Richard Garcia scored one goal and made the other to hoist Hull out of the npower Championship relegation zone with a 2-0 victory that piled the pressure on Preston boss Darren Ferguson.
The Australian forward missed a glorious chance after 15 minutes but produced an excellent diving header to convert Robert Koren's cross shortly after.
A horrible error from Sean St Ledger - playing out position at left-back after North End skipper Callum Davidson departed at half-time - allowed Garcia to set up Nicky Barmby for his third goal of the season.
Garcia shot wastefully wide in the 15th minute after Koren's measured pass caught out the Preston defence, but the same combination gave Hull the lead moments later.
Koren was the architect, marauding down the right to deliver a delicious cross which Garcia finished superbly with a full-length diving header.
North End enjoyed their best spell of pressure in the five minutes before half-time and Jon Parkin smashed into the side netting, but the home side were still greeted with boos at the half-time whistle.
Seven minutes into the second half North End came agonisingly close to levelling matters. Iain Hume's low 25 yard drive received the faintest of touches from the outstretched Vito Mannone before rolling agonisingly across the line.
The visitors sealed the points in the 72nd minute when Garcia pick-pocketed makeshift Lillywhites left-back St Ledger to leave substitute Barmby with a tap-in.
Hull substitute Simpson hit the post in stoppage time with the goal at his mercy following another error, this time from Preston defender Craig Morgan.
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