Tranmere 2, Albion 0.

Andrew Whing was sent off as Albion went down 2-0 away to Tranmere.

Whing was dismissed on the stroke of full time for a second bookable offence, moments before Chris Shuker wrapped up Tranmere's win.

Chris Greenacre had put them ahead on 78 minutes with a header.

Dean Wilkins ignored the old adage that you should not change a winning team by introducing Bas Savage for his first start of the season at the expense of Jake Robinson.

Dean Hammond was fit to lead the side after gashing a knee against Northampton.

Congolese striker Calvin Zola was missing from the Tranmere squad through injury so the experienced Gareth Taylor took over upfront.

Wilkins changed tactics as well as personnel, returning to the midfield diamond he employed on occasions last season.

Savage started the match in behind Alex Revell and Nicky Forster, with Adam El-Abd sitting in front of the back four.

The disciplined manner in which Albion defended on their previous away outing at Cardiff in the Carling Cup was quickly in evidence again.

Andrew Whing made an important tackle inside his own penalty area to deny Steve Jennings after Chris Greenacre had flicked on a cross.

It was the only real moment of anxiety for either team in a quiet opening to the contest.

Michel Kuipers was able to watch headers from Taylor and Tranmere's teenage left-winger Steve Davies, who has been linked with a move to Leeds, drift harmlessly off target.

Albion created little going forward themselves, although Sam Rents had an early effort blocked at the culmination of a free-kick routine and they warmed to their task as the first half wore on.

Savage was a nuisance to the Tranmere defence with his appetite to close down and his awkwardness in the air.

He could not get enough power in a shot from a low cross by Forster to trouble Danny Coyne, Tranmere's Wales international keeper, but as the inventive Dean Cox began to see more of the ball so the threat from the Seagulls increased.

Cox skewed wide following a period of hesitancy inside the Rovers box and Revell almost intercepted a header back to Coyne by summer recruit Ben Chorley.

Guy Butters, engaged in a traditional tussle with Taylor, almost gave Albion the lead in the 33rd minute with a glancing header from a free-kick by Cox which Coyne tipped over his own bar.

Tranmere's first half frustration was emphasised by a booking for Greenacre for dissent.

They struggled to make much headway against Albion's well-organised rearguard apart from a long range drive from full-back Robbie Stockdale which went narrowly wide.

The Seagulls were let off the hook seven minutes before the break when a cross by Jennings reached Chris Shuker on the opposite flank. He played the ball back in to the prolific Greenacre who is usually a lethal finisher but on this occasion failed to connect properly from close range.

Tranmere manager Ronnie Moore must have had some harsh words for his side at the interval, because they showed more urgency immediately after the break.

It required a good save from Kuipers to keep Albion on terms after El-Abd gave possession away in midfield.

Davies advanced to strike a low drive which Kuipers parried at full stretch. The Dutchman also denied Greenacre from the rebound, although it would not have counted as the assistant referee had flagged for offside.

The Seagulls were grateful to Kuipers again in the 68th minute when Ian Goodison, Tranmere's Jamaican captain, slid a pass through to Greenacre deep inside the box.

The angle was unkind as Greenacre tried to find the far corner of the net and Kuipers stuck out his right hand to defy the former Mansfield and Stoke marksman.

Albion had offered precious little as an attacking force themselves in the second half and it was no surprise when Tranmere finally broke the deadlock 12 minutes from time.

Referee Graham Salisbsury played a good advantage when substitute Craig Curran was brought down by a combination of Butters and Rents.

The ball ran into the path of Shuker and his cross was headed into the roof of the net by the unmarked Greenacre.

Nathan Elder, on for the injured Forster, almost rescued the impotent Seagulls in the closing stages with his first contribution.

He escaped around the back of the Tranmere defence to meet a free-kick from Rents with an angled volley which Coyne diverted for a corner with an outstretched leg.

Albion's misery was compounded on the stroke of full time when Whing was sent off for a second bookable offence, bringing down Davies right on the edge of the box.

Shuker rubbed salt into the wounds deep into stoppage time as Albion threw men forward.

He was left clear and beat Kuipers, racing outside of his area, to the ball to roll it into the empty net from 25 yards with Rents in vain pursuit.

Albion: Kuipers; Whing, Elphick, Butters, Rents; Savage, El-Abd, Hammond, Cox; Revell, Forster. Subs: Mayo, Robinson, Fraser, Elder, Sullivan.

Tranmere: Coyne; Stockdale, Goodison, Chorley, Sherriff; Shuker, Jennings, McLaren, Davies; Greenacre, Taylor. Subs: Kay, Tremarco, Curran, Mullin, Achterberg.

Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire).

Attendance: 5,670.

What are your throughts on Albion's 2-0 defeat at Tranmere? Were you are the game? Should there be any changes for next Saturday's game with Southend?