Paul Gallagher and co were just a minute away from leaving the Madejski stadium disappointed before PNE's last gasp winner this afternoon.
Preston dominated the first and second half and were well worth their lead when Jermaine Beckford fired North End in front in the 56th minute.
It looked as though the visitors would record victory comfortably, only for Reading's Stephen Quinn to release a shot that cannoned into Chris Kirkland's right-hand corner in the 83rd minute.
Instead of dwindling on what might have been, the Lilywhites, pushed for the winner, and it came when Daniel Johnson curled a shot into the net to the relief of Gallagher who felt anything less than a win for North End would have been unjust.
"The first half was probably the best we've played all season and you could see why their goalkeeper was Player of the Year as he's made some great saves," said the Scotsman to PNEPlayerHD post-match.
"The second half, they made it a little bit more difficult for us but we stuck in, rode the wave and Jermaine got his chance and he took it well which we deserved.
"We were disappointed to have scored a goal of that magnitude but we showed great character and resilience to score one at the end."
The win leaves PNE on the fringes of the top ten and Gallagher wants his side to build on today's win and end what's been a terrific season for Preston on a high next week at home to Leeds.
"When you look at the season, we deserve to be in the top ten and we'll go into next week looking to win that game," he continued.
"If we didn't come away with three points it would have been a travesty. Some teams would have folded but we have great team spirit here. We rolled our sleeves up, went again and it was nice to see DJ [Daniel Johnson] score."
For more reaction from the Preston skipper as well as an exclusive interview with Simon Grayson, head to PNEPlayerHD via this link.