Preston will go into 2011 rooted to the bottom of the npower Championship after a 3-1 defeat to fellow strugglers Middlesbrough at Deepdale.
Middlesbrough have struggled on their travels this season and that looking like continuing when Billy Jones headed the home side in front after 27 minutes.
However, Leroy Lita produced a superb run and finish to draw Boro level three minutes later before putting the visitors in front just before the hour mark.
David Wheater, who has been linked with a move away from Middlesbrough in the January transfer window, then capped a fine performance by heading a third soon after.
The victory was only Middlesbrough's second away from home this season and moved them one point clear of the relegation zone.
Meanwhile, Preston stay bottom of the table, five points behind Boro, underlining the task facing boss Darren Ferguson as he looks to turn the club's fortunes around.