Ben Brereton Diaz scored the only goal of the game, a well taken header that nestled just inside the far post.
North End started the game well before falling a little off the pace in the second half.
The conditions were not conducive to a free-flowing, attacking game but it did make for a battling derby as the ball was unable to roll or bounce properly due to water on the pitch.
A big talking point was a penalty that was not given following Earl’s cross that struck the arm of Ryan Nyambe.
It came less than 10 minutes before the end and would have provided PNE the platform to push on and try to at least take a point from the game, with the home side penned in at the time.
Earl said: “It was definitely a penalty, it was my cross and he’s defended with his arms quite wide.
“His arms were away from his body and I think the ref will agree with me when he sees it back. He gave a free-kick when the lad dived over my leg but he didn’t fancy giving the pen.
“It was the same in the first half, it wasn’t a penalty, it was outside of the box, but it was handball. He’s missed two there and I’m sure when he looks back at it he’ll hold his hands up.”
After a decent first 45 minutes, North End let their dominance slip in the second half.
Rovers’ goal gave them something to cling to and take the sting out of the game, with conditions aiding them.
Earl expected Blackburn to show more in the second half but still did not feel his side should have left Ewood Park empty handed.
He said: “I thought in the first half we dominated the game.
“The conditions didn’t really help the performance for either team but I thought in the first half we dominated it, the second half was scrappy but I don’t think we deserved to lose the game at all.
“The ball wasn’t rolling, the ball wasn’t bouncing but you’ve got to play to the conditions haven’t you?
“We did that in the first half, the ball stuck up top, we were much more dominant in the game in the first half and we did not deserve to lose.
“We weren’t as dominant in the second half, due to our own mistakes in the first 10 minutes. Other than that, I don’t think they had much in the game at all.
“We were expecting a response because we’d dominated them but we had our fair share in the second half, I don’t think it was a game of two halves.
“We fought well. It was a great header from Diaz but we have to defend the cross better.”