Tranmere maintained their four-point lead at the top of League One with victory over Notts County who suffered a second home defeat in a week.

First-half substitute Joe Thompson grabbed the only goal, heading in at the far post after great work by Abdulai Bell-Baggie.

Notts had plenty of possession but the visitors created the better chances.

Jake Cassidy spurned a great opening before the interval and Bell-Baggie could have had a second-half hat-trick.

But Rovers, who are now nine points clear of Notts and still four ahead of Stevenage in second place, did not need the security of a second goal.

Notts, who slip to seventh place, started encouragingly and enjoyed plenty of the ball on a glorious sunny day at Meadow Lane.

But for all their neat touches and nimble footwork in the middle of the park, they rarely threatened the visitors' goal.

A second home defeat against fellow promotion rivals in six days illustrates why Notts manager Keith Curle is eager to bring in a new striker.

The Magpies' only noteworthy first-half efforts came when the ever-industrious Neal Bishop hopelessly miskicked from 12 yards after a fine run by new signing Jordan Stewart, and Jamal Campbell-Ryce fired a shot wide after cutting in from the right flank.

But by that time, the hosts were already trailing to a highly-disciplined Rovers, who played with all the confidence of a side who were four points clear at the top of the table heading into this fixture.

Thompson, an 18th-minute replacement for the injured Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, was the scorer, rising at the far post to head in Bell-Baggie's deep right-wing cross.

Cassidy wasted a great one-on-one opportunity to double the lead, but could only shoot straight at the on-rushing Notts keeper Bartosz Bialkowski.

Notts introduced Lee Hughes in the second period but, despite adopting a more direct approach, still struggled to create chances.

Yoann Arquin failed to get a decent connection with a glancing header and Gary Liddle headed over from a corner.

But Tranmere should have been out of sight by the time they safely negotiated a nervy last five minutes.

The excellent Bell-Baggie hit the post and also sent two rasping low efforts narrowly wide.

And he teed up Cassidy who also drilled a low effort just wide of the right-hand post after a swift counter-attack.

Bialkowski also pulled off a fantastic stop from James Wallace.

Rovers, who could easily have had Ash Taylor sent off for a late lunge on the home keeper, held on and were able to celebrate in front of a noisy and delighted travelling away support of nearly 1,000.

Match Stats

Shots

8 17

On target

3 8

Corners

4 2

Fouls

16 7

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:31 Full time

Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.

90:00 +3:11

Unfair challenge on Danny Holmes by Lee Hughes results in a free kick. Owain Fon Williams restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +2:37

The ball is sent over by Andre Boucaud, James Wallace manages to make a clearance.

90:00 +1:53

Andre Boucaud produces a cross, clearance made by Zoumana Bakayogo.

89:33

Free kick awarded for a foul by Jordan Stewart on Abdulai Bell-Baggie. Danny Holmes restarts play with the free kick.

89:09

Jake Cassidy is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Bartosz Bialkowski takes the free kick.

87:35

A cross is delivered by Jake Cassidy, Joe Thompson has a headed effort from close in and clears the bar.

85:15

The ball is swung over by Alan Judge, clearance by Danny Holmes.

84:45

The ball is swung over by Lee Hughes, Owain Fon Williams manages to make a clearance.

84:32

Danny Holmes crosses the ball, Carl Regan manages to make a clearance.

83:10

Free kick awarded for a foul by Francois Zoko on Joe Thompson. Zoumana Bakayogo takes the direct free kick.

82:00

Joe Thompson is ruled offside. Bartosz Bialkowski takes the free kick.

81:00

Carl Regan has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses right.

79:30

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Alan Judge from the right by-line, Header from deep inside the area by Gary Liddle goes over the bar.

78:16

Foul by Neal Bishop on Zoumana Bakayogo, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Ben Gibson.

76:56 Substitution

Substitution Enoch Showunmi is brought on as a substitute for Jamal Campbell-Ryce.

76:20

Abdulai Bell-Baggie produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that hits the post.

75:05

Abdulai Bell-Baggie gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jordan Stewart. Gary Liddle takes the direct free kick.

71:51

Shot by Abdulai Bell-Baggie from deep inside the penalty area misses wide to the left of the target.

68:45

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andre Boucaud by Adam McGurk. Bartosz Bialkowski takes the direct free kick.

68:11

Adam McGurk takes a shot. Save made by Bartosz Bialkowski.

66:50

Jake Cassidy has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.

65:36

Jake Cassidy is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Bartosz Bialkowski takes the free kick.

65:14

The ball is delivered by Alan Judge, Francois Zoko takes a shot. Owain Fon Williams makes a save.

65:04

Centre by Alan Judge, Ash Taylor manages to make a clearance.

63:22

Abdulai Bell-Baggie has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.

61:48 Substitution

Substitution Francois Zoko on for Yoann Arquin.

60:01

The ball is sent over by Jamal Campbell-Ryce, clearance by Danny Holmes. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Alan Judge from the right by-line, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Danny Holmes by Yoann Arquin. Free kick taken by Owain Fon Williams.

59:23

Foul by Neal Bishop on Ash Taylor, free kick awarded. Liam Palmer takes the direct free kick.

