HARTLEPOOL United suffered their second League Two defeat on the road when they were sunk by a late Tom Davies header at Tranmere.
Despite Pools having the better of the chances at Prenton Park, the contest appeared destined to finish goalless.
But out-of-form Rovers found the winner when Davies put away a free header from an 89th-minute right-wing corner.
Boss Dave Challinor said "same again" at Tranmere by naming an unchanged side from the one which beat Carlisle United 2-1 last Saturday, with the only alteration on the bench where Olufela Olomola replaced Mark Cullen.
The opening stages at Prenton Park were absolutely breathless and it took until the 24th minute for the first ‘attempt’ on goal when Tyler Burey’s cross from the right strike the chest of David Ferguson and flew into the home end behind Joe Morphy’s goal.
It did light the spark for a bright Pools spell, with Jamie Sterry driving the most inviting of balls across the six-yard box, but no-one in red and black was there to convert.
Sterry was having no luck with the wing-back denied by the post in the 31st minute when his powerful drive hit the base of Murphy’s right-hand upright with Nicky Featherstone’s follow up being thwarted by a last-ditch Rovers block.
Gavin Holohan found the side-netting from close range, while a Ferguson free-kick was comfortably taken by Murphy.
Rovers, without a win since the opening Saturday of the campaign, had two efforts on target but Ben Killip easily saved shots from outside the box from Elliott Nevitt and Mark Duffy.
There was a minor fracas nine minutes into the second half when Gary LIddle went down after being caught by Nevitt, but no action was taken by referee Chris Sarginson apart from yellow cards for Neill Byrne and Peter Clarke for their part in the dispute.
Pools had loud appeals for a penalty for handball waved away on the hour when Featherstone’s rasping shot was blocked while four minutes later, Holohan released Burey on the break whose left-foot cross just eluded Mark Shelton.
Sadly, it was to be Burey’s final contribution as he came off with a hamstring injury, with mid-week cup hero, Luke Molyneux coming on, with Reagan Ogle replacing Ferguson at the same time.
Soon after, Sterry put over another teasing cross from the right but Goodwin could not convert.
There was no shortage of effort from either side but little accurate with Davies (twice) and Kieron Morris blazing over for Tranmere.
A stalemate looked inevitable but Davies had other ideas
Tranmere: Murphy; Davies, Clarke, Percival; Cogley, Watson, Spearing, Duffy (Hawkes 73), Morris; Maynard (McManaman 62), Nevitt. Subs (not used): Doohan, Merrie, Fenney, Glatzel, Foley
Goal: Davies 89
Booked: Clarke 54
Pools: Killip; Byrne, Liddle, Angol; Sterry, Shelton, Featherstone, Holohan (Olomola 90), Ferguson (Ogle 65); Goodwin, Burey (Molyneux 65)
Subs (not used): Mitchell, Odusina, Smith, Daly
Booked: Sterry 37, Byrne 54
Referee: Chris Sarginson