After conceding to a Paddy McNair header in the first half, a Ched Evans header levelled things up before Emil Riis showed composure and power to fire the ball into the top corner.
PNE were not at the races in the opening 45 minutes and did well to come through only a goal behind, goalkeeper Daniel Iversen a star performer.
But Evans, on his return from a long injury lay off, netted for the Lilywhites and they capitalised on a mistake to take the lead.
For North End's top scorer however, it was about keeping in the game - somehow - and keeping the faith.
He said: "It was bad going into half time one down but we talked about a few things, luckily we got the two goals in the second half.
"It was a fantastic header from Ched to get us back in the game and that was important for us.
"I admit it was tough, they had some good chances and they will be devastated not to close the game out. We kept believing and thought we were going to come back and we did."
Riis found the net for the 12th time this season, his eighth in the Championship, to seal the three points.
With December only a week away, it seemed like Santa had made an early visit although PNE were arguably on the naughty list in the first half.
They could have been awarded two penalties, the first for a foul on Riis as he was shoved in the back and the second on Josh Earl as his marker went to ground.
Riis said: "I was very happy, it was a big gift - an early Christmas present maybe. I'm very happy.
"When you get the win we always try and push on and look to the next game.
"Hopefully we can take that confidence into the next game and hopefully we can get some points in that game as well.
"I think I should have had a penalty, Josh should have as well but I don't want to comment on the referee.
"We should have been more in the game at half time.
"I easily thought we could have had two penalties, with a bit more luck we could have had some goals. We dug in - I thought we would have come back and we did."
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