North End came from behind twice against Premier League AFC Bournemouth, but the Cherries triumphed 3-2 on penalties at Deepdale.
Shaun MacDonald headed the visitors into the lead, but substitute Jordan Hugill took the game to extra-time with a close range header five minutes from time.
Another substitute Marc Pugh poked home in the first half of extra-time, only for Daniel Johnson to fire home from the spot with two minutes left to take the game to spot kicks.
Adam Federici was the hero for the south coast side, however, as he saved from Hugill, Browne and Johnson, to give the top flight outfit a place in the fourth round.
With Joe Garner (suspended) and Eoin Doyle (cup tied) the Lilywhites started with Will Keane and Stevie May as the strike-pairing trying to help take a second Premier League scalp in as many Capital One Cup rounds at Deepdale.
Eddie Howe last brought a side to Deepdale back in February 2012, a few days after the departure of Graham Westley and just before the arrival of Simon Grayson, so this was the first time the two managers had faced off against each other as bosses of their respective sides.
The visitors made nine changes to the side that recorded the Cherries’ first ever home win in the Premier League against Sunderland the previous Saturday, with former North End loanee Josh King in attack alongside Yann Kermorgant.
The only players in the North End side to have been in the starting 11 the last time the sides met were John Welsh and Bailey Wright, the latter scoring the second goal in the 2-0 win the side recorded in John Dreyer’s only game in charge of a PNE outfit.
The south coast outfit, who had flown up the morning of the game, got into their stride early, with Junior Stanislas dragging a shot wide from 20 yards and Josh King forcing Jordan Pickford into a fine save after a deep corner had been headed into his path by centre half Steve Cook; the Norway-born forward spinning and firing towards the top left corner until the on loan custodian’s intervention.
However, it wasn’t all the Premier League newcomers as Will Keane looked a threat; his driving run into the box and shot deflecting off Shaun MacDonald, but Aussie stopper Adam Federici got down well to claim at his near post.
Somewhat against the run of play Howe’s side took the lead. A ball back in from the left hand side from a Bournemouth throw in saw Jordan Pickford and Bailey Wright go for the same ball and it came out to Shaun MacDonald who headed into the top left hand corner of the empty goal with the PNE No.1 stranded.
North End finished the half much the stronger and felt aggrieved not to have been awarded one, if not two, penalties. The first, just shortly after the 23rd minute opening goal, came as Cook felled May in the box – it was clear spot kick to everyone but referee Nigel Miller.
A brilliant tackle from young visiting centre half Baily Cargill denied Keane an equaliser after taking Bailey Wright’s long ball down on his chest and driving into the right hand side of the box. The corner was spilled by Adam Federici, but Tom Clarke couldn’t get the ball free to shoot on target, before Stevie May was inches away from levelling, a 25 yard strike from a left hand channel flying into the side-netting.
Right on half-time was the second shout for a penalty as Chris Humphrey danced past two tackles into the box and tried to stay on his feet after his ankles were tapped, costing him as the referee gave nothing again.
The second half continued where the first had left off the Lilywhites, Alan Browne bursting into the box and seeing his shot blocked by Cargill. From the resulting Daniel Johnson corner, Bailey Wright flicked it on and Tom Clarke met the ball at the back post, but could only find the outside of the left hand upright in front of the Town End.
Will Keane then showed pace and desire to break with energy from his own box, gliding through the middle of the visitors backline before exchanging a one-two with Daniel Johnson and beating Federici with a shot across goal, but also beating the right hand post by a matter of inches.
Browne’s header from another John son corner was straight into the arms of the Cherries stopper after another Keane shot had won the crossing opportunity, deflecting off Cook and behind.
North End made three changes to try and drag themselves level and all three had an impact and with five minutes left one of the three drew them level. Greg Cunningham overlapped down the left, took on a ball from one change Kyel Reid, got to the byline and delivered a superb ball to the back post to where Jordan Hugill rose to head into the top right hand corner – his first competitive goal since returning from his injury – taking it to extra time.
Extra-time was six minutes old when the visitors went back in front, substitute Marc Pugh poking home at the back post after a scuffed shot from King dribbled across the goal.
Another replacement, Lee Tomlin forced two excellent saves out of Jordan Pickford in first half injury time after a swift counter attack by Eddie Howe’s men.
The second half of injury time saw the visitors keep the ball well and ran down the clock in a professional manner, but with three minutes left a lifeline came as a handball in the box was given and North End had a penalty.
Daniel Johnson stepped up and coolly and calmly fired hard and low into the bottom left hand corner in front of a buoyant Town End goal.
This meant the drama of a penalty shoot out…
Hugill – saved by Federici 0-0
Stanislas – scored down the middle 0-1
Keane – scored bottom left 1-1
Cook – scored down the middle 1-2
Reid – scored top right 2-2
Gosling – saved by Pickford 2-2
Browne – saved by Federici 2-2
Pugh – scored bottom left 2-3
Johnson – saved by Federici 2-3 Bournemouth win 3-2 on penalties
PNE line-up: Pickford, Woods, Cunningham, Welsh (Reid, 73), Clarke (c), Wright, Humphrey (Vermijl, 78), Browne, Keane, May (Hugill, 74), Johnson. Subs not used: Kirkland, Kilkenny, Brownhill, Smith.
AFC Bournemouth line-up: Federici, Francis (c), Cook, Smith, MacDonald (Gosling, 90), King, Kermorgant (Pugh, 81), Stanislas, Atsu (Tomlin, 81), O’Kane, Cargill. Subs not used: Allsop, Pugh, Tomlin, Butcher, Buckley, Surridge.
Attendance: 5,643 (269 away fans)
Referee: Mr N Miller