TRANMERE boss Nigel Adkins was clearly relieved after his side secured a 1-0 win over Sutton thanks to Rob Apter’s late strike.

Apter delighted the Prenton Park faithful following a run of four defeats in Rovers’ previous five matches.

Adkins said: “It’s the right result and it’s an important result, even if it did take us a long time to get there.

“Great credit to the players, though. We’ve had two really long journeys this week and you could see how the opposition are.

“They’ve got some big players and the goalkeeper likes to kick the ball the full length of the pitch.

“We have to compete, but we did that and we’ve got the result. Maybe I’d have liked the players to pass the ball a bit better and be better in possession, but again huge credit to the players because they’ve ground this one out.

“The application and the character shown by the players really pleased me overall. Sometimes it is fine margins – that’s the reality of it in this division.

“There are a lot of good things that we’ve done of late, and we have to make sure we keep plugging away because we’re not far away at all.”

After a largely uneventful first period, there was drama shortly after the restart when Rovers fluffed a penalty chance.

After Ryan Jackson had brought down Harvey Saunders in the box, Sutton keeper Steve Arnold turned hero as he brilliantly saved Connor Jennings’ spot-kick.

Both sides then went on to trade numerous chances, before Apter fired home the dramatic winner with time running out.

"I'm really pleased with all the players, added Adkins. "They were on it, they were focused and they knew what the games was going to be about. 

"It was a battling game and you had to stand up and be counted and to be fair to the players they did.

"Robbie (Apter) has done great for us. He knows he's got ability and the team knows he has ability but if you want to be a Tranmere Rovers player you have to graft as well and he grafts. 

"He scored the all important winning goal and it sends everyone home with a smile on their face."