A poor first half cost Morecambe as they exited the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Bury on Tuesday night.
Two Daniel Nardiello goals put the hosts well in command before an improved second half display saw Shaun Beeley’s first goal for the club give the Shrimps a lifeline 15 minutes from time.
Jim Bentley’s side threw everything at Bury in a bid to take the game to penalties but couldn’t find a way through with Ryan Lowe adding a late third for the hosts.
The Shrimps made a slow start and should have been behind in the opening minute.
Nicky Adams beat the offside trap and should have shot one-on-one but elected to square to Nardiello which gave the Shrimps time to tackle back.
Andrew Tutte then saw a shot deflected narrowly wide from the resultant corner before it was Nardiello’s turn to beat the offside trap. The striker chipped the ball over Barry Roche but his effort was lacking in power and Ryan Edwards had time to clear.
It was all Bury and Danny Mayor was next to go close, shooting wide from 20 yards.
Then Edwards was needed to ensure Adams couldn’t get a shot away inside the area with the goal at his mercy after Danny Rose’s knock down.
After all their pressure it was from the penalty spot that the hosts took the lead on 14 minutes.
As the ball cannoned around the Shrimps area for the umpteenth time in a poor opening Beeley was adjudged to have used a hand, referee Graham Salisbury pointing to the spot with no complaints from the visiting players.
Nardiello confidently stepped up and fired the ball home low to Roche’s left and into the bottom corner.
The goal seemed to bring the visitors to life and the first real Shrimps chance came on 23 minutes, Jack Redshaw holding the ball up well before Alan Goodall’s whipped cross was headed narrowly wide by Andy Fleming.
At the other end, Mayor’s low shot from distance was comfortably held by Roche with Nardiello also heading straight at the Shrimps ‘keeper.
But Morecambe were much improved after their poor opening.
A swift counter attack 10 minutes before the break culminated in a fine one-two between Redshaw and Padraig Amond with the former’s shot being blocked by Nathan Cameron.
Ryan Williams then should have done better when he dragged a shot wide from just inside the D after good work from the influential Jamie Devitt down the right.
The League 2 leaders however looked dangerous on almost every attack, Tutte bending a shot inches wide before David Flitcroft’s side doubled their lead on 39 minutes.
After patient play on the edge of the area Adams ghosted into the area past Edwards far too easily and squared for Nardiello to tap in from inside the six yard area.
It could have been three before the half-time break but Adams blazed over after running half the length of the field unopposed.
Morecambe made a bright start to the second half as they switched from a first-half midfield diamond to their more conventional 4-3-3.
But it was a cagier game with fewer chances, Williams’ 40-yard free-kick shortly before the hour mark being juggled by Shwan Jalal before the former Shrimps loanee gathered.
Just as it looked the game was drifting to a conclusion however the Shrimps gave themselves a lifeline on 74 minutes.
Beeley burst into the box and took a pass from Tom McCready, making his first Shrimps appearance off the bench, and cutting in from the right the full back fired a left footed shot low and into the far corner beyond Jalal.
As the Shrimps pushed for a leveller Ryan Lowe came close to making the game safe for Bury but could only fire over from the edge of the area eight minutes from time.
For the Shrimps Williams nearly equalised five minutes from time but a stunning free-kick from 30 yards crashed off Jalal’s left-hand post before an effort from even further out hit the roof of the net in stoppage time.
The final word went to Bury with Lowe converting into an empty net after Roche was forced to release the ball as he slid out of the area collecting a Beeley back header.
Bury: Jalal, Jones, Cameron, Mills, Hussey, Mayor, Tutte (Soares 68), Sedgwick, Adams (Holmes 61), Nardiello (Lowe 72), Rose. Subs not used: Lainton, Platt.
Morecambe: Roche, Beeley, Edwards, Hughes (capt), Goodall, Kenyon (McCready 68), Fleming, Williams, Devitt, Amond5) (Mullin , Redshaw (Sampson 68). Subs not used: Arestidou, McGowan.
Booked: Lowe, Jalal
Referee: Graham Salisbury
Attendance: 1,681 (229 away)