MORECAMBE suffered their fourth home defeat of the season as they conceded a dramatic late goal.
Crewe substitute Max Clayton was the visitors' hero with a close range finish four minutes into added time as the Shrimps failed to clear their lines after Barry Roche had make an excellent reflex save from a goalmouth scramble.
The Shrimps looked set to be heading for a second successive home win earlier in the afternoon when top scorer Kevin Ellison gave them the lead on 69 minutes against the run of play.
A long Morecambe clearance saw Ellison outmuscle Crewe full back David Tootle to win the ball and create the opening. His first shot was well saved by Steve Phillips but he was the quickest to the rebound and forced the ball over the line.
But 10 minutes later Crewe were level when their star man, 17-year-old Nick Powell, scored with a 25 yard shot that beat Roche low to his his left to bring his side back into the game.
After a sluggish opening the game finally came to life midway in the first half as the sides exchanged chances.
Crewe struck first with Ajay Leitch-Smith put through on goal only to drill a shot straight at Morecambe keeper Barry Roche.
That chances seemed to give Morecambe a spark as they began to force the pace for the first time with Danny Carlton's diving header going wide of the right hand post before the same player forced a good save from Crewe stopper Steve Phillips with a shot from just inside the box.
Phil Jevons and Andy Fleming also went close before Powell twice created an opening for himself with a shot over the bar and an effort that was well gathered by Roche.
Morecambe: Roche; Haining, McCready, Fenton, Wilson; Drummond, Fleming, McDonald; Jevons, Ellison, Carlton. Subs not used: Routledge (GK), Reid, Hunter, Alessandra, Parrish.
Crewe: Phillips; Tootle, Artell, Dugdale, Martin; Miller, Bell, Murphy, Leith-Smith; Moore, Powell. Subs: Martin (GK), Davis, Shelley, Clayton, Powell.
Ref: N Miller