Simon Grayson rested the spine of his squad in Preston's game against Oldham. Bailey Wright was rested due to an ankle injury whilst the season's stars performers Keane, Davies and Rudd (save for a couple of errors on Saturday) were all rested with the later being on the bench as back up.
The line up was not surprising albeit the positional element was. Mousinho started at centre back alongside Huntigton. Alex Nicholson started his first game at right back with Laird on the left. Buchanan palyed ahead of Laird whilst youngster Croasdale started out right.
The midfield was packed with Welsh and Wroe whilst Holmes played off Garner. The starting eleven was ineffective but still had experience enough to make a game against Oldham.
The night started off badly as Preston conceded within thirty seconds. A cross came in and Philiskirk got on the end of the delivery as the ball dribbled past Stuckmann. It was not a good start for the makeshift backline.
Oldham doubled their lead after Wesolowski found some space in the box and converted a cross to fire past Stuckmann. Preston ahd rarely started and were already well behind int he game.
Oldham almost had a comical third when Stuckmann let the ball roll past him as he went to clear. North End did try to get a foothold int he game but Garner on his own was finding it difficult to hold the ball up.
The game changed int he second half. Clarke and Beavon came on int he second half to give North End more shape as well as solidity at the back. Garner was able to shine with the aid of his partner and had several opportunities.
Unfortunately North End could not find the back of the net despite several efforts on goal. The referee was also a little lenient althought he game was far froma dirty affair.
Grayson has defended his selection as it appears that he may well be in breach of the cometition rules if he effectively changes the majority of his squad on Saturday. He seemed fairly relaxed about his team selection and I suspect is glad to be out of the comepetition.
Preston have never faired well in this Trophy even under the days of Moyes and Peters when Preston were doing well. It is no surprise that Grayson rested the majority of his first eleven and the important point is to win on Saturday against Crewe.