A Tom Barkhuizen double either side of Daryl Horgan’s goal saw PNE win 3-0 against fellow play-off contenders Reading.
It took until the half-hour mark for the home side to grab the lead as Horgan pulled the ball back to Barkhuizen who produced a fantastic first-time strike in to the top corner from 18 yards out.
The Lilywhites doubled the lead just ten minutes later, Barkhuizen broke from deep inside his own half, darted past four Reading players but it was Horgan who took the shot and at the second time of asking, the ball trickled in to the net.
The third, and the one that put the game to bed came just four minutes in to the second half, it was Barkhuizen with his fourth goal in three games as he finished past Al-Habsi after Andy Boyle flicked the ball on a Horgan free-kick.
This was one of Preston’s most pleasing performances of the season, and one that took them three points closer to the Play-Offs after sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday lost 2-0 against Aston Villa.
With just one win in their past five matches, Reading will also be nervously looking over their shoulders at the pack of teams chasing the play-offs.