Scunthorpe paid the price for their defensive deficiencies as they crashed 4-0 at home to a supremely confident Preston side.
It was Scunthorpe's first home defeat since manager Russ Wilcox was appointed at the end of November and it leaves them still looking for their first point at League One level.
The Iron, promoted last season, started well enough and were unlucky when Paddy Madden rattled the bar in the fourth minute with a fierce right-foot shot from the edge of the box after being put clear by Lyle Taylor
It was Preston though who eased in front after 17 minutes when Joe Garner was allowed all the time in the world to pull down a right-wing cross from Chris Humphrey and lash a close-range shot past rookie keeper Jamie Severn, making only his second appearance for the home side.
It was Humphrey the provider again as Preston made it 2-0 in the 39th minute when his low cross from the right was turned into his own net by Scunthorpe centre-back Miguel Llera.
Three minutes into the second half Humphrey took centre stage, cutting in from the right to make it 3-0 with a left-foot shot into the bottom far corner of the net.
Scunthorpe's disappointment later deepened when a header from winger Jennison Myrie-Williams brushed against a post to deny them even a consolation goal.
It was Preston who completed the scoring in the 82nd minute when Garner notched his second goal of the game with a sweet far-post header.