However, Jon Parkin completed a wonderful hat-trick which along with goals from Keith Treacy, Callum Davidson and Iain Hume, sealed a remarkable turnaround, much to the delight of their flabbergasted manager.
Related ArticlesCoventry City 1 Preston North End 2Wigan Athletic 2 Preston North End 1Preston 1 Portsmouth 0Everton still the poor relationsPalace 3 Preston 1West Brom 3 Preston North End 2"I have never been involved in such an amazing game," he said. "But all credit to my players for their sensational comeback.
"It's brilliant to get six goals, it would have been nice if we had not conceded four. But all credit goes to my players.
"The spirit and character was remarkable, the boys were magnificent and I am incredibly proud of the team."
Manager Brian Laws declared Brian Jensen's fourth consecutive clean sheet as the most pleasing aspect of Burnley's 4-0 rout of Hull at Turf Moor.
Chris Iwelumo and Chris Eagles both scored twice as the Clarets claimed their biggest win since the final day of their promotion season in 2009.
Laws, celebrating his 700th league game as a manager, said: "It's so pleasing to have kept four clean sheets on the bounce and we have a base to work from. You always know you have goals in us and the first goal is vital in the Championship.
"I think we've played better in our last few games but didn't get the rewards. We should have perhaps had another four points under our belts. But we're going in the right direction."
Top two QPR and Cardiff were both held to goalless home draws against Millwall and Crystal Palace respectively.
That allowed third-placed Norwich to make ground at the top as they won 4-3 against 10-man Leicester.
Martyn Waghorn fired the Foxes, bottom of the division, ahead after two minutes before goals from Andrew Crofts, Wes Hoolahan and Adam Dury gave the Canaries a two-goal advantage.
That would prove crucial as Matty Fryatt struck twice late on - before being sent off - either side of a second Hoolahan strike.
Paul Lambert said: "What this team has done in a short space of time is unbelievable.
"When we came here a little over a year ago, we were near the bottom of League One and now we are third in the Championship."
Swansea held on for a 3-2 win at Watford after goals from Scott Sinclair, Stephen Dobbie and Frank Nouble sent them 3-0 ahead.
Troy Deeney and Martin Taylor responded for the hosts but an equaliser was not forthcoming.
Portsmouth moved out of the drop zone with a 3-1 win over Bristol City.
John Utaka, Aaron Mokoena and Hayden Mullins all scored in the second half with Jon Stead providing the sole reply for City.
Simon Church struck an 88th-minute winner as Reading and Ipswich both finished with 10 men.
Luke Hyam was sent off for Ipswich after 52 minutes and the Royals' Matt Mills followed seven minutes later.
Elsewhere, a Kris Commons double helped Derby come from behind to beat Middlesbrough 3-1, Coventry beat Doncaster 2-1 while Barnsley's short trip to Scunthorpe ended goalless.