Preston manager Simon Grayson hailed his side's battling performance as they overcame League One strugglers Oldham 2-0 at Deepdale on Tuesday.
Nicky Wroe notched his 11th goal of the season from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute after Latics left-back Jonathan Grounds was adjudged to have handled in the area.
And with goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis going up for a corner in injury time, Will Hayhurst rubbed salted into the wounds by tapping into an empty net.
North End moved up 15th, extending their unbeaten run at home to six, and Grayson said: "It was a difficult game for us - we knew Oldham weren't going to lie down, they were going to battle and scrap because of where they are in the division and their result at the weekend.
"I thought they were better than us first half, they won a lot of second balls and a lot more individual battles.
"We knew we needed to up the tempo in the second half and we did. I felt if we stayed in the game long enough, Oldham couldn't sustain that sort of pressure.
"Will (Hayhurst) had cramp but he maintained his composure and fortunately it hit the back of the net as at 1-0 they've got a strong, powerful team who at set-pieces could have been a threat.
"That's the way it should be - you should be coming off that pitch dead on your feet because there are thousands of people who would give their bottom dollar to swap places with them."