Forest Green will go into their play-off semi-final second leg 1-0 down after losing to Tranmere Rovers.

They had to play 75 minutes with 10 men after Gavin Gunning was sent off in the first half and defended superbly to keep themselves in the tie.

The game wasn't without controversy and it was another tense affair between the two teams.

Here are five things we learned from the first-leg.

Red card proved pivotal

Gavin Gunning's sending off was ultimately a game changer.

Tranmere's goal soon followed and it became all about staying in the tie for Forest Green - which they did with aplomb.

Mark Cooper felt the sending off was a bit harsh but whether it was harsh or not, Gunning gave the referee a decision to make.

Replays clearly show genuine movement towards Jay Harris.

Junior Mondal was sacrificed for Lee Collins as Forest Green altered their game plan and get more protection.

Given how well they defended, you sensed it would have been a different story had it been 11 v11.

Best defeat of the season

If you didn't know the score and saw the reaction of both sides after the final whistle, you'd have probably been surprised to learn that Tranmere had won on the night.

It took an absolute firecracker from Ollie Banks, which needed the help of goal-line technology, to overcome the 10 men from Gloucestershire.

The play-offs are an anomaly. It's a 180 minute tie and Forest Green are only 1-0 down at half-time despite playing with 10 men for 75 minutes.

There were some heroic performances in there too. Nathan McGinley was outstanding - withstood everything that was thrown at him and was actually one of FGR's best attacking outlets with the way he carried the ball out of defence.

The whole back five all put their bodies on the line and Forest Green deserved a lot more for their monumental collective effort.

Controversial decisions

Games between Tranmere and Forest Green are never quiet and this was no different.

There was plenty to be discussed afterwards and Forest Green can feel hard done by with a couple of decisions that didn't go their way.

Cooper felt Christian Doidge should have had a penalty. He was through on goal and Manny Monthe clipped his heals.

The contact was slight but it was enough to knock Doidge off his stride as he tried to get into a position to get a shot away.

George Williams also went down in the box but there didn't look to be enough in it to warrant a penalty.

James Norwood was a lucky boy as well. There was quite a nasty challenge on McGinley where he led with his arm and he did well to escape a booking there while he also made a poor challenge on Dayle Grubb.

On the other hand, Doidge was arguably also lucky to escape punishment as he looked to have elbowed Ollie Banks.

Norwood's off day

Norwood was, as ever, right in the thick of it for the hosts but it wasn't quite his day.

He was fired up for the game against his former club but that may have ultimately counted against him.

He should have scored in the first half. A corner came in and he controlled it beautifully with his chest but blazed over from five yards out.

There were two or three other chances but luckily for Forest Green, it just wasn't going in for him.

The worry is though that if he gets that many opportunities like that at the New Lawn then he'll surely finish one of them.

Fans can push Forest Green to Wembley

Much has been made of the Forest Green support this season.

Generally, the support has been brilliant away from home but the home support has been questioned.

A club league record of 4,537 watched the game against Exeter City and sang their hearts out but the level of support at Prenton Park was on another level.

Cooper said it was the best he'd seen all season from Forest Green fans but, in terms of noise it was up their with the best away support seen in the league this season.

'Allez Allez Allez' drowned out the vociferous Kop at Prenton Park for much of the game and despite losing they continued singing and that's probably what got Forest Green over the line.

316 fans sounded like 3,016 and that level of support will be needed at the New Lawn on Monday.