Defender Michael Hector's 63rd minute header ensured the Owls halted a four-match winless run, with Preston having had Ben Pearson sent off in the first half after a mistimed tackle on Marco Matias.
The Star's Dom Howson analyses how Wednesday's players performed at Hillsborough.
KEIREN WESTWOOD 7
There was a huge cheer around the ground when his name was read out by the announcer. The goalkeeper, making his first start of the season, commanded his penalty area with authority throughout. He was forced into a routine save early on but hardly barely had anything to do in a scrappy first period.
LIAM PALMER 7
Came back into the side at the expense of Ash Baker and put in a solid defensive showing. Offered little in the attacking third but played his part in helping Wednesday record just a third league clean sheet this term.
TOM LEES 7
The captain led from the front, putting in a number of vital blocks to help nullify Preston's attacking threat. Lees was strong and commanding. He organised Wednesday's back four and was rarely troubled after Ben Pearson's sending off.
MICHAEL HECTOR 7
The Jamaican international won his aerial challenges and was neat and tidy in possession. Was not overly worked after Pearson's dismissal. Claimed his first goal in Owls colours in front of the Kop, heading in Reach's immaculate centre.
MORGAN FOX 6
Tried to get forward as much as possible and took up several attacking positions. His end product, though, was disappointing. Made a vital clearance in the closing stages as Preston pushed for an unlikely equaliser.
JOEY PELUPESSY 7
Put himself about and showed a strong work ethic in the midfield engine room. Pelupessy was disciplined and protected the back four well as Wednesday took dominated the second half for long periods.
JOSH ONOMAH 7
Found it hard not to impose himself in the first half but he was much-improved after the break and the Tottenham HotspurÂ loanee provided the assist for the club, floating in an exquisite cross for Hector to steer in. Onomah was subbedÂ late on.
ADAM REACH 8
He was the creative spark in Wednesday's team. The former Preston North End loanee whipped in two majestic crosses for Fletcher and Joao's header opportunities in the opening 45 minutes. Always looked to make things happen.
MARCO MATIAS 7
Buoyed after his strike at Swansea City, Matias was a willing runner. The Portuguese forward was lucky to avoid injury after Pearson's rash lunge in the first half. Forced Rudd into a smart stop prior to Hector's header following fine approach play by Reach and Fletcher.
LUCAS JOAO 7
Wednesday's eight-goal top-scorer grafted hard on the left hand side. It is not his favoured role but he stuck to his task well. Joao showed flashes of his ability in possession but he had no opportunities to add to his goal tally.
STEVEN FLETCHER 7
The big Scot was a handful in the air and led the line intelligently. It took a stunning save from Declan Rudd to prevent Fletcher from getting on the scoresheet with a glancing header after a lovely delivery from Reach. Was taken off late on.
Atdhe Nuhiu (80, N/A)
Sam Hutchinson (81, N/A)
George Boyd (88, N/A)
Unused: Dawson, Thorniley, Baker, Pudil.