PNE rued missed opportunies as they fell to their eighth consecutive league defeat at the hands of local rivals Burnley
Burnley triumphed 2-1 in the Third Division clash as PNE peppered the Clarets goal but failed to defend against two fierce Burnley headers.
Brian Flynn side stepped PNE skipper Paul Lodge on the left wing before firing the ball into the path of Kevin Reeves.
Reeves rose above the pack unmarked to head home and open the scoring in the 19th minute.
Billy Hamilton doubled Burnley’s lead by latching on to Tommy Hutchington’s cross from the left in the 43rd minute.
The header increased Hamilton’s goalscoring tally to 10 - his ninth with his head.
PNE were unlucky to be 2-0 down at the interval as they had several golden opportunities in the first 45.
Peter Houghton’s fierce strike was tipped away by Burnley keeper Roger Handsbury.
Handsbury tipped a David Jones header over the bar, Steve Elliott’s shot was deflected, Jon Clark’s strike flew wide and John Kelly’s superb volley clattered into the bar as PNE peppered the Burnley goal.
Burnley danger man Flynn was unlucky not to increase the host’s lead after there-start as he went close with two efforts.
But PNE still upped the ante as Lodge, Elliott, Kelly, Houghton, Willie Naughtonand Joe Hinnigan all had clear cut attempts to reduce the deficit.
Litchfield was called into action up the other end as he denied Reeves, Hutchingson, Waldron and Hamilton.
With three minutes to go North End eventually rippled the back of the net as Houghton pounced as the ball rebounded off the keeper and ended his five match goal drought.
Only a brilliant save by Burnley keeper Handsbury - who nearly signed for PNE - prevented Kelly from getting an injury time equaliser.