Tranmere fell to their third league defeat in a row as a goal in each half gave MK Dons a 2-0 win at Prenton Park.
Rovers conceded against the run of play in a first half in which they tested Dons keeper David Martin on a number of occasions.
However, the visitors controlled the second half and added a second on the break, with Les Parry's side coming closest to scoring through Jose Baxter and Enoch Showunmi.
There were four changes to the team that started at Exeter as Ian Goodison and Dave Raven missed out through injury and Joss Labadie and Adam McGurk dropped out of the side. Mark McChrystal, Michael Kay, Robbie Weir and Enoch Showunmi all came into the starting eleven while Paul Rachubka made his first start at Prenton Park in a Tranmere shirt.
Robbie Weir raced in at the far post to head a Michael Kay cross wide on seven minutes in the game's first chance and the midfielder did well to block a shot from Jabo Ibehre at the other end as the visitors broke on the counter attack.
On 11 minutes Enoch Showunmi held off the challenge of Gary Mackenzie and ran clear up the left wing. His deep cross went straight through the six yard box but bounced too high for Lucas Akins to have a first time effort and the former Huddersfield player controlled and played the ball back through the area. However, there were no team mates on hand to take advantage and after the ball was cleared as far as Kay, his cross back into the area was headed wide by Jose Baxter.
Akins volleyed wide at the far post from a deep free kick on 17 minutes and Showunmi's header went straight into the arms of Martin from Robinson's cross soon after.
Against the run of play the visitors took the lead on 19 minutes. Adam Smith picked up possession on the right wing and Jabo Ibehre ran in behind Ash Taylor to head a dipping cross in at the far post.
Rovers looked for a quick response and saw Showunmi fire narrowly wide with his left foot from the edge of the area on 20 and Martin have to parry a low placed effort from John Welsh soon after.
Martin was called on again on 27 minutes, the former Rovers loanee catching Baxter's well struck 18-yard right foot volley in the middle of his goal, while Baxter sent a long range effort across goal and wide two minutes later.
Welsh fired over from 25 yards after Robinson's corner was only partially cleared by the MK Dons defence on 35 minutes and in a rare moment of involvement Rachubka did well to save Ibehre's header with his legs five minutes later.
Adam McGurk replaced Akins for the start of the second half, while Taylor did well to block an early shot from Smith at the Kop Stand end.
Martin did well to hold on to Robinson's low struck free kick on 53 minutes after the former Swansea player had been fouled by Dean Bowditch, while Rachubka pulled off a fine onehanded save to turn Luke Chadwick's goalbound effort away from goal soon after.
The visitors doubled their lead on 60 minutes. Ibehre split the Rovers defence with a through ball for Williams who got past the challenge of Buchanan to race through to a one on one with Rachubka, and put his low shot past the on-loan keeper.
On 64 minutes Rovers went close to pulling a goal back. A foul on Weir drew a free kick in a central position 25 yards out from which Baxter curled a shot against the bar. The rebound fell straight to the unmarked Showunmi six yards out but after controlling with his chest he first straight over from right in front of the keeper.
Robbie Weir hooked a shot wide from 16 yards on 76 minutes, moments before being replaced by Joss Labadie in the centre of midfield.
Welsh curled wide of the far post after a cross deflected into his path on 78 minutes while Rachubka saved Bowditch's low shot down to his right five minutes later.
Rachubka kept the deficit at two on 86 minutes with a fine back post save from Mackenzie's header, eventually clearing with his feet which allowed Rovers to break and Welsh to test Martin from outside the area.
Tranmere: Rachubka, Kay, Taylor, McChrystal, Buchanan, Akins (McGurk 45 HT), Weir (Labadie 76), Welsh, Robinson, Baxter, Showunmi (Tiryaki 70). Unused substitutes: Coughlin, Holmes.
MK Dons: Martin, Smith, Lewington, Mackenzie, Beevers, Potter, Bowditch (Powell 85), MacDonald, Williams, Ibehre (Balanta 82), Chadwick (O'Shea 90+2). Unused substitutes: McLoughlin, Doumbe.
Referee: Andrew Madley
Yellow cards: Bowditch (53), Williams (80), McChrystal (81), Chadwick (87)
Follow Tranmere on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tranmererovers.