North End triumphed in a cup tie atmosphere at Deepdale as Joe Garner powered home a header as the Lilywhites deservedly beat promotion contenders Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 at Deepdale.
Fernando Forestieri had been sent off for two bookings before Calum Woods, for the third game in a row, delivered a superb right wing cross for Garner to head home at the back post and give Simon Grayson the perfect anniversary present the week he celebrated three years at the Club.
North End were unchanged from the side that won a Wolves the previous Saturday, with Ben Pearson returning to the bench in place of the ineligible Marnick Vermijl.
The first half was played in a cup tie atmosphere and North End dominated the chances.
The first and perhaps best opportunity of the game came ten minutes in as a Greg Cunningham cross from the left was right through to the back post to where Calum Woods collected and shot across the face of goal, the ball flying narrowly wide.
At the half’s midway point the Lilywhites were on top and Joe Garner caught a ball on the volley 25 yards out, on target, it was on target, but straight at Kieren Westwood in the Owls’ goal.
Two minutes later and a Paul Gallagher corner from the went all the way across goal to Adam Reach 20 yards out on the left corner, who fired inches wide of the right hand upright.
Gallagher was heavily involved and his free kick on the right was pushed in to the penalty spot, Garner met it with a downward header towards the bottom left hand corner, but Westwood managed to get fingertips top it and force the ball around the post.
Just after the half hour mark skipper Tom Clarke found himself through on goal a after free kick went through everyone in the box, but with Westwood to beat the No.5 poked the ball wide of the left hand post.
Five minutes before the interval Adam Reach checked in from the right to the edge of the box and rocketed a shot just wide of the right hand post, but at the interval, despite the chances the game was goalless.
Eight minutes into the second half and it was still all North End and some brilliant play by Browne and Johnson sent Calum Woods to the byline who crossed deep and Joe Garner was completely floored by Lees, only for referee Keith Stroud to wave play on and Alan Browne to fire over from 12 yards out.
With 18 second half minutes gone from the second of back-to-back corners Paul Huntington met Paul Gallagher’s cross, but Westwood caught it underneath the cross bar in the right hand corner of the goal.
On 66 minutes Fernando Forestieri was sent off after trying to punch a ball into the back of the net, having already been booked.
And seven minutes later the Lilywhites were ahead. They worked the ball superbly from left to right and Calum Woods delivered a superb ball to the back post for Joe Garner to power a header into the top left corner from ten yards out.
In the six minutes of injury time North End worked the ball for substitute Ben Pearson to shoot, but he dragged the ball just wide and North End deservedly took the points.
PNE line-up: Lindegaard, Woods, Cunningham, Clarke (c), Huntington, Wright, Browne, Gallagher (Pearson, 88), Johnson, Reach, Garner (Hugill, 89). Subs not used: Kirkland, Kilkenny, Doyle, Welsh, Robinson.
: Westwood, Nuhui (Joao, 69), Hooper, Lees (c), Lee (McGugan, 77), Sasso, Hunt (Matias, 85), Wallace, Pudil, Bannan, Forrestieri. Subs not used: Price, Turner, Bennett, Lopez.Sheffield Wednesday line-up
: 16,923 (5,701 away fans)Attendance
: Mr K StroudReferee