Preston North End substitutes made history against Luton but didn't have the impact hoped
Preston North End bringing on Jayden Stockley and Billy Bodin in stoppage-time at Luton was insignificant as far as their impact on the few remaining minutes was concerned.
However, the attacking pair will have an entry in the PNE history books for their brief cameo.
It was the first time the Lilywhites had made more than three substitutions in a league game.
FIFA’s rule change which is designed to help teams cope with the return to action after the long lay-off now allows for five changes.
There are only three opportunities to make the substitutions so not to slow the flow of the game too much.
Stockley and Bodin joined the action soon after PNE had conceded Luton’s equaliser.
Earlier in the second half, David Nugent had come on for Sean Maguire up front.
Then Darnell Fisher and Brad Potts joined the action as part of a 77th minute double change.
It will be argued that the substitutions didn’t have the desire affect, bearing in mind the Hatters came back to force a draw.
The changes were made both with tactics and freshness taken into account.
Nugent for Maguire was in the hope of keeping the ball more up front.
Fisher and Potts came on for Paul Gallagher and Scott Sinclair, taking Gallagher off designed to give him a breather.
The arrival of Fisher was designed to release Alan Browne from right-back duty and into midfield, while also getting game time into the legs of Fisher.
Browne did very well in the full-back slot though, to the extent he was PNE’s man of the match.
North End boss Alex Neil said: “We just needed to make some subs with us having not played for such a long time.
“Tactically we wanted to freshen it up too.
“Once we got the goal we wanted more of a platform so the ball could stick more at the top end.
“We put good legs on so that we could counter. I’m happy with the things we did but a lapse in concentration cost us at the end.”
PNE’s unused subs were Josh Harrop, Ryan Ledson, Jordan Storey and goalkeeper Connor Ripley.
From an attacking sense, Harrop was the alternative to those Neil chose to bring on.
Paul Huntington, Joe Rafferty and Tom Bayliss were the other players to travel to Kenwilworth Road but did not make the cut for the 20-man match day squad.