BENIK AFOBE and Lee Novak notched the crucial goals as Town maintained the momentum of their exciting promotion push.
Lee Clark’s men had to overcome stubborn opposition, a tricky Prenton Park pitch and the early loss of Liam Ridehalgh through injury as they made it 19 League I games unbeaten and five wins in six.
This was also a fifth consecutive clean sheet, and bearing in mind the early reshuffle in which Jack Hunt replaced Ridehalgh and Lee Peltier switched from right to left-back, it was highly encouraging ahead of Saturday’s big home showdown with freescoring Peterborough.
Town had to deal with some Tranmere pressure before Afobe forced his fifth goal of the season in the 38th minute.
But there was only one nervy moment after that – when substitute Adam McGurk was unable to convert Enoch Showunmi’s inviting 72nd-minute cross – and the visitors were good value for their third 2-0 win in as many visits to this venue, sealed by Novak’s slide-rule 87th-minute finish.
The competition created by Clark means the Geordie striker hasn’t had that many minutes of action this season.
But the 22-year-old, who had replaced Afobe just five minutes earlier, showed the scoring instinct which brought him 12 goals last season is still there with his fourth of this term.
Peltier played Novak in and the frontman nudged the ball past diving keeper Tony Warner on the edge of the area then rolled home a low shot which had Town’s travelling army behind that goal dancing with delight.