Goals from Martyn Waghorn, David McGoldrick and Bersant Celina gave Ipswich Town the three points at Portman Road.
Waghorn opened the scoring with a direct free kick in first half injury time, with McGoldrick heading home the second shortly after the break. Celina’s fine finish mid-way through the latter period guaranteed the points for Mick McCarthy’s men.
The visitors had a great chance to open the scoring early in the first. Ben Pearson, playing a slightly more advanced role, with John Welsh returning as the ‘sitter’ freed in a right hand channel of the box by Jordan Hugill, after the frontman and Tom Barkhuizen had broken through the middle.
Pearson shaped himself well and drove a shot goalwards, but Bartosz Bialkowski got down low to make a fine block and the ball was eventually cleared after ricocheting around the box.
The Suffolk side opened the scoring a minute into five added on for stoppages. Waghorn had broken through the middle of the pitch, only for John Welsh to make what looked like a fine tackle just outside the edge of the ‘D’. He himself lined up the free kick and put it into the top left hand corner of the goal.
North End almost levelled matters in the final minute of the added time as Daniel Johnson cut in from the right hand side, curling a shot from 30 yards out, that came off the bar and out for a goal kick.
Four minutes after the break the task was made even harder as Jordan Spence went down the right hand side and delivered a deep cross to the back post and Irish international David McGoldrick rose above Marnick Vermijl to head into the top left hand corner.
There was a good chance to get once back when the whites broke with pace from Barkhuizen down the left hand side. The No.29 was tackled, but Alan Browne crossed for Hugill who headed back across goal to Browne again, but his shot flashed wide.
However, the home side sealed the points when Celina, on break for Ipswich, slammed the ball into top right hand corner from 12 yards out after a quick break down the right.
Substitute Josh Harrop put over a cross from the right hand edge of the box to the back post and Hugill won a header, beating Bialkowski, but landing on the roof of the net with 15 minutes to go.
North End had much more the possession throughout the second half, Bialkowski even making a fine one-on-one save to deny Hugill as the three minutes of added time began, but they were unable to cut open the resolute home backline who held out for the win.
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Knudsen, Chambers (c), Webster, Skuse (Bru, 31), Waghorn (Nydam, 78), McGoldrick, Celina, Spence, Garner, Connolly (Ward, 66). Subs not used: Gerken, Iorfa, Sears, Kenlock.
PNE line-up: Maxwell, Fisher (Vermijl, 37), O’Connor, Welsh (Gallagher, 70), Huntington (c), Boyle, Barkhuizen, Pearson, Hugill, Browne, Johnson (Harrop, 63). Subs not used: Hudson, Horgan, Mavididi, Robinson.
Attendance: 14,390 (435 PNE fans)
Referee: Mr A Madley