MK Dons' seven-game unbeaten run came to an end following defeat to managerless Preston.
Paul Parry gave the visitors an early lead when he headed home Danny Mayor's pinpoint delivery.
Lilywhites keeper Thorsten Stuckmann was in fine form throughout, with Stephen Gleeson seeing his effort well stopped by the German.
MK Dons Luke Chadwick then saw his shot saved, before Conor McLaughlin hit the post for Preston in the closing stages.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
MK Dons manager Karl Robinson told BBC Three Counties Radio:
"They started better than us and got the goal and were on top. Then other than that first 10 minutes it was almost an avalanche of attacks and things not going for us.
"It is a bitter pill to take when you feel the players and the club have done everything they can to try and win the game, but that's football.
"Their players showed tremendous character today for their club. You have got to make sure that outside influences don't affect what happens on the pitch."