There was plenty of effort and endeavour but no moment of magic and Nottingham Forest and Preston face a replay after a goalless FA Cup fourth-round tie at the City Ground.
Billy Davies' side found it difficult to break down a well organised Preston team as the visitors defended in numbers and asked questions of the Reds' invention and creativity.
North End tried to catch the Reds on the break and almost did so on a handful of occasions in the second half as Karl Darlow was the busier of the two goalkeepers.
That Forest did not muster a shot on goal in the second half until six minutes from the end underlines Preston's discipline and work rate.
It earned the Sky Bet League One side another chance of an upset at the beginning of next month when Forest travel to Deepdale.
The hosts made two changes. One was enforced with Henri Lansbury suspended so Radoslaw Majewski was recalled in midfield while the fit again Eric Lichaj replaced Dan Harding at left-back.
It was the same for Preston as Josh Brownhill and Chris Humphrey returned for former Derby trainee Lee Holmes and the banned Kevin Davies, with ex-Forest striker Joe Garner starting against his old club.
The only time Declan Rudd was seriously called into action was after nine minutes when he produced a solid block at his near post to palm behind a stinging shot on the turn from Simon Cox.
Preston stood up manfully to a handful of corners as Davies' side cranked up the pressure.
But it was not until the 38th minute that the Championship quality of the hosts really showed.
Good build-up play just outside the box eventually saw Gonzalo Jara get behind the Preston defence but his low cross was prodded wide by Jamie Mackie.
North End maintained their defensive discipline in the second half, looking to exploit the counter attack.
Garner almost did so in the 55th minute with a shot that narrowly cleared the crossbar.
Shortly afterwards Darlow, being watched by Premier League clubs, spilled a long-range effort from Paul Gallagher but there was no harm done and he gathered the ball at the second attempt.
The home goalkeeper was more assured midway through the second half with substitute Holmes' 25-yard shot, pushing it away to safety.
Andy Reid had Forest's only real effort of the second half, curling his shot comfortably wide.
Preston substitutes Iain Hume and Jack King went close late on, the latter forcing Darlow into a good save.
Forest sub Darius Henderson headed harmlessly wide stretching for the ball in injury time as neither side managed to find a late winner.