In-form Preston came close to ending Coventry's long sequence of unbeaten First Division matches. North End had to come from behind twice but produced the best football.
David Thompson opened the scoring for the home side in the fourth minute when Marc Edworthy's deep centre skidded off the head of a defender to reach the little winger on the left corner of the penalty area. He needed one touch before sending a shot inside Teuvo Moilanen's left-hand post.
The goal appeared to lift Preston more than Coventry. The visitors went close on several occasions before Chris Lucketti headed an equaliser from Graham Alexander's corner in the 42nd minute.
Preston continued to play the better football in the second half and both Gary Breen and Laurent Delorge had to clear goalbound shots off the line.
In the 77th minute Thompson chested down a ball on the edge of the area and lashed a right-foot shot into the top corner of the net. But within two minutes Preston were level again when Richard Cresswell planted a firm header into the net from Sean Gregan's centre.
Coventry City: Goram; Shaw, Breen, Konjic, Edworthy, Thompson, Carsley, Safri, Delorge (Antonelius, 73), Hughes, Bothroyd (Martinez 52). Substitutes not used: Strachan, Normann, Montgomery (gk).
Preston North End: Moilanen, Alexander, Kidd, Lucketti, Murdock, Cartwright, Gregan, Rankine, McKenna, Healy (Cresswell, 38), Macken. Substitutes not used: Lucas (gk), Eaton, Gallacher, Anderson.
Referee: P Taylor (Cheshunt).