This game had connotations at both ends of the table. Preston were hoping for a win and a Derby loss to sneak into the top six whereas Burton needed a win to try to avoid relegation to League One.
It was a sun drenched day with a bumper crowd inside Deepdale as the events unfolded. Preston were the dominant team and the game should have been wrapped up by half time.
Robinson scored the only goal of the half with a header but there were numerous other chances. North End smashed the ball against the bar and Bodin had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for handball.
The game changed early in the second half when Bodin went looking for a penalty. He felt contact and went down but the referee adjudged it to be a dive and Bodin was booked for simulation and shown a red card for his second yellow card offence.
In reality a top six finish was drifting away as Derby were piling in the goals against Barnsley. Burton could sense a change in mood and seized the momentum.
Akpan fired in a fine finish from outside the box which caught everybody by surprise and it appeared that Burton were staying up with other results in their favour.
The visitors did not go for the kill which, in hindsight, was a mistake. Bolton scored two late goals in their game and results elsewhee meant Burton dropped into the bottom three.
The last few minutes were frantic with the visitors throwing everything forward but leaving massive gaps at the back. North End had a number of opportunities and managed to sneak a winner in injury time.
Pearson broke forward with the whole Burton half unattended. He ventured into the box and cooly slotted across to Moult who was on as a substitute to tap into an empty net.
The result sent Burton down. Preston finished in seventh place just outside the play offs but this was their highest finish since Alan Irvine was in charge and shows an improvement from th past two seasons.
Neil must now add to his squad wisely over the summer to stay competitive and to try to push on next season and break into the top six places.