Tranmere may have lost 3-1 at home to Walsall on Saturday, but the match will long be remembered for an altogether different reason.

The League Two fixture was the first time that supporters have been allowed inside Prenton Park to watch live football since before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under new Tier 2 rules laid out by the government last month, 2,000 supporters were able to attend the match, after being chosen from a ballot organised by the club.

The Globe caught up with a group of loyal Super White Army season ticket holders who all attended the match, to see what they made of socially-distanced live football at Prenton Park.

Wirral Globe: Nichola Smith in the Kop before kick offNichola Smith in the Kop before kick off

Nichola Smith is a lifetime fan and season ticket holder for over 30 years. Her dad used to take her on the terraces when she was a little girl and it was actually where her mum and dad met.

He said: "Today was Like no other! A bit strange at times, no pre match drinks, no socialising, not sitting in your own throne, no one to talk to! 

"But my god, when those players first came out onto the pitch the emotion in the ovation they got was spine tingling, there was definitely something in some eyes on that kop! 

"It was emotional, like relief that life was slowly representing some sort of normality. It wouldn't be Tranmere if we didn't put a performance in like that for the first game back in 10 months. The Tranmere way, the only way! 

"But, was I glad to have that feeling of frostbite in my feet come 4.45pm...that cold feeling when sitting on the seat, that disappointment of conceding the third goal and that freezing walk back up the hill mulling over defeat? You bet I was!

"For me, today was all about getting fans back in. Football without fans is nothing, the last 10 months have proved that. Let normality resume, I was back home."

Wirral Globe: Ryan Mackenzie has been coming to Prenton Park since 2007Ryan Mackenzie has been coming to Prenton Park since 2007

Ryan Mackenzie, from Greasby, is a Kop season ticket holder who started attending matches regularly back in 2007, when he was 14. His return was an emotional one also, but for different reasons.

He said: "Shame about the result but it was just brilliant to be back at Prenton Park again, hearing Rockford Files and Zombie Nation pre match.

"It meant more as my grandad sadly passed during the lockdown and to be back at the ground for the first time without him, it was especially emotional."

Wirral Globe: Matt Hughes and his partner and the back of the standMatt Hughes and his partner and the back of the stand

Matt Hughes lives a stone's throw from the stadium in Tranmere and was attending the game with his partner and son. He has been coming to games for about six years.

He said: "The experience was certainly different. Felt funny watching in a mask but overall I think things ran smoothly.

"We were in the Cowsheds. We normally sit in the Kop and would have preferred to be sat in there."

Wirral Globe: Simon Crabtree attended the match on his own and was in the ground well before kick offSimon Crabtree attended the match on his own and was in the ground well before kick off

Supporter Simon Crabtree added: "It was OK, not the result we wanted but it was good to be back even if the atmosphere was subdued and it wasn't the result we wanted.

"Hopefully as the crowds get bigger the atmosphere will be better and we will be back to enjoy it with friends and family."

Tranmere Rovers issued staggered arrival times for supporters before the match to ensure social distancing and supporters were asked to remain in their seats at full time until they were directed out by stewards.

The presence of supporters appeared to have some effect on the players, with a number of nervy moments early doors, after teams have got used to playing without spectators.

Should Wirral move into the Tier 1 Covid alert level at any time in the near future, spectator numbers will be able to increase to 4,000 per match.

But providing there is no major rise in coronavirus cases, that unmistakable roar of the crowd is back to stay.