Tranmere Rovers made it back-to-back home league wins, with an excellent 3-1 triumph over Gillingham at Prenton Park.
Rob Apter capitalised on a mix-up in defence to open the scoring, smashing an effort beyond Jake Turner just before half time.
Connor Jennings, fresh off a one-year contract extension, headed home to double the advantage before Apter found the net for the fourth time this season, on the hour mark.
Connor Mahoney scored a free kick in stoppage time to reduce the deficit slightly, but Tranmere held out for a 3-1 win that they were good value for.
Rovers produced some attacking momentum early on as Apter cut in from the right and shot, but saw his effort blocked.
Nigel Adkins’ men were putting together some slick passing moves. A combination between Brad Walker and Regan Hendry eventually saw the latter in space on halfway. He sprayed a pass wide to Apter, but the visitors defended resolutely to prevent a goalscoring opportunity.
It was a slow start to the game, though Gillingham were keen to carve out a chance of their own. Huddersfield loanee Mahoney smashed an effort over the bar from range on 20 minutes, before Shad Ogie sliced one wide from even further a few moments later.
Walker then split the Gills defence with a through ball into Kristian Dennis, but the forward’s shot across goal was off target. Apter nearly found him in behind again with a pass of his own, but it had slightly too much pace on it.
Luke McGee produced a spectacular double save to keep the scores level with just over 10 minutes to play in the half. The Rovers ‘keeper first denied a shot with his legs, before stopping and quickly gathering a vicious ball across goal with Tom Nichols lurking.
Back came Tranmere through one of Apter’s classic runs at the defence, before he cut inside and fired towards goal. This time, the shot flew agonisingly wide of the far corner.
The next time, however, he did give Rovers the lead. The 20-year-old picked up the ball after a mix-up in defence and smashed it into the roof of the Gillingham net. The hosts walked into the break in front when the half-time whistle blew a few minutes later.
Then, with 53 minutes on the clock, the lead was doubled. Two days on from extending his contract to 2025, Jennings rose highest to nod a superb Walker delivery into the far corner, beyond the outstretched glove of Turner.
There was no chance of the hosts slowing down, and Apter was on hand again to add a third. The youngster received the ball from Walker, turned onto his left and found the net with a low effort which deceived the Gills keeper, who was diving in the opposite direction. Tranmere three up on the hour mark.
The visitors pushed forward in the hope of reducing the arrears quickly, but McGee pulled off an excellent stop to deny substitute Tim Dieng, before another effort was blocked behind.
Gillingham took control of possession in the latter stages but struggled to threaten McGee in goal often. Despite this, the Rovers stopper had to be alert to palm away Ethan Coleman’s fierce effort from 25-yards.
Visiting captain Scott Malone saw an audacious chip tipped over, before the corner was headed away. The hosts continued to soak up pressure well to protect not just their lead but the clean sheet as well.
However, that wasn’t to be. Mahoney scored a brilliant free kick in added time that proved to be just a consolation, as Tranmere held out for an excellent 3-1 victory.
TRANMERE ROVERS: McGee, O’Connor, Davies, Turnbull (Yarney 81’), Wood, Apter (Saunders 89’), Walker (McAlear 81’), Hendry, K. Morris (Hawkes 89’), Jennings, Dennis
SUBS NOT USED: Robson, Leake, Pike
GILLINGHAM: Turner, Alexander, Masterson, Lapslie (Clarke 62’), J. Williams (Dieng 62’), Nichols (Bonne 72’), Jefferies, Malone, Coleman, Ogie, Mahoney
SUBS NOT USED: G. Morris, Clark, Ehmer, S. Williams
ATTENDANCE: 5,283 (328 away)