Rovers started the game brightly, with Showunmi finding space on the left twice in the first couple of minutes and a pass over the Preston back four for Ryan Brunt seeing the striker only just beaten to the ball by goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann.
As Preston came back into the match it needed a well-timed clearance from Ash Taylor to prevent two visiting players the chance to convert a cross at the far post. On 12 minutes Graham Westley's side took the lead. Following a foul on Paul Parry by Akins, a free kick was crossed towards the back post allowing Graham Cummins to divert his header past Owain Fon Williams from six yards.
The advantage only lasted three minutes. An exchange of passes with David Buchanan allowed John Welsh to send a deep cross into the Preston area and the ball was headed back across goal by Brunt to his strike partner Showunmi who powered a header into the top left corner from close range.
It wasn't far off 2-1 to Tranmere on 18 minutes as Rovers kept possession after Preston cleared a corner, Ian Goodison played the ball to Welsh and his 25 yard drive went just a yard past of the right hand post.
Brunt had the opportunity to put his side ahead on 25 minutes after running behind the Preston defence on to a pass from Robinson but he put his attempted lob wide of the target.
James Wallace linked well with Showunmi before cutting inside and firing goalwards from 20 yards with his left foot on 28 minutes and it took Stuckmann two attempts to keep the ball out.
Welsh fired high over the bar following good hold up play from Robinson on 41 minutes, the final chance of the half at either end.
Akins cut in from the right and brought a save out of Stuckmann with a low shot from the edge of the area on 50 minutes, while Goodison headed wide from a David Buchanan free kick soon after.
A quick counter attack saw Akins drill the ball towards goal from the right side of the area on 54 minutes, with Stuckmann reacting well to palm the effort away from the target and gather before a Rovers player could take advantage of the loose ball.
Buchanan brought a save out of Stuckmann with a swerving attempt from 30 yards on 61 minutes after Robinson played a cross field pass to the defender from a free kick while Wallace's effort from a similar distance was deflected wide of the right hand post.
Rovers kept up the pressure and took the lead on 67 minutes. Wallace worked hard to keep the ball in play and maintain possession and found Goodison on the left side of the area. His cross was punched straight back to him by Stuckmann and the Jamaican veteran chested the ball down, laid it off to Robinson who fired low off the left hand post into the net from ten yards.
Zoumana Bakayogo replaced Robinson with 11 minutes of normal time remaining and the defender's persistence won Rovers a throw in in a deep position soon after, from which Akins' flick header went narrowly wide of the far post.
On 85 minutes a straightforward long ball from Fon Williams almost caught Preston out with Showunmi flicking on and Akins firing goalwards first time, with his shot only just going past the left post from 25 yards.
Ian Goodison produced a fine block in the third minute of injury time to deny Preston the chance to sneak a late equaliser as Rovers picked up a deserved 2-1 win.