Preston substitute Louis Moult scored an injury-time equaliser as luckless Hull were held 1-1 at the KCOM Stadium.
Jarrod Bowen’s late penalty had looked enough to earn the home side, who had begun the afternoon bottom of the Sky Bet Championship, three important points.
Bowen converted emphatically from the spot after 85 minutes when Chris Martin was adjudged to have been dragged down by Ben Davies.
But Preston refused to give up and Moult stunned the hosts when he scrambled home Darnell Fisher’s cross.
Hull manager Nigel Adkins will feel justice was not done in the context of the rest of the game as his team struck the woodwork three times.
Yet by contrast to the general narrative of the game, Preston set a steady, controlled tempo in the early stages.
Hull eventually found a way into what had been a lopsided contest, but a combination of good defending and moderate distribution left the home supporters calling for their manager to “sort it out”.
They did just that after 26 minutes when Kamil Grosicki, Hull’s most useful player going forward, engineered one of the best chances of the first half.
The Poland international spotted Reece Burke, who had made a pioneering run through the heart of midfield and squared an inviting pass 22 yards from goal.
Burke struck accurately with his right foot, but his good strike cannoned off the right post.
Burke’s misfortune signalled a shift in momentum, and Hull once again shivered the woodwork after 38 minutes when Dan Batty’s deflected cross from the right looped towards Chris Martin. But the big striker jumped a shade too early and his six-yard header hit the top of the crossbar when it seemed far easier to score.
Martin’s trespasses should have been redeemed in first-half injury time when he peeled away from Jordan Storey inside the Preston penalty area.
Martin’s cushioned, volleyed pass was as good as Batty’s right-wing delivery, but Eric Lichaj somehow spooned the football over the crossbar.
Grosicki continued to impress after the restart, with Fisher continually on the receiving end of the winger’s pacy dynamism. One such occasion allowed Jarrod Bowen a clear sight on goal, but his stabbed, left-footed hit was comfortably dealt with by Chris Maxwell.
The Preston goalkeeper needed to show greater dexterity on the hour mark when Grosicki let rip from 20 yards, but Maxwell was alert to the problem and parried the ball away for a corner.
Hull remained on top, but fortune was once again not on their side when Jackson Irvine’s lob into the Preston penalty area caused mayhem. Maxwell did well to tip the ball away from Bowen, with the resulting ricochet off North End centre-back Jordan Storey hitting the right post.
Moult’s header after 78 minutes required a smashing save from Hull goalkeeper David Maxwell after Bowen had put Hull in front, but the Preston striker ended up having the final word in a breathless finale.
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