It was a very significant substitution, Paul Gallagher coming off the bench to take the place of Daniel Johnson who had a foot injury.
Gallagher stepped on to the pitch in the 31st minute and in the second half scored North End’s winner from the penalty spot.
Only in three other games as Lilywhites manager has Neil only used one sub.
Against Rotherham on New Year’s Day, Neil limited his use of the bench to Calum Woods replacing Andrew Hughes. That afternoon, he had four teenagers on the bench as injuries bit deep into the squad.
Against Middlesbrough at Deepdale last November, Lukas Nmecha came on for Louis Moult.
The season before at Wolves, Stephy Mavididi was the single substitute used in place of Josh Harrop.
Last week at The Valley, Neil was close a few times to making a second change.
He had Billy Bodin primed to replace Jayden Stockley but changed his mind.
Three times Bodin was stood up and ready to come on, only for Neil to think twice and not make the sub.
Bodin said: “I was going to come on just before we got the penalty. It was Jayden who won the penalty so the gaffer changed his mind.
“Then I got up again and got told I was coming on but didn’t and then there was a third time.
“That is what happens sometimes, the manager makes decisions while he is on his feet.
“It is part and parcel of football, it has happened to me a few times but never a hat-trick of getting up and not coming on!
“At the end of the day the manager makes decision and the lads went on to get the win. That was the important thing, it is a squad game.”