Tranmere Rovers suffered their first defeat of the season with a narrow 1-0 loss at home to Newport County.
The visitors struck midway through the second half to seal the win at Prenton Park.
Tranmere made three changes from the 0-0 draw at Swindon Town, with Paul Glatzel, Sam Foley and Elliott Nevitt coming into the team for Emmanuel Dieseruvwe, Callum McManaman and Ryan Watson.
Nevitt, making his first league start, demonstrated some impressive touches and strength in the opening stages of the game, with Glatzel and the experienced Liam Feeney playing just behind the former Warrington Rylands man.
The first shot on goal came courtesy of the Welsh side when Cameron Norman drilled the ball into the side netting after a cross from the left by fellow full back Ryan Haynes.
Tranmere’s first strike followed on the quarter hour mark when Glatzel turned two Newport players from a throw in to fire straight down the throat of long standing County goalkeeper, Joe Day, who could only parry the ball.
Newport nearly handed Rovers a gift through an own goal by Priestly Farquharson when he slid to block Foley’s cross, and nearly lobbed his own goalkeeper, only for Day to push over in front of the travelling supporters.
A fantastic counter attack by Rovers, led by an excellent tackle by Nathanial Knight-Percival saw Feeney run more than half the pitch, carrying the ball, before putting in a low cross for the run of Glatzel, but the Liverpool loanee side footed wide of the mark.
Tranmere built on their great passage of play when a good five pass move resulted in Nevitt laying the ball off on the edge of the ‘D’ for Morris to strike, but a comfortable save for Day. Less than two minutes later, Morris, the only man in the TRFC line up from the team which beat Newport in 2019 in the Play-Off final, had another shot which was well saved.
At the other end, Joe Murphy palmed a shot from the edge of the box away for a corner kick, to deny the visitors taking a lead with just four minutes remaining plus stoppage time in the first half.
But County came knocking again and hit the cross bar after a loose ball from a corner was headed by a turquoise away shirt. Newport were finishing the half strong, Murphy being alert to make a low save from Alex Fisher after a quick break away.
A header from Knight-Percival which went over the cross bar from a Feeney corner kick began second half proceedings, and with only seven goals in the last six meetings between these two sides, you can see why it was a tight affair at Prenton Park.
With 55 minutes on the clock, Glatzel was replaced by McManaman in a like for like change by Micky Mellon.
On the hour mark, Tranmere conceded their first league goal of the campaign, when Newport hit the cross bar and on the follow up, Fisher prodded home, giving Rovers an uphill task for the final 30 minutes.
Rovers’ response was instant and Cogley’s cross from the right to the back post was met by Nevitt but Day was on hand to produce a strong save. In the 66th minute, Dieseruvwe came on in place of Morris with Rovers adapting a 4-4-2 formation.
Tranmere were pushing for an equaliser and a lovely piece of skill by McManaman saw him beat his man and deliver a delightful cross for Nevitt but he couldn’t connect. TRFC made their final change with Watson coming on for Foley in the 76th minute.
Nevitt had a header which went over the cross bar from a McManaman corner and the latter had a shot blocked in added time, but the Welsh side held on for all three points.
Tranmere: Murphy, Cogley, Knight-Percival, Davies, Clarke, Morris (Dieseruvwe 66), Spearing, Foley (Watson 76), Glatzel (McManaman 55), Feeney, Nevitt. Unused subs: Doohan, Maguire, Hayde, Merrie.
Our next game is on Saturday 28th August as we travel to Scunthorpe United, 3pm kick-off at the Sands Venue Stadium. Tickets for the game will go on sale this weekend, with tickets available to purchase via trfctickets.co.uk.