Penalty shootout glory proved scant consolation for Preston boss Alex Neil who watched on as his side shipped a two-goal lead in normal time to send their Carabao Cup second round tie to spot-kicks against Hull.
While his Lilywhites prevailed 5-4 from 12-yards, the 38-year-old boss was left seething after the hosts had allowed Jarrod Bowen to make it 2-2 in the 95th minute.
But even Neil admitted that his charges showed bottle to convert all five of their kicks, with Connor Ripley the hero with the crucial save that saw them advance.
"We have messed it up so the only way to fix it is to go and win the penalties," Neil said.
"I thought they showed good composure, certainly after a disappointing end to the game when you lose a goal that late, it's easy for that to affect you, but I thought they were all brave.
"They stood up and stuck the ball away and Connor makes a very good save for us, so I think all in all over the 90 minutes, we certainly deserved to get through the tie more than they did.
"Even in the second half when there was a bit of pressure, I thought we had clearer chances in the game than they did, comfortably."
Paul Huntington and Josh Harrop scored twice at Deepdale in the space of six first-half minutes, and for a time it looked as though it would be plain sailing for Preston.
But Alan Browne's foul on Tigers man Leo Da Silva Lopes allowed Josh Magennis to reduce arrears, all before Bowen's late-late show.
Hull manager Grant McCann chose to take the positives despite the difficult end to the contest.
"I thought the whole team's performance was excellent in the second half," he said.
"I thought they all did their jobs better in the second half and that in turn brought us the two goals.
"We wanted to have a cup run but what really pleased me was the second-half performance.
"I thought we showed everything that we've shown in most of the games this season, and I thought we showed that much more in the second half."