The Lilywhites showed their intent as they started with Stevie May, Eoin Doyle and Joe Garner in attack and their adventurous selection paid off within 33 seconds of the kickoff as Johnson smashed a shot into the top left corner of David Button's net.
Within moments, North End nearly added a second as Johnson produced a menacing cross that was headed narrowly wide of the target by May.
However, they were under pressure at the other end on 11 minutes after another May shot was stopped by Button.
Button was in action again on 27 minutes as kept out Garner's header before Yoann Barbet missed at the other end with a speculative shot from 35 yards soon after.
Before half time, Kerschbaumer twice went close for Marinus Dijkhuizen's side, but was unable to find a way through the North End rearguard.body check tags ::