Two goals from Mustafa Tiryaki weren't enough for Rovers as they lost 4-2 at Scunthorpe United and finished the game with ten men.
Rovers twice led in the first half when the former Scunthorpe trialist Tiryaki found the net, but both times the Iron drew level.
An early second half goal gave the hosts the initiative and after Jose Baxter was shown a straight red card, they doubled their lead from the penalty spot.
It ended a frustrating afternoon for Rovers who had dominated the first half only to see their five match unbeaten run brought to a halt in the second 45 minutes.
Tranmere named an unchanged side as Enoch Showunmi failed to recover from the groin injury that also forced him to miss the midweek win over Hartlepool. Former Rovers striker Chris Dagnall started up front for Scunthorpe.
A chipped pass from David Buchanan found Adam McGurk on the left on four minutes and his cross had to headed away from the run of Akins by a defender. However, from the throw in that followed Rovers took the lead. Akins' long throw was dropped by the keeper under pressure from Ash Taylor and Mustafa Tiryaki reacted fastest to poke the ball in from close range for his second goal for the Club.
Robbie Weir dragged a shot wide on six minutes as Rovers continued to attack and John Welsh fired high over the bar from 25 yards from another long throw from Akins soon after.
Jose Baxter sent a shot on the turn straight at Slocombe from 25 yards on 15 minutes and the Scunthorpe keeper had to make a fine save to keep the deficit at one a minute later. After Akins intercepted a pass in his own half, Rovers moved forward through Welsh and Weir before McGurk's low cross was turned towards the far post by the outstretched leg of Tiryaki.
Moments later a slip from Ian Goodison almost let in the hosts but he was quick to make amends for his mistake and Welsh eventually cleared the danger.
Scunthorpe levelled on 20 minutes. A free kick on the left side of the Rovers half was floated into the Tranmere area by Michael O'Connor and Shane Duffy rose highest to head goalwards over the onrushing Owain Fon Williams and into the roof of the net.
Baxter sent a shot wide from the edge of the area on 29 minutes after Scunthorpe failed to clear a long throw from McGurk but Rovers regained the lead three minutes later. A Buchanan throw on the left was played back to Goodison whose looped ball was flicked on by McGurk straight to Tiryaki. The former Havant & Waterlooville striker turned on the edge of the area and unleashed an unstoppable shot with his right foot into the right side of the net.
Weir ran towards the Scunthorpe area and fired over following good work from Baxter on 39 minutes but with a minute of the half left the Iron drew level again. The ball was played across the edge of the Rovers area and reached Grant on the right hand side who superbly curled a shot into the top left corner beyond the dive of Fon Williams.
The final shot of the half saw Taylor shoot straight at Slocombe from 25 yards as the sides went in to the break at 2-2.
The home side were almost ahead four minutes into the second half in unusual circumstances. A clearance from Ash Taylor struck the back of a Tranmere player and rebounded into the Rovers area, with Dagnall getting between Raven and Goodison only for Fon Williams to get down quickly to save his bottom corner-bound shot.
After Baxter fired high over the bar for Rovers, Scunthorpe took the lead. A long ball forward was seized upon by Dagnall who raced towards goal, rounded Fon Williams and side footed into the net from six yards.
It needed the head of Andy Barcham to prevent Dave Raven from finding the top left corner on 59 minutes, moments after Zoumana Bakayogo had replaced McGurk on the left wing.
Rovers' task of equalising was made harder by the sending off of Baxter on 62 minutes for a late challenge and five minutes later the home side were awarded a penalty when Goodison brought down O'Connor after losing possession inside the area. From the spot kick Fon Williams was sent the wrong way by Grant and Tranmere found themselves 4-2 down.
Joss Labadie was brought on in place of Buchanan on 72 minutes but Rover struggled to gain possession as Scunthorpe made the most of their man advantage.
Fon Williams saved well after Scunthorpe substitute Nicky Ajose cut in from the left past Raven and Ash Taylor on 84 minutes while Duffy fired wide from 30 yards soon after.
Welsh blocked a goal-bound shot from Grant on 89 minutes while Tiryaki's 25 yard attempt at completing his hat-trick was well saved by Slocombe in the first minute of injury time.
Scunthorpe: Slocombe, Togwell, S Duffy, Reid, Nolan, Thompson (Ajose 77), O'Connor, Norwood, Barcham (M Duffy 68), Dagnall, Grant. Unused substitutes: Wright, Nelson, Collins.
Tranmere: Fon Williams, Raven, Taylor, Goodison, Buchanan (Labadie 72), Akins, Welsh, Weir, McGurk (Bakayogo 58), Baxter, Tiryaki. Unused substitutes: Coughlin, Holmes, Robinson.
Referee: Bobby Madley
Yellow cards: Norwood (44), Grant (90)
Red card: Baxter (63)
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