A Josh Hawkes penalty and a Rhys Hughes free kick gave Tranmere a 2-0 win against Grimsby Town in Rovers’ penultimate home game of the season.
Rovers named an unchanged side from Tuesday evening’s 2-2 draw at Rochdale.
Tranmere were on the front foot from the off, working the ball forward early on but early efforts failed to materialise.
Grimsby carved the first chance of the game when Josh Emmanuel sent a ball across goal for former Tranmere winger Otis Khan to latch onto, but his effort was clipped wide.
Rovers responded by going straight up the other end, Regan Hendry being tumbled over in the penalty box after he was played in by Kane Hemmings, but the referee waved away any penalty appeals.
Tranmere continued to work the visitors’ left-hand side and a smart turn from Jay Turner-Cooke set Josh Dacres-Cogley free down Rovers’ right, before a Hendry corner was palmed away by Max Crocombe in the Grimsby goal.
A Rhys Hughes free kick on 20 minutes saw Rovers’ best chance of the game to that point, with no Tranmere boot quite able to latch onto an inviting ball across goal from the Welshman.
Turner-Cooke continued to look to create opportunities for his side, threading a through ball into the box as the game approached the half-hour mark, but it was just too heavy for Hemmings.
Mateusz Hewelt was called into action at the other end on 30 minutes and produced a great save to keep the scores level.
Two minutes later Rovers won a penalty when Harvey Saunders was felled in the box after a ball round the corner from Hemmings. Josh Hawkes dropped the ‘Aldo shuffle’ before converting from 12 yards to put Tranmere into the lead.
With an advantage in the game, Tranmere forged further chances and almost doubled their lead when Ethan Bristow squared the ball for Saunders, but the forward’s header was off target and Rovers took a one-goal lead into the break.
Early in the second half, Saunders smartly won a free kick on the edge of the box for Rovers, which Rhys Hughes stepped up to and curled it past Crocombe to double Tranmere’s lead.
The momentum was with the home side after that goal, Hawkes seeing an effort from the edge of the box tipped over the bar just moments later.
As the second half progressed, Grimsby did retain a foothold in the game, Gavan Holohan seeing an effort rise over the bar before Hewelt was forced into a couple of saves from an away corner.
Rovers rode the pressure and looked to hit on the counter when Hemmings strode forward, battling with a Grimsby defender before Saunders arrived and was seemingly tripped just inside the box, but the referee again waved away appeals.
Hewelt sprang into action once again as the game approached its final 20 minutes, getting down low quickly to stop a Town header.
Rovers’ midfield trio of Hendry, Hawkes and Lee O’Connor combined for a slick move to set up Saunders with a chance on the edge of the box in response, but the final effort was deflected wide.
Hawkes was close to a third with ten minutes to go, after Josh Dacres-Cogley beat a couple of men down the right and squared the ball to the midfielder whose strike was turned around the post.
Jake Burton entered the fray and created a chance for Saunders, but the ball didn’t quite sit up right for the Rooster.
Rovers held on for a deserved two-goal victory in their penultimate home game of the season.
Tranmere Rovers: Hewelt, Dacres-Cogley, Davies, Turnbull, Bristow, Hendry, Hughes (Burton, 74), Hawkes, Turner-Cooke (O’Connor, 62), Hemmings © (Hoti, 87), Saunders.
Subs: Hoti, O’Connor, Taylor, Mumbongo, Burton.
Grimsby Town: Crocombe, Emmanuel (Efete, 83), Waterfall, Maher, Amos (Khouri, 83), Green, Holohan, Khan, Clifton, Orsi, Taylor.
Subs: Efete, Lloyd, McAtee, Hunt, Morris, Smith, Khouri.