Middlesbrough 0 Preston North End 0
Sat 26th Aug 3.00pm
Disappointing Middlesbrough were held to a scoreless draw by lively Preston North End at the Riverside.
The visitors were brighter for the majority of the contest and Jordan Hugill curled narrowly wide before Tom Barkhuizen struck against an upright.
Home goalkeeper Darren Randolph was then required to turn aside a Paul Huntington header and also kept out Sean Maguire's low drive - those either side of the interval.
The Lilywhites continued to appear the more threatening outfit into the second period, and Barkhuizen's close-range header was once again thwarted by the outstanding Randolph.
His opposite number Chris Maxwell was though finally challenged by substitute Stewart Downing's low drive inside the final ten minutes - although it was an all-too-rare occurrence.
A first draw of the season leaves Boro ninth in the table and already eight points behind the early leaders.
Middlesbrough: Randolph, Fry, Gibson, Friend (Bamford 55), Christie, Howson, Clayton, Baker (Downing 55), Fabio, Assombalonga, Gestede
subs (unused): Konstantopoulos, Ayala, Leadbitter, Fletcher, Roberts
Preston North End: Maxwell, Fisher, Huntington, Davies, Earl, Pearson (Harrop 70), Barkhuizen (Mavididi 75), Johnson, Browne, Maguire (Robinson 90), Hugill
subs (unused): Vermijl, Horgan, Spurr, Hudson
Ref: D. England