There was little festive cheer for Rovers as they fell to a 3-0 defeat at Tranmere Rovers on Boxing Day.
Goals from Kane Hemmings, Kieron Morris and Paul Lewis had the hosts in command on what was a flat afternoon from Rovers, who struggled for attacking threat on the Wirral.
Danny Schofield made three changes from the side that started the win over Newport County in the previous fixture. Tom Anderson returned from illness while Jon Taylor was handed his second league start of the season and Adam Long was reinstalled in defence.
Rovers dominated the ball in the first few minutes of the match - a period which only came to an end when Adam Clayton fired wide from the corner of the box. Rovers had been camped deep in Tranmere territory with both Harrison Biggins and George Miller seeing efforts blocked.
But the early positives could not be sustained. The game quickly opened up afterwards before the tempo dropped and possession became much more stodgy for Rovers.
Rovers were forced into an unfortunate early change with Kyle Hurst replacing Taylor, who limped off just 15 minutes in with an apparent knee injury.
Tranmere began to enjoy the better of possession as Rovers grew sloppy and struggled for intensity.
The first real moment of danger from the hosts came midway through the half when Josh Hawkes’ free kick from the touchline almost drifted straight in at the far post.
Ben Close powered a header wide on the half hour as he stooped to meet a driven Clayton corner but chances for Rovers were rare.
Hemmings fashioned an opportunity for Tranmere when he found space and drilled across goal but Hawkes could not turn the ball on target at the back post.
Tom Davies headed narrowly wide from a free kick and Jonathan Mitchell was forced into his first save of the afternoon from the same man moments later when he planted another header on target.
Rovers were finding it increasingly difficult to carry the ball into opposition territory as Tranmere cut off space in the middle of the park, leaving possession bogged down at the back.
The hosts took the lead in the final minute of the half. Kieron Morris slid in Josh Dacres-Cogley at the byline and the fullback drilled the ball across goal when Hemmings turned in at close range.
Hemmings almost doubled the lead in first half stoppage time when he allowed a long ball forward to bounce over his shoulder and drilled an effort narrowly over.
Hawkes grazed the outside of the post with a shot from the corner of the box early in the second half.
Charlie Seaman tested the attention of Ross Doohan as he powered through a crowd of bodies and drilled low but the Tranmere keeper was equal to it.
While enjoying a little more success in possession, Rovers continued to find the hosts difficult to break down.
That became even more evident when Tranmere doubled their advantage on 59 minutes. After a short corner, Morris fired on goal from the right of the box with a deflection taking the shot past Mitchell.
Luke Molyneux was sent on in place of Clayton in a bid to find some attacking spark while Reo Griffiths was also introduced on 73 minutes.
But the game was sealed 14 minutes from time as substitute Lewis darted to the near post and powered in a header from a Dacres-Cogley cross.
Tranmere were able to see out the remaining minutes in comfortable fashion on a frustrating afternoon for Rovers.
They closest Rovers came to a consolation saw George Miller latch onto a loose ball in the box and fire beyond keeper Doohan only for the effort to be blocked on the line,
TRANMERE: Doohan, Dacres-Cogley, Davies, Turnbull, Bristow, Morris, Merrie, O’Connor, Hawkes (McAlear 87), Mumbongo (Lewis 70), Hemmings (Burton 86). Subs not used: Hewlett, Hughes, Jameson, Byrne.
ROVERS: Mitchell, Knoyle, Anderson, Long, Seaman (Williams 73), Clayton (Molyneux 61), Close, Maxwell, Biggins (Griffiths 73), Taylor (Hurst 16), Miller. Subs not used: Jones, Ravenhill, Agard.