The Sky Blues' trip to Deepdale ended in defeat despite Tyler Walker scoring for a second game in a row.
The first half began with the hosts earning a corner, but Simon Moore was alert to the danger from the off, making a diving save from Jordan Storey’s header and pushed the ball away from goal.
But the Sky Blues weren’t off to a slow start either when Callum O’Hare crossed in from the right and found Viktor Gyökeres, but his first-time shot was blocked by Patrick Bauer.
The visitors then won a corner with the recalled Gustavo Hamer almost finding the back of the net direct from the quadrant with North End ‘keeper Daniel Iversen needing to punch the effort away off his goal line.
Hamer was meeting his match in the early exchanges with his well-placed freekick being tipped away by the diving Danish shot stopper.
Ben Whiteman then played the ball across the edge of the box to Damian Johnson who set up Josh Earl but after cutting inside the wing back’s shot went flying wide.
Hamer then found Tyler Walker, with the striker looking for his second goal in as many games, but his efforted was deflected over for a corner.
City were building momentum as Fankaty Dabo’s cross wrong footed Iversen who could only clear the ball away for a corner.
The hosts responded when a cross field ball found Earl, but his low cross was intercepted by Kyle McFadzean.
Dabo broke away from the following corner and played in Gyökeres out wide who switched the ball to his strike partner Walker, but he couldn’t quite bend the ball into the far corner.
But on the stroke of half time Walker did find the back of the net, when O’Hare played the striker in and despite initially losing his footing, he regained composure and fired into the top corner!
HALF TIME: Preston North End 0-1 Sky Blues
Preston had the first chance of the half when Whiteman’s free kick was deflected wide after Liam Kelly prevented a breakaway.
Bauer then tried a shot from range but from the resulting corner Storey headed over the top of the bar.
However, the hosts would equalise through Bauer after he headed in Whiteman’s cross just after the hour mark.
North End then almost took the lead when a minute later Emil Riis Jakobsen’s cross met the head of skipper Alan Browne with his goal bound effort tipped round the post by Moore.
But there was little Moore could do to deny Preston’s second when Jakobsen fired a shot into the roof of the net after being played in by Browne.
As City looked for an equaliser Dabo was unfortunate to see successive crosses fall to Preston men with Bauer heading away his initial effort but a follow up was claimed by Iversen.
Third time lucky, Dabo found Walker on the edge of the box, but the forward couldn’t bring the ball under his control when under pressure.
Hamer then swung a free kick in but despite Walker beating Iversen to the ball in the air he was flagged offside.
FULL TIME: Preston North End 2-1 Sky Blues
SCORERS: Patrick Bauer (61’), Emil Riis Jakobsen (69’); Tyler Walker (45’)
CARDS: Andrew Hughes (23’), Patrick Bauer (50’); Liam Kelly (51’)
Sky Blues XI: Simon Moore (GK), Fankaty Dabo, Dom Hyam, Kyle McFadzean, Michael Rose, Ian Maatsen, Liam Kelly (C) (Ben Sheaf 74‘), Gustavo Hamer, Callum O'Hare (Jamie Allen 74‘), Tyler Walker, Viktor Gyökeres (Martyn Waghorn 74‘).
Unused subs: Ben Wilson (GK), Jake Clarke-Salter, Todd Kane, Jordan Shipley.
Preston North End XI: Daniel Iversen (GK), Sepp Van Der Berg, Jordan Storey, Patrick Bauer, Andrew Hughes, Josh Earl, Ben Whiteman, Alan Browne (C), Daniel Johnson (Brad Potts 79‘), Emil Riis Jakobsen (Josh Murphy 85’), Scott Sinclair (Tom Barkhuizen 79‘).
Unused Subs: Declan Rudd (GK), Greg Cunningham, Liam Lindsay, Ryan Ledson.