The 4 talking points from Preston North End's draw against Luton Town

It wasn’t the return to action that Preston North End were hoping for as they let a one goal lead slip in the 88th minute against Luton Town.

Saturday, 20th June 2020, 7:32 pm
Updated Sunday, 21st June 2020, 10:28 am

North End had largely controlled the game up until the Hatters’ first shot on target throughout, which Callum McManaman expertly dispatched across Declan Rudd in the closing stages, cancelling out Scott Sinclair’s smart finish.

Here are the four talking points from the 1-1 draw at Kenilworth Road.

1. Alan Browne is not just filling in.

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Alan Browne congratulates Scott Sinclair after the winger gave Preston the lead.

Alan Browne started the game at right back in favour of Darnell Fisher who had been struggling with a knock.

As the Irishman said post match, he’s not just there to fill in, he’s there to influence the game.

He plays the role well and many North End fans back him to be one of the best in the division should he stay there.

Saturday’s draw was another good example of his versatility, with Alex Neil also singling him out as the best on the pitch.

Solid and dogged in defence with the quality going forward of a number 10 - which is where he finished the game - it’s certainly a good option.

2. A goal for Sinclair but it’s still not enough.

Scott Sinclair showed his class as he rounded off a quick PNE break to coolly slot the ball past Simon Sluga from a tight angle after 53 minutes.

It could hopefully spark Sinclair into life for these remaining games but North End created few chances.

Sean Maguire had the next best chance of the game, trying to lift the ball over an onrushing Sluga from a tight angle but other than that, there wasn’t a lot to shout about.

More needs to be done in front of goal to secure the play-offs.

3. No room in the squad for the two Toms.

Neither Tom Clarke nor Tom Bayliss made the extended PNE matchday squad.

Clarke is nursing a knee injury, something which regularly plagues him.

Bayliss however is fully fit and has had a few minutes under his belt in the build up.

Neil did acknowledge that he’s on his way back from a long term injury but it seems the 21-year-old will have to remain patient for now.

4. PNE are still in the play-offs, for now.

Despite dropping points North End do still occupy that sixth place that they have often called home this season.

It has constantly been said that PNE don’t deserve that spot, yet it is still to be taken from them.

Blackburn Rovers’ win over Bristol City saw them usurp the Robins to number one contenders in seventh but they still need to make up a point on their Lancashire rivals.

Although there is a big gap between the games, that is now four without a win for the Lilywhites.

That’s a record that will certainly need addressing if they are to hold on to that position in the coming weeks.