Goals from Morgan Ferrier and James Vaughan earned Tranmere Rovers a third straight win in Sky Bet League One by battling to a 2-1 victory away at Blackpool on Tuesday night.
Rovers scored twice in the closing six-minutes of the first-half, through Ferrier’s header and Vaughan’s third goal in four games.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall pulled one back for Blackpool with an unstoppable curled strike from range 13 minutes after half-time.
But despite mounting pressure, Tranmere battled to three points at Bloomfield Road in front of a healthy SWA following of 936.
Manager Micky Mellon made four changes from the side that won at Accrington Stanley on Saturday, with Manny Monthe, Woods, David Perkins and Ferrier coming into the starting line-up.
It was Neil Critchley’s hosts who carved out the first opening at goal with the contest four minutes old.
Joe Nuttall latched onto Connor Ronan’s lofted pass to burst into the penalty box, and his resulting shot was saved by Scott Davies.
Rovers went close soon after, with Kieron Morris’ driving run ending as he struck low, with the ball going just wide of Chris Maxwell’s bottom right-post.
Morris’ free-kick from the left found Mark Ellis at the back post, who fired across the box for Peter Clarke to shoot from close-range, which Pool defender James Husband threw himself in the way of.
Mellon’s men created another opportunity through a Morris set-piece on 20 minutes. His left-footed kick was punched away by Maxwell, only to find Ferrier, though his volley went over the crossbar.
Up the other end, Nathan Delfouneso’s looping header following Taylor Moore’s cross clipped the top of Davies’ crossbar.
Davies was called into action midway through the half, holding onto Delfouneso’s attempt from distance.
Rovers were in front on 38 minutes when Woods’ cross from the left was met by Ferrier’s glancing header beating Maxwell’s drive to find the bottom left corner.
Searching for a leveller, Moore’s attempt was valiantly charged down by the industrious Alex Woodyard, as Rovers were forced to defend.
Tranmere doubled their advantage in first-half stoppage-time. Ferrier turned provider when he fed Vaughan, to drive right-footed past Maxwell which hit the base of the bottom left-post before crossing the line.
With Blackpool pushing for a route back into the contest, Moore’s cross was well cleared by Clarke while Kane Wilson did well to block Calum MacDonald’s shot.
But Critchley’s Seasiders halved the deficit after 58 minutes when Dewsbury-Hall got past David Perkins and bent left-footed from 25-yards which found Davies’ bottom left-corner.
Davies was on hand to keep Rovers’ lead a minute later, dropping down to his left to superbly tip Ronan’s effort from long-range onto the post, with Armand Gnanduillet unable to convert the loose ball.
Mellon made his first change on the hour, when Corey Blackett-Taylor was brought on for Woods.
Rovers found themselves coming under significant pressure in the closing 20 minutes of action, with Davies claiming Moore’s header at the back post comfortably.
With the clock ticking down to its final 15 minutes, Monthe had to stand firm and block Liam Feeney’s back post volley.
Blackett-Taylor broke at pace, sending the ball forward into Vaughan’s path, with the striker being brought down by centre-back Ben Heneghan but referee Sebastian Stockbridge blew for a Blackpool free-kick.
Vaughan was substituted for Connor Jennings to come on in the closing eight minutes.
Feeney then wasted a great chance to equalise when he shot high over the crossbar.
Blackett-Taylor’s speed was causing Blackpool’s defence issues, and having twisted and turned in the box, his attempt was blocked for a corner.
Tranmere were indebted to Davies as he saved from Feeney and Husband late on, with the visitors confidently seeing out injury-time.
The win on the Fylde Coast means Rovers are just three points from safety with a game in hand.
Rovers return home to Prenton Park on Saturday afternoon when the welcome Lincoln City, kick-off 3pm.
TRFC: Davies ©, Wilson, Ellis, Clarke, Monthe, Woods (Blackett-Taylor 60), Woodyard, Perkins, Morris, Ferrier, Vaughan (Jennings 82)
Subs not used: Pilling, Ridehalgh, McCullough, Banks, Cook