Preston remain on the fringes of the play offs as they have done for the vast majority of the season. Fulham were flying high heading into the game at Deepdale and this was going to be a tough test.
Neil made two changes with Maguire and Johnson returning in place of Bodin and Gallagher. Bodin has been hit and largely miss since his January signing with the forward finding it difficult to adjust.
Maguire was given his first start for several months and played as a central striker after his recent good run of form. He will be crucial to any hope that Preston have of breaking into the top six.
The match was even and despite the Fulham manager hinting Preston would stop Fulham playing the match was free flowing and any bad tackles were kept to a minimum.
The first half was goalless with Rudd only called into action with a couple of long range efforts and Preston more than matched a team that is likely to finish in the top six if not in the top two.
These games turn on the slightest of moments. Woods was a half time substitute for Cunningham who had a tight hamstring. His mistake enabled Fulham an opportunity to strike.
There was a loose ball on the left which Woods had no chance of reaching ahead of the forward. Woods playing at left back raced forward committing himself and allowing Fulham the freedom of the wing.
Preston were scrambling when a the ball was crossed into the box where Mitrovic was free to score the opener. Preston didn't deserve to trail but small margins cost in big games.
North End piled forward for the equaliser. Fulham were forced back with Davies coming close and North End having other opportunities before they managed to get level.
Maguire got on the head of a cross to nod home. The keeper should have done better as the ball seemed to slip through his hands as he dived to save. It was Maguire's fourth goal in three games.
The game seemed to be heading to a draw when Preston made their second big mistake of the game in injury time. Fulham had a throw in and the ball went to Cairney. Browne had let his marker go allowing Cairney to raid down the left.
A cross was placed into the box where Mitrovic was left free to head home. The marking was poor and Preston were given a lesson in taking chances as Mitrovic continued his run of goals against Preston.
Games are now running out for Preston although they are unlikely to play against the same level of opposition as Fulham again this season. North End remain four points outside the top six.
Preston have only defeated Cardiff out of the current top six so Preston will be up against it even if they can somehow squeeze into the play off positions.