Morecambe Ladies started the year with a 3-0 defeat at home to Stockport County in the Women’s Premier League Northern Division One.
The first game for either side after the three-week Christmas and New Year break started in end-to-end fashion.
The visitors worked hard and were well organised with the Shrimps below par in possession, looking rusty at times.
The hosts’ main goal threat, Megan Doherty, did bring a good low save from Laura Bowater as both sides threatened.
Chloe Mapp had Stockport’s best early chance, firing wide after a good move before Hannah Paling came even closer for Morecambe, crashing an effort off the bar as she lifted the ball over Bowater.
Just as the Shrimps looked to be closing in on an opener it was the visitors who took the lead five minutes before the interval.
Laura Callis was pulled up for a foul on Leanne Ashton-Smith with Grace Campbell stepping up to loop a curling shot under the Morecambe bar and beyond Emma Reader.
There was still time for Laura Marshall and Hannah Williamson to bring saves from Bowater before the half was brought to a close.
Stockport came close to a second shortly after the interval, Kerisia Cooke’s header beat Reader only to have Jade Thornhill chest the ball off the goal-line before Steph Ashton-Smith fired wide.
The game continued it’s early end-to-end pattern with Marshall firing over for the Shrimps.
Mapp then headed over for the visitors before Katherine Jones and Claire O’Reilly brought saves from Reader as they went in search of a second.
With five minutes to go it came as Morecambe pushed for a leveller, Sauna Jain doubling Stockport’s lead after being found unmarked in the box.
The hosts kept coming with Lupton’s powerful drive well saved but it was Stockport who added a late third through Langford.
This Sunday, January 11, Barrett’s side welcome Sheffield United Community to Lancaster & Morecambe College in the second round of the FA Cup.