Tranmere 2 Chesterfield 1

Tranmere Rovers wasted good opportunities and very nearly paid for it against a Chesterfield.

But in the end an 11th home victory maintained their push for a play-off place.

The Merseysiders dominated for the first hour and Chesterfield could not get in a real blow on the home goal.

Iain Anderson, on loan from Preston, marked his debut for Tranmere with an opening goal on 29 minutes, netting from a cross by Simon Haworth.

Tranmere doubled their advantage in the 51st minute. Teenager Iain Hume found the target with a terrific right-foot strike from 25 yards into the top right-hand corner.

Chesterfield brought on Caleb Folan for Gareth Davies after an hour and suddenly looked a more potent force. Steve Payne brought a good stop from goalkeeper John Achterberg in the 71st minute before David Reeves gave them hope with a 78th minute goal when he turned in a cross by Payne.

Tranmere at this stage before to look decidedly edgy and they led something of a charmed life as they held on for the three points.

Payne and Glynn Hurst both went close to an equaliser for the visitors.

Payne and Steve Blatherwick were excellent for the losers and Jonathan Douglas, on loan from Blackburn, also did well, while Hume was outstanding for the winners.

"Performances don't matter but results do at this stage of the season and I have got to be pleased with these three points," said Tranmere boss Ray Mathias.

"Games at this stage are often not pretty but it was a good performance as far as I was concerned and I am delighted.

"We've got to keep up the pressure and hope we can make it to the play-offs." Dave Rushbury, the Chesterfield manager, said: "I thought we handled them very well but it just wasn't our day.

"I was disappointed with some of the decisions. We just did not get the breaks but I am proud of the lads.

"We kept battling away but we could have done with some more firepower."