Two quick-fire goals in the first ten minutes proved costly for a young Macclesfield Town side last night, as they suffered Cheshire Senior Cup defeat at Prenton Park.
The deadlock was broken with barely two minutes on the clock when a ferocious drive was spilled by Ben Jupp in the Macc goal and Carl Spellman converted from close-range to put the hosts into the ascendancy.
Seven minutes later and Tranmere's lead was doubled, when Bailey Thompson emphatically volleyed a cross from the right past Jupp from six-yards out.
Despite the home side passing-up further opportunities to extend their lead, Macc grew into the game and on 12 minutes, had a golden chance to reduce the arrears.
Amadou Doumbouya was sent clean through on goal and despite firing low and hard across the face of goal, Ben Jones was able to make a smart save with his feet.
The game developed into a war of attrition between the two sides and as a result, neither side could crave out any real clear-cut chances for the majority of the remaining first half period.
That said, Tranmere would claim their third goal right on the stroke of half-time, as George Nugent nonchalantly took the ball over Jupp and into the vacant net from thirty-yards out.
The second period saw Joe Cobey introduced in order to add some physicality to the forward line and for the opening exchanges, the visitors dominated proceedings without creating any guilt-edged opportunities.
They were nearly made to pay for this on 53 minutes when Jake Burton volleyed narrowly wide for the hosts from an acute angle, yet in truth there was very little between the two sides in terms of the balance of play at this stage.
On 71 minutes Josh Clegg fizzed a twenty-yard effort agonisingly over the Tranmere crossbar and twelve minutes later, Cobey forced Jones into another fine save to preserve his clean-sheet.
The scoring was completed five minutes from time, when Bailey Thompson seized on a defensive mix-up to tap home Tranmere's fourth from three yards out.
Macclesfield Town: Jupp, Ahmed, Frangipane, Pierre, Seymour, Diallo, Kyobe, Holland, James, Clegg, Doumbouya.
Subs: Cobey, Mealing, Holford, Price, Stockton.