The Lilywhites made it six league wins on the spin as life under Phil Brown in League One got off to a good start.
A first half penalty from Graham Alexander, which was then cancelled out by on loan Everton man Jose Baxter, and a goal from Danny Mayor gave North End all three points – despite a red card for Paul Parry.
The win took place in front of over 17,000 Preston supporters as ticket prices were cut to £10 for adults, £5 for concession, £2 for juniors and under eights went free.
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Brown’s side were unconvincing on the day but got the job done, leaving them in fifth place and just four points behind table topping Charlton Athletic.
Tranmere started the game the better of the two and Lucas Akins began his tormenting of PNE left back Parry, dragging a shot wide after 10 minutes. Parry was booked shortly after for dragging the tricky winger down.
North End were then presented with a golden chance after 27 minutes when Paul Coutts slipped Jamie Proctor through but after rounding the goalkeeper the no.9 could only fire over the bar.
They would take a lead into the break however as the home side won a penalty 10 minutes later. Neil Mellor got onto the end of Parry’s clipped pass forward and went down under a challenge from Ian Goodison – a decision which incensed Tranmere boss Les Parry and was dubbed harsh by North End boss Brown.
Alexander stepped up and as he did so often for PNE, converted from the spot.
Their lead was under threat but a fine save from Andreas Arestidou on debut kept Baxter out.
That would not last for the piece however as the 19-year-old got Rovers level, Akins cut in from the right side and his shot was smothered by Lilywhite bodies. That shot then squirmed across goal for Baxter to smash home on the follow up.
The visitors pushed for a winner as they enjoyed more of the game but that left them exposed and it was instead North End that found the all important goal.
Iain Hume and Coutts linked up to find Mayor, off the bench, breaking forward, one on one he calmy slotted the ball in at the near post to net his first league goal.
Despite being the man to edge PNE into the lead, Mayor’s day was cut short 11 minutes after coming on as Parry was sent off.
The young winger was the man sacrificed after his Welsh teammate felled Akins after the Rovers man got the better of him and looked to get into the box.
Tranmere pushed for an equaliser, with future North Enders John Welsh and David Buchanan in their ranks, but it was Mellor that nearly netted next.
Owain Fon Williams twice kept out PNE’s no.33 as the game finished 2-1.
PNE Starting XI: Arestidou, McLaughlin, Carlisle, McLean, Parry, Coutts, Nicholson, Alexander, Hume (Ashbee, 81’), Proctor (Mayor, 65’, Gray, 84’), Mellor.