Tranmere fought back to earn a point against Accrington Stanley at Prenton Park – a result that leaves both clubs hovering perilously above the League One relegation zone.

Sean McConville opened the scoring for the visitors but Kieron Morris drew Rovers level before the end of an entertaining first half.

The second 45 minutes couldn’t live up to the first, with Stanley’s Jordan Clark hitting the bar, but a draw was a fair result, with Tranmere remaining 20th in the table.

Having rotated his side significantly for the midweek EFL Trophy victory against Manchester United, Micky Mellon made nine changes to his starting XI, with only Sid Nelson and Connor Jennings retaining a place in the side.

It was the visitors who fashioned the early opportunities; Dion Charles lifting a half chance over the crossbar, before Sadou Diallo tested the palms of Scott Davies with a long-range drive.

When Colby Bishop was allowed to turn in the middle of the penalty area and shoot straight at Davies, he should really have been putting Stanley deservedly in front.

They didn’t have to wait much longer to take the lead however. When Rovers failed to properly clear a corner in the 18thminute, the ball was pumped back into the box and was carelessly allowed to drop to McConville, who gleefully side-footed home from close range.

Accrington continued to attack, with Davies punching a Mark Hughes header off the line before Charles test the Rovers’ ‘keeper with a tamer effort.

Having suffered somewhat of an early onslaught, Tranmere started to push back around the 25-minute mark.

A well-worked move down the right ended with a shooting opportunity for Jennings on the edge of the box, but the lay-off from Neil Danns was slow, resulting in a pulled effort from the former.

The challenge for Tranmere drew bigger just past the half hour mark when glovesman Davies pulled up in his own box with what looked like a hamstring injury, thrusting 22-year-old Luke Pilling into a rare moment of first team action.

Rovers drew level eight minutes before the break when Corey Blackett-Taylor bust past his marker on the left and crossed for Morris to volley home first time.

When David Perkins criminally gave the ball away deep in his own box the visitors looked certain to retake the lead four minutes later, but Pilling made a superb double save; first denying McConville, before pushing the rebound from Harvey Rodgers behind for a corner.

Rovers a chance to lead in first half injury time with a free kick on the edge of the box, but Blackett-Taylor’s curling effort was easy for Dimitar Evtimov.

The hosts looked reset after the break with most of their attacking potency coming from Blackett-Taylor. 

He wanted a penalty when Rodgers got a hold of his shirt in the box, but the referee wasn’t interested.

Evtimov held a Morris free kick, as Stanley boss John Coleman made personnel changes to try and deal with the growing threat of Blackett-Taylor.

Charles headed a freekick over Pilling’s crossbar for the visitors before Morgan Ferrier tested the palms of Evtimov at the other end.

Chances were at a premium in the second half but when Jordan Clark pushed his way past Liam Ridehalgh, his chip over Pilling skimmed the top of the crossbar.

Momentum continued to swing both ways in the final stages but in the end, both sides had to settle for a point.

Micky Mellon said: “It was a hard-fought game. I think up to the first half an hour, they were the better side.

“They got the goal and kind of woke us up a little bit. In the last 15 minutes of the half we got ourselves back into it and then equalised. We finished a wee bit stronger than them towards the end of the half.

“Second half I think it was pretty much mostly all of us. Both teams competed really hard, just needed that wee break. We might have had a shout for a couple of penalties.

“On the whole, second half – miles better we just couldn’t find that little opening to maybe separate the two teams.”

Match Stats

Tranmere Rovers 1

Morris 37

Accrington Stanley 1

McConville 18

Half time: 1-1

Referee: Tony Harrington

Attendance: 5,751

Star man: Corey Blackett-Taylor (Tranmere midfielder)

Match rating: 3/5

Tranmere team (4-4-1-1): Davies, Caprice, Nelson, Monthe, Ridehalgh, Morris (Woods 86), Danns, Perkins, Blackett-Taylor, Jennings, Ferrier (Hepburn-Murphy 90)

Tranmere subs: Pilling, Potter, Mullin, Maddox, Payne

Accrington team (4-4-2): Evtimov, Hughes, Sykes, Clark, McConville (Pritchard 44), Maguire (Sherif 74), Barclay, Rodgers (Johnson 50), Bishop, Charles, Diallo

Accrington subs: Sherif, Zanzala, Bursik, Alese, Opoku