A Rory Donnelly double either side of a Shamir Fenelon goal gave relegation-threatened Tranmere all three points against Stanley.

The Reds always faced an uphill battle after conceding a goal in the 12th minute and, while they had their chances, Rovers were clinical.

Boss John Coleman handed debuts to Arsenal loan keeper Matt Macey and defender Seamus Conneely with Kal Naismith returning to the side.

In opposition were former Reds Lee Molyneux and Kayode Odejayi who were looking to impress Rovers boss Micky Mellon.

Despite Stanley bossing the early possession, it was Tranmere who took the lead. A Fenelon cross from the right found Donnelly and he fired beyond the diving Macey.

Scorer Donnelly volleyed over the bar moments later as Rovers looked for their second.

And they got it in the 23rd minute when Rob Taylor’s ball in was not properly cleared and it fell nicely for Fenelon 12 yards out to belt it into the roof of the net.

The Reds were limited to long range efforts as, while they passed the ball around well, they couldn’t test Owain Fon Williams in the Tranmere goal.

Stanley appealed for a penalty when Shay McCartan was fouled on the edge of the area but a free kick was given instead and Naismith fired it into the wall while McCartan’s long range effort was deflected wide.

Stanley’s best chance came when a short back pass let Sean Maguire in but he failed to seize the opportunity and fired straight at Fon Williams.

From this, Tranmere went straight down the other end as Fenelon broke and Odejayi, stretching in the area, just couldn’t reach his cross to keep it at 2-0 at the break.

McCartan was lively after the re-start with a mazy run but the ball was nicked off his toe in the area while, at the other end, Tom Aldred had to clear Odejayi’s dangerous ball into the box.

Tranmere were upping the pressure and they got their third when Donnelly burst through and slotted into the far corner of the net on 57 minutes.

Stanley went straight down the other end and Fon Williams denied Naismith from close range and the ball bounced to Maguire who had the goal at his mercy from a yard out but he headed wide – thankfully the flag was up to spare his blushes.

Tranmere could have increased their lead with Macey denying Danny Holmes and Jake Kirby lobbing the rebound wide in the last few minutes.

In injury time, McCartan came close to a consolation but Stanley left Prenton Park empty-handed.