A costly Connor Jennings red card halted any hope of a Tranmere comeback after Callum Lang scored his second goal of the season to give Shrewsbury a 1-0 victory over the hosts.
Rovers came into the match looking to bounce back from last weeks 4-1 loss away at table-toppers, Ipswich. Form was in their favour, however, as the home side had been unbeaten in their previous four matches at Prenton Park.
George Ray failed a late fitness test ahead of the clash. Micky Mellon was able to call upon full-back Jake Caprice, who made his return from an ankle injury in last week’s defeat.
The Superwhites edged the opening 10 minutes of a hotly contested first half. Stefan Payne nodded down a long ball setting up Connor Jennings for a volley just outside the area, which was ultimately blocked.
Callum Lang then went close for ‘Salop’ shortly after with a header, after great work from Ryan John Giles.
Captain Oliver Norburn then saw his low drive palmed away by Scott Davies in the Shrews goal. Luckily for the keeper, Manny Monthe was on hand to clear the rebound before Lang could pounce on the loose ball.
However, the Wigan loanee wouldn’t have to wait long for another chance, and this one couldn’t have been easier for him.
Defender, Aaron Pierre, fired across goal after finding space inside the Tranmere penalty area. If it wasn’t already bound for the net, Lang made sure. The number nine tapped home from two yards out to give the away side a 1-0 lead inside 20 minutes.
Things went from bad to worse for Micky Mellon’s men just before half time, Connor Jennings receiving his second yellow card for a needless foul on Daniel Udoh.
Shrewsbury started the second half as brightly as they had finished the first. A Sean Goss corner saw Pierre go close, only for Monthe to clear off the line. Lang then looked to add to his goal tally with a speculative volley from range.
The 10-men battled hard to the final whistle and came agonisingly close to an equaliser as Murphy saved spectacularly from Neil Dann in the 95th minute to secure the points for the visitors.
The result leaves Rovers in 20th position in the SkyBet League One. They now face Aston Villa Under-21s in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday. Their next league outing comes away at fourth-placed Coventry City next Sunday.
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