MICKY Mellon issued an apology to Rovers' travelling supporters after his side fell to a costly defeat at relegation threatened Stevenage.

Luke Norris struck in each half for the hosts to take his tally for the season to 14, sparking jubilant scenes at full-time as Stevenage all-but secured their League Two status. 

After a quiet opening quarter, two goalmouth scrambles in as many minutes almost had Stevenage ahead, only for the finish to elude them.

With the wind and momentum behind them, Boro broke the deadlock after 22 minutes when Norris scored from 12 yards.

Luther James-Wildin's cross hit Josh Hawkes' outstretched arm and after initially hesitating, referee Keith Stroud pointed to the spot.

The hosts continued to threaten from wide areas, but Tranmere were the livelier side after the break, with Elliott Nevitt failing to convert a close-range chance.

That proved costly when Norris doubled Boro's lead after 67 minutes, heading back across goal following an inch-perfect Ben Coker cross.

Tranmere's best chance fell to substitute Nicky Maynard late on but he slipped at the decisive moment, allowing Stevenage to claim the points.

"It was not good enough from the first moment," said Mellon after a defeat which leaves Rovers ninth but still just one point outside the play off places.

"We must apologise to the supporters, that performance was nowhere near what this club is used to. Why, I don't know. I've got a number of thoughts. 

"The fight and the fire wasn’t there which is needed in games like that and that was disappointing. We never really got going at any stage.

"Too many players weren't at it today and let us down, but it's my team so that's my responsibility.

"It was as poor of a performance as I've seen from a Tranmere team in a long time.

"We've spoken about it in there and all we can do is sincerely apologise to people who paid money to come and watch that today because it wasn't good enough.

“We never showed enough qualities at any stage to be threatening enough and I mean qualities in terms of not just controlling and passing a football, which wasn’t good enough either by the way, but the fight and fire that’s required in order to be successful at any level."

Tranmere host Oldham Athletic on Saturday after the Boundary Park side were relegated from the English Football League for the first time after defeat by Salford City in a game interrupted by a supporters' on-pitch protest against the club's owners.