Goals from George Ray and Connor Jennings sealed a 2-1 win for Tranmere Rovers against Aston Villa U21s at Prenton Park in the Leasing.com Trophy.
The win sealed Rovers' place in the knockout round of the competition, and we will qualify alongside League Two side Salford City.
The visitors took an early lead as Cameron Borthwick Jackson’s throw in goes to nobody in the middle of the pitch and Villa striker Archer fired past Luke Pilling from 18-yards out.
Rovers nearly made an immediate impact as Jennings was played through by Kieron Morris, but our number 11 struck wide.
Corey Blackett-Taylor was looking lively against his former team mates, and his clever run from the left was well saved by the goalkeeper.
In the 13th minute, Ray sweeped home majestically from a Blackett-Taylor cross to level proceedings at Prenton Park.
The blistering pace of Blackett-Taylor was there for all to see, and again he caused Villa problems, picking up a pass from Jennings and darted into the box, but was denied by the goalkeeper.
Tranmere were starting to show their dominance and experience, controlling possession but the youngsters from Villa Park were dangerous when attacking, something Rovers had to be wary of.
The half ended with Harvey Gilmour firing over the bar with all to play for in the second period.
Morris had the first chance for Rovers in the second half, his powerful effort blocked for a corner, and seconds later, Ray’s downward header bounces over the bar.
On the hour mark, Jennings volleyed past the post, with goalkeeper Jamie Searie rooted to the spot, a certain goal if the effort was on target.
Rovers’ pressure finally paid off with 13 minutes to remain, Jennings meeting a Blackett-Taylor corner to scramble home.
Tranmere should have made it three but Jordan Ponticelli missed the target from two yards out after Manny Monthe’s header rebounded off the post into the path of the striker.
However, Tranmere comfortably claimed the win and secure their passage into the next round of the competition.
TRFC: Pilling, Borthwick Jackson, Ray (Ridehalgh 80), Monthe, Caprice, Potter, Gilmour, Blackett-Taylor (Mullin 80), Morris, Jennings, Ponticelli. Unused subs: Davies, Payne, Walker-Rice, Thompson, Spellman.