Ten man Tranmere Rovers fell to a 3-0 defeat at Mansfield Town with the hosts’ goals coming from Jorge Grant (2) and Nicky Ajose.
Tranmere went down to ten men when midfielder Ollie Banks was dismissed for two yellow cards in the first half.
Manager Micky Mellon named new recruit Ben Pringle on the bench for TRFC against high-flying Mansfield. Adam Buxton returned to the starting eleven in place of Mark Ellis, whilst Connor Jennings stepped in for the injured Ishmael Miller.
There was little to choose between the two sides in the opening 15 minutes, as both teams grasped an understanding of one another. TRFC donning an all-white kit, operated a 5-3-2 system with James Norwood and Connor Jennings spearheading the Rovers attack.
Tranmere were looking dangerous moving forward as Jake Caprice was finding space on the right channel. However, the best chance of the opening 20 minutes for TRFC came from the opposite flank as Norwood tricked his way past the Mansfield back line, played a dangerous cross into the middle but the ball was hacked away at the last minute.
In the 22nd minute, Mansfield took the lead as Grant curled an excellent free-kick from 21-yards into the top corner after a foul on the edge of the penalty box.
Tranmere didn’t let their heads drop but needed to be cautious as they picked up three yellow cards in the opening 30 minutes, McCullough, McNulty and Banks all going in the book.
And it proved to be the case, as just before the half time whistle, Banks was dismissed for two yellow cards as Rovers had to play the remainder of the match with ten men.
Tranmere were inches away from an equaliser in first half added time as Norwood, the league’s top scorer, headed over Liam Ridehalgh’s corner from the left.
Despite being a man down, Rovers were more than in the contest against Town, as Norwood operated as a lone striker, Jennings dropping into a four-man midfield.
Mansfield were controlling possession with their numerical advantage, but Tranmere were looking a threat when moving forward when the opportunity presented itself.
The near 500 travelling support from the Wirral were staying strong with the team, as they looked for an equalising goal.
However, Mansfield grabbed their second and third goals in quick succession courtesy of Walker and Grant to seal all three points for the hosts.
In between the goals, Pringle was introduced for his debut, replacing skipper McNulty.
The match finished 3-0 to the hosts and Rovers now move on to next weekend’s game at Port Vale.
Tranmere: Davies, Caprice, Monthe, McNulty (Pringle 67), Buxton, Ridehalgh, Banks, Perkins, Jennings, Norwood. Unused subs: Pilling, Mullin, Gilmour, Smith, Ellis, Harris.