Morecambe’s poor run of form at the Globe Arena continued with defeat to Exeter on Sunday.
The Shrimps are now four League 2 home games without a win and disappointed from start to finish in this forgettable encounter with the Grecians as they missed the chance to move back into the play-off places.
Shaun Beeley’s own goal on nine minutes gave Exeter an early advantage before Tom Nichols made the game safe with time almost up as Morecambe pushed for a late leveller.
It was a bright start from both teams, Ryan Williams firing over inside a minute after some flowing Shrimps football.
Exeter were a threat in the final third themselves though, Jimmy Keohane volleying over on the stretch after Graham Cummins had outjumped Andy Parrish.
And it was the visitors who went ahead nine minutes in through Beeley’s error of judgment.
Aaron Davies’ cross to the back post was aimed at Cummins with the Morecambe right back electing to try and chest the ball back to Davies just a couple of yards out with the pass back beating the despairing dive of the Wembley winner.
Davies was in the thick of the action again on the quarter hour, producing a fine save to his left to deny Cummins after the ball had cannoned around the area from Matt Grimes’ left-wing free-kick.
It had turned into the latest in a long line of poor first half performance from the Shrimps at the Globe Arena this season as Exeter controlled possession with ease.
Davies was the Shrimps’ stand out player on his second debut for the club, the on-loan Fleetwood man producing a stunning save to his right to keep out David Wheeler’s header on the half hour.
For the Shrimps, Williams’ deep cross nearly caught out Christian Pym with the Grecians ‘keeper helping the ball over the bar on 39 minutes.
The hosts’ best chance of the half came a minute later but on-loan Blackpool man Tom Barkhuizen, looking short of match practice as he struggled throughout the opening period, wasted the opening after finding himself in on the right side of the area with time and space.
The Shrimps showed some signs of improvement after the break, with Tom McCready replacing Barkhuizen as Jim Bentley switched to midfield diamond, without really worrying the visitors.
Exeter came within a whisker of doubling their lead on the hour, Davies racing out to deny Cummins one-on-one before Beeley acrobatically cleared Wheeler’s follow-up off the line to keep the Shrimps in touch.
It was a poor spectacle however with little action in the final third as the visitors were increasingly content to sit on their one-goal lead.
Pym was tested 10 minutes from time, saving well from Redshaw’s shot from distance before gathering at the second attempt as substitute Padraig Amond closed in.
But the hosts largely huffed and puffed without reward, Nichols coming close to making the game safe five minutes from time but Davies produced another good save to tip his header over the crossbar.
The substitute made no mistake on 89 minutes however. After Amond had given the ball away Nichols beat the offside trap before firing beyond Davies to end any Shrimps hopes of a point.
Morecambe: Davies, Beeley. Parrish, Hughes (capt), Wilson, Wright (Amond 74), Fleming, Williams, Barkhuizen (McCready 45), Redshaw, Sampson (Mullin 67). Subs not used: Arestidou, Kenyon, Edwards, McGowan.
Exeter: Pym, Ribiero, Oakley, Bennett (capt), Butterfield, Grimes, Davies, Woodman, Keohane, Wheeler (Noble 69), Cummins (Nichols 80). Subs not used: Hamon, Riley-Lowe, Tillson, Jay, Watkins.
Referee: Geoff Eltringham
Attendance: 1,787 (162 away)