The defender headed past his own goalkeeper midway through the second half to cancel out Iain Hume's early opener.
The goal maintained City's recent resurgence and Keith Millen's side are now unbeaten in four matches.
It might have been a different story had efforts from Hume and Jon Parkin been a little lower and not struck the crossbar with the score at 1-1.
But the hosts could also have snatched victory with Albert Adomah's cross-shot coming back off the far post immediately after the equaliser.
After holding then-leaders QPR to a draw at Ashton Gate and beating Middlesbrough away last weekend, Millen named the same starting XI for the third straight game.
Preston boss Darren Ferguson made two changes, bringing Craig Morgan and Parkin back into the starting line up.
North End flew out of the blocks and went ahead after just two minutes. Hume turned in Sean St Ledger's right-wing cross from 10 yards out for his third goal since joining on loan from Barnsley.
Parkin twice failed to test David James with shots from the edge of the box, while Adomah and Marvin Elliott missed the target at the other end.
Adomah then drilled a low shot narrowly wide as the first half drew to a close.
Preston almost started the second half as they had the first when Hume crashed a 18-yard shot off the underside of the crossbar with James well beaten.
However, the slightest of touches from James' fingertips diverted a Parkin effort on to the woodwork. The former England keeper then denied the same player with a parry soon afterwards.
The importance of those interventions was underlined after 71 minutes when Jones headed Jamie McAllister's free-kick past Andy Lonergan under pressure from Elliott.
The goal lifted City and Adomah struck the woodwork before Lonergan was forced to save from Brett Pitman. Elliott went close late on as Preston hung on.