Tranmere boss Ronnie Moore cut a relieved figure after his side saw off Oldham thanks to a second-half strike from Max Power.
Having set a blistering pace at the top of League One pre-Christmas, Tranmere have stumbled in recent weeks but three points saw them stay in the division's top four and still with realistic ambitions of automatic promotion.
In reverse, the defeat saw Oldham suffer their second successive loss since their fine FA Cup run came to an end and they are still anxiously looking over their shoulders in the relegation positions.
After Rovers' 1-0 win, Moore said: "It was a tight game but the players gave everything. There weren't many chances for either side but we got the break at the right time.
"To be where we are with the injuries we have had is immense for the players.
"We keep getting slapped and we keep getting up and we are in a very good position. It was massive that we won with two away games coming up.
"It was a vital three points but keeping a clean sheet was the most important thing because we are not scoring too many goals at the moment.
"I am just pleased that at last we have got another three points because we have been desperate to try and get them.
"Now we have to make them count by going to Walsall and doing the right things.
"I think the fans realise how difficult it is and they have stuck with us. It was a horrible, scrappy game but we have got through it."