Tranmere Rovers suffered a resounding defeat at home to Newport County on Saturday afternoon at Prenton Park.
Goals from Charlie McNeill, Aaron Wildig and Calum Kavanagh sent the away side back to Wales with all three points despite Regan Hendry’s late consolation.
In the opening exchanges, Rovers were looking the brighter team when Josh Hawkes’ volley from the edge of the box was caught by Joe Day.
Hawkes again tried his luck from range when Ethan Bristow found him on the edge of the box before seeing his powerful drive deflect over the bar.
Despite Tranmere’s early possession in Newport’s half, it was County who would take the lead. Aaron Wildig reacted quickest inside the box when Harry Charsley’s shot was deflected into his path before firing low past Joe Murphy who couldn’t do much about the effort.
Just four minutes later, the visitors doubled their advantage from a set-piece. Wildig’s curling free kick was volleyed goalwards by Cameron Norman which forced Murphy to a quick reaction save but there was Charlie McNeill to fire in the rebound for the Exiles.
The away side had all of the momentum and nearly made it three not long after. Omar Bogle’s snapshot inside the area whistled past the far post.
On the stroke of half time Josh Dacres-Cogley ventured forward before cutting the ball back into an inviting area but Cameron Norman was there to take the ball away from Josh Hawkes who was waiting to pull the trigger.
Rovers needed to half the deficit as quickly as possible in the second half and Tom Davies’ volley showed that early intent but Joe Day was equal to it.
Jake Burton was next to try his luck but his 25 yard effort didn’t hit the target.
Ethan Bristow used his pace down the left before his cross dropped to Regan Hendry but his low drive was blocked by a wall of Newport players.
Second half substitute Joel Mumbongo controlled well inside the box but couldn’t keep the following shot down as it landed over the crossbar.
With time ticking away, Newport put the result beyond doubt. Calum Kavanagh was played in on the left hand side before cooly slotting the ball beyond Murphy and secure all three points at Prenton Park.
Rovers did manage to grab a late consolation when Regan Hendry fired low under Joe Day in added time but it ultimately wasn’t enough to rescue anything from the game.
Tranmere team: Murphy, Dacres-Cogley, Davies, Turnbull, Bristow, Hawkes, Merrie, Hendry, Chalmers (Hughes 56’), Saunders, Burton (Mumbongo 64’)