After the lacklustre performance at Norwich Neil made changes. Ben Davies returned whilse Ledson came in alongside Pearson to sure up the midfield. Harrop started behind lone striker Nmecha whilst Burke and Robinson played out wide.
It was an encouraging first half hour for Preston as the teams played in a tropical downpour before sunshine appeared followed by further rain. North End had chances but as e have seen over the past 12 months they are not clinical enough.
Preston play good football up until the last third but they are missing that killer pass and when there is an opportunity they are not taken. This shows in the goalscoring charts last season and the trend has continued this season.
Failure to score against a nervous Derby side who were at times over passing the ball always meant the hosts were in with a chance in the game. They capitalised on a Preston mistake which punished the visitors.
Preston were attacking when they got caught on the break. Derby stormed forward down the right hand side. The ball was then crossed into the box where Mount was free of any markers. His shot wasn't the greatest but seemed to go under the diving body of Rudd.
The lead was undeserved on possession and chances but if you don't score then you can't complain. Preston came out in the second half but rarely looked like the side comfortable in possession int he first half.
The best opportunity fell to Nmecha who was slow and laboured when he could have easily played Robisnon through on goal. He was caught by the defence who duly regained the ball. He has a lot to learn and fast at this level for a young lone striker.
Derby sealed the game with ease and simplicity. A corner was whipped in and Keogh was left unattended at the back post to nod home. Suspect marking and perhaps a little blame on the keeper for not preventing the goal.
I have seen poorer perfromances in this division by Preston and clearly the squad are capable at this level but there are missing components especially at the top end of the field. A loss in confidence is causing mistakes and every goal is now highlighted given Preston's inability to score when in possession.
North End travel to Leeds in the Cup before two big games at home in the league to Bolton and Reading. If home points are dropped then North End could be in for a lengthy battle for survival this season.