Goals from Ash Taylor and Jason Koumas weren't enough for Tranmere as they fell to a 3-2 defeat at Port Vale.
The pair netted in quick succession midway through the second half to give Rovers hope after they had just gone three goals down.
However, despite pressing for an equaliser they were unable to get the all important third goal and went home empty handed.
James Wallace and Jason Koumas both recovered from the knocks they picked up against Notts County to keep their places in the starting line-up but Steve Jennings missed out through injury with his place going to Max Power. Though he was named on the team sheet, Danny Holmes ended his warm up early and was replace by Junior Brown.
The home side took the lead with the first shot of the game. A right wing cross from Adam Yates found Tom Pope inside the area and the striker controlled and fired past Owain Fon Williams from close range.
Jake Kirby's strike from the right side of the Vale area was blocked by a defender on six minutes, while a long range effort from Billy Knott went wide of the target at the other end soon after.
Carl Dickinson hooked a shot into the arms of Fon Williams on 13 minutes and Pope sliced a shot high and wide two minutes later from outside the area.
Ryan Lowe fired into the Port Vale net from close range on 19 minutes when he latched on to Jake Cassidy's header but the striker's effort was ruled out for offside.
After a tactical switch on the half hour that saw Power move to right back, Koumas into the centre of midfield and Brown to left wing, Rovers had a number of chances in quick succession.
Kirby shot into the side netting from 20 yards from Cassidy's lay off and Lowe fired across goal and wide from a tight angle soon after. Cassidy was the provider again on 34 minutes when he ran on to Power's pass and cut the ball back from the byline for Lowe, but the striker put his effort over the bar from six yards.
Lowe curled over the top on 43 minutes after good work from Power, Koumas and Wallace, while Richard Duffy headed over from a Jennison Myrie-Williams corner in added time.
The hosts started the second half the same way they began the first. After building towards the Tranmere area, the ball was rolled back to Billy Knott who fired into the bottom right corner from 25 yards.
Rovers' task got even harder on 53 minutes, when Ben Williamson fired under the body of Fon Williams from close range.
Ian Goodison replaced Brown straight after the goal and the defender had only been on the pitch for a couple of minutes when Tranmere were back within one goal of Vale.
First Ash Taylor headed in his third goal of the season at the near post from a Koumas corner and then a deep free kick from Koumas curled through a crowded area and in at the far post.
On 65 minutes a 20-yard shot from Cassidy had to be turned around the post by Chris Neal and the keeper did well to hold on to Kirby's attempt from just outside the area two minutes later.
Vale responded well, with Doug Loft curling against the bar from the edge of the area and Pope flicking a Myrie-Williams cross over the bar.
Pope had a great chance to get his second of the game on 72 minutes but, after a good run down the right wing from Loft the striker put his shot over the bar.
Cole Stockton replaced Stephen Arthurworrey on 75 minutes while the Vale keeper had to be carried off on a stretcher six minutes later and replaced by Sam Johnson.
A long range shot from Wallace tested the substitute keeper on 83 minutes and he held on to the ball under pressure from Lowe soon after.
Lowe went down under a challenge just inside the area on 87 minutes but wasn't awarded a penalty, while Pope missed another opportunity to kill the game off two minutes later. After taking advantage of a slip from Taylor to run through on goal, he delayed his shot long enough to allow Fon Williams to push the ball away from his feet.
There was one last chance for Tranmere but Cassidy hooked over following a Koumas corner.
Port Vale: Neal (Johnson 81), Yates, Grimmer, Duffy, Dickinson, Myrie-Williams (Birchall 86), Griffith, Knott, Loft, Pope, Williamson (Hugill 90+2). Unused substitutes: Johnson, Robertson, Jones, Dodds, Tomlin.
Tranmere: Fon Williams, Brown (Goodison 55), Taylor, Arthurworrey (Stockton 75), Ridehalgh, Kirby, Wallace, Power, Koumas, Cassidy, Lowe. Unused substitutes: Mooney, Morris, Horwood, Rowe, Robinson.
Referee: Richard Clark
Yellow cards: Arthurworrey (73), Goodison (90+4)