North End lie fourth bottom in the Coca-Cola Championship but they belied their lowly status with a vibrant display and the award of a 60th-minute spot-kick put them on course for a famous victory.
But James flung his 6ft 5in frame to his right to deny Preston midfielder Simon Whaley from 12 yards and Carter compounded the misery among home supporters when he fired the ball into his own net.
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