TRANMERE Rovers' League Two clash with Port Vale ended in victory for Micky Mellon's side last night.

A brace from James Norwood, his 21st and 22nd goals of the campaign, sealed a deserved 2-1 win, earning a deserved three points and moving the side up to ninth in the division.

Tranmere named an unchanged line up and bench from the 0-0 draw at Cambridge United last weekend.

Port Vale were seeing more of possession in the opening stages, but with their first attack, Rovers took the lead through Sky Bet League Two top goal scorer, Norwood.

The goal came about when winger Kieron Morris cut in from the left to drive a shot at the goalkeeper, Scott Brown. The ball deflected just behind the striker, but he did well to turn away to retrieve the ball and fire home.

Port Vale had chance to react immediately through Ben Whitfield, through on goal, the number 24’s shot was tame and easy for Scott Davies in the TRFC goal.

Tranmere’s Connor Jennings had the next opportunity, a half chance on the edge of the penalty box, but lashed his half volley over the bar.

Both Norwood and manager Micky Mellon were handed yellow cards but referee Trevor Kettle after the striker thought he was fouled in the penalty box, but their retaliation to a penalty not being awarded earned the pair bookings.

Norwood nearly wriggled home his second of the night in the 40th minute, but from a tight angle, the keeper saved well with his feet.

At the other end, veteran centre forward Tom Pope leaped above Rovers defence to send a header into the away crowd behind Davies' goal.

The second half began with rain starting to come down in Burslem but the travelling support stayed with their team, and soon enough, Norwood had his 22nd league goal of the season.

The striker broke through to collect Jennings pass and with a perfect left footed strike, found the bottom hand corner to put Rovers two goals to the good.

But before the hour mark, Vale pulled a goal back as Whitfield drove through the heart of Rovers defence to fire past the outstretched arm of Davies.

Jennings hit another strike just wide of the mark before Zoumana Bakayogo heroically kept the visitors level with an excellent goal line saving header, before the follow up chance was saved by Davies.

Norwood came within a whisker of scoring his first hat trick for Tranmere only a couple of minutes later, firing a shot from the right-hand side slightly wide of the left hand post.

Tranmere made two changes as they looked to keep ahead in the game, Jonny Smith and Harvey Gilmour replacing Morris and Ben Pringle.

Port Vale were pushing for an equaliser but the TRFC defence stood strong with a late strike from substitute Ricky Miller the final throw of the dice for the hosts as Rovers collected a deserved three points.

Rovers boss Micky Mellon said: "We will keep going. We won't get too carried away about what we do.

"There has got to be performances like that, games up and down the country will go like that, that's what happens, and the players were experienced enough to know that.

"And the players were really good at that tonight. I'm really pleased and proud of them. They were roared on by fantastic support for a midweek game and I'm delighted to get the prize of three points.

"The way games go at this stage of the season, teams are fighting for one prize or the other, you just have to be good at what the game is asking and I ask that of the players all of the time, and tonight they were brilliant at everything I asked them in terms of winning headers, knockdowns and fight and character after conceding.

"We are a bit disappointed with the goal that we gave away.

"We probably could have done better with that."

Praising the impact of match-winner Norwood, Mellon added: "They were two terrific finishes for him and I'm really pleased for him (Norwood) and the rest of the group.

"It is a terrific win for us."

Tranmere: Davies, Caprice, Ellis, Monthe, Bakayogo, Morris (Smith 76), Perkins, McCullough, Pringle (Gilmour 62), Jennings, Norwood. Unused subs: Pilling, Buxton, Mullin, Dagnall, Banks.

Attendance: 3,835 812 away.