Tranmere scored four for the second league game in a row as a brace apiece from Dale Jennings and Ian Thomas-Moore saw them defeat MK Dons 4-2 at Prenton Park.
In a lively encounter the two sides finished with ten men each and there was a penalty at both ends but the real story for Rovers fans was the performance of Dale Jennings whose speed and skill proved too much for the visitors on several occasions.
There were three changes to the side that started against Stockport in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, with Enoch Showunmi returning from injury to take the place of Sam Morrow in attack and Marlon Broomes making his first appearance of the season following a long spell in the treatment room in place of Scott Wootton whose loan from Manchester United had ended. Tim Cathalina came in for his first start since joining the Club, lining up at right back in place of Liam Darville. Jermaine Grandison was named among the substitutes after returning to Tranmere on loan from Coventry.
An early shot from Dale Jennings stuck the back of an MK Dons defender and bounced to safety for the visitors, but the striker found the target with his next effort to give Rovers a quick lead. A long ball forward from Ian Goodison wasn't dealt with by the Dons defence, with Jennings' pace seeing him beat Danny Woodards to the ball and fire between the legs of former Rovers loanee David Martin for his second goal for the Club.
The 17-year old had a chance to make it 2-0 on seven minutes when a cross from Ian Thomas-Moore reached him eight yards out but his looping header was comfortably caught by Martin.
Jennings' electric start continued on nine minutes, as he cut inside two challenges before seeing his low drive deflect behind for a corner, and it was the diminutive striker who headed goalwards again from the set piece that followed.
On 13 minutes Jennings ran on to the ball following a slip from Woodards but his drilled shot was blocked on its way to goal, and soon after Rovers were made to pay for not adding a second.
A long range shot from Peter Leven was parried by Gulacsi and the ball was turned back into the area, hitting Cathalina's arm from close range causing referee Colin Webster to point to the penalty spot. Leven stepped up for the spot kick and equalised, seeing his shot hit the underside of Gulacsi's bar and bounce over the line.
On 16 minutes a cross field pass from Labadie found Jennings on the left side of the area and his cross was headed over the bar by Showunmi at the far post.
Jennings and Zoumana Bakayogo combined on 20 minutes with the latter racing past Woodards and into the area to win a corner. The ball was only cleared as far as a throw in and seconds later Jennings was running at the Dons defence once more, getting past Dietmar Hamann before the former German international bundled him over to concede the second penalty of the game. Thomas-Moore kept up his impeccable record from the spot for Rovers, sending Martin the wrong way to put Tranmere back ahead with his fourth goal of the season.
The Jennings show continued on 25 minutes, with the youngster netting his second goal of the afternoon to put Tranmere 3-1 up. Showunmi raced clear on the left, laid the ball back to Jennings who side stepped one challenge and superbly curled into the top right corner from the edge of the area.
It could have been 4-1 on 29 minutes as Showunmi outmuscled Dean Lewington to win possession and squared to Thomas-Moore but the striker got underneath the ball and his effort went high over the bar from 16 yards.
On 33 minutes Labadie wrong footed the MK Dons defence and saw Martin parry his 20 yard shot and his midfield partner John Welsh clattered another effort against the post from close range from Showunmi's cut back a minute later as Rovers' impressive start continued.
It wasn't all one way, with Aaron Wilbraham heading over from a corner on 40 minutes but Tranmere took their two goal lead into the break.
Dons substitute Lewis Guy forced Gulacsi to tip over the bar three minutes into the second half with a fine long range effort while at the other end Jennings raced past Doumbe and into the area following an excellent pass from Showunmi but saw his attempted curler hit the body of Martin and bounce away from goal. A square ball to Thomas-Moore may have been the better option but it was hard to fault the youngster as he aimed for a hat-trick.
Gulacsi pulled off a wonderful one handed save to turn Leven's 25 yard volley over the bar on 53 minutes before the visitors were reduced to ten men when Gary MacKenzie was shown a straight red card for a kick on Cathalina. While the Dutch Antillean lay on the floor, both sets of players became involved in pushing and shoving, and John Welsh was shown a yellow card for his involvement.
Jennings smashed a 20 yard free kick into the side netting on 66 minutes and a shot on the turn from Labadie went narrowly past the right hand post as Rovers looked for a fourth to kill the game off.
It was ten men each on 69 minutes when Bakayogo was shown his second yellow card of the afternoon for a tackle on Doumbe, with Blanchard taking up the left back role as a result.
A long delay in the game on 71 minutes saw the referee receive treatment to his foot from Rovers Physio Steve Walker but soon after the restart Tranmere made it four. This time a Jennings through ball found Thomas-Moore just outside the area and the striker cut inside and curled a low shot past Martin for his second of the afternoon.
The lead was almost back down to two moments later when Baldock ran into a gap between Goodison and Blanchard but Gulacsi pulled off another impressive one handed save low to his right.
A long range effort from Leven crashed against the Tranmere bar on 79 minutes while Showunmi and Jennings were replaced by Lucas Akins and Ryan Fraughan soon after. The pair had barely been on the pitch ten seconds when the visitors pulled a goal back, Baldock turning in Jemal Johnson's low cross at the near post.
An angled drive from Johnson went high over Gulacsi's bar and the visitors pressed forward in the six minutes of additional time but they were unable to find the target for a third time.
Tranmere: Gulacsi, Cathalina (Darville 86), Broomes, Goodison, Bakayogo, Labadie, Blanchard, Welsh, Thomas-Moore, Showunmi (Akins 83), Jennings (Fraughan 83). Substitutes not used: Collister, Grandison, Power, Morrow.
MK Dons: Martin, Lewington, MacKenzie, O'Hanlon, Gleeson (Johnson 74), Wilbraham, Baldock, Woodards (Doumbe 28), Hamann (Guy 45 HT), Leven, Chadwick. Substitutes not used: Easter, Carrington, Searle, Chicksen.
Referee: Colin Webster
Yellow cards: Doumbe (34), Bakayogo (43), Welsh (56), Baldock (67)
Red card: MacKenzie (56), Bakayogo (69)
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