Morecambe’s Christmas campaign began with defeat against Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park.
The finishing of veteran striker Deon Burton proved to be the difference between the two sides on the afternoon as the much-travelled front man scored twice in the first half to earn his improving side the points.
It was a disappointing afternoon for the Shrimps who started the game on top as they laid siege to the Scunthorpe goal.
Jim Bentley’s side forced seven corners in the first five minutes of the game but were guilty of wasting two glorious chances.
Defender Chris McCready was the first to go close with a close range volley that flew inches wide and Stewart Drummond followed suit minutes later with a similar effort that again went just the wrong side of the post.
The Shrimps were made to pay for the missed chances as the home side took the lead on 16 minutes after a flowing move down the right.
Christian Ribeiro linked up well with Luke Waterfall and produced a perfect cross for the unmarked Burton to ghost in at the far post and score from close range.
Burton’s second goal came just after the half hour and was a moment of quality.
Taking the ball 25 yards from goal there looked to be little danger for the Morecambe defence until Burton turned smartly and volleyed into the bottom left hand corner of Roche’s goal.
The home side then had several chances to add to their lead with midfielder Dave Syers guilty of missing a string of chances. Twice he failed to find the target after being put through and twice he was denied by excellent saves from Roche.
Burton was denied a hat-trick when a second half volley was cleared off the line by Robbie Threlfall.
The Shrimps rarely looked like getting back into the game but could have made it interesting if Jack Redshaw had done better than head a right wing cross straight at Sam Slocombe from six yards out when he looked sure to score his third of the season.
A goal then could have set up an interesting finale but Scunthorpe hung on with ease to pick up the points.
Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, Ribeiro, Canavan, Mirfin, Nolan, Williams, Syers, McAllister (Boyce 85), Hawkridge (Adelakun 62), Williams, Winnall (Godden 77), Burton. Subs not used: Severn, Iwelumo, Esajas, Waterfall.
Morecambe: Roche, Parrish, McCready (Ellison 54), Hughes, Threlfall, Drummond, Wright, Amond (Mwasile 69), Fleming (Kenyon 79), Sampson, Redshaw. Subs not used: Arestidou, McGowan, Williams, McGee.
Referee: C Webster.