TWO first-half penalties from James Norwood strengthened Tranmere's grip on a National League play-off spot as they beat Gateshead 3-1.

Jon Shaw handled Adam Mekki's cross in the area and Norwood converted the spot-kick to give the hosts the lead.

Mekki was then brought down in the box and Norwood once again scored the penalty to double the advantage.

Michael Higdon nodded in the third, before Danny Johnson grabbed a consolation late on.

The win saw Rovers consolidate fifth place, with sixth-placed Wrexham now four points behind.

Manager Gray Brabin had named an unchanged squad from the 1-0 victory in the derby last Sunday against Chester FC.

He said: "It was a really good first half performance.

"But you can never relax. We didn't want to rest on our laurels but it was a jittery first five minutes of the second half.

"Then it was a great cross by Jake Kirby and it was nice to see Michael Higdon get off the mark with a goal.

"Off the back of the Chester game where we got 43 crosses into the box, we put more good crosses in today.

"I felt we needed to get on the end of things and today, I think the end product was good to get us two penalties and Higdon's goal."

On Tuesday, March 8, Rovers travel to Yorkshire to face 18th-placed Guiseley with kick-off at 7.45pm at Nethermoor Park.

No tickets will be available for sale prior to the match.

Admission will be cash on the turnstiles.

Meet the opponents:


Nickname: The Lions

Colours: White shirts, blue shorts, blue socks

Ground: Nethermoor Park

Distance from Prenton Park: 79.3 miles

Position last season: Fifth

Conference North West Yorkshire-based Guiseley gained promotion last season.

They play their home games in a ground that holds only 3,000 people.