Tranmere Rovers got back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Accrington Stanley at Prenton Park on Saturday thanks to a double from Josh Hawkes.
On his homecoming as interim manager, Nigel Adkins made two changes to last week’s starting line-up which faced Crawley. Joe Yarney and Regan Hendry came in in place of Connor Wood and Reece McAlear.
Rovers had the first chance of the game when Sam Taylor played a ball inside from the right which fell to Charlie Jolley, who danced around his man before testing Toby Savin in the visitors’ goal.
Hawkes cut inside from the left shortly after, forcing another save out of Savin who tipped the shot around his post.
Rovers won a penalty on 12 minutes for a handball decision, after Sam Taylor had tried to flick the ball over Accrington left-back Rosaire Longelo who stopped it with his arm.
Hawkes stepped up and waited until Savin committed to one side before slotting it to the other and putting Rovers into the lead.
Accrington responded with some pressure of their own, Tommy Leigh taking a shot from range after a Seb Quirk ball in, but it was well dealt with by Luke McGee.
Rovers stood firm and responded by getting back on the front foot, Hendry curling a free kick from the right just wide of Savin’s far post.
Jay Baghuelo was shown a straight red card four minutes from the break for a foul on Hawkes.
Hendry almost doubled Rovers’ lead with a first-time effort from a pinpoint Dan Pike Ball on the stroke of half time, but we ultimately took a one-goal lead into the break.
Rovers did double their lead four minutes after the break, Hawkes at it again with a deflected long-range effort into the bottom corner.
Adkins made a couple of changes on the hour mark, with Chris Merrie and Harvey Saunders entering the fray in place of Brad Walker and Taylor.
Tranmere remained firmly on the front foot for much of the second period, putting together some slick moves which included Hawkes going close to a hat-trick before his shot was tipped over the bar.
Jennings almost caught substitute goalkeeper Jack McIntyre off his line as the second half wore on, but the young stopper got back to catch the effort from range.
Accrington carved their best chance of the game on 79 minutes when Matt Lowe went one-on-one with McGee, but the Rovers ‘keeper came out on top.
The momentum swung back to Rovers in the closing minutes, Tom Davies forcing a save out of McIntyre from a corner, as Tranmere ultimately took the three points at home.
Tranmere Rovers: Luke McGee, Dan Pike, Tom Davies (C), Joe Yarney, Jordan Turnbull, Regan Hendry (Morris, 90+2), Brad Walker (Merrie, 61), Connor Jennings, Josh Hawkes (Apter, 90+2), Charlie Jolley, Sam Taylor (Saunders, 61).
Subs: Joe Murphy, Kieron Morris, Chris Merrie, Connor Wood, Kristian Dennis, Rob Apter, Harvey Saunders.
Accrington Stanley: Toby Savin (McIntyre, 45+8), Jay Rich-Baghuelou, Brad Hills, Shaun Whalley, Joe Pritchard (C), Seb Quirk, Rosaire Longelo, Joe Gubbins, Tommy Leigh, Josh Andrews (Lowe, 76), Dan Martin (Woods, 76).
Subs: Jack McIntyre, Lewis Shipley, Kelvin Mellor, Ben Woods, Matt Lowe, Jack Nolan, Aaron Pickles.