Preston North End 2 Cardiff City 1. Match Report
The Lilywhites had previously been held at home by both Sheffield Wednesday and Queens Park Rangers, but they managed to go one better against the high-flying Bluebirds.
In front of a crowd of 12,435, a rough and tumble first half was full of bookings.
City's Dutch former Feyenoord defender Glenn Loovens, lasted just ten minutes before he was sent off for an early bath for fouling the onrushing David Nugent on the edge of the visitors box.
Michael Chopra had a shot saved a minute later and Paul McKenna forced a great save from Cardiff keeper Neil Alexander when he smacked in a 25-yard right-foot shot.
Bluebirds striker Steven Thompson was booked for a foul on Chris Sedgwick in the centre of the pitch as temperatures continued to rise and Chopra was booked for kicking the ball out of the ground after 27 minutes.
Simon Whaley then had a great shot saved by the Alexander's legs as the home side pressed forward, with his effort going out for a right-wing corner.
Nugent was booked for pretending to kick the ball at the linesman after 32 minutes and two minutes later he paid the ultimate price as was sent off after a challenge on Kevin McNaughton.
That leveled things up at ten men apiece as referee Eddie Ilderton became the centre of attention.
Preston boss Simpson made two substitutions at half-time bringing on Patrick Agyemang for Daniele Dichio and Matt Hill for Kelvin Wilson.
Within three minutes that decision paid off as super sub Agyemang scored when he picked up Sedgwick's assist to turn and hit a right-foot shot into the bottom right-hand corner of the net past the stranded Alexander.
However, the Bluebirds were level three minutes later when a McNaughton assist was knocked on for Chopra to shoot right-footed into the roof of the net past the exposed Nash.
Paul Parry was booked for blocking Alexander's free-kick after 55 minutes and then Whaley had a shot deflected for a right-wing corner, before shooting wide from that corner.
Danny Pugh made it 2-1 to Preston when he headed home Sedgwick's great cross from the right by-line after beating his defender and this made it 2-1 to the home side after 65 minutes.
City rarely looked like getting back into the game after that second setback and it was the home side who looked more likely to get on the scoresheet again.
McKenna had a shot saved as Preston dominated with time running out, although Riccardo Scimeca had a great free-kick blocked by Nash late on.