Alex Neil felt his side did enough to take all three points at Ipswich despite ending the game with Paul Gallagher in goal.
Preston went down to 10 men 15 minutes from time when goalkeeper Chris Maxwell was sent off for a second bookable offence.
All three subs had been used so despite having just scored the equaliser it was Gallagher who ended up being the unlikely figure between the sticks.
There were chances at both ends though in the closing stages, the stand-in shot-stopper saving from Danny Rowe while Lukas Nmecha needed too much time to get away a shot in PNE’s best opening, Matthew Pennington’s challenge ensuring the game ended 1-1.
“I thought we should have won the game,” said Neil.
“We had a free-kick that went right across the box, I think Tom Clarke comes in at the back post and should do a bit better.
“Then Lukas Nmecha has the best opportunity of the game for me.
“When it’s 1-1 with three minutes to go you would expect a player of his quality to stick it in the net.
“I didn’t feel as if when we were down to 10 men that they were really in ascendancy.
“They had one where a corner got cleared, the lad has hit a shot and Gally has saved it but I thought we looked the most threatening we did throughout the whole game.”
At the final whistle Neil admitted to being left with mixed emotions about taking home a point against the Championship’s bottom side.
The result left the Lilywhites one of three sides five points clear of Ipswich, PNE out of the relegation zone only on goal difference.
“It was always going to be a tough match,” Neil said.
“With it being Paul Lambert’s first game it was always going to be a hostile environment and he was always going to get his side up and in our faces.
“Ultimately you need to win that fight and that battle. Both teams were a little bit scrappy.
“After going down to 10 men we’re relieved we didn’t lose it but a bit frustrated that we didn’t win.
“We wanted more before we came but in the grand scheme of things it’s not a bad point.”