Joe Garner's brace was enough for Preston to beat struggling Tranmere.

Garner nodded in a cross from Craig Davies to put North End in front and he saw another headed effort kept out by Tranmere goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams.

Substitute Jason Koumas burst through three tackles to force a good save from Declan Rudd before Rovers levelled when Ash Taylor finished from close range.

Koumas hit the bar with a free-kick before Garner's winner, the striker rounding off a swift counter attack.

Preston remained fourth, but closed the gap on all three teams above them in the table, while Tranmere's defeat left them just two points above the relegation zone.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Tranmere manager Ronnie Moore told BBC Radio Merseyside:

"A point would have been nice. They've come and attacked, took chances and caused us one or two problems, but we hung in there and stayed in the game.

"You look at the goals they've scored - it's 'self-destruct' for the goals. We huffed and puffed and I can't fault the effort."

Preston manager Simon Grayson told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"We came here in a confident manner. The display merited a victory. All that was missing were a couple more goals before half-time.

"We were certainly the dominant team for the first 35 minutes and we gave them a bit of encouragement just before half-time, but we got back on it again and I thought we played very well today."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (4)

Tranmere Rovers

  • 01 Williams
  • 29 Pennington Booked
  • 23 Ridehalgh
  • 08 Wallace Booked
  • 04 Taylor
  • 32 Arthurworrey
  • 15 Kirby (Koumas - 28' )
  • 18 Jennings
  • 09 Lowe
  • 14 Cassidy
  • 20 Kennedy (Robinson - 82' )

Substitutes

  • 02 Holmes
  • 05 Goodison
  • 10 Robinson
  • 16 Stockton
  • 17 Power
  • 22 Koumas
  • 33 Mooney

Preston North End

  • 23 Rudd
  • 32 Wiseman
  • 03 Laird Booked
  • 19 Welsh
  • 22 King
  • 06 Wright
  • 02 Keane
  • 37 Kilkenny
  • 14 Garner
  • 17 Davies (Humphrey - 82' )
  • 12 Gallagher (Davies - 71' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Stuckmann
  • 07 Humphrey
  • 09 Davies
  • 10 Beavon
  • 11 Holmes
  • 16 Buchanan
  • 27 Hume
Ref: David Coote
Att: 5,895

Match Stats

Shots

10 17

On target

5 9

Corners

7 12

Fouls

12 15

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Tranmere Rovers 1, Preston North End 2.

90:00 +4:13 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Tranmere Rovers 1, Preston North End 2.

90:00 +3:39

Foul by Chris Humphrey (Preston North End).

90:00 +3:39

Matthew Pennington (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +3:00

John Welsh (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +2:50

Foul by Stephen Arthurworrey (Tranmere Rovers).

90:00 +1:51

Attempt saved. Joe Garner (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

89:42

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Stephen Arthurworrey.

89:17 Booking

Booking Matthew Pennington (Tranmere Rovers) is shown the yellow card.

89:12

Joe Garner (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:12

Foul by Matthew Pennington (Tranmere Rovers).

87:55

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Matthew Pennington.

86:45

Kevin Davies (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

86:45

Foul by Stephen Arthurworrey (Tranmere Rovers).

86:13

Foul by Keith Keane (Preston North End).

86:13

Liam Ridehalgh (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

85:27

Scott Wiseman (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

85:27

Foul by Andy Robinson (Tranmere Rovers).

83:00

Neil Kilkenny (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

82:57

Foul by Jason Koumas (Tranmere Rovers).

81:29 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Preston North End. Chris Humphrey replaces Craig Davies.

81:03 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Tranmere Rovers. Andy Robinson replaces Matthew Kennedy.

80:08

Attempt saved. Kevin Davies (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

79:37

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Liam Ridehalgh.

77:22

Corner, Tranmere Rovers. Conceded by Declan Rudd.

77:09

Attempt saved. Ryan Lowe (Tranmere Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

73:13

Corner, Tranmere Rovers. Conceded by Bailey Wright.

72:11

Keith Keane (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.

72:11

Foul by Matthew Pennington (Tranmere Rovers).

71:38

Foul by Craig Davies (Preston North End).

71:38

Ash Taylor (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

70:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Preston North End. Kevin Davies replaces Paul Gallagher.

69:36

Attempt missed. Scott Laird (Preston North End) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

68:51

Attempt missed. Ash Taylor (Tranmere Rovers) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left.

