TRANMERE manager Micky Mellon refused to be too downbeat after his side’s attempt to snatch a Sky Bet League Two play-off place fell short.

Despite a 1-0 victory for his own side, secured by a Kane Hemmings goal, results elsewhere ensured Rovers will be playing fourth-tier football next season.

“It was unfortunate that we couldn’t make the play-offs because with the talent we have, there is no doubt we would have been a force in the play-offs,” said Mellon.

Rovers claimed all three points when Hemmings nodded home a cross from Josh Dacres-Cogley in the first half.

Referee Seb Stockbridge incurred the wrath of the home side when he awarded them a penalty for handball but, after Rovers protests, he consulted his linesman and changed his decision by awarding the visitors a free-kick instead.

“I have to congratulate the lads first because it was a tough game but sadly we have come up short and I am bitterly disappointed about that,” Mellon added.

“But I have said in the dressing room, we must regroup and we will get better.

“It was a cracking goal we scored and I was delighted with the way it was executed.

“We came here and did what we needed to do and we work on that type of situation in training so it was good to see us score in that fashion but it was no more than a moral victory in the end.

“We are a very young group and the nucleus of the squad will be here again next season.

“We just need to keep growing now and take this young group forward who will learn from this experience.

“It’s a bit of a hollow victory for all of us but we can do no more than try and win our game. We’re a very young group, there’s six or seven that’s played a 100 league games and the new players to the squad will be here again for next season.

“The structure behind the scenes is better than it’s ever been, so it’s all there for Tranmere to keep growing now, to keep adding to this young group who will undoubtedly learn from the experiences of this year.

“We’ll just reflect, we’ll comb over what’s happened this season and undoubtedly we’ll add the players that we believe can help us fill the gaps.”

Despite the disappointment of missing out on a play off place when automatic promotion had at one stage looked possible, Mellon said there was plenty of positives from the campaign.

"I don't want anyone to think I'm not disappointed - I am - but if you look at the factors involved we can draw positives," he said.

"We had a poor little spell of about five or six games when we just didn't compete and that was a big learning curve for us and moments started to go against us.

"But we regrouped and we only lost two games from our last 11 so the players showed the character necessary and we had a right good go at it.

"We set a target of winning the last two games and we've done that as well and shown the qualities we need to move the group on.

"We are not going to be in a situation where we only have three players left at the start of the season because it is always difficult to grow a group from that.

"We're way ahead of that now and we can build on what we have in the right way."

Mellon signed off for the season for Rovers' supporters who have once again given their team fantastic backing throughout the season.

"I'd like to apologise to the fans who travelled for so many tough trips," he added. "We had them ourselves and it is absolutely the reason why we are not in the shake up but we are a fabulous football club and the connection between us all was great at the end.

"The home form was fabulous too and if we could have got anywhere near replicating that away from home we'd be having a different conversation."