Morecambe upset Lancashire rivals Fleetwood Town to reach the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Highbury on Tuesday night.
Gareth Evans gave the hosts a deserved 12th minute lead before two goals in five first half minutes from Padraig Amond and Jack Redshaw turned the game in favour of the much-changed Shrimps side.
Amond then added a second 10 minutes from time to make sure of victory as Jim Bentley’s side dumped out the League 1 high-fliers.
Fleetwood made the brighter start and took a deserved lead.
A peach of a ball from Matty Blair cut the Morecambe defence in two and released Evans who beat the offside trap and kept his cool to fire high into the net beyond Barry Roche.
It was an even game however and undettered the Shrimps went close with a Ryan Edwards header from a Ryan Williams free-kick a minute later.
Fleetwood’s passing was working the visiting defence hard however and on the quarter hour Newcastle loanee Adam Campbell nearly completed a fine move with a second Cod Army goal but dragged his shot from 15 yards wide with Roche rooted to the spot.
The game’s most controversial moment came less than 60 seconds later.
Jack Redshaw capitalised on a poor back pass from former Blackpool man Stephen Crainey and took the ball round ‘keeper Chris Maxwell before going down.
Referee Christopher Sarginson raced to the scene but much to Morecambe’s fury showed the Shrimps striker a yellow card for diving.
It continued to be an entertaining, open cup tie, with Graham Alexander’s hosts looking the more likely to get the next goal and take the game away from the Shrimps.
On 20 minutes Antoni Sarcevic’s crossfield pass found Blair and taking out Shaun Beeley with one touch the former York man clipped the top of the bar with a fine effort from a tight angle.
At the other end, referee Sarginson’s vanishing spray, being trialled in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy this season, made its first appearance 22 minutes in, Williams seeing his free-kick from 30 yards spilled round the post by Maxwell.
Fleetwood continued to look the more likely to score however and it was against the run of play that the Shrimps were level on 29 minutes as they exposed a shaky three at the back set-up from the hosts.
A fine Stewart Drummond pass split the Cod Army defence allowing Amond to confidently finish low past Maxwell from 15 yards.
It was a goal that saw the visitors visibly grow in confidence and Redshaw first cut in from the left and saw an effort tipped round the post by Maxwell on 32 minutes before giving the Shrimps the lead two minutes later.
Jack Sampson provided a low cross from the left for Redshaw to sweep home from close range to complete an unlikely turnaround.
The Shrimps were content to sit on their one-goal lead in the early stages of the second half, Blair, who moved back to right back as Alexander switched to a back four, heading wide for the Cod Army after he outjumped Joe Widdowson 10 minutes into the second period.
Shortly after David Ball shot straight at Roche from the edge of the area after capitalising on a miscued clearance from the Bury loanee.
In a quieter second period the Shrimps’ bid to hold on their lead wasn’t made any easier 25 minutes from time when Edwards joined fellow starting central defender Andy Parrish in leaving the field injured as Andy Wright lined up alongside Chris Doyle.
The Shrimps were content to sit back but Fleetwood didn’t make their territorial advantage pay with the visitors giving themselves some breathing space with a third 10 minutes from time.
Widdowson’s long crossfield free-kick was headed back into the danger zone by Sampson and Mullin should have scored but his scuffed effort was saved by Maxwell with Amond on hand to put the ball into the empty net from close range.
Fleetwood pushed to get themselves back in the game, Ball and Stewart Murdoch testing Roche from distance, but it was a resolute defensive display from the Shrimps as they moved into round two.
Fleetwood: Maxwell, Crainey (Andrew 67), Hogan, Roberts (capt), Sarcevic, Murdoch, Blair, Evans (Proctor 72), Morris, Campbell (Dobbie 60), Ball. Subs not used: Davies, Pond.
Morecambe: Roche, Beeley, Parrish (capt) (Doyle 29), Edwards (Wright 65), Widdowson, Drummond, Kenyon, Williams (Mullin 76), Amond, Sampson, Redshaw. Subs not used: Arestidou, McCready.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson.
Attendance: 2,045 (317 away)