Brighton 0 Preston North End 0: Henderson draws rare positives from a dire draw

Click to follow

Billy Davies spoke of an important away draw for his Preston side; Mark McGhee, after an end to a run of six successive defeats, saw "a point that we can build on". It would be a perverse personality that took genuine pleasure from this dire goalless draw. That, or a goalkeeper.

Certainly Wayne Henderson was bubbling after excellent saves to keep out a Danny Dichio volley and a firm drive from Claude Davis, although that perhaps says more about how frustrated he had become with life under David O'Leary at Aston Villa than about Saturday's misery at the Withdean. After making his debut for the Republic of Ireland against Sweden earlier in the month, though, the 22-year-old has reason to be happy.

"Whenever I've gone out anywhere [on loan] I seemed to do well, and I stayed involved with the international set up, but for whatever reason he [O'Leary] never gave me the chance," Henderson said.

"It was hard to try to speak to him because of the way he was. I learned a lot there, so I'm very thankful, but I'm glad I've come here to a club I love playing for."

He thinks Brighton can survive. "We're a big bunch of mates here and the fighting spirit you saw is another positive," he said.

Henderson's sense of well-being, however, is not common at Brighton. They have won one of their past 14 games in all competitions, lie second bottom of the Championship, and were hit last week with the news that their move to a new stadium at Falmer will be delayed until at least 2009 following a protest by Lewes council.

It has often been said that the Withdean, a place that seems to suck the life out of games, is no place for Championship football. The danger is that by next season it won't be at all.

Brighton (5-3-2): Henderson; Hinshelwood, McShane, Butters, El-Abd, Lynch (Hart, 45); Carpenter, Hammond, Frutos (Loft, 90); Kazim-Richards, Carole. Substitutes not used: Mayo, Martin (gk), Gatting.

Preston North End (4-4-2): Nash; Mears, Mawene, Davis, Alexander; Sedgwick (Whaley, 72), Jarrett, McKenna, Davidson; Nugent (Ormerod, 82), Dichio (Agyemang, 72) Substitutes not used: Hill, L Neal.

Referee: A Hall (W Midlands).

Booked: Brighton Carpenter; Preston McKenna, Sedgwick, Jarrett.

Man of the match: Henderson.

Attendance: 6,361.