Tranmere Rovers picked up another important victory as they defeated bottom-of-the-table Notts County at Prenton Park.
Connor Jennings’ second half strike was the difference between the two sides in a tight affair which Rovers dominated for large periods.
Manager Micky Mellon named an unchanged XI from the team which beat Port Vale in midweek, with on-loan defender Sid Nelson returning to the squad on the bench after a recent layoff with a broken nose.
Tranmere started brightly and Connor Jennings had the first sight of goal, dragging a shot wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Kieron Morris sent over a dangerous delivery from a right wing corner soon after, and the ball was met by the head of Mark Ellis who saw the Notts goalkeeper equal to it.
Midway through the first half was a moment of real quality. Rovers attacked down the left with Ben Pringle, who cross the ball in to James Norwood. The 24-goal striker cushioned the ball down perfectly for Jennings to hit a delightful volley only for County custodian Ryan Schofield to expertly tip the ball over his crossbar.
The quality of that move showed the potential of this squad who have played some quite scintillating football over the course of the season so far.
Jennings went close again soon after, this time flicking a header wide from a Jake Caprice cross as Rovers were the dominant force and it looked only a matter of time before the goal would come.
At the other end, Scott Davies was largely a spectator, only a long range effort from Michael Doyle vaguely troubled him although it went off target.
Shortly before the interval, Schofield made another outstanding save, and this time it was to deny an own goal. Caprice did well down the right but his cross was poor. But a sliced clearance from Ben Barclay diverted the ball towards the bottom corner until Schofield’s intervention turned the ball around the post.
And so the sides went in at half time at 0-0, with Tranmere wondering how they didn’t make the breakthrough.
The second half was a much tighter encounter with County offering more resistance and looking a bit more of a threat to the Rovers rearguard.
Davies had to make a save to stop a deflected Jonathan Stead cross from the left before, at the other end, Norwood met a left wing corner but could only steer the ball into the arms of Schofield.
Ollie Banks was introduced into the action just after the hour mark, coming on in place of Luke McCullough in midfield, and the decisive goal came soon after.
It was a quick counter attack which tore through the County defence. Pringle picked up the ball and took it forward deep into the Notts half. He had Norwood to his left, Jennings to his right, he picked out the latter who calmly dispatched past Schofield from 15 yards.
The former Wrexham man had another opportunity soon after but slipped whilst getting a shot away from 25 yards and the ball ended well wide of the target.
Jonny Smith replaced Pringle before Sid Nelson came on for Ellis, who picked up an eye injury, as Rovers looked to see the game out.
Schofield made another good save to deny Norwood his 25th goal of the season after good work from Smith, while the striker was inches away from making the quarter-century with a rasping effort from the edge of the area.
County battled until the end, but in truth, threatened very little. Jon Stead’s shot on the angle which went a yard wide of the target was the closest they came to an equaliser as Tranmere moved to within two points of the play-off positions and hit the 50 point mark (52 points to be precise) with 12 games of the season remaining.
One mission seemingly accomplished, can they push on and achieve loftier ambitions come May?