Tranmere Rovers manager Micky Mellon hailed his side’s “professional job” in their 1-0 win at Gateshead.

Ben Tollitt’s third minute goal was enough for Rovers to see of their hosts and move level on points with second placed Forest Green Rovers in the Vanarama National League table.

The win also means that Rovers remain unbeaten in the league since early October, when ironically they suffered a 1-0 home defeatmellon against Gateshead.

Mellon was delighted with his side’s attitude as they continued their record of conceding the fewest goals in the division.

He said “We were made to work very hard as we expected.  It’s been a long journey and we know all of the problems we would be given by Gateshead, it’s always a tough place to come.

“They didn’t disappoint, they made it very hard work for us, it was hard to get over the line but full credit to the boys.  They did that and they a very professional job.

“We had to be good with one v ones in wide areas and in midfield and the lads that came on, the subs, they carried out what we wanted them to do to the letter.

“It’s huge, you have to get clean sheets and come to places like Gateshead to get these kind of results.

The win also saw Mellon hand a second Rovers debut to Sheffield United midfielder James Wallace.

The twenty four year old has already spent time with Rovers early in his career, both on loan and on a temporary basis.

His latest spell with the club was confirmed last week and Mellon chose to bring the former Everton academy player off the bench during the second half.

That move was essential for Rovers according to Mellon, with Wallace able to add “a bit more control” after Gateshead started the second half on the front foot.

“He is quality isn’t he and he has great composure and he is very comfortable.

“In the situation he came on in, he just steadied it a bit.  I thought Gateshead started the second half very well and we had to juggle it around a bit to take the wind out of their sails.

“We had nulify them and James give us a bit more control in there, that is what we asked him to do”

The win not only sees Rovers level on points with Forest Green Rovers, it also keeps them within two points of new National League leaders Lincoln City.

Danny Cowley’s side reached the summit of the National League with a 1-0 home win over Wrexham on Tuesday night.

However Mellon preferred to focus on his own side and continuing their good form, rather than talking about the National League’s promotion chasers.

“We will continue to try and pick up wins in every game we play in but we know every game will be different.

“We always say that the questions we get asked in games we will try to answer.

“We just want to represent our fantastic fans and our chairman every week so we will just continue doing that.

“There is a long, long way to go but we are really pleased with the victory”

Tranmere’s supporters managed to represent their own club in great numbers at a freezing cold International Stadium.

The travelling Rovers faithful made up just under one in three people of the attendance at Gateshead.

Two hundred and forty two supporters made the trip from Merseyside to Tyneside, a fact that left Mellon even more satisfied that his side could repay their support with all three points.

“I am pleased for the fans, really pleased for them” he said.

“I couldn’t believe how many came up here.  The numbers they have travelled in, to come up here, in these weather conditions, we just have to thank them for it”

Interview: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)

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