Tranmere fell to their first league defeat under Micky Mellon as they were beaten 2-1 by Lincoln City at Sincil Bank.

Rovers got off to a bad start with Lincoln taking the lead in the third minute.

Nathan Arnold nudged the Imps in front when Sam Habergham's long throw was flicked into the midfielder's path by Matt Rhead.

The visitors levelled on the half hour when Callum Howe checked Andy Mangan in the box, and Jeff Hughes converted the penalty.

Lincoln were 15 matches unbeaten and Tranmere 10, so it was no surprise that the two sides tried to hold determinedly on to their successful sequences.

But Tranmere eventually yielded in the final 10 minutes, Rhead and Arnold combining to set up substitute Adam Marriott to drive home Lincoln's winner.

The result saw Lincoln leapfrog Rovers into top spot before Christmas.

Mellon said: "We started the game poorly and we'd have to say in the first ten minutes we were a bit disjointed, but then we settled down and got the penalty and were bang back in it.

"I think half time came too quickly for us because we were in the ascendancy.

"We started the second half very well and I lost count of the number of times we got into good positions but without punishing them.

"We got caught on the counter attack and we're disappointed with bits of detail in that attack, but apart from that, I could not really criticise us.

"I was pleased that we controlled the game and popped the ball around well and got it towards their goal with quality, but we're obviously disappointed to come away with a defeat."

More than 800 Tranmere supporters were in attendance at Sincil Bank, and the manager thanked them for their support.

"The support from the fans once again was fantastic. They, like us, have to take it on the chin, and come back again next week and keep moving forward."

Rovers will host Macclesfield on Boxing Day at Prenton Park.

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