Goals from Jack O’Connell, Ian Henderson and Matthew Done ended North End’s eight match winning run, with the afternoon clearly not theirs as Joe Garner also missed a penalty.
For the second Saturday in a row the Lilywhites came in two behind, with O’Connell’s header and Henderson’s slide rule finish giving the home side a 2-0 interval lead.
Despite pressure for the opening quarter hour of the second half Dale then added a controversial third after Jones seemed to have two hands on the ball before Done took it off him and slid home from close range.
North End were then given a way back into the game when Garner was fouled in the box, but Conrad Logan saved his resulting spot kick with a fine save away to his right hand side.
The Lilywhites had made just one change from the side that won at Leyton Orient in midweek, Tom Clarke returning to the back line, Jack King swapping places with him on the bench.
The game was a slow burner with neither side testing the opposing keeper in the opening stages, however it was North End who showed first as Paul Gallagher’s corner was flicked on by Paul Huntington, only for it to be headed over the bar by Clarke.
On 18 minutes Gallagher swung over a powerful free kick from the right and Joe Garner rose highest in the box and headed goalwards, only for the ball to smash against the cross bar and out for goal kick.
It was just before the half hour mark that the deadlock was broken. A Scott Tanser free kick from inside his own half was allowed to get to the back post to where Jack O’Connell headed unmarked past Jamie Jones.
Keith Hill’s side doubled their lead on 32 minutes. A run from his own half by Rhys Bennett ended with him putting a ball in behind the North End defence to where Ian Henderson ran in and powered home into the bottom right corner.
The second half started with a sea of yellow pouring forward, Kevin Davies soon thrown into the mix. Chances were coming and Conrad Logan made a fine save to deny a Garner snap shot on 57 minutes, before from the corner the 11-goal frontman fired over from 12 yards out.
The pressure was mounting as the game passed the hour mark, Logan having to twice come and punch under pressure from Gallagher and Humphrey crosses, however, the home side made it three on 61 minutes.
A break from a North End attack saw the ball seemingly in Jones’ hands, but the referee allowed play to continue when Done took it off him and slid the ball into the empty net.
With North End pushing men forward the home side were looking to counter at every opportunity, but it was a North End counter that almost brought the next goal, Wiseman bursting past three men only to see his shot from just outside the ‘D’ deflected for a corner with 17 minutes left.
With 14 minutes left North End were given a way back into the game when Matthew Lund brought down Joe Garner in the box and referee Paul Tierney pointed straight to the spot, but Conrad Logan guessed the right way and dived to his right to palm away the striker’s effort and then came and claimed the resulting corner.
It wasn’t to be Garner’s afternoon at all as a Humphrey cross from the right gave him an excellent headed opportunity at the back post, but his effort was over Logan’s bar in the 85th minute and the home side were able to play out the remaining time to end North End's unbeaten run.
Rochdale line-up: Logan, Bennett (Lancashire, 82 (Andrew, 86)), Eastham, Lund, Dawson, Done, Tanser, Hery (Rafferty, 82), Rose, O’Connell, Henderson (c). Subs not used: Noble-Lazarus, Diba Musuanga, Camps.
PNE line-up: Jones, Wiseman, Buchanan, Kilkenny (King, 84), Clarke, Huntington, Humphrey, Welsh (c) (Browne, 66), Garner, Gallagher, Robinson (K Davies, 53). Subs not used: Stuckmann, Laird, Reid, King, Brownhill.
Attendance: 6,102 (2,844 away fans)
Referee: Mr P Tierney