Tranmere Rovers 3 Fleetwood Town 1

HUNGRY Tranmere kept their pre-season preparations on target with an impressive win against Fleetwood Town at Prenton Park.

A brace from James Norwood and a strike from Adam Buxton gave Micky Mellon's side a 3-1 victory against League One opposition.

The Cod Army may currently sit two divisions higher than their hosts but you would never have known, as the lacklustre visitors were soundly beaten by a hardworking Rovers outfit.

Micky Mellon handed another start to new striker James Alabi, but this time partnered him with Norwood, as competition for places got serious.

Fellow new strike acquisition George Waring was still absent with a back injury but is hopeful of returning for the first match of the season.

Tranmere took the lead in the eighth minute when Alabi slipped the ball through the Fleetwood defence to strike partner Norwood, who calmly dispatched the ball past Chris Neal at his near post.

Rovers were unlucky not to go two up on the quarter of an hour mark when Alabi charge down an attempted clearance by Neal, but the Fleetwood 'keeper's blushes were sparred as the ball spun just wide of the goal.

Tranmere were holding there own against League One opposition but Scott Davies had to gather a low drive from Ashley Hunter at the second attempt in the 25th minute.

Five minutes before the break, Adam Buxton fizzed an effort just wide from 25 yards but Mellon would have been reasonably satisfied with what he had seen from his players in the opening 45 minutes.

With no changes at the interval it wasn't long before Tranmere did double their lead.

After Norwood was denied by Neal, the post and a goal-line clearance the Eastbourne-raised striker was not to be denied as he tapped home Jack Dunn's resultant corner from close range in 52nd minute.

On the hour Mellon rang the changes – bringing on Cook, Jennings, Andy Mangan and Evan Gumbs for Alabi, Dunn, Norwood and Steven McNulty.

Fleetwood pulled one back with 20 minutes to play when Jack Sowerby curled a delightful free kick into the top corner.

But Tranmere restored their two-goal cushion three minutes later when Buxton's 20-yard drive deflected over Neal into the gaping net.

Rovers had a slight scare with centre back Ritchie Sutton hobbling off late on, but aside from that it was a good night’s work for Tranmere, who have a treasure trove of riches in midfield and attack heading into the new season.

Goals: Tranmere: Norwood 8, 52 Buxton 73 Fleetwood: Sowerby 70

Tranmere starting XI: Davies, Buxton, McNulty, Sutton, Dunn, Norwood, Norburn, Alabi, Ridehalgh, Hughes, Duggan