A late second half goal from Paul Mullin wasn’t enough for Tranmere Rovers as Fleetwood claimed all three points with a 2-1 victory. Goals from Josh Morris and Paddy Madden sealed the win for the hosts either side of half time.
Tranmere drafted in Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy for the game against Fleetwood Town, Kane Wilson missing out through suspension and Stefan Payne on the bench.
The visitors, donning their purple away strip, made a positive start on the Fylde Coast with Hepburn-Murphy finding pockets of space in the opposition half. His strike partner Morgan Ferrier, fresh off his goal at Wycombe on Wednesday, nearly nicked in on goal but was denied at the final stages by Harry Souttar.
In the 14th minute, Fleetwood went ahead after a free-kick from the edge of the penalty box by Morris was curled into the top corner.
Tranmere did not let their heads drop after conceding and continued to play positively, showing warning they could threaten the Fleetwood defence.
In a tactical change, Micky Mellon introduced Corey Blackett-Taylor for George Ray in a tactical change by the away side. The impact was immediate, Blackett-Taylor beating Lewie Coyle on the flank and putting a cross in for Hepburn-Murphy but his header went just wide.
Tranmere, roared on by a sold out away crowd, were out singing the home support and right behind their team. Mellon’s men made a positive start to the second period, with the pace in attack causing concerns, Blackett-Taylor again outdoing Coyle but his shot from the edge of the box was pushed away by Billy Crellin in the Town goal.
Fleetwood made two changes with Paul Coutts and Wes Burns replaced Ashley Hunter and Ched Evans.
Evans’ first attempt came on goal in the 64th minute, picking up a high pass to crash a shot against the side netting. Tranmere made their second change before the goal kick was taken, Darren Potter replaced by David Perkins.
A deflected cross from Borthwick-Jackson nearly caught goalkeeper Crellin off guard but at the last second he parried away.
However, despite all of Tranmere’s hard work, as Madden slotted home Town’s second, a sucker blow for Rovers.
Tranmere’s hard work earned them a goal in the dying stages courtesy of sub Paul Mullin but unfortunately it wasn’t enough as the hosts claimed the points.
Tranmere: Davies, Nelson, Monthe, Ray (Blackett-Taylor), Caprice, Borthwick-Jackson, Hepburn-Murphy (Mullin), Ferrier, Potter (Perkins), Jennings, Morris. Unused subs: Pilling, Woods, Payne, Maddox.