Match ends, Preston North End 0, Crewe Alexandra 2.
Byron Moore scored his first goal of the season to help League One strugglers Crewe to victory at Preston.
Moore put the Railwaymen in front against the run of play in the first half, firing low past Declan Rudd from inside the box.
Brad Inman doubled the advantage with a stunning curled shot from the edge of the area after the break.
Preston's best chance came inside three minutes when striker Iain Hume bent an effort onto the crossbar.
Alex goalkeeper Steve Phillips was called into action early on, turning Scott Laird's shot around the post.
From the resulting corner Hume, a surprise starter after being called up for international duty with Canada this week, hit the top of the bar from outside the box.
North End kept the pressure on with Stuart Beavon testing Phillips again before Moore got onto the end of a slick Chuks Aneke ball to open the scoring with a rare chance at the other end.
Former Bolton striker Kevin Davies nodded a golden second-half chance to equalise past the post after meeting Beavon's cross.
Then, as the League One high-flyers went in search of a leveller, Inman struck to make it 2-0.
Adam Dugdale came close to a third, lashing his effort onto the underside of the bar before it ricocheted off Rudd's back and behind for a corner.
While Crewe secured only their second league win of the season, with their first clean sheet this term, it was Preston's third successive loss in all competitions.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Preston manager Simon Grayson told BBC Radio Lancashire:
"There are fine margins in football. We knew the first goal would be vitally important because we knew Crewe's confidence levels could be quite fragile.
"We started very positively and we needed to get that first goal. Unfortunately they got it and, once they've got it, it's given them something to hold on to.
"I'm disappointed to lose at home for the first time, but we always said that it's a 10-month season and not a two-month season."
Crewe Alexandra manager Steve Davis told BBC Radio Stoke:
"They were both fantastic finishes from Byron and Brad and we could have had a third when Adam Dugdale's effort hit the bar as well.
"I've been saying for the last few weeks that our performances have been reasonably good although we haven't had the results. Now we have to take real confidence from a great away win here against a good Preston side.
"We changed the system and practised it during the week, so for it to come off was very pleasing. They have transferred what we did out on the training ground into the game and that is all you can ask."
- 7HumphreySubstituted forHolmesat 65'minutes
- 5ClarkeBooked at 56mins
- 2KeaneSubstituted forWelshat 74'minutes
- 13ByromSubstituted forBrownhillat 73'minutes
- 10BeavonBooked at 90mins
- 8OsmanBooked at 75mins
- 42GrantSubstituted forNolanat 84'minutes
- 26AnekeSubstituted forOliverat 90+3'minutes
- 20TurtonBooked at 53mins
- 14InmanBooked at 84mins
- Trevor Kettle
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Preston North End 0, Crewe Alexandra 2.
Foul by Paul Huntington (Preston North End).
Vadaine Oliver (Crewe Alexandra) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt blocked. Stuart Beavon (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Paul Huntington (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.
Substitution, Crewe Alexandra. Vadaine Oliver replaces Chukwuemeka Aneke because of an injury.
John Welsh (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Bradden Inman (Crewe Alexandra).
Stuart Beavon (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Stuart Beavon (Preston North End).
Mark Ellis (Crewe Alexandra) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Bailey Wright (Preston North End) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Attempt blocked. Lee Holmes (Preston North End) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.
Abdul Osman (Crewe Alexandra) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Lee Holmes (Preston North End).
Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Mark Ellis.
Foul by Lee Holmes (Preston North End).
Chukwuemeka Aneke (Crewe Alexandra) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
(Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.