Tranmere Rovers struck a late winner to pick up a valuable three points against Morecambe with Harvey Gilmour netting a 89th minute goal to seal a 4-3 victory.
With James Norwood suspended following a red card in last Tuesday’s win over leaders Lincoln City, the line was led by Paul Mullin on his return to a former club.
Gilmour was added to the starting line-up too after an influential substitute display in that midweek victory.
And Rovers came out of the blocks quickly and on the front foot. Mullin it was to cause problems for the home defence with a couple of shots from inside the penalty area which forced Barry Roche in the Morecambe goal to make smart saves.
Against the run of play, it was the home side who broke the deadlock on 13 minutes. Too much space was allowed just outside the penalty area and Rhys Oates took advantage of this, firing a low shot from just outside the box which Scott Davies got fingers to but couldn’t prevent it going into the bottom corner of his net.
The scores were brought level just before the half hour mark, after Adam Buxton was brought down just outside the penalty area on the right hand side.
Gilmour whipped over the free kick and Ollie Banks rose above his marker to head home.
It was another header which would give Rovers the lead for the first time of the afternoon four minutes before the interval.
Zoumana Bakayogo burst down the left flank and sent over a perfect cross. Gilmour broke into the penalty area with a well timed run and sent an excellent header past the helpless Roche.
Morecambe started the second half well and forced Davies into some smart saves.
But a two-goal advantage was established on 54 minutes with a stunning strike. Jonny Smith, who had caused problems all first half, ran at his full back, cut inside onto his favoured left foot and curled a delightful strike in at the far post.
Rovers were flying and playing full of confidence, some lovely neat passing and there were some dangerous balls into the penalty area without causing the Morecambe ‘keeper further problems.
After the hour mark, a few of the Tranmere players visibly tired and the defence dropped deeper with the ball not sticking in the forward areas.
And on 73 minutes, Morecambe pulled a goal back when striker Vadaine Oliver rose higher than his marker to nod home at the back post.
This gave the hosts belief and impetus and it was a former Tranmere man who was the architect of their equaliser with 10 minutes of normal time remaining.
Kevin Ellison had been introduced from the bench, and he marauded down the left wing to be brought down by Adam Buxton. The resulting free kick fell to AJ Leitch-Smith who steered the ball past Davies to draw the game level.
Italian striker Franklyn Akammadu came on for his Rovers debut for the final 10 minutes to replace an absolutely knackered Mullin as Micky Mellon changed things.
And they were not to be denied a victory, and showed the character which has been visible all season so far to get a late winning goal.
Bakayogo was to get his second assist of the afternoon, showing great pace to beat two men down the left before pulling the ball back to Gilmour.
The midfielder, on loan from Sheffield United, curled a delicious shot into the top corner of the net and send the Super White Army into ecstacy.
Six minutes of stoppage time followed, but the Rovers rearguard stood strong and weren’t to be breached again as Micky Mellon’s men secured another three points which sends them into the play-off positions.
A melee after the final whistle saw goalkeeping coach Eric Nixon sent off, with all 22 players and both benches involved in ‘afters’, but that fails to take the gloss off another gutsy display and a well earned win.