A solitary goal from Morgan Gibbs-White gave Swansea City the points on the opening day of the Championship season at Deepdale.
The strike, eight minutes after half-time, from close range, was Steve Cooper’s side’s only shot on target on a frustrating afternoon for Preston North End.
The visitors kicked-off off the 2020/21 campaign, but in a tight first half, it was the Lilywhites who had the first chance - Tom Barkhuizen, playing in attack seeing a shot blocked on 14 minutes after a ricochet into his path from Andrew Hughes’ cross from the left.
The Swans only chance in the first half fell to summer signing Jamal Lowe; the former Wigan man seeing his shot blocked by PNE skipper and right back Alan Browne, after a quick break from the Welsh side.
The opening goal of the season in PR1 came after the interval, as Andre Ayew switched the ball from the right to Jake Bidwell over-lapping on the left. He drilled across the ball into the six-yard box to where Wolves loanee Gibbs-White fired home from just outside the six-yard box, Connor Ripley having no chance in the goal.
This effort changed the game. Manager Alex Neil moved to a back three, with Jayden Stockley and Sean Maguire introduced as a front two and for the last 30 minutes it was defence against attack, with PNE having close to 80 per cent possession.
The best of the chances that came in that final half hour was on 61 minutes, as some lovely slick passing saw Potts find Barkhuizen down the left. The No.29 check back onto his favoured right foot, firing hard a low, on loan Newcastle keeper Freddie Woodman making a fine save, the ricochet falling back to Potts, but his effort was over the bar when leaning back trying to keep down a bouncing ball.
Three chances fell in the final three minutes. Firstly a Stockley header was straight at the Swansea No.1 from Browne’s cross, then Paul Gallagher and Ben Pearson both saw shots from the edge of the ‘D’ blocked by tackles either side of the 90 minute mark as Swansea held on for the win.
PNE line-up: Ripley, Browne (c), Hughes, Pearson, Storey, Davies, Bodin (Maguire, 57), Ledson (Gallagher, 72), Barkhuizen, Potts, Sinclair (Stockley, 57). Subs not used: Hudson, Bauer, Harrop, Rafferty.
Swansea City line-up: Woodman, Rodon, Guehi, Smith, Grimes (c), Lowe (Routledge, 79), Ayew, Gibbs-White (Fulton, 63), Roberts, Bidwell, Cabango. Subs not used: Benda, Peterson, Cullen, Dhanda, Naughton.
Referee: Mr R Jones