Morecambe’s winless run moved to six games with a frustrating defeat against Mansfield at the Globe Arena on Saturday.
Colin Daniel’s stunning free-kick shortly before half-time was enough to settle a physical and feisty game with Andy Fleming controversially seeing red late on for the 10-man Shrimps.
Referee Darren Deadman also produced 10 yellow cards as the Shrimps slipped to within five points of the League 2 drop zone with their third defeat in a row.
The hosts made by far the brighter start and should have gone ahead nine minutes in.
A Ryan Tafazolli header was miscontrolled by central defensive partner Martin Riley and Jack Redshaw pounced and electing not to go down after being pulled back could only poke his effort one-on-one with Alan Marriott wide from 10 yards.
Captain Mark Hughes then surprised the Globe Arena crowd by going for goal from a free-kick all of 40 yards out, seeing his low, well-struck effort held by Marriott.
What had been a tetchy clash threatened to boil over on 25 minutes after Hughes had to leave the field with a bloodied lip following what he felt was an elbow from Stags striker Matt Rhead.
The Morecambe skipper returned to the field after five minutes of treatment but it had turned into a ugly game with both dugouts frustrated by every use of referee Darren Deadman’s whistle.
There were moments of quality from the hosts who looked bright in flashes, Jamie Devitt working an excellent short corner routine with Redshaw that ended with a vicious cross that somehow didn’t find a Shrimps head.
But it was left to Daniel to end a poor first half with a moment of class as the visitors took the lead against the run of play three minutes before the break.
After Rhead had gone down under a challenge from Robbie Threlfall, the early replacement for the injured Lee Beevers stepped up and hammered a 30-yard shot across Roche and into the top corner.
The Stags nearly doubled their lead two minutes into the second half as Rhead flicked on an Adam Murray free-kick but there was no visiting player on hand to get the necessary touch at the back post.
But in driving rain it was a scrappy game with the Shrimps lacking any attacking flow as the visitors were increasingly content to sit on their one-goal lead.
Daniel came close with another driven free-kick from distance on 74 minutes but Roche did enough to help it over the crossbar as the niggly game continued to frustrate.
Bentley introduced Padraig Amond and Shaun Beeley from the bench but it was Mansfield who continued to come closer to a second as the Shrimps huffed and puffed without reward.
Villain for the day Rhead brought an excellent save from Roche with a looping header 12 minutes from time.
Things went from bad to worse for the home side eight minutes from time as Fleming was sent off for what referee Deadman adjudged to be a stamp on Murray as the Mansfield skipper slid in trying to win the ball.
Morecambe toiled in search of a late leveller but in reality in never looked like arriving despite Hughes nearly deflecting a Jordan Mustoe cross home in stoppage time.
Morecambe: Roche, Parrish (Beeley 70), Hughes (capt), Edwards, Threlfall (Mustoe 87), Devitt, Kenyon, Fleming, Ellison, Sampson (Amond 70), Redshaw. Subs not used: Arestidou, Diagne, Williams.
Booked: Edwards, Roche, Ellison, Mustoe.
Sent off: Fleming
Mansfield Town: Marriott, Sutton, Riley, Tafazolli, Beevers (Daniel 4), Stevenson, Murray (capt), McGuire, Westlake, Palmer (Clucas 87), Rhead. Subs not used: Dempster, Briscoe, Speight, Clements, Meikle.
Booked: Stevenson, Rhead, McGuire, Sutton, Murray, Clucas.
Referee: Darren Deadman
Attendance: 1,772 (345 away)