Match ends, Ipswich Town 3, Preston North End 0.
Ipswich Town climbed up to seventh in the Championship table at Portman Road as they inflicted a fourth straight defeat on Preston North End.
Mick McCarthy's men did not take the lead until first-half injury time when Martyn Waghorn found the bottom left corner, his eighth goal of the season.
They scored again four minutes after the restart when Jordan Spence picked out the head of David McGoldrick.
Spence then helped set up a 64th-minute clincher for on-loan Bersant Celina.
From just inside the penalty area, the Kosovan forward from Manchester City fired a superb strike into the roof of the net.
The Portman Road crowd were getting restless in the first half, especially after McGoldrick had been booked for arguing with the referee, having netted from an offside position.
And Ipswich were disrupted by the loss of midfielder Cole Skuse, who was replaced by Kevin Bru.
They finally made the breakthrough when Waghorn was fouled on the edge of the penalty area and got up off the deck to curl in a left-footed shot.
It might have been different for North End if Daniel Johnson's left-foot shot from outside the box had not hit the bar in the fifth minute of first-half injury time.
But Ipswich never looked back from the moment that McGoldrick headed home Spence's 49th-minute cross - and Celina's stunning third was the icing on the cake.
Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy:
"It was what was required. There are all sorts of different ways to win a football match.
"I have been in the Championship long enough to know that there's a team coming to play against us that's going to be pretty tough and resolute.
"It wasn't going to be pretty - the one bit of quality was the move before the goal.
"The second half we played well and it always looks better when you score three goals."
Preston boss Alex Neil:
"The first half was scrappy. There was a five-to-10-minute spell where we put four or five good crosses into the box and looked threatening.
"From that point it was really disappointing to go a goal down.
"We don't need to sit here and feel sorry for ourselves but our last two performances have been very disappointing.
"We have a smallish squad and now have nine players missing through injury, and we are being stretched to the limit."
- 16ConnollySubstituted forWardat 66'minutes
- 8SkuseSubstituted forBruat 31'minutes
- 9WaghornSubstituted forNydamat 78'minutes
- 10McGoldrickBooked at 24mins
- 14FisherSubstituted forVermijlat 37'minutes
- 4PearsonBooked at 84mins
- 19WelshBooked at 45minsSubstituted forGallagherat 70'minutes
- 11JohnsonSubstituted forHarropat 63'minutes
- 9HugillBooked at 23mins
- Andy Madley
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Ipswich Town 3, Preston North End 0.
Attempt saved. Jordan Hugill (Preston North End) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Paul Gallagher.
Attempt blocked. Josh Harrop (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Grant Ward (Ipswich Town).
Attempt saved. David McGoldrick (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Bersant Celina.
Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Alan Browne.
Ben Pearson (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt blocked. Joe Garner (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Spence.
Substitution, Ipswich Town. Tristan Nydam replaces Martyn Waghorn.
Foul by Jordan Hugill (Preston North End).
Adam Webster (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Jordan Hugill (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Josh Harrop with a cross.
Attempt missed. Jordan Hugill (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Ben Pearson.
Substitution, Preston North End. Paul Gallagher replaces John Welsh.
Tom Barkhuizen (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Grant Ward (Ipswich Town).
Attempt missed. David McGoldrick (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Joe Garner.
Substitution, Ipswich Town. Grant Ward replaces Callum Connolly.