Tranmere secured a sixth successive victory with an impressive 2-0 triumph at fellow Sky Bet League Two play-off hopefuls Colchester.
Goals from James Norwood and David Perkins means Rovers are just five points behind third-placed MK Dons, and with a game in hand to inspire hopes of an automatic promotion spot.
Sammie Szmodics initially went close for Colchester early on, while at the other end Norwood was within inches of converting an Ollie Banks cross.
In the 23rd minute, Norwood made the breakthrough, confidently lifting the ball past U’s keeper Dillon Barnes from a fine defence-splitting pass from Perkins for his 28th goal of the season.
Colchester came close to an equaliser just before the break, with Ryan Jackson’s long-range effort flying just over, while Abo Eisa saw his effort saved by goalkeeper Scott Davies.
Tranmere, though, doubled their lead just 43 seconds after the restart with Perkins firing in from close range after Barnes had clawed out Connor Jennings’ effort following Jake Caprice’s break down the right.
After a deflected shot from Caprice sailed inches wide just after the hour, Colchester came agonisingly close midway through the second half when Eisa’s free-kick was pushed onto the inside of a post by Davies.
It was not to be for Colchester who are four points adrift of the play-off places.