Superb Tranmere came from behind to record their fourth consecutive league win after thrashing Dover at the Crabble Athletic Ground.
Aswad Thomas had given the hosts an early lead but Andy Cook wiped it out on the half-hour mark and prolific marksman turned the contest in Rovers’ favour on the hour with an instinctive finish.
Dover goalkeeper Mitch Walker then punched a Jeff Hughes corner into his own net before Ben Tollitt capped off a brilliant afternoon with a fourth goal that reduced the gap to the top of the table to four points.
Micky Mellon made two changes to the side that overcame North Ferriby United last Tuesday, with Tollitt and Darren Stephenson replacing injured Jake Kirby and the suspended James Norwood.
Andy Cook celebrates
A mistake from Lee Vaughan allowed Ricky Modeste in on goal but Scott Davies was alert and snuffed out the danger with a strong challenge.
Tranmere fell behind on 22 minutes when a cross from Sam Magri was met by the head of Thomas in the penalty area and with Davies already going to ground, the ball disappointingly bounced over him into the net.
At this point the visitors had created little but on the half hour mark Stephenson got round the back of Tyrone Sterling only to see his low centre cleared to safety.
Darren Stephenson (left) attempts to break through the Dover defence
Rovers pulled level a minute later however when Tollitt wriggled free of his marker and advanced into the box before squaring to Cook to tap home his ninth goal of the season.
It was welcome relief for the travelling Super White Army, who celebrated wildly behind the goal.
Undeterred, Dover continued to push Rovers back. Lois Maynard received a yellow card for stopping one attack, while Davies dealt with a string of high balls under mounting physical pressure.
Tranmere started the second half brightly and on 50 minutes the ball dropped for Cook on the edge of the box, who unleashed a half volley that was saved by Walker.
Solid defending and patience paid off on the hour when Rovers took the lead.
Ben Tollit rounds off a great afternoon for the visitors with a great 79th minute strike
Walker saved a shot from Tollitt before Stephenson’s rebound header was scrambled half clear but when the ball broke loose on the edge of the box Cook was first to it and expertly guided the ball home.
On 66 minutes the lead was doubled when Dover ‘keeper Walker inexplicably punched a corner from Hughes into his own goal.
Aswad Thomas had given the hosts a 22nd minute lead
With five minutes remaining the contest was effectively ended by Tollitt, who flicked the ball over a defender before lashing it into the net – a goal of great quality.
Cook took the plaudits as he was substituted late on to considerable applause but it was no less then he and his colleagues deserved as the team’s resurgence under Mellon continues.
An own goal hands Rovers their third, and it's joy for the players and the travelling support
The manager said: “We’re obviously very disappointed with the manner of the goal we lost but we showed great character and desire to ensure that we didn’t come down here in vain.
“We showed the qualities that you’re going to need every week in order to try and gain valuable points like we have today.
“For a goalkeeper of his quality – Scott is very honest – he said to the lads at half time that he should’ve done better (for their goal) but he’s as good a goalkeeper as there is around. We’ll let him off with that one little misdemeanour today.
“I want us to keep trying to play and keep working the overloads that we had to try and give us as much control as possible because we didn’t want to get into a basket ball game – throwing it from one end to the other.
Celebrations after Andy Cook scores the second Rovers goal
"Andy Cook is a focal point of what we do. We know that any time we get the ball up to him with any kind of quality, he’s going to get hold of it.
"We tweaked it after about half an hour. We felt we wanted to pin their wingbacks back just a little bit, so we went with a four across the middle with Jay Harris as a front man.
"Ben Tollitt is a lad with great talent. When he’s at it and in full flow he’s very hard to stop.
"He’s got good balance, he can go either way and he scored a fantastic goal today as well. He can be pleased along with everyone else with his performance as well.
“We were delighted to get the result. A lot of teams will find it difficult to come here because Dover are a good team."
Dover Athletic: 1 (Thomas 22)
Tranmere Rovers: 4 (Cook 31, 60, Walker (o.g.) 66, Tollitt 80)
Half time: 1-1
Star man: Ben Tollitt (Tranmere midfielder).
Ref rating: David Rock (7/10)
Dover (5-3-2): Walker, Magri, Thomas, Modeste, Stevenson, Miller, Grimes, Sterling, Moore, Parkinson (Emmanuel 73), Lafayette Subs not used: Kinnear Jnr, Orlu, Pinnock, Arnold
Tranmere (4-3-1-2): Davies, Vaughan (Ihiekwe 86), Sutton, McNulty, Ridehalgh, Tollitt, Harris, Maynard, Hughes, Stephenson (Mekki 82), Cook (Jones 90).
Subs not used: Turner, Almond
Bookings: Tranmere: Maynard, Stephenson