Preston’s first league victory of the 2009/10 season came against Barnsley at Oakwell and was achieved with some stylish finishing.
Paul Parry, Neil Mellor and Jon Parkin found the net for North End in the midweek clash, delighting a large away following which had crossed the Pennines.
The clean sheet came as a combination of some strong defending and a fine display from Andrew Lonergan.
The PNE goalkeeper was in action in the fifth minute, tipping a header from Kaode Odejayi over the bar.
In the terms of the league, Preston had started with two draws against Bristol City and Doncaster.
This first victory had its origins in the 11th minute when they took the lead, and it came from a moment of real quality from Parry.
Collecting a lay-off from Mellor, Parry cut into the box from the right wing before powering a left-foot shot into the far top corner.
Back came Barnsley, with Iain Hume – who would join Preston the following year – seeing a low shot palmed out by Lonergan.
Billy Jones blocked a shot from Jacob Butterfield as the home side mounted more pressure.
Darren Moore headed over the North End bar after meeting a Hume corner.
The visitors were looking lively on the break though, only a fine tackle by Moore taking the ball off Mellor as he raced clear to meet a pass from Parkin.
The Lilywhites doubled their lead in the 33rd minute. Jones delivered a free-kick into the box, Parkin headed it on, the ball falling to Mellor who spun and fired a volley into the roof of the net from 10 yards.
Just before the interval, they almost scored a third, Darren Carter firing over the bar after goalkeeper Luke Steele’s punch had fallen to him.
Early in the second half, Lonergan made a fine save to prevent Barnsley cutting the deficit.
Veliche Shumulikoski, the midfielder from Macedonia, conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box.
Hume whipped it into the box for Moore to meet with a powerful header from six yards, one which Lonergan dived to scoop out.
Lonergan saved again from Butterfield, then it needed a good challenge from Sean St Ledger to deflect a Daniel Bogdanovic header behind.
North End soaking up the pressure was to pay dividends in the 72nd minute when they scored their third goal to effectively put the game beyond their South Yorkshire hosts. Jones provided the assist, his cross from the right-wing travelling to Parkin beyond the far post.
Parkin brought it down on his chest before finding the roof of the net with a volley which clipped off a Barnsley boot.
Former Preston striker Jon Macken was introduced as a substitute as the home side looked for a way back in.
Soon after coming on, his low shot forced Lonergan into another save.
North End substitute Chris Sedgwick almost made it 4-0 in the 77th minute.
His mazy run ended with Steele diving to save his shot.
The three points collected at Oakwell was followed by a 2-0 win over Peterborough and a 2-1 League Cup victory against Leicester.
A draw at Ipswich and a win over Swansea kept up the unbeaten start, one which was ended by a 3-1 defeat at Scunthorpe – that coming a few hours after defender St Ledger had been loaned to Middlesbrough.