was lively throughout, and could have stole a winner late on for the hosts, but his header echoed both sides' previous efforts, and was pulled wide.