Tranmere came from behind in injury time against Burton Albion to secure their second league win of the season in the most dramatic fashion imaginable.

Lucas Akins gave the Brewers the lead from the penalty spot with 24 minutes to go, but Ollie Banks equalised with a free kick in time added on before Stefan Payne headed home a remarkable winner at the death, admin chaotic scenes inside Prenton Park.

Micky Mellon kept faith with the starting XI that performed so impressively in the midweek draw against Peterborough United, but there was a place on the bench for new recruit Neil Danns.

The first chance of note arrived on the quarter of an hour mark when Paul Mullin drove through the middle and won a free kick 30 yards out, but once on his feet, he could only blast the opportunity high into the Kop.

Albion responded with a dead ball of their own from a similar distance, but Oliver Sarkic’ effort was comfortably held by Scott Davies.

On Tranmere’s very next attack Kieron Morris took aim on the Burton goal just inside the box, finding the side-netting.

The visitors wanted a penalty in the 24thminute when Banks appeared to handle in the area, but the referee wasn’t interested.

When Sarkic conjured a sublime pass through the middle to release Joe Sbarra, most of Prenton Park was relieved to see the Burton striker’s shot bounce wide of the post.

A short spell of Albion pressure ended with Stephen Quinn sending a rising shot over the bar, as the visitors exhibited some moments of greater quality on the ball.

A low drive from the dangerous Sarkic was pushed behind for a corner, which Rovers had to defend studiously. 

Just before the break, veteran midfielder David Perkins pulled up with an injury, affording an opportunity for Danns to come on and make his debut. 

During the interval, Mellon made another change, bringing on Cameron Borthwick-Jackson for George Ray.

Rovers had a great chance to take the lead 10 minutes into the second half when Borthwick-Jackson crossed from the by-line for Morris, but with his side-foot he could only smack it against the bar.

Burton continued to look dangerous in spells. A run down the left from Colin Daniel saw the left-back flash a ball across Tranmere’s goal that went untouched. Then Quinn fired one over the bar, with Nigel Clough’s side growing in attacking confidence.

A long-range Banks strike was gathered at the second attempt, with the game still firmly in the balance.

But Burton were awarded a penalty 24 minutes from time when substitute Borthwick-Jackson chopped down Quinn, giving the referee an easy decision.

Akins made no mistake from the spot, smacking it in the top corner.

Mellon immediately made his final substation – introducing Corey Blackett-Taylor for Darren Potter and switching to a 4-4-2 formation.

Albion almost went two up when Davies could only parry a shot from Nathan Broadhead but the ‘keeper made amends by keeping out Ryan Edwards’ rebound with his feet.

The lively Daniel flashed another shot just past Davies’ post as the Brewers tried to put the game to bed.

Blackett-Taylor did well to get a cross into the box eight minutes from time but Mullin could only nod it over the bar.

Burton looked set to leave Birkenhead with all three points but as the game ticked into five minutes of injury time, Rovers unleashed a cannonball of drama on the congregation.

Banks curled home a dead ball from 25 yards out in the 92ndminute to pull the sides level.

With their tails up and the atmosphere at fever pitch, Tranmere pushed for the win.

It arrived in the last attack of the match when Payne directed a cross from Morris into the net – with some assistance from debutant Neil Danns – in the 95thminute, to clinch a remarkable and much needed victory for Rovers that sent their fans home dancing with delight.

Micky Mellon said: “We were forced into a couple of changes through injuries. Second half we looked like a team that had lost two key players.

“Then we gave away a mad penalty and we’re chasing the game. But what you do know about us is that we will keep going. The crowd were fantastic again and stuck with us.

“They know that we will keep going and keep fighting. To win a game in the last minute, when you’re 1-0 down – moments in football like that, you’ve got to fully enjoy.

“I think we needed a win. It was important that we got a victory, I would absolutely acknowledge that.

“We knew we had a tough week with Peterborough and Burton – two teams that you would expect to be up there in the top ten in this division. To come out of it with four points, you have to be pleased.”

Match Stats

Tranmere Rovers 2

Banks 90+2, Payne 90+5

Burton Albion 1

Akins 66

Half time: 0-0

Referee: Alan Young

Attendance: 6,235

Star man: Kieron Morris (Tranmere midfielder)

Match rating: 3/5

Tranmere team (3-5-2): Davies, Nelson, Ray (Borthwick-Jackson 46), Monthe, Morris, Perkins, Potter (Blackett-Taylor 67), Banks, Ridehalgh, Payne, Mullin

Tranmere subs: Pilling, Jennings, Hepburn-Murphy, Ponticelli

Burton team (4-4-2): O’Hara, Brayford (Boyce 34), Daniel, Edwards, Wallace, Quinn (Hutchinson 83), Broadhead, Akins, Sbarra, Sarkic (Buxton 82), Nartey

Burton subs: Templeton, Bywater, Anderson, Beardsley