TRANMERE boss Nigel Adkins was left rueing a poor start from his players as a 3-1 home defeat to Crawley Town brought to an end Rovers' recent upturn in form. 

The Reds were in front in the second minute when Jeremy Kelly steered the ball home from 10 yards from the first real attack of the game.

The visitors doubled their lead in the tenth minute when Jay Williams reacted quickest to force the ball over the line after Tranmere failed to clear from a corner.

Rovers did reduce the arrears in the 21st minute when Luke Norris connected with a Rob Apter cross to flick the ball home and give the home fans hope.

Adkins’ side began the second half brightly, with Apter twice having chances to equalise, while referee Stephen Parkinson waved away strong appeals for penalties on two occasions as Tranmere threw everything at their opponents.

But with 11 minutes remaining Danilo Orsi fired home his 18th goal of the season to make the game safe for Crawley, who are now unbeaten in their last four games.

"We start games really, really well," said Adkins. "There's only Leeds, in all the divisions who've scored one more goal than we have, that start better.

“The two goals we gave away were both from set pieces with a long-range shot coming from a long throw and the second one coming from a corner to put us 2-0 down after 10 minutes.

“But great credit to the players who responded really well in challenging conditions and we got ourselves back into the game against a good possession-based side.

“We did get back into the game with a good goal from Luke Norris and at 2-1 it’s game back on again.

“We started the second half well and had good chances but for me a critical moment in the game is that we should have had two penalties and those were two key moments that didn’t go our way.”