Micky Mellon hailed his Tranmere side after Corey Blackett-Taylor’s stoppage-time goal sealed a dramatic 3-2 victory at Shrewsbury.
Shrewsbury hit back from trailing 2-0 inside the opening 14 minutes to level just past the hour.
But Blackett-Taylor had the final word deep into added time when he broke into the box and produced a cool finish to secure a first League One win for Tranmere since December 21.
The Prenton Park club remain in the relegation zone but are now within five points of fourth-bottom AFC Wimbledon and also have a game in hand.
“It was certainly very dramatic, wasn’t it?” said Mellon, who managed Shrewsbury before taking over as Tranmere boss.
“If you could win like that all the time it would be terrific, but it was a really hard-fought game.
“It was by no means a smash and grab. I think we deserved the result.
“Obviously, it’s tough on Shrewsbury, the time that we scored it, but certainly for the bits of unfortunate stuff that we’ve had over the last few weeks we’ll certainly take that.”
Tranmere were quickly out of the blocks to open up a 2-0 lead with an early goal from defender Mark Ellis, on target against one of his former clubs, swiftly followed by a second from Alex Woodyard.
“That’s the importance of getting the first goal,” said Mellon. “We know that – we know the stats and getting two was terrific.”
Shrewsbury reduced the arrears through Aaron Pierre’s 56th-minute header and the hosts were level five minutes later as Callum Lang lifted a shot to the top corner of the net.
Both sides then pushed for a winner and created chances before Blackett-Taylor struck to leave Shrewsbury manager Sam Ricketts frustrated.
“Overall, disappointment at losing the game,” said Ricketts. “Really, really disappointed, annoyed, angry at being 2-0 down when we started OK.
“But two attacks and we’re 2-0 down and you can’t do that. You can’t give a team something to hang on to.
“We got in at half-time, made a few changes and within quarter of an hour the team are back in it and that’s credit to them.
“Then for the next half an hour or so I think we had some unbelievable chances to go and get that third goal, get ourselves ahead of the game, and we just couldn’t take them, whether it be a block, missing the target when we really should score after a couple of nice moves.
“And even just before the sucker punch and the final goal, which leaves us all disappointed, I think they’ve just cleared one off the line.”
Shrewsbury, who had won their first league game of 2020 by beating Doncaster last weekend, remain 17th in the table.