Accrington Stanley exited the Emirates FA Cup in the first round stage at League Two Tranmere Rovers.
Corey Blackett-Taylor gave Rovers a 13th minute lead before Colby Bishop headed home the equaliser on 24 minutes.
Both sides hit the woodwork before experienced Peter Clarke headed home the winner for Tranmere on 84 minutes.
This was Stanley’s first game back after 17 players tested positive for Covid-19 and first team players and management had to isolate for two weeks.
The Reds started well, piling on all the pressure and were unlucky on 11 minutes when a Joe Pritchard corner caused chaos in the area but Bishop’s close range strike was blocked on the line.
From the resulting Stanley short corner, Tranmere broke through early substitute Otis Khan, he found Blackett-Taylor who twisted his way into the box and slid the ball beyond debutant keeper Nathan Baxter into the far post.
Ross Sykes headed over from another set piece while Tranmere could have doubled their lead with another breakaway. This time Kieron Morris found space in the area, crossed for Khan and Chelsea loan keeper Baxter had to tip the low shot around the post.
Stanley equalised on 24 minutes when Michael Nottingham’s ball into the box from the right found the head of Bishop around six yards out. Ex-Reds keeper Scott Davies battled to keep it out, however the ball crossed the line for the equaliser.
Stanley played a number of dangerous balls into the box and both sides were a threat on the counter attack in an open game.
However, the Reds almost went behind on the stroke of half-time after a poor defensive clearance gifted Rovers the ball and Morris crashed his shot against the crossbar.
John Coleman’s men started well after the break with a Seamus Conneely rocket blocked while Nottingham fired goalwards from 20 yards but unluckily his strike hit the post on 51 minutes.
The second half wasn’t as open but Pritchard forced a good save out of Tranmere keeper Davies just before the hour mark.
Baxter’s first save after the interval came on the 65th minute when he pushed away Khan’s fierce strike as the League Two side started to force the pressure.
Tom Allen came on for Dion Charles and Davies had to push a Pritchard strike around the corner as the Reds looked for the winner.
However, on 83 minutes, Baxter kept out a flying header from Peter Clarke and, from the resulting Liam Feeney corner, experienced defender Clarke headed home.
Stanley upped their tempo with a Pritchard ball just evading everyone to fall into the hands of Davies.
Tariq Uwakwe and Ryan Cassidy came on for the final minutes but the Reds couldn’t grab another equaliser to stay in the FA Cup.