TRANMERE'S woeful away record continued as they lost 2-0 at Crewe Alexandra to remain in the bottom four of League Two. 

Jack Powell floated over a 40-yard free-kick and Mickey Demetriou drifted free to plant a header into the bottom corner in the 11th minute to give Crewe the lead.

Referee Ross Joyce stopped play for around five minutes in the second half as police and stewards dealt with objects hurled at the officials.

It came after Crewe’s Chris Long doubled his side’s lead when he blasted in a 52nd-minute free-kick, awarded after the dismissal of Tranmere goalkeeper Luke McGee for handling outside the box.

Crewe’s goal led a charmed life in the closing minutes and 13 of added time when Harvey Saunders lifted over from close range and rattled the bar with a header while Courtney Baker-Richardson cleared a header from Connor Jennings off the line.

Tranmere finished with nine men after captain Tom Davies was sent off in stoppage time with a second yellow card for a late tackle.

For Nigel Adkins it was the third defeat in six games since taking interim charge of Tranmere who have lost seven successive away matches in all competitions. 

He said: “We started the game poorly but you have to give Crewe a lot of credit for that.

“I was very disappointed with the first goal as we should have been able to defend that.

“Then I challenged the players at half-time to do things the Tranmere way and we showed a lot of resilience in the second half.

“But we got a double whammy with the sending off and the goal but even down to 10 men we could have got something out of the game.

“We have to scrap and fight because where we are in the league. But the reality is that that first half wasn’t good enough.

“In the second half we did a lot of things well, winning our one v one duels and that gives me a lot of belief.”

Crewe boss Lee Bell slammed missile-throwing fans who triggered a second-half hold-up and Adkins shared his anger.

"I don't know what it was about and I'm not even going to talk about the officials," said Adkins. 

"We had a clown run on the pitch and someone in the dug out and there were several things that went on today and there's questions to be asked.

"We talk about resilience and I look at the resilience the team showed and demonstrated in the second half - yes, the score line didn't go our way and in the first half we were poor but in the second half we showed resilience and we did a lot of things really well.

"We passed the ball well, we won one on one duels and we created chances and that gives me hope and belief that we have a group of guys who are determined to do well for Tranmere Rovers Football Club."