PNE striker Joe Garner ended his 12 match goal drought with a powerful header that sealed a 1-0 victory over 10-man Sheffield Wednesday at Deepdale.
Garner leapt above his man at the back stick to nod home Calum Woods’ sublime left-footed cross in the 73rd minute.
It is his first goal since scoring from the spot in PNE’s 1-0 victory over Reading on December 12.
The goal came seven minutes after Owls striker Fernando Forestieri needlessly picked up a second yellow for deliberately handling Atdhe Nuhui’s cross into the six-yard box.
He had been booked four minutes into the second half for simulation and the red card was produced at a time when Wednesday were in control.
But Woods - who bagged his third assist in as many games - and Garner took the game by the scruff of the neck and ensured PNE bagged their third win in a row.
The victory saw the Lilywhites leapfrog Nottingham Forest into 10th in the Championship table.
Simon Grayson made no changes to the side that beat Wolves 2-1 last weekend.
Wednesday were dominant in the opening stages but their only real meaningful chance was a Ross Wallace set-piece that clattered into the wall after Wright had upended Forestieri.
Woods fired wide and Garner’s shot from just outside the box flew straight down Kieren Westwood’s throat as North End launched a number of attacks.
Reach curled the ball round the right post and Garner nodded the ball down towards the bottom left corner but it was just tipped away by Westwood.
Barry Bannan was the first man in the book for a foul on Garner and the Lilywhites nearly took the lead from the subsequent set-piece.
Gallagher’s ball from the half way line was flicked on into the path of Tom Clarke unmarked at the back post. The ball fell sweetly for Clarke but he fluffed his shot and drilled it low past the wrong side of the left post.
Reach’s shot from distance went wide of right post from distance and up the other end Nuhui headed over.
Woods upended Lee and was the second name in the referee’s notebook and the defender limped off the pitch at the half-time whistle.
PNE made a bright start to the second 45 and Garner was appealing for a penalty within minutes of the re-start.
Woods whipped the ball in from the right, Garner leapt high and went down under pressure from Jack Hunt at the back stick. The ball fell to Browne who fired over and the referee waved away Garner’s claims he was pushed in the back.
Forestieri was booked for simulation and Wright was booked for a foul on Bannan on the right and Wednesday hit the woodwork from the subsequent set-piece.
Former PNE man Wallace hoofed the ball in from the right and Vincent Sasso popped up unmarked at the back post but he just failed to hit the target and squeeze the ball home.
Cunningham was booked as Wednesday had a number of chances to take the lead.
The visitor’s looked most likely to score but Forestieri picked up a second yellow and the Owls were reduced to 10 men.
Nuhui whipped the ball in from the right but as it appeared to just be missing his head the striker leapt up and deliberately handled the ball in the six yard box, leaving referee Keith Stroud no option but to send him for an early bath.
Seven minutes later the Lilywhites were ahead. Woods stormed down the right flank, cut inside near the corner of the box and produced a sublime left-footed cross that Garner nodded home.
Substitute Ben Pearson nearly made it two in the six minutes of added time after Daniel Johnson pulled the ball back to him at the top of the box but his shot trickled past the right post.
Pudil was booked for bringing down Johnson in the corner and moments later the full-time whistle went much to the delight of the home faithful.
The result leaves North End eight points off sixth-placed Wednesday who currently occupy the final play-off spot.
PNE: Lindegaard, Clarke, Wright, Huntington, Cunningham, Browne, Johnson, Gallagher (Pearson, 88), Woods, Reach, Garner (Hugill, 89). Subs not used: Kirkland, Kilkenny, Doyle, Welsh, Robinson.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Nuhui (Joao, 69) Hooper, Lees, Lee (McGugan, 77) Sasso, Hunt (Matias, 85) Wallace, Pudil, Bannan, Forestieri, Subs not used: Price, Turner, Bennett, Lopez.
Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire)
Attendance: 16923 (5648 away)