Two second half goals from Northampton Town sealed a 2-0 win for the visitors at Prenton Park.
The goals came early and midway through the second period to end Tranmere’s eight game unbeaten run in all competitions, stretching back more than a month. Rovers will quickly turn their attentions to next weekend’s trip to Mansfield Town.
Liam Feeney came in for Josh Hawkes in the only change for Rovers, the Sunderland loanee missing out through injury.
Former Rovers man Paul Lewis lined up for the visitors. Sid Nelson, a former Tranmere promotion winner, who now plays for the Cobblers, was missing due to a knee injury.
Ahead of kick-off, both teams held a moment of respect for long serving Tranmere steward and fan Phil Haynes, who sadly passed away unexpectedly just over a week ago.
A battle for supremacy in the opening 20 minutes at Prenton Park, with both teams having one chance to score, but nothing coming from either opportunity, Feeney firing over the cross bar for Tranmere.
Tranmere did have the ball in the net in the 25th minute from a corner but it was ruled out for offside.
Aaron McGowan hit the side netting for Northampton just before the half hour mark, marking the first real goal scoring opportunity.
At the other end, Tom Davies fired away after a free kick from Feeney was headed initially away by a Northampton player.
Tranmere started to put on the pressure and great work from Sam Foley and Feeney on the left resulted in the latter whipping a back post cross towards Elliott Nevitt, but he couldn’t connect cleanly to test Liam Roberts.
Eight minutes into the second half, Northampton went ahead as Kion Etete got on the end of a whipped low cross from the left to tap home.
On the hour mark, Mark Duffy was introduced for Keiron Morris as Rovers looked for a breakthrough against an in form Northampton side.
Sam Hoskins doubled Northampton’s lead from the penalty spot with 67 minutes on the clock, after Doohan brought down Lewis in the penalty box.
Tranmere’s second change came in the 72nd minute as Feeney was withdrawn for Nicky Maynard.
Lewis and Etete both came close to adding a third for the visitors, with Tranmere not looking themselves after the second goal was conceded. Moments later, Hoskins hit the bar for Northampton.
Ryan Watson came on with 13 minutes to play, taking the place of Foley, one last roll of the dice from Mellon.
However, Tranmere couldn't find a break through and Northampton Town took home the points.
Tranmere: Doohan, Cogley, Davies, Clarke, MacDonald, Spearing, Morris (Duffy 60), Foley (Watson 77), McManaman, Nevitt, Feeney (Maynard 72). Unused subs: Murphy, Knight-Percival, Glatzel, O’Connor.
Tranmere’s next game is at Mansfield Town on Saturday 30th October, and tickets can be purchased via www.trfctickets.co.uk.