Tranmere Rovers secured their first Sky Bet League One victory of the season in emphatic fashion as they beat North West rivals Bolton Wanderers 5-0 at Prenton Park on Saturday afternoon.
In the first meeting at league level since 2001, Rovers dominated from start to finish on a sun-kissed day on the Wirral, with forward Morgan Ferrier inspiring the victory with a double in front of over 8,000 fans at Prenton Park.
Rovers struck two decisive goals in two minutes late in the first-half through Ollie Banks and Ferrier.
Ferrier doubled his tally a minute following the restart with a low finish prior to forward Connor Jennings getting in on the act just past the hour, driving home from eight-yards out.
Substitute Stefan Payne later added a fifth in the final 15 minutes when Paul Mullin’s shot deflected off his back, to notch his first goal in Tranmere colours since arriving earlier this summer which capped off a perfect home performance.
Manager Micky Mellon made one change to his side from Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie with Hull City as Connor Jennings replaced Darren Potter in the starting line-up.
Rovers were almost in front within three minutes when Banks’ cross from the right almost caught out Bolton goalkeeper Remi Matthews, who managed to just tip the ball over the crossbar.
Kane Wilson was the next Tranmere man to have a go at goal, but when well-positioned on the right-side of the box after being played through by Kieron Morris on the overlap, he sliced his attempt into the travelling supporters.
Mellon’s men were enjoying the better of the opening stages, with Matthews’ dropping to his right to keep out Morris’ low drive from the edge of the penalty area.
TRFC led through Banks with 38 minutes played, who latched onto Morris’ pass to power a right-footed shot from the right side of the box high past Matthews and into the top right-corner.
Rovers’ second of the afternoon came on 40 minutes after the ball dropped to Ferrier inside the six-yard box after Morris’ corner from the right to poke in right-footed beyond Matthews and into the bottom left-corner.
Up the other end, Phil Parkinson’s Trotters went close through James Weir’s free-kick, which saw Scott Davies called into action to tip his set-piece over.
Tranmere made a quick-fire start after the break as Ferrier scored his second with 46 minutes on the clock, nutmegging his marker to shoot left-footed across goal from the right-side of the box and into the bottom left-corner.
In response, Bolton midfielder Weir saw another free-kick, this time from the edge of Rovers’ box go over the top of Davies’ bar.
Rovers were rampant and went four goals up after 63 minutes. Winger Morris charged into the box from the right flank to feed Jennings, who from eight-yards out, drove right-footed that went under Matthews’ dive.
Tranmere’s fifth of a scintillating display in front of the SWA came when two substitutes combined after 75 minutes gone, as Mullin’s goal-bound effort deflected off Payne’s back to wrong-foot Matthews and find its way into the back of the net.
Mullin nearly added a sixth but was thwarted well by Matthews’ stop from a tight angle as Tranmere earned their first three-points in the third-tier in style.
Next up for Rovers is a trip to the Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night as they visit Bristol Rovers in Sky Bet League One aiming for a second straight win, 7:45pm kick-off.
TRFC: Davies, Ridehalgh, Ray, Monthe, Wilson (Nelson 83), Morris, Perkins, Banks, Blackett-Taylor (Payne 65) Jennings, Ferrier (Mullin 58)
Subs not used: Pilling, Potter, Ponticelli, Gilmour