Aldershot Town................0

Tranmere Rovers..............3 

Magnificent Tranmere are half way to Wembley following a remarkable 3-0 away victory against Aldershot in the promotion playoff semi-final.

An early Cole Stockton strike gave Rovers the halftime lead before James Norwood accepted a gift to add a second two minutes after the break.

Rovers soaked up the pressure before stinging their hosts on the break with a late third from Stockton, wrapping up a dream result for the Super Whites.

Lois Maynard returned to the side, replacing the injured Lee Vaughan, as Micky Mellon reverted to a 4-4-2 formation with a diamond in midfield.

They could hardly have started any better as Jeff Hughes stole the ball on the edge of the Aldershot box before crossing for Stockton, who turned and forced the ball home.

Tranmere kept up their confident start, with Adam Buxton firing an effort over the bar before a rapid attack saw a shot from Connor Jennings blocked at the crucial moment.

Tranmere’s dominance in midfield was all too apparent. When Aldershot’s possession broke down again in their own half, Jennings squared for Maynard but his shot was also repelled by a lunging leg.

On the half hour mark The Shots finally threatened, with headers from Idris Kanu and Matt McClure just missing the target before Will Evans fired over the bar.

But after the break – just like they had in the first half - Rovers struck early. This time the goal was more fortuitous.

A cross from Liam Ridehalgh was caught by Jake Cole but the Aldershot goalkeeper spilled the ball into the path or Norwood who simply rolled the ball into the net.

That goal flattened the hosts and as hard as they tried to find a way back into the contest, they were met by fiercer resistance from Micky Mellon’s men.

And having played a dangerous high pressing game for much of the second half, they were finally exposed in the 75th minute when Norwood scampered down the left side before passing to Stockton to slam home his second and Rovers’ third of the evening.

The travelling Tranmere contingent partied wildly behind the goal, celebrating an outstanding victory – surely the greatest of Mellon’s tenure – and now head into Saturday’s second leg brimming with confidence.

Micky Mellon said: “We’re obviously delighted to get to the halfway stage and be in front. I really mean this – we won’t get carried away.

“We know that we’re going back to an electric Prenton Park now. The atmosphere will be fantastic and every credit to the fans this evening.

“We’re half way. We’ve got our noses in front. We need to fight to try and make sure that we keep it that way or add to that. We’ve still got a lot of work to do.

“We know what a good team Aldershot are and they showed that tonight. We had to get an awful lot right in certain areas of the pitch and to a man we were massively motivated to make sure we did that.

“We’re pleased with the performance but I’ll be drumming it in to the boys – it’s only half way against a very talented Aldershot side. We know we’ve still got work to do.

“The atmosphere tonight was great, but wait until we get to Prenton Park.”