Fleetwood manager Joey Barton was delighted to get one over his old friend Micky Mellon after Tranmere were beaten 2-1 at the Highbury Stadium.
The hosts triumphed thanks to a goal in each half against a Rovers side whose boss remains a huge favourite on the Fylde coast.
Barton said: “We knew we would be made to work for that victory.
“Micky was always going to be desperate to come back and upset the apple cart. He’s obviously got a great affinity with our club having been the manager who got them into the Football League.
“They’d had a really good result in the week, against Wycombe away in the FA Cup, so we knew they’d be buoyed with confidence, but we got a great opening goal and it was over to us then.
“There was a lack of quality from us at times and we didn’t get that second, third, fourth goal we needed to put Tranmere away.
“But we got there in the end.
“I was desperate to beat Mick, though. We’re good pals and his team gave a really good account of themselves.
“They pushed us all the way and gave us a thorough examination.”
Josh Morris curled a free-kick high into the top corner early on to hand the hosts the lead.
Rovers were unlucky when Manny Monthe’s goal-bound looping header was bundled off the line by Fleetwood full-back Danny Andrew.
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy then nodded inches wide from sub Corey Blackett-Taylor’s precise cross.
After the restart, the hosts went close when substitute Ched Evans volleyed into the side-netting, before Paddy Madden made it 2-0 with eight minutes left after Lewie Coyle’s cross was not cleared.
Rovers sub Paul Mullin ensured a tense finish as he touched home Cameron Borthwick-Jackson’s effort five minutes later, but Mellon felt his side paid the price for a lacklustre first-half display.
He said: “It took us far too long to get into the game and maybe that’s what has cost us in the end.
“It was a disappointing first 45 minutes from us. At times it looked from where I was that some of the lads were just jovially taking part in the game.
“We were better in the second half, but in the end that wasn’t enough for us today.
“We lost both the goals in disappointing fashion, and against teams like Fleetwood that’s always going to be the difference.
“We’ll all have to take responsibility for that.
“We were in the ascendancy for most of the second period, but we ran out of time, that’s all.
“The referee didn’t help with some of his decisions, but in the end I believe it was only time that beat us.
“It’s a shame because the supporters were fantastic again.
“They travelled here in their numbers and we’re all gutted we couldn’t repay them with a result.”