Rovers made it a four wins in four matches as they beat Southport 1-0 at Prenton Park on Saturday afternoon thanks to a penalty by James Norwood.
Tranmere manager Gary Brabin made one change to the side that started against Torquay last weekend with Adam Mekki (ill) being replaced by Jeff Hughes.
Right from the off, Jeff Hughes’ looping ball over the top found Lois Maynard one-on-one but Southport keeper Max Crocombe stood strong to push his effort to safety. A great start by Brabin’s men.
Dino Maamria’s side nearly found themselves a goal to the good but Mike Phenix could only see his 22-yard curling effort fly wide of Scott Davies’s goal.
Midway through the first half, Rovers had another glorious chance to take the lead. A good offload by Norwood picked out Hughes, who could only fire low into the arms of Crocombe.
Southport’s Louis Almond delivered a dangerous corner into the Rovers box but the Tranmere defence managed to scramble it away.
On the stroke of half-time, a Rutherford piledriver from 25 yards stung the palms of Davies, as both teams went in goalless at the halfway stage.
Rovers continued to press in the second half. Lee Vaughan picked out Hughes whose low shot was parried away by Crocombe. It was turning into one of those days, with Rovers finding it hard to break the deadlock.
On 60 minutes, Rovers made it 1-0 after a penalty was awarded following a push on Taylor-Fletcher. Norwood slotted calmly to the to the Crocombe’s right to give Tranmere a well deserved lead and score his 13th goal of the season, as the Prenton Park faithful roared their team on.
Southport nearly found themselves on level terms when Jamie Allen tried to find Andy Bishop, but McNulty got back to clear the danger.
At the other end, Maynard later had a 30-yard strike which was well matched by Crocombe.
Rovers made their first change of the afternoon 10 minutes from time as Jack Mackreth replaced Gary Taylor-Fletcher.
Liam Nolan had a chance to salvage a point for the away side but could only fire high over the cross bar from 12 yards.
Rovers held on to take all three points, the result lifting them into 4th place in the table.
Tranmere: Davies, Vaughan, Ihiekwe, McNulty, Ridehalgh, Jennings, Harris, Maynard, Taylor-Fletcher (Mackreth 82), Norwood, Hughes. Substitutes: Turner, Kirby, Sutton, Stockton.
Southport: Cromcombe, Nolan, Thompson, Foster, Allen, Wright, Jones, Blakeman, Rutherford, Almond (Bishop 60), Phenix (Grimshaw 90). Substitutes: Viscosi, Giles, Ryan.
Referee: Karl Evans
Yellow cards: Blakeman (30), Norwood (47), Jennings (49), Crocombe (62), Foster (63)
Goals: Norwood (63 pen)
Attendance: 5199 (421)