TRANMERE Rovers winless away run stretched to 17 games as Nigel Adkins suffered a first defeat since taking permanent charge.

At Walsall's Bescot Stadium, Jamille Matt’s first league goal of the season gave Walsall a 1-0 win over Tranmere.

An error from Walsall’s David Okagbue presented Tranmere with the game’s first chance but Kristian Dennis’ shot was foiled by Saddlers keeper Jackson Smith.

Walsall skipper Donervon Daniels should have put the hosts ahead but shanked his volley badly wide six yards out.

Smith’s stop thwarted Rovers’ ex-Walsall winger Kieron Morris before Rob Apter dragged a shot just wide for the visitors.

Rovers keeper Luke McGee pulled off a stunning stop right on half-time as he clawed Liam Gordon’s curler out of the top corner.

But he was beaten on 64 minutes as half-time substitute Matt latched on to Daniels’ long ball to hook beyond the advancing keeper.

Ryan Stirk should have sealed the points but headed Gordon’s cross wide from six yards and Rovers, who stay 21st, almost nicked a point deep in stoppage time when Morris fired wide on the volley.

Rovers now sit in 21st in the table after a loss, two wins and two draws in the last five games.