Preston had an early escape though when Barry Nicholson rescued them with a goal-line clearance as Gary Thompson fired in a shot from a corner.
But it was the visitors who stuck with the opening goal after 14 minutes when skipper Iain Hume found room to unleash a terrific left-foot shot from 25 yards.
Preston almost made it 2-0 just before the interval when Nicholson brought the best out of Lillis with a far-post header.
Scunthorpe, dogged by poor home form all last season, struggled to get back on level terms while Nicholson and Hume both went close for Preston.
But with just three minutes remaining Barcham struck with an equaliser for Scunthorpe, curling a right-foot shot past goalkeeper Iain Turner after a mis-hit effort from Michael O’Connor had fallen into his path.