A great day, but a bad game was the phrase coming from the majority of Preston fans after a 3-1 defeat to a Fulham side that were simply a class above on the day.
North End’s travelling contingent of 2,821 arrived by train, coach, car and boat for the annual Gentry Day occasion.
It was an important weekend in the Championship play-off race with a lot of the chasing teams playing each other, Sheff Wednesday showed their credentials with a 5-1 hammering of Norwich City whilst Derby came out on top 2-1 against Barnsley.
In the capital, it was 7th v 9th at Craven Cottage but Fulham’s impressive passing and movement style of play made easy work of North End who succumbed to their first defeat since the end of January.
A Sone Aluko goal 22 minutes in set the tone for the day as he fired past Chris Maxwell from Neeskens Kebano’s cutback in to the area.
Preston were never really at the races, and Fulham will have felt the three points simply fell in to their laps which was reflected in the stats with Preston finishing the game on just 29% possession.
The Cottagers made it 2-0 on the hour mark when Chris Martin finished well after an individual run forward from Ryan Fredrick.
Fulham’s second rallied Preston a little bit and after a bit of pressure, a wonderful defence splitting ball from Aiden McGeady put Tom Barkhuizen through on goal who finished neatly with the outside of his foot to half the deficit.
This gave the visitors a bit of hope and sparked some life in to the away end, the pressure increased from North End but the hosts were able to cope fairly well before they broke away to kill the game off with just over ten minutes to play.
Aluko and Kebano pretty much strolled through the Preston back line before the latter finished well with his left foot to send all three points to Salvisa Jokanovic’s side.
It was one of them days for Preston where you simply have to sit back and admit that you were beaten by a better side.
In terms of their play-off push, the gap stretched from a manageable six points to nine, which is a massive ask to make up with just the 11 games left of the campaign.
For a lot of fans, the football came second on a day like this, with a trip down to London and the Gentry Day occasion.
220 Preston fans hired a boat for the afternoon which took them from the Embankment down the River Thames to Putney Pier next to the ground.
A large number of fans were dressed in their best suits and bowler hats which is the tradition on Gentry Day.
Although, a defeat on the game chosen for the Gentry Day is becoming common, the latest defeats mean they now have a record of just one win, one draw and five defeats.