Morecambe 3-1 Southend
Morecambe produced a fine display to spoil Southend’s promotion party and finish their season on a high.
Goals from Jack Redshaw, Aaron Wildig and Jamie Devitt meant Phil Brown’s side had to settle for the play-offs as Bury sealed promotion to League 1 with a win at Tranmere.
The Shrimps got the better of a pulsating clash with an away support of more than 2,000 seeing their side’s winless Football League record against Jim Bentley’s side extend to 10 games.
Morecambe, who ended the game with Stewart Drummond as captain on his final appearance for the club, finished 11th in League 2 with a victory that also ended Southend’s run of seven straight wins.
In a frantic opening Morecambe put the cat well and truly amongst the pigeons with a goal after just four minutes.
A fine move was started by Devitt sliding the ball into Wildig on the right side of the area and the Shrewsbury loanee fired the ball across goal with Redshaw scoring with a first-time shot from 10 yards.
The lead lasted just five minutes however with David Worrall beating Shaun Beeley down the left and squaring for Jack Payne whose shot went straight into the ground and looped in, beating Andreas Arestidou seemingly in slow motion.
Southend pressed for a second but it was Morecambe who had the better chances in the early stages, Devitt seeing a goal-bound shot blocked by Adam Barrett and Aaron Wildig curling an effort narrowly over from the edge of the area.
The Shrimpers were playing some fine football however, skipper Ryan Leonard seeing a well-struck effort from 30 yards rise just too high on the half hour.
Brown’s side pressed and probed and could have gone in front with the final act of a pulsating first period, but Arestidou saved well after Barry Corr has risen unmarked to meet Leonard’s cross from the right.
The visitors, needing victory to make sure of promotion, flew out of the blocks in the second half encouraged by some sloppy Morecambe play.
But it was the hosts who went in front against the run of play on 54 minutes.
Wildig capitalised on some indecision between Barrett and his goalkeeper Daniel Bentley to score from the tightest of angles, with Ben Coker unable to stop the ball crossing the line.
It was nearly three for the Shrimps just before the hour mark but Kevin Ellison’s header from Shaun Beeley’s cross hit the top of the bar and went over.
With results elsewhere going against them Southend knew they had to throw men forward.
It should have been 2-2 25 minutes from time but after Arestidou had saved well from Payne former Shrimps loanee Kevan Hurst, on a substitute, could only scuff a golden chance from a few yards out with Laurence Wilson clearing off the line.
Things got a whole lot worse for the visitors just a minute later however as Morecambe got their third, Devitt taking Redshaw’s pass and firing low past Bentley from 12 yards.
Drummond was then introduced to a standing ovation as the Shrimps looked to finish the season with a fine win.
Southend huffed and puffed without reward in the closing stages, Barry Corr’s shot the closest they came but Arestidou saved well with his legs.
Morecambe: Arestidou, Beeley, Hughes (capt), Parrish, Wilson, Kenyon, Fleming (Drummond 68), Wildig, Devitt (Mullin 74), Redshaw (McGowan 83), Ellison. Subs not used: Stewart, Goodall, Amond, Bondswell.
Southend: Bentley, Leonard, Bolger, Barrett, Coker (Pigott 71), Atkinson (Hurst 59), Deegan (White 64), Timlin, Worrall, Payne, Corr. Subs not used: T. Smith, Weston, Cassidy, McLaughlin.
Referee: Andy Haines.
Attendance: 4,108 (2,223 away