Morecambe’s Under 18s slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Tranmere Rovers at Kendal Town’s Pye Motors Stadium.
The Shrimps youngsters, who saw Oli Box sent off in the second half for a second bookable offence, battled hard but were undone by Udoyen Akpan’s first-half header.
Tranmere made the better start on a dark and drizzly Saturday morning in South Lakeland.
The visitors’ first opportunity of note came on 16 minutes as Udoyen Axpan’s header was comfortably saved by Niall Maher in the Shrimps goal, while Jack Fleming’s long distance effort sailed well wide.
Tranmere opened the scoring in the 22nd minute however after a good delivery in from the left by Callum Lucy was headed home by Akpan.
The visitors almost extended their advantage five minutes later when Scot Medlan’s powerful effort was well stopped by Maher.
Stewart Drummond and Neil Wainwright’s side improved on the approach to the interval, Leif Davies and Ben Fletcher testing Patrick Wharton in the Tranmere goal.
The start to the second half was a cagey one before Maher produced a sharp stop to keep out Akpan’s close-range effort.
Morecambe’s cause was made more difficult when Box was dismissed but they did have the game’s next good chance only for Kyle Hawley to head straight at Wharton.
It was as good as it got for the hosts, Jamie Heron’s shot kept out by Maher at the other end as Tranmere took the points.
The Shrimps next travel to Hyde United on Friday night in the first round of the FA Youth Cup.