Preston came out triumphant in their top-of-the-table clash at Alderley Edge, winning 3-1 to make it four victories on the bounce.
The visitors started well and controlled the game from the off.
Their high press was occasionally countered by a long ball from Alderley but little was done to trouble Potts in the Preston goal.
Preston came close within 10 minutes when Dave Greenough picked the ball high the baseline, shimmied past two Edge defenders and squared the ball across the goal.
But the Preston forwards were unable to latch on to the pass and guide it into the net.
Moments later Jack England brought a fine save from the keeper.
Picking the ball up just outside the D with his back to goal, he turned onto his reverse stick to unleash a powerful shot that was heading high into the top corner – but the keeper’s outstretched hand was enough to turn the ball over the bar.
Alderley did manage to work a short-corner on the 23rd minute, when a moment of lapsed concentration in the Preston midfield was capitalised on by Warburton.
The resulting set-piece did little to trouble the Preston defence as Adam Wilson ran the corner out to safety.
Preston then managed to hit Alderley on the break. Neat interplay between Sutcliffe and England left the former with just the keeper to beat and he did so with a clever flick into the corner of the net.
Preston played through the remaining eight minutes of the half to go in one up at the break.
Preston came out strong again in the second half, seizing the initiative to attack Alderley’s defence with some excellent through balls from Jonathan Platt and well placed aerial passes from full-back and captain Robin Taylor.
They probed and worked a couple of penalty corners through some strong play along the baseline by Steve Masterson.
Preston earned their reward in the 55th minute when Masterson pounced on a loose ball in the D and thrashed the ball home on his reverse –stick.
Three minutes later it was 3-0, when Wilson picked a tidy pass from Dave Navin and found himself on the top of the D and smashed the ball through a crowd of players and the keeper.
Preston continued to surge forward in search of more goals. However, Alderley Edge caught Preston sleeping at the back to win and convert a penalty corner with just nine minutes left.
The Cheshire side then almost made it 3-2 with a well-worked short-corner which was cleared off the line by a diving save from Greenough.
Preston then almost added to their tally with a similar routine moments later but Masterson’s effort was deflected across the goal.
Preston host Bowden 2nds at West Cliff on Saturday (1.30pm).