Tranmere completed a miserable four days as they sunk deeper into trouble in League One with a 2-0 defeat to Brentford.
Fourteen months ago, Rovers rose to the dizzy heights of first place in the division when they won 2-1 at Griffin Park.
But it was roles reversed in London last night, as John McMahon’s side failed to pull away from the bottom four thanks to a defeat that saw the Bees once again outline their promotion credentials.
Mark Warburton’s side have only lost once side mid-October, that against high-flying Wolves, and true to form, they eased past their visitors, who were, in truth, flattered by the scoreline and had Owain fon Williams to thanks for keeping things respectable.
But after a string of fine saves, he was powerless to stop James Tarkowski’s second half header that was quickly followed by a simple nod home from Clayton Donaldson.
John McMahon’s side headed into the game hoping to bounce back from Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to relegation rivals Stevenage.
And the caretaker manager named an unchanged side from that game, with only a tactical switch seeing star man Ryan Lowe moved into this favourite centre-forward role, bumping Jake Cassidy out on to the right-wing.
It took Brentford just five minutes to register their first pair of chances, and they were unlucky not to break the deadlock when Will Grigg pounced on a weak back-pass from Ash Taylor, only for fon Williams to block away his shot.
Seconds later, Taylor redeemed himself as he got back to clear Donaldson’s follow up effort off the line.
Tranmere had chances themselves in the opening period, with Ryan Lowe rattling the bar with a curling effort from inside the box, and Stephen Arthurworrey also finding the woodwork with a head from a Jason Koumas corner.
But either side of each chance, the Bees onslaught continued, though they failed to make four quick chances count.
The first two led to regulation saves from fon Williams, but he was tested further by a powerful Donaldson effort that he clawed away at his near post before sprawling full length to tip Grigg’s shot away from goal.
Two further chances then went begging, with Donaldson heading wide and Alan Judge firing over as the half ended goalless.
The second period started with Donaldson seeing a shot deflected wide before Rovers had a third great chance as Junior Brown clipping Lowe’s right-wing cross just wide of the far post.
But that was as close as they would come for the remainder of the game, as their goal continued to live a charmed life.
Fon Williams soon made two more good saves, beating away efforts from Jake Reeves and Judge, but the Tranmere resistance could only last just past the hour.
The goal finally came from James Tarkowski, who had already warned the visitors of his aerial prowess when heading against the post in first-half injury time.
And after Jake Cassidy had committed a foul on the right hand side of the box, ex-Everton man Jake Bidwell swung in an inviting free-kick that was powerfully headed home.
The shackles were then off for Brentford, and they continued to press forward as they looked to double the lead.
Donaldson came close just moments later when he smashed the woodwork from inside the box, before Marcelo Trotta found the side netting with a powerful turn and volley.
And former Crewe man Donaldson finally got a deserved goal on 74 minutes when he out-muscled Arthurworrey and nodded home Judge’s wonderful cross from just a yard out.
Donaldson had two more good chances and although he failed to convert either, they had no bearing on the outcome of the game.