Tranmere Rovers were beaten 2-0 at home by Portsmouth at Prenton Park on Saturday.
Sean Raggett’s early headed gave Portsmouth the advantage on a chilly Wirral afternoon.
Ryan Williams struck a second goal for the Hampshire outfit five minutes into the second-half.
Manager Micky Mellon brought in George Ray and Corey Blackett-Taylor to the starting line-up for the visit of Pompey.
Rovers began brightly, and Alex Woodyard and Luke McCullough seeing efforts blocked from range.
Ronan Curtis tested Scott Davies in the opening five minutes after breaking free, with Calum Woods’ excellent tackle denying Ellis Harrison an easy tap in on the rebound.
Andy Cook and Blackett-Taylor linked up well inside the penalty area, with Corey’s subsequent attempt charged down.
Kenny Jackett’s in-form side were in front with 13 minutes gone when Curtis’ free-kick from the left found the head of Raggett who diverted beyond Davies.
Looking for a response, Tranmere went agonizingly close three minutes later as Blackett-Taylor’s effort fell into Cook’s path, who flicked towards goal, however goalkeeper Alex Bass saved with his feet on the line.
Up the other end, Curtis was involved again, setting up Harrison, though he couldn’t test Davies.
A lofted ball was later brought down by James Vaughan, with his half-volley from just outside the box straight into Bass’ grasp.
Bass was then called into action after 34 minutes, keeping out Cook’s downward header from Kane Wilson's cross.
Kieron Morris then weaved through to create space, but his drive went off target.
Rovers created the final chance of a half where they had the better opportunities, with Cook headed wide from close-range after Woods’ cross.
Mellon introduced Liam Ridehalgh as a half-time change, who replaced Wilson.
Curtis hooked his volley over the crossbar and into the away supporters who had made the long journey up from the South Coast.
But Portsmouth did have their second goal on the counter attack five minutes after the interval, through Williams’ low drive which crept into the net to find Davies’ bottom right-corner.
Davies was again tested, this time he was forced to hold onto Harrison’s glancing header from point-blank range.
Neil Danns and Morgan Ferrier were thrown onto the pitch on the hour, with the pair coming on for Woods and Vaughan.
And Ferrier was in the thick of the action, profiting from Blackett-Taylor’s industrious play to flash powerfully across goal.
With 19 minutes to go, Morris dragged a low daisycutter past Bass’ right-hand post after Monthe’s had two attempts blocked in the box from the midfielder’s corner.
Rovers battled in the closing stages for a route back into the contest, with half-chances from Cook and Ferrier going begging.
TRFC are next back at Prenton Park on Tuesday night when they host Bristol Rovers, 7:45pm kick-off.
TRFC: Davies ©, Wilson (Ridehalgh 45), Ray, Monthe, Woods (Danns 60), McCullough, Woodyard, Morris, Blackett-Taylor, Vaughan (Ferrier 60), Cook.
Subs not used: Pilling, Perkins, Gilmour, Jennings.