It was always going to be a tall order for Alex Neil to extend Preston's unbeaten run. In the week preceeding the visit to Birmingham, Preston faced a high intensity derby game followed by a tough home test against high flying Middlesbrough.
Injuries were mounting up and the situation was worsened when Clarke and Pearson were ruled out of the matchday squad. Preston were down to the las man standing with youth player Baxter on the bench.
The Preston plan was one of containment. This worked in the first half with neither keeper having a memorable shot to save despite Birmingham having the majority of possession.
All of the good work unfolded in a minute or so after the second half had started. Kieftenbeld chipped an inocuous looking ball goalwards. It was almost half hearted and seemed to run out of steam. Rudd was off his line and could have stopped the rolling ball with his feet.
Inexplicably, Rudd allowed the ball to run between his legs at what seemed like a seemingly slow pace and into the back of the net. It was a howler of the highest order.
Preston then had to come out more which suited the home side who added two further goals from decent finishes by Maghoma and Adams. North End never really looked like coming back into the game.