Callum Robinson was Preston’s derby hero as his late strike earned the Lilywhites a 3-2 win in a pulsating match against Blackburn.
Daniel Johnson twice gave Preston the lead, the second time from the spot, only for Danny Graham to equalise both times, but Robinson’s strike ensured local bragging rights for the hosts.
Both sides began the Sky Bet Championship match cautiously before Johnson’s curling strike into the bottom corner sparked the game into life in the 18th minute.
Robinson crossed low for Marnick Vermijl, and the midfielder, with his back to goal, teed up Johnson who beat Jason Steele with an unstoppable strike from 18 yards out.
Preston were in front for just three minutes before Johnson went from hero to villain, clumsily bringing down Sam Gallagher in the area.
Graham stepped up to take the penalty and, despite Chris Maxwell saving the spot-kick low to his right, and parrying away the rebound, the striker levelled at the third attempt.
More drama was to follow on the half hour too, after Simon Makienok’s back-post header was brilliantly turned onto the post by Steele.
Rovers’ relief was short-lived as referee Kevin Friend awarded a penalty, after correctly spotting a handball by Darragh Lenihan as he challenged Makienok, for which the defender was booked.
It gave Johnson the chance of a reprieve, and in front of the away fans he stepped up to coolly send Steele the wrong way and restore Preston’s lead despite visiting boss Owen Coyle’s furious protestations.
With Rovers still reeling, Robinson then caught Jason Lowe in possession after 33 minutes and ran at the defence but shot high and wide across goal.
Blackburn could have been level on the stroke of half-time, but Maxwell tipped Graham’s header wide and Lenihan missed with a free header from the resultant corner.
Rovers wanted another penalty five minutes after the restart, when Corry Evans went down in the area under pressure from Ben Pearson, but Friend waved away the appeals.
At the other end, Makienok headed down for strike partner Jordan Hugill after 57 minutes but he volleyed wildly over.
Graham, playing off the shoulders of the defenders, remained a threat however and there was a warning of what was to come when Bailey Wright slid in to deflect his shot wide after 65 minutes.
Five minutes later, Graham was in again, from Derrick Williams’ through-ball, and this time his left-footed shot deflected off Tom Clarke and span beyond Maxwell at the near post for the leveller.
Robinson restored Preston’s lead after 80 minutes, taking one touch to control Greg Cunningham’s cross before coolly finishing low into the bottom corner.
There was still time remaining for Blackburn’s Ben Marshall to fire just over from an 18-yard free-kick, right in the middle of the D, after 86 minutes.
But, despite six minutes of added time, Preston held on to climb back into the top half of the table.
Blackburn, meanwhile, stay 21st – with only goal difference keeping them out of the drop zone.