Championship league leaders Queens Park Rangers proved too strong for North End, as the Lilywhites fell victim to two fabulous goals from star man Adel Taarabt.Advertisement
An error from Andy Lonergan gave QPR an early lead, as he fumbled a cross from Kyle Walker, allowing Rob Hulse to poke the ball in for 1-0.
The game saw PNE loan signing Richie De Laet pull on a Preston shirt for the first time, while Michael Tonge and Danny Pugh also started.
North End had a good spell of possession in the 10 minutes following the QPR opener, but failed to make their pressure count, with new boy De Laet and Wayne Brown missing good chances.
20 minutes in, North End had a let-off after stand-in captain Wayne Brown lost possession and allowed Mackie to attack the PNE goal, fortunately, the striker put the ball wide.
Lonergan managed to make amends on 25 minutes, as Mackie was put clean through; but the Preston keeper was off his line quickly to deny the Scotsman.
Preston had a good chance on 31 minutes, with all three loanees linking up well, De Laet whipped in a corner which Tonge knocked down to Danny Pugh, who saw a volley fly just wide of the QPR goal.
QPR had a goal disallowed 10 minutes before half-time, as Leon Clarke was adjudged to have handled the ball before putting it into the North End net.
Preston had a glorious chances just seconds before half-time, as QPR’s Paddy Kenny made a mess of a punch from a Hume free-kick; but somehow the ball failed to settle down for an onrushing PNE player.
The Lilywhites started the second half the brighter of the two sides, with Adam Barton missing a glorious chance on the 53rd minute.
Hume played a good ball into Jon Parkin who slid it to Adam Barton, whose shot was straight at Kenny from a tight angle.
Just moments later, Preston found themselves 2-0 down.
QPR played the ball out of defence, and Adel Taarabt picked up the ball 30 yards out, before curling the ball over Andy Lonergan into the corner of the net.
Preston showed good fight and commitment, but just failed to settle.
QPR attacked the Preston goal continuously for the next 15 minutes, and despite a number of Preston attacks, grabbed their third goal 10 minutes from time.
Taarabt was the goalscorer again, picking up the ball in space, before striking the ball past the helpless Lonergan.
Preston did manage to grab a late goal, but it had to come from a QPR player.
The ball bobbled around in the Rangers’ area, before hitting the chest of Matthew Connolly, and dropping into bottom corner.
The result leaves Preston bottom of the Championship, six points away from safety, with many fans once again calling for the head of manager Darren Ferguson.
PNE: Lonergan, Gray, St Ledger, Brown, De Laet, Tonge, Barton, Russell, Pugh, Parkin, Hume.
Subs: Arestidou, Morgan, James, Mayor, Parry, Jones, McLaughlin.
QPR: Kenny, Hill, Hall, Taarabt, Clarke, Faurlin, Mackie, Gorkss, Walker, Connolly, Hulse.
Subs: Cerny, Leigertwood, Helguson, Rowlands, Agyemang, Ephraim, Andrade