A 90th minute penalty condemned Preston North End to defeat by Shrewsbury Town as their Deepdale woes continued.
Shrews skipper Matt Richards slammed home from the spot after young left-back Ben Davies had brought down Marvin Morgan in the box.
North End had taken a first-half lead through Stuart Beavon’s superb 30-yard shot, the visitors pulling level just after the hour when Jon Taylor drilled home.
After the equaliser, PNE squandered a number of decent chances to restore their advantage.
Those misses proved costly as Shrewsbury conjured up their late winner which gave them only their second victory on the road this season.
For North End, it was an 11th home league game without a win, a run stretching back more than four months.
Peter Ridsdale and four of the directors stayed talking in the directors’ box long after the final whistle.
Graham Westley had made one change to the North End side.
Beavon replaced Jeffrey Monakana in the starting XI after being on the bench for last week’s 2-2 draw against Coventry City.
There was another start for 17-year-old Davies at left-back after his steady first-team debut in the Coventry game.
Declan Rudd, signed on loan from Norwich City during the week, was named among the substitutes.
The bench also included John Welsh after his recovery from a thigh strain which ruled him out of the last game.
Shrewsbury, with just one away league victory to their name, had ex-PNE winger Paul Parry on the bench.
The first half was in the main lifeless, Beavon’s strike in the run-up to the interval the only moment of any real quality.
Graham Cummins saw an early shot blocked in the six-yard box by Yado Mambo, although the effort lacked power and probably wouldn’t have reached goal.
In the 17th minute, Shrews striker Morgan chased a hopeful ball down the left and managed to keep it in play.
He lifted a cross into the box which David McAllister got on the end of, putting a header just over the bar.
Beavon volleyed over from a Lee Holmes cross, while a simialr effort at the other end from McAllister was held by Thorsten Stuckmann.
Cummins should have done better when a Jack King knock down fell to him 10 yards out, but the Irishman miscontrolled and the chance went begging.
North End took a 43rd minute lead, the goal coming out of nothing and its quality not really fitting in with what had gone on before.
Picking up possession 30 yards from goal, Beavon took a couple of steps forward before putting his laces through a right-foot shot which flew past Town keeper Chris Weale into the far corner.
Holmes went close to stretching the lead 10 minutes into the second half, the winger checking on to his right foot on the side of the box and letting fly with a stinging shot which Weale clawed over the bar.
Shrewsbury equalised in the 64th minute, the visitors sweeping forward on the counter after Beavon lost possession just outside the Shrews box.
The ball was worked down the left and inside to Taylor, the winger drilling home a powerful low shot from 16 yards which Stuckmann got his gloves to but couldn’t keep out.
Westley responded to the equaliser by sending Welsh on for the ineffective Joel Byrom, and the substitute almost conjured up an instant response, bursting into the box but shooting over.
Cummins’ 66th minute shot at the far post was blocked my Mambo, the chance sparking a spell of North End pressure.
A nice bit of play from Holmes carried him past a defender and into a good shooting position, but having done the hard work, he curled his shot well wide.
Welsh’s shot deflected off a Shrewsbury boot and looped behind, then Cummins volleyed over after being teed up by a Holmes cross.
A Nicky Wroe cross gave Cummins another sight of goal in the 78th minute, the striker’s shot saveed by Weale diving to his right.
Bailey Wright got his bandaged head to an inswinging Holmes corner but guided the ball just past the far post with five minutes left.
Disaster struck though in the 90th minute as Shrewsbury hit their winner from the penalty spot.
There was an element of controversy about it as moments earlier substitute Jeffrey Monakana should have won a free-kick just outside the Town box after being tripped.
But referee Scott Duncan waved play on, and the ball got swept out to Morgan on the right-wing.
He powered forward and got into the box, Davies sliding in with a challenge which sent Morgan tumbling.
After a glance over at his linesman, Mr Duncan pointed to the spot, skipper Richards sending Stuckmann the wrong way.
PNE: Stuckmann, Connolly, Wright, Robertson, Davies (Huntington 90), Wroe, Byrom (Welsh 64), Beavon, King, Holmes, Cummins (Monakana 82). Subs not used: Garner, Buchanan, Monakana, Beardsley, Rudd.
Shrewsbury: Weale, Gayle, Jones, Mambo, Jacobsen (Summerfield 62), Taylor (Purdie 80), McGinn, McAllister, Richards, Rodgers (Parry 46), Morgan. Subs not used Bradshaw, Edwards, Wildig, Anyon.
Referee: Scott Duncan (Northumberland)
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