Wednesday were beaten 3-1 by Preston amid late drama at Hillsborough.
After the visitors wasted a wealth of chances, the Owls stole into the lead through Jacob Murphy before Scott Sinclair snatched what appeared to be a late point.
But then controversy unfolded on a rainy S6 night as within a minute, Julian Börner had a goal disallowed and Preston promptly stormed up the other end where Jayden Stockley found the target.
And with the contest approaching stoppage time, Brad Potts delivered the final blow to condemn Wednesday to three successive defeats.
Prior to that, the Lilywhites could have been out of sight but fluffed their lines in the final third before coming good at the last.
Both sides had chances in the early exchanges, each of which almost signalled the opening goal.
Patrick Bauer nodded tamely into the midriff of Joe Wildsmith before the Owls countered and Dominic Iorfa’s header shaved the top of the crossbar.
North End hit straight back as Tom Barkhuizen brushed the side-netting with a fierce drive on the angle and Bauer again might have done better with a free header that whistled wide.
It was an encouraging start for the visitors and they were next to threaten, this time Joey Pelupessy bravely blocked a goalbound effort from Ryan Ledson.
Preston came again and Sean Maguire was a whisker away from skipper Alan Browne’s low feed. The Owls needed an outlet and found it on the half-hour mark when Barry Bannan swung in a wicked corner that Joe Rafferty cleared off the line.
Back came Preston and another gilt-edged chance went begging. Barkhuizen raced in on goal down the left channel and cut inside to shoot across Wildsmith but past the far post.
Preston were almost made to pay for their profligacy when Bannan picked out Alessio Da Cruz, who lost his marker in the box only to see Jordan Storey slide in with a timely tackle as he pulled the trigger.
The start of the second half saw Wednesday seize more of the initiative and grab their reward on 59 minutes.
Murphy embarked on a mazy run that took the wideman into the area where he played a neat give and go with Atdhe Nuhiu before slotting beneath the advancing Declan Rudd.
The breakthrough seemed to settle the Owls, who certainly had the edge as Preston struggled to mirror their first half pedigree.
Josh Windass made a welcome return from the bench for Wednesday and immediately made an impact with a sweet shot just wide.
Bur moments later on 78 minutes, Preston were level. A long ball was glanced on to the lurking Sinclair by Stockley and the former Celtic man kept his composure to smash past Wildsmith.
Then, with four minutes to go, the Owls seemed to have taken the points. Bannan’s corner was headed home by Börner but the assistant referee’s flag cut short the celebrations.
And still there was time for a double late salvo from the visitors. Stockley took aim from the edge of the box and found the bottom corner on 87 minutes, and moments later Potts struck a similar hit from range and put the game to bed.
Wednesday: Wildsmith, Palmer, Börner, Iorfa, Harris (Reach 89), Bannan, Luongo, Pelupessy, Murphy (Odubajo 62), Nuhiu, Da Cruz (Windass 70)