Preston North End boss Alex Neil salutes stand-in goalkeeper Paul Gallagher after the draw at Ipswich

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Preston North End boss Alex Neil admitted his first inkling was to keep stand-in goalkeeper Paul Gallagher in midfield against Ipswich Town.

Gallagher had an afternoon to remember at Portman Road as he scored PNE's equaliser in the 1-1 draw and then played the last 20 minutes in nets after Chris Maxwell was sent-off for two yellow cards.

Preston boss Alex Neil on the touchline with Ipswich's Paul Lambert

Preston boss Alex Neil on the touchline with Ipswich's Paul Lambert

The 34-year-old had only been on the pitch two minutes as a substitute when he found the net, it being quite an occasion for him.

Neil had wanted Louis Moult to go in goal when Maxwell saw red as Gallagher was only one of two midfielders on the pitch.

But Gallagher persuaded his manager to let him have the gloves.

Neil said: "Gally fancied it, I wanted to put Louis in because we didn't have many midfielders on the pitch.

Paul Gallagher celebrates scoring for Preston at Ipswich

Paul Gallagher celebrates scoring for Preston at Ipswich

"I had wanted to keep the middle of the park in tact because if Gally went in goals I had one midfielder left in Ben Pearson.

"We had been ultra aggressive with our substitutions in chasing the game, we had four strikers on.

"But Louis had never been in goal and Gally was saying that he quite fancied himself as a goalkeeper.

"He made that late save so it warranted his decision.

"The team did well in front of him, I thought my back four was excellent.

"The amount of headers Tom Clarke, Paul Huntington and Ben Davies put in, those three in particular cleared a lot."

North End's games have not lacked drama this season, events in Suffolk a continuation of that theme.

Neil said: "It is never dull for us at the moment.

"Most games we are involved in are either 4-3, 3-3, 3-2 or have some sort of incident in the game.

"In the league we are the leading team for substitutions which effect the game so when I put Louis Moult, Lukas Nmecha and Gally on I expected them to effect the game in a positive manner.

"I think Gally scored with his first touch at Aston Villa as well with a free-kick."