Harvey Saunders’ strike midway through the first-half proved decisive which secured Tranmere Rovers a 1-0 win over Swindon Town at Prenton Park on Easter Monday.
Saunders netted his second goal in Rovers colours to earn the three points for Ian Dawes’ side in Sky Bet League Two.
Prior to kick-off, a minute’s silence was impeccably observed to remember the Liverpool supporters who tragically lost their lives at the Hillsborough disaster on 15th April 1989.
Rovers created their first chance inside two minutes, when Regan Hendry’s cross was headed off target by Josh Hawkes.
Hawkes was involved in the play again, feeding the ball to captain Kane Hemmings who turned and shot in the box, but Fraser Blake-Tracy was well-positioned to clear for a corner.
Jody Morris’ Swindon went close twice in quick succession. Tyrese Shade’s ambitious free-kick bent narrowly wide before Blake-Tracy glanced George McEachran’s corner over the crossbar.
Tranmere led on 22 minutes after Mateusz Hewelt’s long kick up-field was misjudged by Robins defender Tom Brewitt on the edge of the box which allowed Saunders to gain possession – he moved play out wide to Hemmings who set Hawkes free to cross into the box for Rovers’ number 26 to shoot right-footed beyond goalkeeper Solomon Brynn from close-range.
Pushing for a second, Logan Chalmers’ effort was blocked by Blake-Tracy, as Rovers aimed to increase their advantage.
Late on in the half, Jonny Williams’ fizzed cross towards Joe Tomlinson who volleyed into the ground which Hewelt claimed comfortably.
Former Rovers loanee Rushian Hepburn-Murphy forced Hewelt to palm away his swerving drive from 30-yards, as Dawes’ men went into the break in front.
As the game resumed for the second-half, Williams shot from distance which forced Hewelt to palm out but only to the feet of Shade, though he hit the rebound high and wide.
Dawes made his first change just beyond the hour-mark, with Jay Turner-Cooke replacing goal-scorer Saunders.
Hemmings made space for himself on the right to shoot at goal from a tight angle, however his effort flashed past the post.
Minutes later, a fine passing move almost earned Rovers a second goal. Tom Davies intercepted possession and drove forward, a neat one-two between Hemmings and Hendry allowed Hawkes room to go one-on-one with Brynn, but the winger dragged his attempt wide.
Florent Hoti was introduced by Dawes with 70 minutes played, in place of Chalmers.
Up the other end, Ronan Darcy’s cross had to be headed to safety well by Jordan Turnbull, with Rovers having to withstand pressure from the visitors.
Tranmere survived a scare when a surging run from Remeao Hutton got the better of Hawkes in a dangerous position to deliver a cross which was superbly cleared off the line by Davies and pounced on by Hewelt.
Both teams traded opportunities in the closing seven minutes of the clash. Firstly, Williams’ snapshot went into the Cowsheds Stand, while play dropped to Turner-Cooke, who made Brynn make a good save low down to his right.
And that proved to be the last action of the contest, with Rovers navigating their way to maximum points at home.
Next up for Rovers is a trip to Crawley Town on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.
Tranmere: Hewelt, Dacres-Cogley, Davies, Turnbull, Bristow, O'Connor, Hendry, Chalmers (Hoti 70), Hawkes, Hemmings ©, Saunders (Turner-Cooke 62)
Subs not used: Hughes, Burton, Mumbongo, Taylor
Goals: Saunders, 22