MORECAMBE boss Sammy McIlroy admitted his side’s defeat at Stevenage on Saturday was “soul destroying’’.
After four wins in five games the Shrimps saw their new found confidence blasted away as they conceded two sloppy goals in the opening eight minutes with Stevenage taking a lead they never looked like losing.
McIlroy said: “The game was over after 10 minutes and the goals we conceded were absolutely shocking.
“The first goal was just basic schoolboy defending and although the second was a bit unfortunate it was the result of more pressure we invited on ourselves.
“You just can’t give sides two goals start at this level. We were all at sea in the first half and that was hard to take.
“We have done this a couple of times when we have travelled away from home this season and it is soul destroying.
“I wasn’t expecting it because we have been playing so well in recent weeks and the only thing I can take from the game is that we were much better in the second half.
“We showed a bit of spirit and put them under a bit of pressure without testing their goalkeeper enough. ‘’
After the Shrimps’ recent revival few could have expected their shocking start to the game.
Striker Chris Beardsley had already fired over the bar in the opening exchanges before Stevenage took the lead after five minutes.
John Mousinho crossed from the left and Scott Laird nipped in between Andy Parrish and Chris McCready to slot the ball past Barry Roche from close range.
There was worse to follow for the Shrimps as Stevenage were gifted a second goal three minutes later.
Laird provided the cross from the left this time and under pressure from Charlie Griffin, Morecambe defender Kieran Charnock unfortunately slashed the ball past his own keeper.
At this stage Morecambe looked shell shocked. Stevenage should have made it 3-0 but Griffin wasted a glorious chance on 15 minutes by shooting wide when through on goal.
Barry Roche then saved well from Lawrie Wilson and Griffin headed into the side netting as the home side found it all too easy to break Morecambe down.
Morecambe’s only effort of note came when Chris McCready headed a Laurence Wilson corner over from close range.
The Shrimps were much better in the second period but found it difficult to break down the League 2’s strongest defence.
Their brightest period came when substitute Stuart Hendrie came on.
He forced Chris Day into his first save of the game with a shot from the edge of the area and Stewart Drummond volleyed an Andy Parrish right wing cross inches wide. Chris Shuker and Wilson both saw curling crosses just fail to hit the target with Day all at sea but the Shrimps could not find a way through
At the other end Stevenage had chances to score on the break but Wilson headed Beardsley’s cross over from close range and Parrish produced a fine covering tackle to foil Beardsley’s run and prevent a heavier defeat.
Stevenage: Day; Wilson, laird, Charles (Sinclair 58), Ashton, Roberts, Henry, Mousinho (Harrison 80), Bostwick, Griffin (Daley 64), Beardsley. Unused subs: Bayes (GK), Foster, Bridges, Winn.
Morecambe: Roche 6; Parrish 6, McCready 6, Charnock 6, Capaldi 7; Wainwright 6 (Jevons 54), Stanley 6, Drummond 6, Wilson 6, Mullin 6 (Hendrie 74), Shuker 6 (Rundle 84). Unused subs - Walker (GK), Bentley, Haining, Fleming.
Ref: D Whitestone.