A superb free-kick by Andy Robinson ensured Tranmere beat struggling Walsall 1-0 at Banks's Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Robinson smashed the ball into the roof of the net from the edge of the box in the 62nd minute after Saddlers' skipper Andy Butler had fouled him in retaliation after he had taken a smack in the face.
Walsall had only themselves to blame for some poor finishing, particularly in the 12th minute when Rover' defender David Buchanan deflected the ball into the path of Kevan Hurst, but with only keeper Owain Fon Williams to beat from close in, the winger steered his shot wide of the near post.
Walsall's only real threat against a rugged Rovers defence came from Argentian striker Emmanuel Ledesma, but twice he cleared the bar with fierce drives.
The Saddlers' problems increased when defender Lee Beevers was sent off in the last minute for his second bookable offence.