It was the first two times that the teams had met and Preston made one change with Buchanan coming back into the side on the left to pair up with Laird. Bailey Wright reverted to right back as Keane dropped out of the squad.
The first half was dull to say the least. Preston we frustrated by the referee who seemed to give every contentious decision to the visitors. Crawley set up to defend and were hard to break down but had no spark going forward as it took them beyond half an hour to mounttheir first meaningful attack.
Preston didnot air much better and could not break down the visitors. They shaded possession in the first forty five butwere reduced to long shots including one from Beavon but the keeper was never troubled.
The second half was a slightly different affair thanks to two goals which almost came out of the blue. North End were exposed at the back as a cross came in from the left. There were three players waiting with only one North End defender and Walsh headed in.
Preston then fell for the sucker punch as Walsh with the outside of his right foot curled one from twenty five yards past Stuckmann to double the lead for the visitors and stun Preston.
North End tried to change things with Amoo coming on but they we unable to break down a resolute Crawley until late in the game. Welsh was badly hurt in a flying tackle but the referee failed to produce a card. The free kick was swung in and Huntington who was unmarked slider home on ninety minutes.
There were five minutes of added time and Preston almost snatched an equaliser when Beavon headed a cross goal wards only for the keeper to produce an acrobatic save tipping the ball over.
The Whites just couldn not break down a resolute defence and the two goals at the start of the half were unexpected but changed the game for both sides. Preston now have to regroup and improve for Tuesday against Hartlepool.