A brace from Sam Hoskins sealed all three points for Northampton Town against Tranmere with the visitors winning 2-1 on a cold Tuesday night at Prenton Park.
James Norwood equalised for the hosts with all the goals coming in the first half, but TRFC were unable to find a second equaliser despite all of their pressure in the final 45.
Manager Micky Mellon handed debuts to Kieron Morris and Sid Nelson against Northampton Town, Chris Dagnall named on the bench.
There was also a home debut for Ben Pringle but Steve McNulty and Ollie Banks both missed out.
The game started in the worst possible fashion for the SWA, and within two minutes, the visitors took the lead as Hoskins broke away from the TRFC defence to slip the ball beyond Scott Davies.
Tranmere responded well to Northampton’s early punch and dominated proceedings as the visitors sat back inside their own half as Mellon’s team took the game to the Cobblers.
Pringle and fellow home debutant Morris were looking particularly dangerous, but the best Tranmere chance inside the first 20 fell to top scorer Norwood, the striker’s shot from inside the box was blocked at the last second by an away defender.
Tranmere’s pressure paid off in the 24th minute as Jake Caprice powered from right back into the penalty box to find an inch perfect low cross to the feet of Norwood tap home first time.
Norwood could have doubled his goal tally on two occasions minutes, first, having a 20-yard strike palmed away by the keeper, David Cornell, for a corner. The resulting corner saw Norwood head just off target.
A scare at the other end nearly saw Northampton retake the lead, as a defensive mix up saw Hoskins get sight on goal but Davies was on hand to squander the opportunity.
Northampton retook the lead right at the end of the first half, as Hoskins cleverly got in front of his man to flick the ball over the top of Davies as the visitors led by two goals to one.
Tranmere started the second period with a chance as Norwood glanced a header wide of the mark for Rovers. The first change came in the 58th minute, as Dagnall was introduced for his second debut, Pringle making way as Jennings moved to the wing.
Northampton were frustrating Tranmere, stalling play whenever possible and managing the clock as it ticked towards the full-time whistle. Norwood was certainly the dangerman, as a free-kick from 25-yards whistled past the post.
On the 70-minute mark, Jonny Smith was introduced for Morris and the Bristol City loan man’s impact was instant, fizzing a strike across the surface which the keeper just scrambled away.
Ten minutes later, Dagnall nearly marked his return to his first club with a goal, connecting with a diving header from Jennings’ cross, but his effort was just off target.
The final change saw Harvey Gilmour replace Luke McCullough in the 85th minute as Mellon looked for an equaliser.
But Tranmere couldn’t find the equaliser, despite their efforts, with Jennings having a late header blocked. The next match is now against Stevenage at home on Saturday.
Davies, Caprice, Monthe, Nelson, Ridehalgh, Perkins, McCullough (Gilmour 85), Pringle (Dagnall 58), Morris (Smith 70), Jennings, Norwood. Unused subs: Pilling, Buxton, Mullin, Harris.