Super-sub Callum Robinson terrorised relegation favourites Charlton Athletic and fired Preston North End to a 2-1 victory at Deepdale.
Joe Garner headed home Gallagher’s corner to break the deadlock in the 34th minute but Championship bottom club Charlton were level moments later as Johann Berg Gudmundsson drilled the ball into the bottom right corner.
The game sparked to life in the second 45 after PNE boss Simon Grayson made an inspired tactical decision to withdraw defender Bailey Wright and introduce hungry on-loan Aston Villa forward Callum Robinson to the fray.
Grayson switched from the 3-5-1-1 formation to 4-3-3 with Robinson joining Adam Reach and Garner in a front three.
The attacking intent showed and Robinson stole the show and nabbed the all important second goal.
Reach fizzed the ball into the box towards a flurry of North End shirts, Robinson was first in the queue and he poked the ball past Stephen Henderson in the 52nd minute.
Charlton were reduced to 10 just over 20 minutes later as Harry Lennon was shown a straight red for an alleged punch on Joe Garner.
North End had multiple chances to increase their tally but the score remained 2-1 as they recorded their fourth successive win.
The victory moves them up to ninth in the Championship table, just six points off the play-offs.
It was a scrappy, sloppy and uninspiring first half that was brought to life for three minutes after Garner nodded North End ahead.
There were glimmers of attacking intent from both sides as Alan Browne headed over and Berg Gudmundsson showed Deepdale a taste of what was to come as he got his eye in with a low shot from distance that was palmed away by Lindegaard.
Reach fired wide but it was Charlton who dominated and whipped in crosses time and time again from the left and right flank without threatening Lindegaard.
In fact the closest the visitor’s came to opening the scoring was through a PNE player as Ademola Lookman’s cross from right cannoned off Woods at the back post into the path of Lindegaard.
After the half hour mark North End started to show signs of the form that has seen them climb up the Championship.
PNE’s current assist king Woods found himself in the box and on the opposite end of a cross as he latched onto Tom Clarke’s cross from the right but the ball sailed wide.
Fresh from ending his 12 match barren run on Saturday, Garner popped up to make it two in two as he nodded Gallagher’s corner from the right down into the bottom left corner in the 34th minute.
But Charlton were level within minutes as Berg Gudmundsson was not closed down outside the box and his low, left-footed shot whizzed into the bottom right corner.
Grayson made an attacking change at the interval as Bailey Wright was sacrificed for Callum Robinson as PNE shifted from a 5-3-1-1 wing back formation to a 4-3-3 shape.
It turned out to be an inspired substitution as it allowed Reach more space to terrorise Charlton’s defence.
The winger latched on to Lindegaard’s throw from deep just inside North End’s half ghosted down the left flank and pulled the ball back for Robinson who threw a leg at it and sent it looping over Henderson in the 52nd minute.
The lively Robinson broke down the left wing and slipped the ball to Browne who ran one-on-one with Henderson, the keeper blocked Browne’s shot, tripped him, but the rebound fell to Reach. The on-loan Middlesbrough man tried to curl the ball into the bottom corner with the keeper off his line but he just over hit his shot and it went wide of the left post.
PNE were in control but the pendulum swung further in favour of the Lilywhites as Charlton were reduced to 10-men in the 73rd minute.
Lookman’s corner was cleared but Lennon appeared to punch Garner off the ball.
Garner was left in a heap on the goal line rolling around in pain as referee James Adcock did not hesitate to give Lennon his marching orders for violent conduct.
Moments later Reach had another golden opportunity to make it three after some slick work by paceman Robinson on the left.
The on-loan Aston Villa man pulled the ball back into the path of Reach at the top of the box but his first time effort flew straight into the welcoming arms of Henderson.
Substitute Yaya Sanogo was shown a yellow card for a bad foul on Paul Huntington and PNE sub John Welsh was carded for a foul on Lookman.
In-between the two bookings Browne fired way off target with Reach in space to his right.
And Robinson was the final man in the referees book for kicking the ball away as the clock ticked into the 91st minute.
Charlton nearly stole an equaliser in injury time as Sanogo’s 10-yard effort was deflected just wide of the right post.
It would have been a cruel ending to what was an attacking and vibrant second half performance by the Lilywhites who moved up to ninth in the Championship table.
PNE: Lindegaard, Woods, Clarke, Huntington, Wright (Robinson, 46), Cunningham, Browne, Gallagher (Welsh, 82), Johnson, Reach, Garner (Hugill, 90). Subs not used: Hudson, Vermijl, Pearson, Doyle.
Charlton: Henderson, Motta (Sanogo, 78), Teixeira, Johnson, Lennon, Fox, Solly (Fanni, 64), Cousins (Ba, 58), Gudmundsson, Lookman, Makienok. Subs not used: Pope, Suk-Young, Bergdich, Harriott.