It was hats off to Preston and their supporters when they won at Bolton Wanderers in March 2016.
More than 4,400 PNE fans were celebrating Gentry Day and a second-half comeback made sure the afternoon was a memorable one.
Having fallen behind to a Liam Trotter goals in the first half, Jordan Hugill and Eoin Doyle found the net to turn the game on its head.
Doyle’s winner came four minutes from time to send the travelling hoards wild.
This was the first time since 2005 that North End had won on Gentry Day – they were to do so again two years later in 2018.
Hopes of a victory looked a long way from reality in the first half of the derby clash.
PNE gave their hosts far too much space and time on the ball, with Bolton worthy of their interval lead.
A change of formation and a couple of substitutions made by Simon Grayson were to help turn the tide.
For all their struggles in the first half, North End went close to taking the lead with just 17 seconds played.
Callum Robinson’s pass gave Adam Reach space to run into down the left wing.
Reach’s cross found Hugill, his header clipping the top of the bar and going over the bar.
Bolton began to get on top and carved out some decent opportunities.
A shot from Zach Clough struck Calum Woods on the back and looped into the gloves of Anders Lindegaard.
Clough put a header straight at Lindegaard after being picked out by a Feeney cross and the home side’s pressure paid off when they took a 22nd-minute lead.
The North End defence did not press Clough close enough when he got the ball inside the box, allowing him to lay the ball back to Trotter who stroked a shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
Both set of fans took part in a minute’s applause in the 33rd minute to mark this week’s 70th anniversary of the Burnden Park disaster when 33 football fans lost their lives.
North End switched to a back four and a 4-3-3 system for the start of the second half and how it benefited them.
The equaliser came in the 57th minute, with left-back Greg Cunningham leading the attacking with a strong run out of his own half and down the wing.
He played the ball out to Robinson who clipped the ball into the middle where Reach got it on the side of the six-yard box with his back to goal.
Reach hooked it over his shoulder and Hugill got his head among the boots to send a diving header over the line, the keeper getting a hand to it but unable to prevent it going over the line.
Hugill got a whack on the head from Dean Moxey’s boot for his troubles but was soon up off the floor to join in the celebrations.
Vermijl came on for Daniel Johnson in the 78th minute, with Doyle thrown on for the tiring Hugill soon after.
It was immediately after Doyle’s arrival that North End hit the winner to spark celebrations in the away end.
Cunningham drove down the left and put too much power on his cross which travelled across the box and beyond the far post.
But Vermijl got to it and volleyed goalwards, the ball hitting Doyle which took it past a covering defender on the line.
PNE saw out the last few minutes in relative comfort and had the ball in the net a third time when Doyle swept home a Vermijl cross, only to see the flag go up against him for offside.