Preston North End were beaten 1-0 at the home of Hull City, as Jaden Philogene’s 68th-minute strike proved to be the difference.
There were warning signs there from Philogene who was causing problems on the left all afternoon, but for North End they will have felt hard done by to have three penalty shouts waved away, with the best of them seeing Alan Browne brought down as he looked to break through on goal.
Philogene’s decider came halfway through the second period as he cut inside and sent an effort in off the post to earn his side the three points.
North End had a bright start to the game, backed by a sold-out away end in fine voice, but it was the visitors who had plenty of chances inside the opening quarter of an hour.
Philogene had a go a couple of times, with the first of those efforts being blocked on its route to goal by Liam Lindsay, before he blazed over from 25 yards a few moments later.
Scott Twine then had a free-kick in a promising position on 15 minutes, but he bent his strike just wide of goal from 30 yards.
At the other end, skipper Browne went down under a challenge from Jacob Greaves and felt aggrieved when referee Martin Woods awarded nothing.
North End were then forced into a double change just after the half-hour mark as Greg Cunningham and Will Keane picked up injuries, and Kian Best and Milutin Osmajić came on in their place.
Osmajić – who scored six minutes after his introduction against Southampton on Wednesday – almost made another instant impact, but couldn’t quite divert Duane Holmes’ cross on target.
PNE then got away with one in the final action of the half as the lively Philogene broke through one-on-one with Woodman, but he surprisingly opted not to shoot. Instead, the attack slowed down and the visitors cleared the danger.
Five minutes after the break, North End couldn’t believe they weren’t awarded a penalty as Alfie Jones brought down Browne in the area as he looked to break through on goal – again, appeals were dismissed.
Browne was involved in a fantastic move in the 65th minute as PNE were patient in possession before creating an opening for the captain to break down the right. He pulled the ball back for Liam Millar and the Canadian took a touch before seeing his strike deflect wide of goal.
It seemed Ryan Lowe’s side had all the momentum, but the Tigers broke three minutes later through Philogene, and the winger hit an effort off the inside of the post and into the back of the net.
It looked as though substitute Ched Evans had done enough to fire his side level eight minutes from time, but goalkeeper Ryan Allsop stuck out his left boot to deny the No.9.
With just two minutes left on the clock, defender Jacob Greaves so nearly sent the ball beyond Allsop from an inviting Ben Whiteman corner, but it went over the bar and that’s where the goalmouth action ended.
Hull City line-up: Allsop; Coyle, Jones, McLoughlin, Greaves; Traoré, Seri, Twine; Lokilo (Docherty, 72), Delap, Philogene (Vinagre, 95). Subs not used: Ingram, Tufan, Sinik, Vaughan, Smith, Christie, Connolly.
PNE line-up: Woodman; Potts, Storey, Lindsay, Cunningham (Best, 32); Whiteman, Ledson (Woodburn, 76), Holmes (Evans, 60), Browne, Millar (Brady, 76); Keane (Osmajić, 32). Subs not used: Cornell, Bauer, Frøkjær, Stewart.
Referee: Mr M Woods.