Daniel Johnson coolly converted a first-half penalty to secure Preston a hard-earned 1-0 victory over a stuttering Bristol City in the English Championship.
Dean Holden’s City, who have not beaten Preston home or away in almost a decade, slid to a third defeat on the spin and a fourth in five games as they blew their chance to move into the play-off places.
A second straight home win for Alex Neil’s side, meanwhile, helps ease the disappointment of back-to-back away defeats in the past week.
The game was almost 20 minutes old before the hosts created the first opportunity, Sean Maguire neatly playing in the advancing Scott Sinclair only for his well-struck angled effort to take a slight deflection before drifting wide.
Within a minute North End went close again when Maguire saw a close-range strike saved by Daniel Bentley having been teed up by skipper Alan Browne.
But the hosts struck from the spot in the 21st minute, Sinclair having been tripped by Taylor Moore after he made a purposeful run into the City box and Johnson beating Bentley with a comfortable finish.
The win takes Preston to 26 points and 13th position while Bristol are ninth, two points off the playoff places.