68:27

Corner, Tranmere Rovers. Conceded by Declan Rudd.

68:17

Attempt saved. Liam Ridehalgh (Tranmere Rovers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

67:28

Scott Wiseman (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

67:28

Foul by Jake Cassidy (Tranmere Rovers).

66:11

Foul by Bailey Wright (Preston North End).

66:11

Jake Cassidy (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:31

Joe Garner (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:31

Foul by Stephen Arthurworrey (Tranmere Rovers).

61:03

Foul by Craig Davies (Preston North End).

61:03

Stephen Arthurworrey (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

59:04 Booking

Booking Scott Laird (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card.

59:00

Ryan Lowe (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:57

Foul by Scott Laird (Preston North End).

58:32

Attempt saved. Jack King (Preston North End) header from very close range is saved in the bottom right corner.

57:57

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Matthew Pennington.

57:27

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Matthew Pennington.

57:09

Attempt saved. Craig Davies (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

53:10

Attempt missed. Scott Wiseman (Preston North End) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

52:12

Foul by Paul Gallagher (Preston North End).

52:12

Jason Koumas (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

51:31 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Tranmere Rovers 1, Preston North End 2. Joe Garner (Preston North End) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Scott Wiseman.

50:20

Jason Koumas (Tranmere Rovers) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.

49:35

Foul by Jack King (Preston North End).

49:35

James Wallace (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

46:42

Attempt saved. Ash Taylor (Tranmere Rovers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

46:05

Corner, Tranmere Rovers. Conceded by Bailey Wright.

45:00

Second Half begins Tranmere Rovers 1, Preston North End 1.

45:00 +2:09 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Tranmere Rovers 1, Preston North End 1.

45:00 +1:39

Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +1:39

Foul by Steven Jennings (Tranmere Rovers).

45:00 +0:46 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Tranmere Rovers 1, Preston North End 1. Ash Taylor (Tranmere Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Ryan Lowe.

44:55

Corner, Tranmere Rovers. Conceded by Declan Rudd.

44:43

Attempt saved. Jason Koumas (Tranmere Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

43:15

Foul by Bailey Wright (Preston North End).

43:15

Ryan Lowe (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

42:03

Attempt missed. Bailey Wright (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is too high.

41:45

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Liam Ridehalgh.

40:22

Attempt missed. Craig Davies (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

36:01

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Matthew Pennington.

35:45

Attempt blocked. Craig Davies (Preston North End) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

35:01

Hand ball by Craig Davies (Preston North End).

34:00

James Wallace (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

33:59

Foul by Keith Keane (Preston North End).

33:21

Attempt missed. Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

32:54

Joe Garner (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

32:54

Foul by Ash Taylor (Tranmere Rovers).

32:10 Booking

Booking Jake Cassidy (Tranmere Rovers) is shown the yellow card.

32:00

Jack King (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.

31:59

Foul by Jake Cassidy (Tranmere Rovers).

29:58

Attempt missed. Joe Garner (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is too high.

29:40

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Owain Williams.

29:29

Attempt saved. Joe Garner (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner.

27:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Tranmere Rovers. Jason Koumas replaces Jake Kirby.

27:34

Foul by Keith Keane (Preston North End).

27:34

Steven Jennings (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

23:18

Attempt saved. Bailey Wright (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

22:59

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Matthew Pennington.

22:13

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Stephen Arthurworrey.

20:35

Foul by Keith Keane (Preston North End).

20:35

James Wallace (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

19:08

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Stephen Arthurworrey.

17:34 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Tranmere Rovers 0, Preston North End 1. Joe Garner (Preston North End) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Craig Davies with a cross.

15:00

Scott Wiseman (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

14:59

Foul by Jake Cassidy (Tranmere Rovers).

14:25

Attempt missed. Ash Taylor (Tranmere Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

14:11

Corner, Tranmere Rovers. Conceded by Keith Keane.

13:58

Attempt blocked. Matthew Pennington (Tranmere Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

13:25

Corner, Tranmere Rovers. Conceded by Scott Wiseman.

11:02

Attempt missed. Joe Garner (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

8:23

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Owain Williams.

8:16

Attempt saved. Craig Davies (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

7:34

Liam Ridehalgh (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

7:34

Foul by Craig Davies (Preston North End).

6:20

Ash Taylor (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

6:20

Foul by Craig Davies (Preston North End).

4:02

Attempt missed. Steven Jennings (Tranmere Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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