The Lilywhites bowed out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle in a game played behind closed doors in South Wales because of restrictions put in place by the Welsh Government.
It went to extra-time, the 90 minutes finishing 1-1 with Daniel Johnson equalising from the penalty spot after Isaak Davies had given the Bluebirds the lead.
Both teams looked tired in the extra half-hour and it looked like the game was heading for penalties until Mark Harris struck in the 116th minute after a couple of mistakes in the PNE defence.
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PNE boss Lowe told the Lancashire Post: “We wanted to win, get through and play a Premier League side.
“That would have been a fantastic day out, that was the aim and the plan.
“It wasn’t to be and we have to accept that. We’ll learn a lot from it.
“We’ll go through the clips with the boys when they are back in on Tuesday, we’ll have a chat about it.
“It will be a debrief as a group together, there will be some criticism but we have to accept that.
“We’re not here to fall out with each other, we just need to make each other better.
“This will be all put to bed on Tuesday and then we’ll go about putting a game plan together for the Birmingham match on Saturday, get ready for a busy spell of Championship football.”
North End saw plenty of the ball in the first half but went in 1-0 behind at half-time.
They’d attacked with more purpose in the league wins over Barnsley and Stoke, that forward play not quite so polished yesterday.
Lowe said: “At one point in the first half my analyst told me it was 75%possession.
“I’d told the boys to try and keep the ball as much as they can, try to work openings.
“Sometimes the turnovers were too quick, when we gave it away Cardiff were able to go long – we wanted to stop that.
“As we were giving the ball away, we need to be looking at our decision-making.
“I’ve got to admit that it felt very flat in the ground with there being no supporters.
“When you are trying to get some momentum going in tour play, you need the fans there to help that.”
Lowe gave Josh Harrop his first run in a PNE shirt since Boxing Day 2020, the midfielder coming off the bench in the second half.
Goalscorer Johnson came off in extra-time suffering from cramp.
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