TORQUAY United made our first trip to Prenton Park since 2004/05 when both clubs were members of the third-tier of English football.
New loan signing, Josh Rees, was handed his debut whilst Shaun Harrad and Nathan Blissett were given a starting place. Aman Verma missed out with a sickness bug.
United played into the wind during the opening period and there was a stop-start opening to proceedings with both sides winning a couple of early free-kicks each.
On a decidedly chilly afternoon, there was little to report in the opening quarter-of-an-hour with neither ‘keeper seriously tested.
The first chance of the game came on 22 minutes when Taylor-Fletcher found the head of Norwood whose attempt was pushed away by Dan Lavercombe as the loose ball was cleared.
It brought the home side to life as Mekki did well to create an opening for Jennings who fired over before Norwood’s strike was blocked by Nathan Smith.
With 28 minutes on the clock a ball from Taylor-Fletcher set Norwood off in chase and he was brought down on the edge of the area by Angus MacDonald who was booked. The resulting free-kick was wasted by Rovers.
There was very little between the teams as the half went on until Taylor-Fletcher opened the scoring on 37 minutes with a sweet strike from distance that flew into the top corner after United failed to properly clear the ball.
With their tails up, Mekki went close for Rovers with a strike after he was set up well by Taylor-Fletcher.
Half-time saw young Sam Chaney replace Kevin Nicholson.
The start of the second period saw United forced to defend early on as MacDonald did well to clear in front of goal.
Soon afterwards a counter-attack from Rovers saw Maynard make progress before seeing his strike whistle just past the post.
Youngster Chaney was seeing plenty of the ball as United looked for a leveller but his effort just past the hour-mark flew well over.
At the other end, Maynard also saw his effort saved with too many problems by Lavercombe.
A second change saw Andre Wright unleashed in place of Nathan Blissett.
There was a yellow card for Nathan Smith following a robust challenge on Harris.
On 79 minutes a defence-splitting ball from Taylor-Fletcher played in Norwood who made no mistake as he arrowed the ball into the far corner of the net to make it 2-0.
Four minutes later and United pulled a goal back when Wright’s cross to the far post was met by the head of Harrad who managed to flick the ball into the net.
Our third and final change saw Exodus Geohaghon replace Chaney for the closing stages.
As United pressed for an equaliser, Rovers had to scramble clear from a teasing Dan Butler cross and then Angus MacDonald saw his header claimed comfortably by the ‘keeper.
It was all in vein as the final whistle signalled a 2-1 defeat.
The Torquay United Chairman and Board of Directors would like to extend their sincere thanks to the 134 travelling supporters who made the trip and gave excellent backing throughout.