An early goal by Paul Gallagher – albeit a rebound from an initially saved penalty – is normally a good thing for North End.
In the cold of Deepdale on Saturday it did not have its usual ‘warming’ effect as the game went quite flat for the remainder of the first half.
Luton were there for the taking; it being increasingly difficult for ‘Town’ clubs who come up from League One without a sugar daddy or the benefit of parachute payments.
However, this seemed to have a negative impact on the hosts as they somehow struggled to step-up that extra half gear to the level seen against Fulham on Tuesday evening. Against this context, it was no surprise to this fan that the visitors equalised via a penalty of their own shortly before the break.
Later footage showed it may well have been dubious, but as our penalty was quite soft we could have no real complaints. Preston started the second half with much more purpose, but then came up against the next problem … Luton doing to us what we are accused of by the ‘big clubs’ of this division.
Disrupting the game and running the clock down at every opportunity. The visitors should have taken the lead when a Ben Pearson stumble let in Harry Cornick one-on-one with Declan Rudd.
A superb save by Rudd with his feet kept parity and proved to be critical just a few minutes later when substitute Jayden Stockley calmly put the game to bed with his second goal of the season following a goal-mouth scramble.
Three points in the bag and let’s move on quickly to the two difficult away matches in Cardiff and Leeds.