Wanderers suffered their first home league defeat since December when going down by three goals to one at home to Preston on Saturday afternoon.
The Whites drew first blood through Mark Beevers, with him opening the scoring early in the first half when poking the ball home inside the Lilywhites' six-yard box.
An effort from Tom Barkhuizen and a brace from substitute Sean Maguire however in the second period saw the visitors take all three points.
Phil Parkinson made two changes from the side that drew 0-0 against Norwich City last weekend with Josh Vela and Tyler Walker returning to the starting XI at the expense of Reece Burke and Adam Le Fondre who were named among the substitutes. Suspended duo Mark Little and Karl Henry served the last match of the bans.
Wanderers had an early opportunity to add some heat on an otherwise frozen day not long after kick off when they were awarded a free-kick from just outside the box after Sammy Ameboi was pushed in the back. Filipe Morais opted to float the ball in but if drifted away for a goal kick.
North End were quite lively too and had a couple of set pieces of their own which amounted to nothing as they strived to get an early initiative.
Billy Bodin should have done better when he was put through but he hesitated and allowed Antonee Robinson to catch up with him which distracted him. Ben Alnwick narrowed down the angle and the Wanderers keeper blocked the shot from the visiting frontman.
Bodin followed this up with another effort as Wanderers failed to clear their lines on a couple of occasions. This time his header from a whipped in ball failed to trouble Alnwick who safely gathered the effort.
But it was the hosts who took their advantage after 12 minutes thanks to Mark Beevers opening goal of the campaign. Robinson’s probing run had earned a corner for Wanderers. North End failed to deal with the ball and Josh Vela had a thumping drive cleared off the line; however, Beevers was the first to react and prodded home to send the home fans wild
Beevers could have had another, again from a corner, just five minutes later when his glancing header was cleared off the line.
The travelling 3,800 Preston fans were silenced by now.
But Tommy Barkhuizen almost ended that when he carved out a chance, twisting his markers inside and out, before seeing his shot caress the fingertips of the imperious Alnwick.
At the other end, a great interchange between Vela and Ameobi resulted in the former finding plenty of space. However, the midifelder’s delivery didn’t the pace to find Morais who was clamouring for the pass.
Wanderers commenced the second half with another free kick in a decent position. Morais’ ball was swung in but Declan Rudd got to it before any trouble occurred.
The visitors got themselves on even terms after 52 minutes when Barkhuizen outmuscled Dervite to calmly guide past the advancing Alnwick.
Callum Robinson should have put the visits in front when he blasted high and wide from close range as the visitors sought to capitalise on their momentum.
Parkinson responded by making a double substitution with Le Fondre and Kirchhoff coming on for Walker and Karacan.
Kirchoff, with his first touch in a Wanderers shirt, managed to get aheader on target off a Morais free-kick.
Substitute Maguire put the visitors in font with 13 minutes of the game remaining when his close range shot came in off the post to nestle in the back of the net.
Ruddy parried a Vela drive moments later as Wanderers looked to restore parity.
Parkinson’s last throw of the dice saw Aaron Wilbraham come on for captain Pratley.
But Maguire's second in stoppage time ensured that the visitors took all three points back down the M61 with them.