Two early goals for Sheffield Wednesday were enough to give the Owls a 2-1 win over Rovers at Hillsborough in the first game of 2012 for both clubs.
Rovers conceded twice in the opening ten minutes to give themselves a mountain to climb, the goals coming from Reda Johnson and Chris Lines.
They improved after half time and pulled a goal back through substitute Ian Goodison, but the second goal proved elusive despite all their late pressure.
There was one change to the team that started at Bury as Zoumana Bakayogo replaced Adam McGurk on the left wing. McGurk dropped to the bench where he was joined by Ian Goodison and John Welsh.
Ben Marshall sent an early free kick straight into the Rovers wall but the home side kept the ball in play and from the cross that was turned back into the area Reda Johnson headed past Paul Rachubka from six yards to give Wednesday the lead.
It was 2-0 on five minutes, with Wednesday breaking after Robbie Weir lost possession in their half, the ball being crossed in from the right and Chris Lines controlling before shooting into the bottom left corner from close range.
Jose Baxter shot high over the Wednesday goal as Rovers looked for a quick response but the hosts were soon back on the attack and saw another Marshall free kick hit the wall and deflect just over the bar.
Rachubka gathered well from Marshall's low cross on 11 minutes while Lines sent a shot wide of the target soon after.
A Baxter corner went straight through the six yard box and out the other side on 19 minutes while Marshall volleyed into the side netting at the other end three minutes later.
Wednesday almost made it three on 23 minutes, with Rachubka's pass to Mark McChrystal going astray and landing at the feet of Morrison. The striker saw his attempted chip saved by the keeper on the edge of his area but again it fell to Chris O'Grady who shot wide with two players on the line.
Reda Johnson brought a save out of Rachubka with a 25 yard effort on 28 minutes while Mustafa Tiryaki saw his effort from a similar distance deflect over the bar for Rovers soon after following a flick on from Bakayogo.
Rachubka denied Semedo with a fine save on 34 minutes after Wednesday won possession midway inside the Rovers half and Marshall's attempt at curling into the top right corner from a tight angle went over the bar.
Two more comfortable saves for Rachubka from O'Grady saw the half end with Wednesday two goals up.
John Welsh joined the action at the start of the second half, replacing Tiryaki with Akins moving up front and Weir to the right of midfield.
Rovers began the half better than the first, spending much of it in Wednesday territory though they were unable to create a clear chance.
On 55 minutes the home side had the ball in the net for a third time through Reda Johnson but his header was ruled out for a foul.
A great blocking tackle from Danny Holmes denied Reda Johnson a run on goal on 63 minutes while Akins brought an excellent diving save out of Weaver on 70 minutes with an angled drive from the left side of the area.
Adam McGurk replaced Weir with 18 minutes of normal time remaining, moments before Wednesday sub Sanchez Watt intercepted a pass from Holmes to Ash Taylor and fired across goal and wide.
Jose Baxter saw a shot cleared off the line by Miguel Llera on 76 minutes and soon after Ian Goodison came on as a makeshift striker in place of Bakayogo.
The veteran defender did exactly what he was brought on for on 80 minutes, heading in a right wing cross from Holmes to give Rovers a chance of coming away with something.
A brilliant save from Weaver denied Rovers an equaliser on 87 minutes, the keeper punching away Welsh's volley from a half cleared corner, while McGurk's shot from six yards was blocked soon after.
Akins twisted and turned inside the area in injury time but his shot across goal curled past the far post and out for a goal kick.
And with all 11 Rovers players in the area for a corner in the third minute of injury time, they were denied a header on goal by the fist of Weaver who punched away before the final whistle blew.
Sheffield Wednesday: Weaver, Batth, Semedo, Lines, O'Grady, Marshall (Prutton 90), Reda Johnson, Morrison (Watt 71), Otsemobor , Tavernier (Jermaine Johnson ), Llera. Unused substitutes: Bywater, Lowe.
Tranmere: Rachubka, Holmes, Taylor, McChrystal, Buchanan, Akins, Weir (McGurk 72), Labadie, Bakayogo (Goodison 77), Baxter, Tiryaki (Welsh 45 HT). Unused substitutes: Coughlin, Raven.
Referee: Rob Lewis
Yellow cards: Reda Johnson (57)
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