Preston appear to be the form team in the Championship at the moment and whilst Alex Neil made minor changes to his starting eleven it had little impact as Preston romped into a three goal lead by half time.
The visitors took the lead in the first couple of minutes and never really looked back. Hughes converted from close range to give Preston the lead. Preston doubled their advantage as the returning Clarke scored from a Gallagher corner.
Before the half hour mark Preston were out of sight as Maguire was played through by Gallagher. The striker managed to finish off the chance to give North End a three goal lead.
The home side came out stronger after the break but only managed to breach the Preston defence once as Thompson scored. The only other blemish was a booking for Ben Pearson who will now face a two game suspesion.
The win meant that Preston moved to within six points of the play offs although they have played two games more than their rivals. Momentum is with Preston and they will hope to continue their unbeaten run as the season enters March.