A goal from Scott Wootton wasn't enough for Rovers as they lost 2-1 at home to Leyton Orient in League 1.
The defender's header put Les Parry's side back in the game after they conceded twice in the first half. Rovers searched for an equaliser and went close through Enoch Showunmi, Dale Jennings, Ian Thomas-Moore, Jermaine Grandison, Adam McGurk
and Ian Goodison but for all their pressure were unable to find the net a second time.
There were five changes to the side that started against Hartlepool two and a half weeks previously, with Gunnar Nielsen, Scott Wootton, Jermaine Grandison, John Welsh and Enoch Showunmi all coming into the side with Peter Gulacsi (loan expired), Ryan Fraughan, Arnaud Mendy (loan expired), Lucas Akins and Tim Cathalina all dropping out.
After a cagey start to the game, Orient took the lead with the first shot of the afternoon. Rovers failed to clear a central free kick, the ball fell to Stephen Dawson on the edge of the area,&nbsp;and the midfielder's well struck eft foot effort flew into the top right corner beyond Nielsen's outstretched arm.
A moment of skill from Dale Jennings almost levelled things on 14 minutes, with the youngster dummying a cross before running past two men and drilling the ball through the six yard box.
Two minutes later Showunmi ran on to a flick on from Ian Thomas-Moore only to put his shot straight at Jason Brown from 15 yards, while the Orient keeper spilled a cross from Jennings soon after but Showunmi and Sam Mantom couldn't react fast enough to take advantage.
Jennings' persistence earned a shooting chance for Mantom on 19 minutes with the youngster's effort deflecting on to the roof of the net, and Jimmy Smith almost headed past his own keeper soon after as Rovers continued to press for an equaliser.
A pass from Showunmi failed to land kindly for Thomas-Moore or Welsh on the edge of the six yard box on 23 minutes, while Nielsen saved well at his near post from Paul M'Poku's powerful effort eight mintues later.
Showunmi turned past a defender to break into the area on 37 minutes only for the ball to be cleared for a corner and the striker saw his header land just past the right hand post from a Welsh cross three minutes later.
For all Rovers' pressure, they conceded a second in first half injury time. A long range shot from M'Poku bounced just in front of Nielsen, the keeper spilled the shot into the path of McGleish who rounded the Faroe Islander and turned into the net.
A half time change saw Max Blanchard replaced by Lateef Elford-Alliyu as Rovers switched to 4-4-2, the West Brom loanee taking up the right wing role.
Nielsen tipped over a 20 yard shot from Matthew Spring on 51 minutes while Welsh and Jennings combined at the other end with the former bringing a save out of Brown from the edge of the area.
Showunmi met Wootton's curling cross with a powerful header on 58 minutes only for his attempt to go high of the top right corner, but three minutes later Rovers pulled a goal back. A free kick awarded for a foul on Thomas-Moore by Aaron Brown was curled in by Cresswell and Wootton's header from around the penalty spot diverted the ball in at the far post.
An unmarked McGleish missed the chance to restore Orient's two goal advantage when he headed narrowly wide from Jimmy Smith's looping cross on 65 minutes, while a neat turn from Thomas-Moore started a move that finished with the striker seeing his 20 yard shot deflect just over the bar.
A placed shot from Jennings was well saved by Brown on 70 minutes and the keeper had to react quickly to prevent Showunmi from converting the rebound.
replaced Thomas-Moore on 71 minutes, with the latter appearing to show the coaching staff a calf injury on leaving the pitch, and Ryan Fraughan came on for Mantom five minutes later.
Showunmi saw another one on one effort with Brown saved by the Orient keeper on 77 minutes and Jennings couldn't get enough purchase on the rebound to take advantage.
Brown pulled off another fine save to keep out a deflection off Aaron Brown on 78 minutes and Grandison saw a goalbound effort cleared off the line seconds later as Rovers went closer and closer to leveling.
Goodison stayed up front to win a long ball from Nielsen and shoot wide on 83 minutes and the veteran centre back volleyed McGurk's cross against the cross bar two a minute later.
McGurk shot narrowly wide on 87 minutes from the edge of the area while Showunmi just failed to get on the end of a miss hit back pass soon after.
At the other end Orient almost sealed the win when a misunderstanding between Goodison and Nielsen saw the ball spill towards an open goal but Goodison reacted fast enough to block a close range shot.
A miss hit back pass from Grandison forced Nielsen to catch just outside the six yard box four minutes into added time, while Ryan Fraughan went down in the final seconds, and though the referee blew his whistle, it was for full time and not a penalty.
Tranmere: Nielsen, Wootton, Grandison, Goodison, Cresswell, Mantom (Fraughan 76), Blanchard (Elford-Alliyu 45 HT), Welsh, Thomas-Moore (McGurk 71), Showunmi, Jennings. Substitutes not used: Collister, Bakayogo, Taylor, Akins.
Leyton Orient: Brown, Omuzusi, Whing, Brown, Dawson, McGleish (Tehoue 78), Revell, Daniels, Spring, Smith, M'Poku (Walker 85). Substitutes not used: Butcher, Cestor, Patulea, Millwood, Odubajo.
Referee: Mick Russell
Yellow cards: Brown (61), Wootton (66), Welsh (81)
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