Micky Mellon started life back in the Prenton Park dugout with a surprise 1-0 pre-season victory over Scottish Champions Rangers at Prenton Park.

Steven Gerrard's side dominated the opening half hour but a left-foot special from Kieron Morris on 35 minutes proved to be the only goal in the game, getting Rovers' returning manager off to a more than satisfactory opening.

Mellon fielded no fewer than eight new signings in his starting XI, as a fair scattering of supporters, interspersed by clusters of loud Rangers fans, got a first glimpse at some of the players who will be trusted to propel Rovers into another promotion chase this season.

With players still feeling their way back into action, it wasn't until the 10th minute that any incident of note occurred, with Scott Wright flashing an effort from an acute angle just wide of Joe Murphy's goal.

The Gers were enjoying all of the ball and Ianis Hagi - son of Romanian legend Gheorghe - smashed a volley high over the bar shortly after.

Much like previous friendly matches against Liverpool, Tranmere were struggling to get the ball off the Scottish Champions and finding it difficult to get out of their own half.

A cross from James Tavernier reached the unmarked Kemar Roofe in the middle of the Rovers box, but the ball was just behind him and he couldn't control it.

Tranmere's first chance arrived in the 25th minute, when some good attacking play, sparked by Paul Glatzel, forced a corner.

Tom Davies got up to meet Chris Merrie's delivery, but his header was just wide.

Quite how Rangers failed to take the lead on the half hour mark is anyone's guess.

When Defoe put Hagi in on goal, Murphy repelled his shot before Defoe saw his header cleared off the line by Nathaniel Knight-Percival and Kemar Roofe could only shank the rebound wide.

But having defended resolutely for half an hour it was the Whites who took the lead 10 minutes before the break.

Rovers may have had plenty of new signings on the pitch, but Morris reminded the masses that his wand of a left foot is still in Birkenhead, unleashing a thunderous 25-yard strike that left Gers' 'keeper Allan McGregor clutching thin air.

The visitors should have levelled a few minutes later when captain Tavernier crossed low to the far post, but on the stretch, Defoe could only stab the ball wide of the goal.

Mellon resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes at half time, but brought on Liam Feeney and Peter Clarke for Chris Merrie and Tom Davies respectively.

Goalkeeper Murphy was called into action early in the second half, saving a shot from Cedric Itten before left back Joe Maguire blocked the rebound.

Itten went close again when Jordan Jones squared the ball to him, but under pressure he could only side foot it over the bar.

In what looked like a premeditated move, Mellon made four changes on the hour mark, bringing on Kyle Hayde, Elliot Nevitt - who has come in from non-league side Warrington Rylands, Ryan Stratulis and an unnamed trialist.

Soon after, another trialist joined the field, with Ryan Watson making way. The unnamed player almost got in on goal soon after joining the field but was snuffed out quickly by the Rangers defence.

As Charlie Jolley came on for goalscorer Morris with quarter of an hour to play, the match appeared to be going through the motions.

But a chance for Joe Aribo had to be dealt with in frantic circumstances by the reconfigured Rovers rearguard with the ball eventually bundled over the crossbar by Stratulis.

Hard running from Feeney won Rovers a corner late on, which he delivered himself, but Clarke could only head it over the bar.

Rangers went looking for an equaliser in the closing stages, with Murphy saving a header from Aribo in injury time, but Tranmere saw out the match to earn the welcome scalp of Gerrard's Scottish champions, getting club hero Mellon off to a flyer.