Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade felt his side showed great character before completing their fifth win in a row with a 2-0 home success that ended Preston's seven-match unbeaten run.
On a windswept day with driving rain throughout, Mathieu Baudry and Kevin Lisbie scored the goals in an entertaining game that saw Akpo Sodje hit a post with a header while a shot from Chris Robertson was cleared off the line as the visitors staged a late rally.
"It was a real battle right to the death but we claimed all the spoils which was the most important thing" Slade said. "Our players dug deep and it was always going to be a tight game. The conditions gave it a messy feel and sometimes you get a real battle that goes on and on and that happened.
"Preston had their 15 minutes at the end when they really came at us and our goalkeeper Ryan Allsop made two fantastic saves, and they were also a bit unfortunate when one attempt came off a post and back out the other side.
"But we kept defending, putting our bodies on the line, but we were always a threat, even on the counter attack. It was a fantastic cross for the first goal and Matty Baudry was aggressive in the air so it's not a shock to see him score.
"The second goal came when we sprung their offside trap and the pace of David Mooney and Kevin Lisbie led to the goal.
"Our keeper Ryan Allsop was tremendous again but it's not just him, we have a lot of players who are all running into form right now. When you've got six or seven players running into form, you give yourself a marvellous chance of winning the game."
Preston boss Graham Westley bemoaned a number of enforced team changes that disrupted the balance of his side.
He said: "It was a game that we knew we were going to have to work very, very hard to win in the sense that the injuries we picked up during the week meant that we were without three big players.
"In the end, we've had 23 attempts on their goal in comparison to eight on ours so it's obvious that they were clinical in finishing off the chances and defended ruthlessly in their box. So we obviously didn't do as good a job as them in the two boxes, because it does all come down to what you down in the two 18-yard boxes."