An early goal in the fifth minute from Marcus Giles proved decisive although City were not helped when Niall Cowperthwaite was red carded for a late challenge just over 20 minutes later.
It was Jacob Hazel who created the goal, his pull-back allowed Giles the simplest of tasks of rolling the ball into the bottom corner.
The visitors had more chances to double their lead with Giles seeing one effort riled out for offside.
Preston North End respond to transfer speculation as 20-goal striker is linked to Middlesbrough
Former Blackburn, Burnley and Preston North End footballer Lenny Johnrose dies at 52 following battle with Motor Neurone Disease
Preston North End's predicted line-up for Championship visit of Rotherham United
Preston North End's win over Luton Town swiftly put aside ahead of Rotherham United test
Match Report: Preston North End 0-0 Rotherham United - PNE frustrated at Deepdale as they fail to take chances
City battled gamely for the majority of the match with 10 men and created opportunities with both Charlie Bailey and David Norris firing over.
Matthew Alexander kept City in the game in the second half with a fine save to deny Hazel.
Dolly Blues boss Mark Fell said: "I am bitterly disappointed," said Fell. "I thought we never got going first half.
"Take the sending off out of it, we didn't put much together and I thought they were a threat with the two forwards.
"They scored early after we switched off to a ball over the top but we have tried to work our way back into it.
"We started to have a bit of joy down the sides and then the sending off came.
"I am pleased with the way we rallied second half but you can't give teams a head start with the early goal and allowing the other team the opportunity to play 11 versus 10 for 70 minutes."
Support us and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.