Tranmere ended a run of five straight league defeats with a goalless draw against out-of-form Bristol Rovers at Prenton Park.

With Wirral still suffering the effects of Storm Ciara, both sides struggled to find any kind of rhythm in diabolical conditions.

Ed Upson hit the post for the visitors and Jonson Clarke-Harris missed a golden opportunity at the death but Tranmere battled hard for a point against the elements and were good value for it in the end.

Micky Mellon made two enforced changes to the team that lost at home to Portsmouth on Saturday, replacing injured full backs Calum Woods and Kyle Wilson with Jake Caprice and Liam Ridehalgh respectively. 

Clarke-Harris had an early chance for the Gas, latching onto a ball over the top before blazing it high above Scott Davies’ crossbar.

The stormy conditions were already playing their part, with Davies having to re-spot his goal kick after the ball blew away.

When the visitors were awarded a free kick on the left side of the Tranmere penalty area, Upson used the wind to drive it goal wards, but with Davies seemingly beaten, George Ray headed it over the crossbar. 

Bristol then went close from the subsequent corner, when Clarke’s header from the edge of the box was blocked before Alex Rodman hit the side netting on the rebound. 

With the wind in their faces, Rovers were struggling to keep their guests at bay. Another ball over the top put Clarke in on goal again, but this time he cut inside and tried to lay a pass off only to see Tranmere scruffily clear it to safety. 

The Whites eventually got on the attack with Cory Blackett-Taylor meeting a cross from Caprice but he couldn’t get a good connection away. Andy Cook then saw a half-volley blocked for a corner.

But Mellon’s injured woes deepened in the 22nd minute when centre-back Ray hobbled off and was replaced by Sid Nelson.

Kieron Morris had a dead ball opportunity just past the half hour mark but he could only float it into the Cowsheds.

James Vaughan then required lengthy treatment after being clattered in the back of the head by Alfie Kilgour but despite a stretcher being called for he was able to carry on. Kilgour didn’t even get a caution.

On the stroke of halftime, Ridehalgh found Vaughan with a low cross into the six-yard box, but the former Everton striker couldn’t get enough on the ball, allowing Jamal Blackman to gather it easily.

Wirral Globe: James Vaughan shoots into the hands of Jamal Blackman. Photo: Tony CoombesJames Vaughan shoots into the hands of Jamal Blackman. Photo: Tony Coombes

Tranmere had a good chance 10 minutes into the second half, when Blackett-Taylor broke into the box, he opted to pass to Vaughan however, who couldn’t collect the ball on the turn.

Vaughan then turned provider, crossing deep for Cook at the far post but his volley on the stretch went well over.

Sensing they were in the ascendency, Tranmere’s supporters baked the team loudly, urging them on in their blustery theatre.

When Sid Nelson misjudged a high ball in the wind, Ollie Clarke had a chance to shoot but he could only slice it wide.

Luke Leahy then passed an effort high over the bar before Clarke hit a tame one straight at Davies, as the visitors halted Tranmere’s period of dominance. 

Upson went closer still, with his wind-assisted curler smacking back off Davies’ upright with the ‘keeper rooted to the spot. Ridehalgh then heroically threw his body in front of a shot on the edge of the box – demonstrating the desire that Mellon has been searching for.

As the game ticked into injury time Luke McCullough blazed over for the hosts before Clarke-Harris put a great chance wide at the other end with virtually the last kick of the game, but the spoils were shared leaving Rovers still six points adrift of safety.

Micky Mellon said: “We set the team up to try and win the game. It was tough conditions, really windy and we all know about the pitch, so it was a real battle all the way through.

“We showed all the qualities that would’ve been needed to try and get a result. Of course, it was not the ideal game we would all have in our dreams, but certainly in terms of what the conditions allowed us to do and the energy levels and the fight, I thought was great.

“The crowd was fantastic as well, they got right behind us. It was a hard-fought game. We set out to win it but apart from the odd moments of quality I couldn’t really ask any more of them. They kept fighting and fighting but they just couldn’t seem to get that little break.

“We still need to get better. What was pleasing was that they had a good go at doing what we said they had to improve. We’ll have to get consistent and encourage the lads to do that.

“I’ve you’ve played football before you’ll understand that’s as tough as it gets (conditions). You have to make sure that you show character and if it doesn’t go your way, as long as you give everything that you’ve got, that’s the important thing.

“Of course, we set up to try and win a game of football, but there’s nothing given in this division. Every game is tough.”

Match stats

Tranmere Rovers 0

Bristol Rovers 0

Half time: 0-0

Referee: Neil Hair

Attendance: 5,026

Star man: (Liam Ridehalgh Tranmere defender)

Match rating: 1/5

Tranmere team (4-4-2): Davies, Caprice, Ray (Nelson 22), Monthe, Ridehalgh, Blackett-Taylor, Woodyard, McCullough, Morris, Vaughan (Ferrier 67), Cook,

Tranmere subs: Pilling, Jennings, Perkins, Gilmour, Danns

Bristol Rovers team (4-5-1): Blackman, Little, Craig, Kilgour, Leahy, Upson, Clarke, Ogogo, Mitchell-Lawson (Ginnelly 73), Clarke-Harris, Rodman

Bristol subs: Stappershoef, Holmes Dennis, Menayese, Barrett, Hargreaves, Abraham