Cardiff City took the points in the first game at Deepdale after the resumption, as goals from Joe Ralls, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Robert Glatzel gave them the win.
Ralls headed home the first, only to see Daniel Johnson equalise, but late goals from two City substitutes gave the Welshmen the victory.
The game got underway amidst torrential rainstorms, but it was the Lilywhites who dealt with the conditions quickest.
Less than two minutes in Darnell Fisher found Jayden Stockley from the right and the striker laid the ball off to Tom Barkhuizen, but his left foot shot was just wide of left-hand post from jut inside the penalty area.
The half was then dominated by two penalty shouts, both going against Alex Neil’s men. The first came in the sixth minute when Scott Sinclair danced between two players and was taken out by Will Vaulks as he was about to pull the trigger.
Oliver Langford, the match official who controversially gave West Brom a last minute penalty back in December, didn’t give this one, nor a second huge shout on 36 minutes when Joe Bennett had a big clump of Alan Browne’s shirt as he looked to chase a ball from inside the penalty out to the right wing, but once again there was no whistle, much to the annoyance of the PNE bench.
The second half saw North End again in the ascendency and Sinclair was denied by Alex Smithies with a shot from 22 yards 11 minutes into the second half. The resulting corner powered into Browne ricocheted around, but didn’t test the Bluebirds ’keeper.
But it was the visitors who took the lead on 69 minutes as a Hoilett free kick was blocked in the wall by Andrew Hughes, but the ball came out to Dion Sanderson, who delivered to the back post where Joe Ralls got highest to head down into the right-hand corner.
The lead lasted only four minutes, however, as Stockley won a header from a long headed clearance by Bauer and substitute Sean Maguire – who had replaced Barkhuizen, burst into the box and pulled the ball back for Browne, whose shot was blocked, but Daniel Johnson followed up to fire hard and low into the bottom left hand corner from ten yards out with his 12th of the season.
Neil Harris’ team were back in front with eight minutes to go though as substitute Nathaniel Mendez-Laing played a one-two with another change Lee Tomlin and went one-on-one with Rudd and fired hard and low into the bottom right corner to make it 2-1.
With 70 seconds of normal time left and the heavens opening in monsoon style, the Lilywhites has a superb chance to level the game again as they burst forward in numbers, Browne finding Potts, who in turn found Nugent, who curled an effort from the edge of the penalty spot, which looked destined for the top corner, but flew just wide.
The visitors made the points theirs though in the first of seven added minutes as substitute Robert Glatzel took advantage of the conditions, to burst into the box and fire a shot that deflected past Rudd to make it 3-1.
PNE line-up: Rudd, Fisher (Gallagher, 77), Hughes, Pearson, Bauer, Davies, Barkhuizen, Browne (c), Stockley (Nugent, 84), Johnson (Potts, 84), Sinclair (Harrop, 84). Subs not used: Ripley, Ledson, Huntington, Bodin.
Cardiff City line-up: Smithies, Sanderson, Bennett, Morrison (c), Vaulks, Bacuna, Ralls (Tomlin, 77), Paterson (Glatzel, 65), Adomah (Mendez-Laing, 65), Nelson, Hoilett (Pack, 90). Subs not used: Etheridge, Flint, Whyte, Ward, Smith.
Referee: Mr O Langford