Hull City 0 Preston North End 1: Tigers three-match winning run ended by Preston
Cameron Archer hit the post in the first half before scoring at the start of the second to give the away side the lead following a cross by Ben Whiteman.
Both teams then had chances to score in the second half, with Tom Eaves having an effort disallowed for offside for Hull, but Preston held on for a crucial three points in the Sky Bet Championship.
It was the home side who started strongest, with North End goalkeeper Daniel Iversen called into action after just two minutes to claw a deflected header off the line.
Greg Docherty should perhaps have shot when through on the Preston goal midway through the first half but it was then the visitors who had the better of it.
Matt Ingram – in for the missing Nathan Baxter and playing for the first time since November – and Sean McLoughlin combined on more than one occasion to clear the ball off the line as momentum swung towards the away side.
Archer hit the post for the Lilywhites after Iversen produced one of the saves of the season to deny the impressive Eaves from point-blank range.
Preston began the second half well and thought they had gone ahead in the 49th minute until the referee blew up for a handball by captain Alan Browne.
North End were incensed but took the lead two minutes later as Archer finished well after Whiteman crossed from deep.
The home side did think they had the equaliser just before the hour mark but Eaves’ effort was ruled out for offside. Docherty had done tremendously well to stay on his feet before putting Eaves in but the frontman had gone just a little too early.
Hull threw everything they could at Preston in the last 15 minutes to try and rescue a point but it was not to be as owner Acun Illicali saw his new side lose for the first time in the league since taking over last month.