A Connor Jennings brace helped Tranmere Rovers breeze past Grimsby Town 4-1 at Prenton Park, extending their winning run to five games.
Jennings’ first half double, and strikes from Manny Monthe and James Norwood secured the comfortable victory.
Grimsby had levelled through Martyn Woolford following a Wes Thomas penalty, but Micky Mellon’s side fought back to maintain a strong grip on the play off positions.
After a slow opening, the first opportunity fell to Michael Jolley’s side when Harry Clifton latched onto a through ball, but was denied by a last ditch Mark Ellis block.
The Super Whites broke the deadlock 18 minutes in. Ollie Banks found the unmarked Connor Jennings from a free-kick, who slotted into the Essar Kop Stand net.
On the half hour mark, Grimsby were awarded a penalty after Reece Hall-Johnson tumbled in the area. Scott Davies saved initially from Mariners top scorer Thomas, but Woolford netted the rebound.
The Lincolnshire outfit’s reprieve was short lived as three minutes later, James McKeown parried a set-piece and Monthe reacted first to tap in.
Norwood increased the lead five minutes later, grabbing his 27th of the campaign with an audacious looping effort over the keeper. Jennings then got his second, blasting in after the ball deflected his way in the box.
The second half began with the visitors threatening a revival. On the hour, Harry Davis leaped well to power a header on goal, but Davies produced an eye-catching stop.
The excitement which engulfed the stadium before the break fizzled out, with Tranmere content with their first half efforts, managing the game until the final whistle.
Three things we learned
Raining goals in the first half
With five strikes in first period, the game was full of action. Tranmere’s clinical edge showed why they currently sit fifth in the division. TRFC have now racked up 54 goals in the league with nine crucial fixtures remaining, beginning with a trip to face Oldham Athletic this Saturday.
Davies’ remarkable shot stopping
Tranmere’s number ‘one’ was prevented his fourth shut-out on the spin, but his performance was one of his finest this season. The Englishman was unfortunate to concede a rebound after he guessed right to deny Thomas from the spot. In the second period, the Super White Army showed their appreciation for the stopper and he was rewarded with the man of the match accolade.
Jennings reaches double figures
Rovers’ forward has been a regular in Mellon’s starting line-ups this term and has been key factor in Norwood’s great form, playing up alongside him this campaign. The 27-year-old fired in his 10th and 11th goals since mid-August, as he sits second behind Norwood in Tranmere’s goal scoring charts.