Bromley 0 Tranmere Rovers 1

A THRILLING strike from James Norwood, deep into added time, gave Tranmere a vital away win at Bromley, helping relieve the pressure on Micky Mellon.

Without a goal in three matches, Rovers looked to be heading for a stalemate in a robust but uninspiring performance at Hayes Lane, but deep into injury time Norwood delivered and could finally ignite what has been an underwhelming start to the season.

Mellon made two changes to the side that had lost at home to 10-man Wrexham, with Jeff Hughes and youngster Mitch Duggan replacing the injured pair of Jay Harris and Jack Dunn.

Connor Jennings pulled an early effort wide from the edge of the box as Tranmere went in search of their first away win since August 28.

Duggan let fly from 30 yards 10 minutes in, but his rising effort went well over the bar.

A cross from Adam Buxton was met first time by Jennings, but he slipped in the process and could only scuff a volley wide.

Buxton then tried one himself from an acute angle on the edge of the box but it was held by Gregory.

Bromley came close to breaking the deadlock on 25 minutes when George Porter met a Frankie Sutherland free kick at the back post, but he could only find the side netting.

Just before the break Ollie Norburn slipped in Jennings for a superb opportunity only to see his effort saved by the legs of Gregory.

Then, on the stroke of half-time, Hughes headed a Buxton free kick over the bar from six yards when really he should have found the target.

A dance into the box by Louis Dennis ended with Scott Davies pushing the Bromley striker's shot wide for a corner after the break, as the hosts looked to make an impact in the contest.

James Alabi created a chance for himself when he barged Josh Rees off the ball on the edge of the Bromley penalty area before curling a left foot effort just over the bar.

A horrible miscue from Tyrone Sterling presented Duggan with a glorious chance to head Rovers in front, but the youngster could only direct the ball over the bar with Gregory stranded.

The Ravens' stopper had to be at his best to tip a bending free kick from Buxton over the bar before Alabi's back heel from the subsequent Hughes corner went the wrong side of the post.

Tranmere were finding opportunities on the break but their continued lack of width and pace in the side was limiting their effectiveness.

With Mellon resisting the temptation to bring on either Mangan or fellow striker George Waring, it appeared that the Rover’s manager had settled for a draw.

But two minutes into stoppage time the ball broke off Alabi into the path of Norwood, who took a touch before smacking it in off the base of the post.

The striker was mobbed by his teammates as Rovers held on for a vital victory and moved up to 17th in the National League.

Rovers manager Micky Mellon said afterwards: "I'm always trying to be quite calm but I'm obviously delighted that we scored when we did.

"It was always going to be difficult for a whole host of reasons but we set out to have a certain mentality today and we were determined as a group that we were going to dig in and not give anything away.

"I would like to see Tranmere teams play with a lot more slick and attacking football but certainly in terms of character, determination and fighting for those three points it was great.

"We now have to kick on from this, take the lessons from the games that we had before and sometimes it’s just about digging in at these levels.

"Let's be fair to everybody, there's no massive superstars out there.

"It's a group of honest boys and if you do the basics well you get a wee bit of magic from people like Norwood and maybe win you the game."

Match stats

Bromley 0 Tranmere Rovers 1 Norwood 90+2

Half time: 0-0 Star man: James Norwoord (Tranmere striker).

Attendance: 2,056

Entertainment: 2/5

Ref rating: Neil Hair (6/10)

Bromley (4-4-2): Gregory, Dunne, Rees, Holland, Dennis, Mekki (Allen 52), Johnson, Sterling, Wanadio, Porter (Williams 64), Sutherland

Subs not used: Chorley, Raymond, Higgs Bookings: Wanadio, Johnson, Dunne Tranmere (4-3-1-2): Davies, Buxton, McNulty, Sutton, Ridehalgh, Duggan, Hughes, Norburn, Jennings, Norwood, Alabi Subs not used: Pilling, Gumbs, Clarke, Waring Mangan Bookings: Buxton, Jennings