With Everton spending most of the evening aiming for the hea d of big Duncan Ferguson, it was a particularly difficult 90 minutes for the big guys in the Preston defence.
Despite the flying elbows, the crafty nudges and the sly tugs, skipper Chris Lucketti and his partner Claude Davis coped well, giving the awkward customer a bit back and trying to snuff out the flicks and layoffs.
They might find a few bumps and bruises to remind them of their encounter with Big Dunc. But he will no doubt have a few too.
Ferguson was prominent in the first 20 minutes even though it was Preston who started the brightest and created the early openings. Richard Cresswell managed to charge down a clearance by keeper Richard Wright, but the ball flew off to safety.
The striker had another chance on 17 minutes, but his control let him down and he overran the ball.
Andy Smith, starting as one of three frontmen, put in a looping header which Wright took above his head.
Everton’s first real chance took 24 minutes to arrive and then it needed a slip by Ward at a high cross to present Carsley with an opening he squandered.
Ferguson had the ball in the Preston net in the 26th minute, but the whistle had already gone for a foul by Dickson Etuhu on Leon Osman.
Preston old boy Kevin Kilbane was wide with a left-foot shot. Then Ferguson got in a header which looped up and dropped wide of the post.
Going in level at half-time Preston had good reason to feel satisfied with their efforts. But within seven minutes of the game resuming they found themselves a goal down.
Claude Davis was lucky not to see a card after he left Osman seeing stars two yards outside the North End box.
CARSLEY curled the free-kick round the wall and just inside the left-hand post, with Ward getting a hand t o it but not being able to claw it out.
Cresswell’s flicked header went close and then Preston had an equaliser disallowed after a slick passing move carved Everton wide open.
Healy flicked the ball to Etuhu, his mis-hit shot seemed to hit a defender and, when it rolled out to the right of the goal, Mawene slid in to score, his celebrations coming to an abrupt halt when he spotted an offside flag.
On 73 minutes a couple of simmering tempers boiled over with goalscorer Carsley getting a red card for retaliating after it appeared sub Eric Skora caught him with a wayward elbow.
Moyes opted for fresh legs with two minutes to go, sending on BENT in place of Ferguson. And the striker finished off the game within 30 seconds of getting on, netting into the bottom-left corner after Osman had pulled the ball back to him.
PNE: Ward, Mawene, Lucketti, Davis (Skora 66), Alexander (Jackson 83), McKenna, Etuhu, O’Neil, Smith (Daley 77), Healy, Cresswell.