57:34

A cross is delivered by Jamal Campbell-Ryce, blocked by Danny Holmes.

55:21

Adam McGurk delivers the ball, Gary Liddle makes a clearance.

52:42

Jake Cassidy produces a cross, save made by Bartosz Bialkowski.

52:15

The ball is delivered by Adam McGurk, Dean Leacock makes a clearance.

51:36

Neal Bishop gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James Wallace. Direct free kick taken by Ben Gibson.

50:05

Owain Fon Williams takes the direct free kick.

50:05 Booking

Booking Neal Bishop is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

49:16

Foul by Bartosz Bialkowski on Ash Taylor, free kick awarded.

48:32

Free kick taken by Zoumana Bakayogo.

48:32 Booking

Booking Caution for Carl Regan.

48:23

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joe Thompson by Carl Regan.

46:57

Centre by Joe Thompson, Neal Bishop manages to make a clearance.

45:01

The second half kicks off.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Lee Hughes replaces Jeff Hughes.

45:00 +1:19 Half time

Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.

45:00 +0:42

Shot from just outside the penalty box by Jamal Campbell-Ryce misses to the left of the target.

44:38

The ball is delivered by Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Ash Taylor manages to make a clearance.

42:21

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Alan Judge from the right by-line, clearance by Joe Thompson.

42:13

Yoann Arquin crosses the ball, Jake Cassidy makes a clearance.

41:38

Neal Bishop fouled by Jake Cassidy, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Alan Judge.

41:00

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andre Boucaud by Jake Cassidy. Free kick crossed right-footed by Alan Judge from left channel, Ash Taylor manages to make a clearance.

39:40

Jordan Stewart takes a shot. Liam Palmer gets a block in. Jeff Hughes gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Zoumana Bakayogo. Owain Fon Williams takes the direct free kick.

38:46

Adam McGurk takes a shot. Save by Bartosz Bialkowski.

37:55

Effort on goal by Yoann Arquin from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.

37:34

Jordan Stewart delivers the ball, Ben Gibson makes a clearance.

36:37

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jamal Campbell-Ryce by Zoumana Bakayogo. Carl Regan takes the free kick.

33:32

James Wallace takes a shot. Save by Bartosz Bialkowski. Inswinging corner taken by Adam McGurk, Joe Thompson takes a shot. Save made by Bartosz Bialkowski.

32:16

Abdulai Bell-Baggie fouled by Andre Boucaud, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Adam McGurk.

31:12

Centre by Abdulai Bell-Baggie, Neal Bishop makes a clearance.

30:41

Andre Boucaud challenges Liam Palmer unfairly and gives away a free kick. Danny Holmes restarts play with the free kick.

29:54

Adam McGurk has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.

28:57

Jake Cassidy takes a shot. Bartosz Bialkowski makes a save.

28:09

The ball is swung over by Danny Holmes, Carl Regan manages to make a clearance.

24:10

Yoann Arquin concedes a free kick for a foul on James Wallace. Strike on goal comes in from Adam McGurk from the free kick, save by Bartosz Bialkowski.

23:31

The ball is delivered by Joe Thompson, Carl Regan gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Adam McGurk.

21:03

Assist by Abdulai Bell-Baggie.

21:03 Goal scored

Goal! - Joe Thompson - Notts Co 0 - 1 Tranmere Joe Thompson grabs a headed goal from close range. Notts County 0-1 Tranmere.

19:27

Jamal Campbell-Ryce produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.

18:22

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andre Boucaud by Adam McGurk. Carl Regan takes the free kick.

17:13

Corner taken by Jeff Hughes from the right by-line, Danny Holmes makes a clearance.

17:13 Substitution

Substitution Joe Thompson comes on in place of Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro.

16:55

Neal Bishop takes a shot. Blocked by Ben Gibson.

15:00

The official flags Yoann Arquin offside. Free kick taken by Owain Fon Williams.

13:46

Headed effort from inside the area by Ben Gibson misses to the right of the target.

12:50

Abdulai Bell-Baggie takes a shot. Andre Boucaud gets a block in. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James Wallace by Andre Boucaud. Danny Holmes takes the direct free kick.

12:00

The ball is sent over by Abdulai Bell-Baggie, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Liam Palmer misses to the right of the target.

11:03

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Danny Holmes by Alan Judge. Free kick taken by Liam Palmer.

10:54

Adam McGurk produces a cross, clearance made by Gary Liddle.

5:43

Jordan Stewart produces a cross.

5:16

A cross is delivered by Alan Judge, Ash Taylor manages to make a clearance.

4:30

Shot from just outside the box by Adam McGurk goes over the bar.

3:55

Jeff Hughes is ruled offside. Owain Fon Williams takes the indirect free kick.

3:24

A cross is delivered by Jamal Campbell-Ryce, save by Owain Fon Williams.

2:37

Danny Holmes crosses the ball, Jamal Campbell-Ryce manages to make a clearance.

1:58

Adam McGurk fouled by Carl Regan, the ref awards a free kick. Zoumana Bakayogo restarts play with the free kick.

1:21

Danny Holmes gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jamal Campbell-Ryce. Free kick crossed right-footed by Alan Judge, Ben Gibson makes a clearance.

0:00

The game begins.

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