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U's claim well-earned point on opening day of season
Colchester United started the new League One season by claiming a well-earned point at Deepdale.
The U's drew 0-0 with Preston North End after producing a hard-working and determined display, on the opening day.
Colchester were solid if not spectacular in the first half but goalkeeper Mark Cousins was the busier of the two goalkeepers.
He had to palm Nicky Wroe's free-kick over the bar early on and made a good save from Preston's Jeffrey Monakana late in the half.
But Monakana, who was the Lilywhites' best player in the first half, was lucky to be on the field in the first place having gone in heavily on U's keeper Cousins a few moments earlier.
After a long discussion with his assistant, referee Phil Gibbs decided to show the youngster a yellow card rather than a red, much to the disappointment of the U's fan behind the goal.
Monakana continued to torment the U's defence and forced Cousins to make a fine save in the early stages of the second half and Scott Laird then brought the Colchester keeper's best save of the match from long range.
The U's had their moments in attack, with John-Joe O'Toole forcing a save from Thorsten Stuckmann from close range.
But Colchester defended well and although Preston looked for a winner late on, they held out for a well-earned draw.
See Monday's Gazette for a full match report, pictures and reaction to Colchester's game at Preston North End.