Morecambe put in an error-ridden display as Burton Albion secured promotion to League 1 at the Globe Arena on Saturday.
A Lucas Akins brace was enough to send Jimmy Floyd Hasslebaink’s side to the highest level in their history on a day when defeat could have been so much heavier for the hosts.
Damien McCrory had missed his second penalty of the week before Akins got his first on the half hour after an Andy Parrish error.
The former Stevenage man has his second from the spot on the hour after Andreas Arestidou, playing after Danny Ward was recalled by Liverpool, had brought down Stuart Beavon.
Mark Hughes’ late header gave the visitors a fright but it was to be Burton’s day.
The warning signs were there from the off for Jim Bentley’s side in what was immediately an open game.
Tom Naylor elected to pass when clear in the area on five minutes, wasting the opportunity, before Nasser El Khayati beat three men but could only shoot tamely at Arestidou.
For the hosts, a fine passing move resulted in Jamie Devitt seeing a shot deflected over from the edge of the area just after the quarter hour.
But it was Burton who were in the ascendancy and the Brewers had the game’s best chance on 20 minutes, Arestdiou saving well from Akins at his near post.
The Shrimps were hanging on but had a chance of their own on 24 minutes, Jack Redshaw dragging a right foot shot from 20 yards narrowly wide of Jon McLaughlin’s right-hand post.
Burton got their golden opportunity on 28 minutes when Beavon beat Laurence Wilson to a poor pass from Andy Fleming with Wilson brought his man down with a clumsy challenge.
Up stepped McCrory who struck his effort low and down the middle but Arestidou saved with his legs diving to his left.
Morecambe didn’t heed the warning however and were behind on the half hour.
Parrish tried to bring the ball out of defence and was challenged by Beavon with the ball breaking to Akins who strode into the area before firing under Arestidou and in despite the best efforts of Mark Hughes on the line.
The opening period couldn’t have gone much worse for the hosts and they were nearly two behind four minutes into the second half, Akins denied a second by Arestidou after being played in by Robbie Weir.
The Shrimps had improved after the break however, Wilson keeping a fine move alive on 53 minutes but Fleming could only volley his cross over the bar when he should have at least tested McLaughlin.
As Burton closed in on promotion they knew another goal would likely kill the game off, Akins seeing a free header from an El Khayati corner deflected wide by Alex Kenyon.
That goal came on the hour from the Brewers’ second penalty of the day.
Arestidou miscontrolled Hughes’ back pass and brought down Beavon as he pounced on the loose ball with the Shrimps ‘keeper lucky only to get a yellow card. Akins stepped up and sent Arestidou the wrong way for his and Burton’s second of the day.
It was nearly three after another Morecambe error on 67 minutes but after El Khayati had intercepted Hughes’ pass, Arestidou was on hand to save from Kevin Stewart when the Liverpool loanee was in one-on-one.
Burton looked comfortable from then on, Jack Dunn, another played borrowed from Anfield, firing narrowly wide five minutes from time as they looked to add further gloss to the scoreline.
That was until the Shrimps made things interesting a minute from time with Hughes’ header, the skipper rising highest to head home Paul Mullin’s whipped cross.
But Hasslebaink’s men hung on despite a late Shrimps charge to secure promotion thanks to Wycombe’s draw at Wimbledon.
Morecambe: Arestidou, Beeley, Hughes (capt), Parrish, Wilson, Kenyon, Wildig, Fleming, Devitt (Amond 69), Ellison, Redshaw (Mullin 69). Subs not used: Roche, Wright, Goodall, McGowan, Bondswell.
Booked: Kenyon, Ellison
Burton: McLaughlin, Edwards, Cansdell-Sherriff, Mousinho (capt), McCrory, Weir, Naylor, Stewart (Maynard 90), El Khayati (Dunn 72), Akins, Beavon (Johnstone 80). Subs not used: Shearer, Taft, Palmer, Harness.
Attendance: 2,139 (727 away)
Referee: Keith Stroud.