KEEPER Gavin Bazunu caused chaos with his part in a sensational injury-time leveller for Southampton.
Bazunu got his head to a corner that deflected past North End opposite number Freddie Woodman in a spectacular ending.
The Dubious Goals panel may have their say — it has already been credited as a Brad Potts own goal — but that did not stop the Republic of Ireland youngster celebrating.
A little bit of Osmajic sparked a Preston comeback after Kyle Walker-Peters had put Saints ahead.
Lilywhites boss Ryan Lowe sent on Milutin Osmajic at half-time and the move paid off spectacularly with a quickfire double.
The Montenegro international striker cracked in a volley from a half-cleared free-kick that took Bazunu, 21, by surprise in the 52nd minute.
And Southampton caved in again when wing-back Potts rampaged down the right, played a one-two with Osmajic and fired a shot between Bazunu’s legs on 55 minutes.
Potts powered past Sammy Edozie on his way to scoring — and that was enough for Southampton chief Russell Martin to whip off the wideman immediately.
Saints hit the front when Walker-Peters found the perfect way to end a goal drought stretching back 14 months — with a strike worth the wait as he gave them the lead.
Southampton’s right-back charged forward, cut inside and curled a beauty with his left foot to beat Woodman’s stretch and get his side going just after the half hour.
It was only Walker-Peters’ third league goal in 118 appearances for Saints but the quality made up for his lack of scoring quantity.
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But how Martin needed that bolt from the blue after a frustrating start to the game.
He made a few changes and was left waving his arms in horror at some of the wayward passes from a side that prides itself in using the ball well.
Preston had been the bigger threat with a slightly more direct style but they were also weak when it came to finishing off chances.
Liam Millar’s teasing cross tested Bazunu and the Canadian attacker also fired wide as North End made the running.
But the opener raised the game considerably and both sides showed their teeth as they battled to stay in the play-off chase.
Adam Armstrong was inches from putting Southampton two-up when he slid in to send a Will Smallbone cross just wide.
But Preston went desperately close when Will Keane’s low stab was dramatically kicked off the line by Bazunu from close range.
The ball hit Shea Charles on the back of the arm as it flew clear — but there was no penalty despite loud appeals.