A spirited Town performance that deserved more, but Ryan Woods' own goal 11 mins from time gave the visitors the win.
Town: Weale, Woods, Mkandawire (c), Jacobson, Winfield, Summerfield, McAllister (Wildig, 84), Reach (Parry, 78), Taylor, Eaves, Bradshaw (Marsden, 84)
Unused Subs: Anyon, Jones, McQuade, Parry, Gayle
Preston: Rudd, Huntingdon, Clarke, Wright, Humphrey (Holmes, 61), Davies (Hume, 75), Garner, Buchanan, Welsh (c), Brownhill (Gallagher, 61), Kilkenny.
Unused Subs: Stuckmann, Keane, Laird, Beavon.
Goals: Woods (og), 79.
Referee: Mr M. Haywood
Assistants: Mr N. Hobbs & Mr D. Plowright
Fourth Official: Mr J. Clark
Attendance: 6,379 (1,523)
A Ryan Woods own goal 11 minutes from time gave Preston all three points in a 1-0 score line at Greenhous Meadow despite a spirited performance from Town that deserved a better outcome.
A slow burning opening period came to life on 20 minutes as Tom Eaves cut in from the right hand side a fired a stinging low effort on goal that Declan Rudd saved well.
Two minutes later and Preston had their first chance, a clever knockdown from veteran Kevin Davies found Josh Brownhill on the edge of the box, but his deflected effort bounced out for a corner.
Town continued to force the tempo but it was almost the visitors who went ahead in the 37th minute as Dave Winfield’s header failed to clear the lines and David Buchanan swivelled and shot but his effort flew narrowly wide.
With the clock ticking towards half-time, Jon Taylor cut in from the left and unleased a curling shot from the edge of box that had the home faithful roaring, but Rudd produced a flying save to deny the winger.
Half-time: Town 0-0 Preston North End
North End had two early headed chances to break the deadlock after the break, but neither Joe Garner nor Kevin Davies could keep their headers down as they flew harmlessly over the bar.
The dangerous Adam Reach almost provided for Luke Summerfield on 63 minutes, whipping in a dangerous low cross – but Summerfield couldn’t control his finish on the stretch as it ended up in the Salop Leisure Stand.
Town continued to force the pace, but against the run of play Preston snatched the lead 11 minutes from time. Substitute Iain Hume broke down the right and fired a dangerous low ball across the face of goal that the unlucky Ryan Woods could only slice into his own net when trying to clear.
Town pushed hard to find the equaliser but never really tested Rudd in the North End goal as the high-flyers held on to inflict a fourth straight home defeat on Salop.
Full-Time: Town 0-1 Preston North End