Tranmere Rovers were beaten 2-0 away to Bolton Wanderers at the University of Bolton Stadium in Sky Bet League One on Saturday afternoon.
Dennis Politic put Keith Hill’s Trotters ahead after just two minutes and forward Chris O’Grady extended their lead just past the hour through a volley
Backed by a large SWA support, manager Micky Mellon handed debuts to new signings Morgan Feeney and James Vaughan, while Harvey Gilmour also came into the starting line-up.
Bolton were in front with the contest only two minutes old when Politic drove a right-footed volley from the edge of the penalty area which found Scott Davies’ top right corner.
Davies then had to be quick off his line to deny forward Daryl Murphy in the six-yard box.
O’Grady headed over Davies’ crossbar from a Politic cross as Rovers came under pressure in the opening ten minutes.
Rovers began to find their rhythm, with Connor Jennings’ effort from distance comfortable for goalkeeper Remi Matthews before Morgan Ferrier blasted over after making space for himself.
Kieron Morris’ weaved inside from the left midway through the half, only to see his shot blocked by defender Toto Nsiala.
Goal scorer Politic beat Kane Wilson down the right, only to drag his daisycutter from a dangerous position wide of Davies’ near post.
Morris’ right-sided corner was met by Feeney at the back post on the half-hour mark, though his header across goal was punched away by Matthews.
In the closing minutes of the opening period, Rovers enjoyed some pressure on the hosts’ goal, with Morris’ free-kick straight at Matthews from 25-yards after Jennings had been brought down.
Up the other end, Calum Woods did well to get his body in the way of an O’Grady shot on the turn inside the box.
Wilson got the better of his marker to fizz a low cross towards Morris inside the box, who hit an effort on the turn only for Jason Lowe to block.
Following on from the restart, Politic’s free-kick was cleared by Jennings’ face in the wall prior to Ethan Hamilton’s tame attempt not troubling Davies.
With 11 minutes of the second-half gone, Vaughan teed up Gilmour, with the midfielder striking powerfully first-time which was charged down by Josh Emmanuel.
Captain Davies was forced to make into action, denying Hamilton’s initial low strike before Politic’s follow-up was cleared off the line.
But Bolton doubled their advantage on 64 minutes when O’Grady, slammed an un-marked volley beyond Davies from close-range after a cross was not cleared.
Mellon introduced former Wanderers midfielder Neil Danns into proceedings, as he replaced Jennings with 25 minutes left to play.
Seeking a response, Wilson clipped a cross into Vaughan, who was inches from diverting into the net.
Bolton were hopeful of a third late on, and Hamilton twisted and turned inside the area, but he bent over the upright.
Next up for TRFC is a home fixture against Doncaster Rovers at Prenton Park this Tuesday night, 7:45pm kick-off.
TRFC: Davies ©, Caprice, Feeney (Nelson 90), Woods, Wilson, Morris, Gilmour, Woodyard, Jennings, (Danns 66) Ferrier, Vaughan
Subs not used: Pilling, McCullough, Perkins, Walker-Rice, Potter