PNE bounced back from a dreadful first-half performance to beat Leyton Orient 2-1 at Deepdale.
The 5,628 fans thought the club was destined for a drop to Division Four but a gutsy second-half display helped them fight back from a goal down to take all three points.
Two fierce snap shots from Joe Hinnigan and Peter Sayer erased memories of Colin Foster’s 25th minute goal and allowed them to leapfrog Orient and leave them a point below them in the Division Three table.
Foster gave his team the lead in the 25th minute after an exchange of passes with Peter Kitchen following good work from Barry Silkman from a throw-in by John Cornwell.
The goal was Foster’s second of the season and he exploited a defensive lapse by PNE as he strolled unmarked into the box.
Joe Hinnigan nearly gave a goal away with a careless back pass and Don O’Riordan rescued PNE on another occasion by clearing off the line after a Keith Houchen header had crashed into the bar.
Orient peppered PNE’s goal in the first half but the game changed after ex-PNE star and Orient boss Ken Knighton shifted formation.
Mark McNeil was pulled into a more defensive position in a 4-4-2 shape in the second half after he had terrorised PNE’s back line by launching a string of dangerous attacks on the left.
That shift and a half-time blasting from manager Gordon Lee spurred PNE into action.
The Lilywhites piled on the pressure and finally bagged an equaliser in the 57th minute.
Hinnigan smashed home his third goal in nine games after pouncing on Tommy Booth’s knock-down from a Graham Bell corner.
He was unlucky not to add a second but Orient keeper Mervyn Day was on hand to tip away his fierce strike.
Booth appeared to pull back Peter Kitchen just before North End’s second goal but Rotherham referee John Kay waved play-on.
And within seconds PNE rippled the back of the net as Sayer followed up to score his second goal for the club.
He hammered home from close range after some slick work from Bell and Steve Elliot.
The referee booked Booth for handball and Bell for a foul on Day.
The win was only PNE’s 12th victory in 42 league games.