Jermaine Beckford salvaged a point for Preston as the promotion-chasers were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at lowly Crewe.
Substitute striker Beckford ran on to a flick-on from Kevin Davies and finished from close range in the 83rd minute. In a breathless finish at Gresty Road, teenager George Cooper had fired the hosts in front two minutes earlier.
Improving Crewe mounted a tight rearguard action to thwart Preston's advance on the automatic promotion places.
Paul Gallagher wasted a rare first-half...