Corey Blackett-Taylor’s dramatic 95th minute winner secured Tranmere Rovers a thrilling 3-2 victory away at Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday night.
Goals in the opening 14 minutes from the returning Mark Ellis as well as Alex Woodyard sent Rovers into an early lead in Shropshire.
Aaron Pierre pulled one back nine minutes into the second-half and Callum Lang levelled after 61 minutes for the home side.
And Blackett-Taylor struck a last gasp strike deep into injury-time to earn Rovers a vital three points at the New Meadow.
Ellis came back into the first-team following his long-term injury, replacing Manny Monthe at centre-back.
Shrewsbury went close with the game only two minutes old, when Daniel Udoh was teed up by Josh Laurent, but his strike went narrowly wide of Scott Davies’ bottom left-post.
Rovers were in front within nine minutes when Corey Blackett-Taylor fizzed a low ball from the left which was met by Ellis at the back post, who turned in unmarked right-footed and beat Max O’Leary from close-range.
Mellon’s men doubled their lead on 14 minutes through Woodyard as he followed in after O’Leary had palmed out Kieron Morris’ drive following James Vaughan’s build-up play.
Up the other end, Sam Ricketts’ Salop searched for a response, with David Edwards’ effort from inside the box valiantly blocked.
It was so nearly three for Rovers just beyond the 20-minute mark, as Blackett-Taylor swung in an enticing cross for Morris to head, which was superbly clawed away by O’Leary.
Captain Davies was later called into action to keep out Edwards’ volley inside the 18-yard box.
Callum Lang and Sean Goss then both had opportunities at goal for the hosts, which were wasted.
Pierre tried his luck from long-range but the defender’s daisycutter across the turf forced Davies to drop down to his left and save comfortably.
In the closing minutes of the half, forward Andy Cook galloped in space from his marker to thump right-footed that took a deflection on its way for a corner.
The restart began with Tranmere on the front foot, and Blackett-Taylor almost had a goal to add to his assist, weaving inside to curl right-footed from distance narrowly over O’Leary’s crossbar.
Rovers came under pressure of their own, but Ellis and Peter Clarke were there to command the area with Shrewsbury pushing for a route back into it.
Jason Cummings ran at Liam Ridehalgh down the flank, creating room for himself prior to firing over when well-positioned.
A combination of Clarke and Cook thwarted Lang’s dangerous free-kick in the wall while Davies kept out Cummings’ shot from the edge of the box, dropping down to his right.
And Shrewsbury halved the deficit when Pierre powered a header past Davies from Goss’ corner from the right after 54 minutes.
Luke McCullough was called upon to clear Sean Goss’ whipped free-kick from the left, and Clarke did well under pressure from Udoh.
Lang drew Shrewsbury back on terms with 61 minutes gone, bending right-footed past Davies into the top right-corner after latching onto Udoh’s pass, with Kane Wilson lying on the turf with a head injury sustained in moments earlier.
Mellon made a double change with David Perkins and Connor Jennings coming on for McCullough and Vaughan.
Rovers almost immediately restored their advantage when O’Leary’s superb reaction stop denied Morris’ volley.
With Shrewsbury aiming for a third, Ellis threw himself in the way of Cummings’ attempt.
Davies smartly tipped around the post from Omar Beckles’ front post header following Goss’ corner.
In the final ten minutes, Jennings set up Morris on the right-edge of the box, and he bent inches wide of O’Leary’s far post.
Shrewsbury spurned a glorious chance to snatch all three points late on, countering from a Rovers corner which saw Cummings feed Josh Laurent, who blazed high over Davies’ crossbar.
And Rovers won it in dramatic circumstances deep into injury-time when Blackett-Taylor raced onto Davies’ punt up field to drive left-footed across O’Leary and into the bottom right corner to spark delirious scenes from the travelling SWA.
TRFC are back at Prenton Park when they host Fleetwood Town on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.
TRFC: Davies ©, Wilson, Clarke, Ellis, Ridehalgh, Morris, Woodyard, McCullough (Perkins 64), Blackett-Taylor (Danns 95), Cook, Vaughan (Jennings 64)
Subs not used: Pilling, Monthe, Banks, Ferrier