Morecambe 1-4 Shrewsbury
Promotion-chasing Shrewsbury inflicted a fourth home defeat in a row on 10-man Morecambe on Tuesday night.
The Shrimps went in front through Jack Redshaw’s goal shortly before the half hour but were behind just seven minutes later as the visitors hit back through Connor Goldson and James Collins.
Jim Bentley’s side had their work well and truly cut out in the early second half when goalkeeper Andreas Arestidou was shown a straight red card against his former club for bringing down Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro when the last man.
The hosts battled hard but were always up against it as an impressive Shrewsbury side made sure of the points with late goals from Jermaine Grandison and Tyrone Barnett.
The visitors were by far the brighter in the opening stages, encouraged by some sloppy Morecambe play.
Inside in the opening 90 seconds Arestidou had a clearance charged down by Bobby Grant but thankfully for the Shrimps stopper he was able to recover and save Liam Lawrence‘s effort from distance with ease.
The hosts gave the ball away with alarming regularity in dangerous areas as the nervousness from the defeat to Hartlepool on Saturday carried over.
It meant The Shrimps didn’t emerge from their own half with any conviction in the opening quarter, Andy Fleming curling a shot over from distance in their only meaningful effort on 23 minutes.
But five minutes later they were ahead completely against the run of play.
Mark Hughes’ free-kick from halfway was headed on by Kevin Ellison with Andy Wright teeing up Redshaw to score from 15 yards, his shot going in despite a partial stop from Jayson Leutwiler.
The lead lasted just five minutes however, Collins jinking past two in the area before feeding Liam Lawrence who saw two shots blocked with Goldson on hand to bundle the ball home from close range.
The game was completely turned on its head two minutes later, Collins firing into the top corner from 12 yards after The Shrimps had only half cleared Grandison’s left-wing cross as Shrewsbury got their noses in front 10 minutes before the break.
At the other end Mark Hughes nearly caught out Leutwiler with a shot from distance 60 seconds after the goal but the Shrews stopper beat the dipping effort away.
After seeing their lead evaporate things got a whole lot worse for the hosts three minutes into the second half when Arestidou saw red.
Akpa Akpro pouced on Stewart Drummond’s sliced clearance and rounded the Shrimps stopper who brought his man down just outside the area, referee Stuart Attwell having no hesitation in brandishing a straight red card.
Teenager Tom Stewart emerged from the bench for his Football League debut but was a spectator until 25 minutes from time when an Akpa Akpro header went narrowly wide.
The visitors seemed content with their man and goal advantage and didn’t go all out for what would surely have been a killer third goal, Stewart saving well with his legs from Goldson in a rare second-half opening.
It was left to Grandison to make sure of victory for Micky Mellon’s men, dancing past a couple of weak challenges before firing low past Stewart on 84 minutes.
Substitute Andy Mangan had a chance to add further gloss to the scoreline but shot over before another replacement Barnett made no mistake, racing through to beat Stewart one-on-one deep into stoppage time as the visitors completed the double over Morecambe and enhanced their own promotion prospects.
Morecambe: Arestidou, Parrish, Hughes (capt), Edwards, Beeley (Stewart 49), Drummond, Wright (Kenyon 64), Wilson, Fleming, Redshaw (Mullin 84), Ellison. Subs not used: Devitt, Goodall, McGowan, Amond.
Booked: Redshaw, Drummond. Sent off: Arestidou
Shrewsbury: Leutwiler, Grandison, Ellis, Goldson, Gayle, Woods, Lawrence (capt), Grant, Sharpe (Demetriou 90), Collins (Mangan 84), Akpa Akpro (Barnett 84). Subs not used: Halstead, Vernon, Southern, Mandron.
Attendance: 1,363 (246 away)
Referee: Stuart Attwell