Tranmere were beaten for only the second time of the season at home as Eastleigh pulled off a 2-1 victory at Prenton Park.
It was an eventful 90 minutes with a missed penalty, two red cards and three second half goals.
Steven Jennings' 79th minute strike pulled a goal back after Joe Partington and James Constable had given the visitors a two-goal lead. In between Eastleigh's two goals, Lois Maynard was sent off for a second bookable offence, while Constable saw red for a challenge on Jay Harris.
Rovers manager Gary Brabin made two changes from the side which drew 2-2 away at Wrexham in midweek. Marlon Jackson and James Norwood returned to the starting line-up in place of Adam Mekki and Jonny Margetts who were both named among the substitutes.
The best opening of the early stages came to Tranmere on 12 minutes. Adam Dawson showed his quick feet to defy a couple of Eastleigh challenges before playing in James Norwood whose shot from a narrow angle was well saved by Eastleigh goalkeeper Ross Flitney.
Seven minutes later, Scott Davies was called into action at the other end as Jack Midson fired an effort from 20 yards which the Tranmere goalkeeper saved.
Davies made another good save moments later from Jamie Turley who hit a powerful effort from the right edge of the six-yard box.
Norwood had an excellent opportunity to break the deadlock on 34 minutes. The striker was played in after a lovely sliderule pass down the right but Flitney came out and made an excellent save before Turley cleared the ball off the line from Marlon Jackson's follow up.
Lois Maynard and Andy Mangan had further efforts for Rovers as the first half drew to a close, with the former having a shot deflecting wide and from the resulting corner, the ball fell to Mangan whose shot was saved on the line by Flitney.
Norwood had another chance two minutes before the break as Mangan's low pass found him 12 yards out but his shot was blocked by an Eastleigh defender en route to goal.
The striker was then brought down inside the area on the stroke of half time but Mangan's spot-kick was well saved by Flitney to keep the scores level at the interval.
Eastleigh took the lead two minutes after the restart as a right wing corner was headed home by Joe Partington.
Rovers were reduced to 10 men a couple of minutes later as Lois Maynard picked up his second yellow card after stumbling into Dan Harding.
A second goal for Eastleigh came on 55 minutes as Liam Hogan's slip allowed James Constable in and the striker lobbed Davies from 20 yards.
Gary Brabin brought on Steven Jennings in place of Ritchie Sutton and Adam Mekki for Marlon Jackson with Tranmere reverting to a back three to try and get back into the game.
Midway through the second half, Adam Dawson picked up an injury and was replaced by Liam Ridehalgh.
After using all their substitutions, Rovers woes got worse as Andy Mangan pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury and had to limp off leaving them with only 9 men.
Eastleigh were then reduced to 10 men on 73 minutes as James Constable was sent off for an foul with Jay Harris.
Tranmere pulled a goal back on 79 minutes as Norwood did well on the right before laying the ball for Jennings who fired home from 15 yards.
The game went from end to end and was wide open in the final few minutes with both teams having chances, Davies making a save from Odubade while Andy Drury hit the post while Rovers pressed at the other end but couldn't quite find an equaliser.
Tranmere: Davies; Sutton (Jennings 58), Riley, Hogan, Hill; Dawson (Ridehalgh 66), Harris, Maynard, Jackson (Mekki 62); Mangan, Norwood. Substitutes: Turner, Margetts.Eastleigh: Flitney, Partington, Green (Harding 46), Evans, Turley, Payne, Constable, Reason, Midson (Odubade 76), Strevens, Drury. Substitutes: Lafayette, Noice, Cook.
Referee: Ryan Johnson
Yellow cards: Maynard (15), Turley (27), Evans (29), Norwood (44), Payne (84), Partington (90+6), Strevens (90+6)
Red cards: Maynard (49), Constable (73)
Goals: Jennings (79); Partington (47), Constable (55)
Attendance: 5133 (60)