Preston North End 3 Huddersfield Town 1 - Match report as PNE clock-up another Deepdale victory to stay second in the Championship
Preston North End made it three victories on the bounce as they beat Huddersfield Town at Deepdale.
Goals from Jayden Stockley, Alan Browne and Paul Gallagher delivered the win, with Juninho Bacuna pulling a goal back for the Terriers 16 minutes from time.
It was North End's seventh league win at Deepdale this season, with them still unbeaten in front of the home faithful.
Stockley headed them in front in the fourth minute after a Gallagher free-kick had come back off the post.
Browne got the second with a far-post shot from Tom Barkhuizen's cross - for Browne and Stockley it was their first goals of the season.
They made it 3-0 six minutes after half-time, Gallagher netting from the penalty spot after a Barkhuizen cross had been handled by Terence Kongolo.
Huddersfield had arrived in Lancashire unbeaten in seven games but they found North End too strong for them.
The Preston starting XI showed two changes from the side which had won at Charlton last Sunday, both of those in midfield.
Ryan Ledson replaced the suspended Ben Pearson, while Gallagher came in for Daniel Johnson who hadn't recovered from a foot injury sustained at The Valley.
PNE made a fine start, taking the lead with three-and-a-half minutes on the clock.
Stockley was fouled by Christopher Schindler five yards outside the box to earn a free-kick.
Gallagher took the free-kick, curling it round the wall and seeing it came back off the inside of the post. The ball bounced back into the middle and Stockley was first to it, stooping low to head home from six yards.
The Lilywhites kept up the pressure, Sean Maguire seeing a shot blocked in the box after Gallagher had cut a free-kick back low into the box from the right channel.
A counter-attack presented them with another sight of goal, Barkhuizen putting on the burners in his own half and bursting forward down the right-wing.
As he approached the box, Barkhuizen squared a pass into the path of Stockley who pulled a low shot wide of the target.
Huddersfield lost the services of centre-half Tommy Elphick in the 21st minute after a foul by Ledson, one which earned the PNE man a yellow card.
North End doubled the lead in the 33rd minute, Ledson getting possession in midfield and sweeping a pass out to Barkhuizen on the right-wing.
Barkhuizen lifted a cross into the middle, Stockley seemed to get a shove as he moved towards it but the ball fell to Browne at the far post who cushioned a side-foot volley into the net.
Stockley and Bauer both saw header blocked in the six-yard box after Gallagher had delivered a corner into the middle in the 38th minute.
Then just before the interval, Stockley got up high to meet a Gallagher cross and send a header towards Barkhuizen who nodded over the bar.
North End's third goal arrived five minutes into the second half, via their eighth penalty of the season.
It came on the counter-attack, Maguire taking the ball down the middle before feeding it to Barkhuizen on the right-wiing.
Barkhuizen sent over a cross which struck Terence Kongolo on the hand, referee Geoff Eltringham pointing to the spot.
Gallagher went through his usual penalty routine and hammered it right-footed into the roof of the net.
A rare chance came Huddersfield's way in the 58th minute when Joe Rafferty got caught in possession, it allowing Karlan Grant to get in a shot from the edge of the box which went wide.
Preston twice went close in the space of a couple of minutes, Stockley seeing a header deflect off a defender and behind for a corner, then Patrick Bauer meeting a cross from Barkhuizen first time and seeing it flash past the post.
Huddersfield pulled a goal back in the 74th minute - soon after man of the match Gallagher had come off with a knock - Bacuna picking possession in the North End half and setting off towards goal.
As the defence backed off, Bacuna hit a low shot from just inside the box which got a deflection off Bauer and crept into the bottom corner past the dive of Declan Rudd.
North End had to withstand plenty of pressure from then on as Huddersfield pushed for more.
David Nugent replaced Stockley up front as Alex Neil looked for his side to link play.
In the 88th minute, Bacuna hit a shot from the right hand side of the box into the side-netting, North End seeing it out well from then on.
PNE: Rudd, Fisher, Bauer, Davies, Rafferty, Ledson, Gallagher (Potts 72), Barkhuizen, Browne, Maguire, Stockley (Nugent 75). Subs (not used): Bayliss, Storey, Ginnelly, Bodin, Ripley.
Huddersfield: Grabara, Simpson (Pritchard 65), Elphick (Stankovic 21), Schindler, Kongolo, Chalobah, Bacuna, O'Brien, Kachunga, Grant, Diakhaby (Mounie 58). Subs (not used): Koroma, Hadergjonaj, Harratt, Schofield.
Referee: Geoff Eltringham (County Durham)
Attendance: 16,038 (3,213 away)