MORECAMBE’S hopes of securing League 2 safety were dashed by former favourite Shaun Miller.
The striker, on loan from Carlisle, denied Morecambe a vital point with an 89th minute goal to give Crewe their second win over the Shrimps this season, and ensure the Shrimps still have more to do in their final three games of the season to seal safety.
Miller showed exactly the sort of striker’s instinct that saw him do well at the Globe Arena when he took advantage of a loose, bouncing ball in the box to volley past Barry Roche after Morecambe failed to deal with a corner one minute from time.
The game itself was a scrappy one with both sides struggling to put a run of passes together on a hard, bobbly pitch.
As a result the first half saw plenty of endeavour but few clear chances.
Morecambe started brightly with Luke Conlan putting in two crosses that were just too far ahead of Garry Thompson before the latter saw a deep cross only just evade the outstretched leg of Callum Lang.
Unfortunately for Thompson his afternoon was to end after just 15 minutes when he had to be stretchered off after injuring his ankle with Gregg Wylde coming off the bench to replace him. Despite the disappointment the Shrimps kept their sharp and went close to opening the scoring on two occasions.
Michael Rose forced Ben Garratt into a superb save from a 20 yard free kick that was heading for the bottom left hand corner before Andy Fleming shot straight at the home keeper from 12 yards after a superb Morecambe move.
Crewe then hit back and had chances to take the lead themselves. The first real opening fell for Jordan Bowery who was picked out well by Charlie Kirk but took time to get his shot on goal and Conlan made a good block.
Roche did well to save at the feet to Chris Porter as the Crewe striker looked set to forge an opening before Stuart Green headed a right wing Perry Ng cross over from 12 yards towards the final stage of the half.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first with plenty of effort but a lack of goalmouth action.
Morecambe’s best chance fell to Lang who somehow failed to convert Wylde’s cross and Vadaine Oliver failed to connect with the ball when he had a half chance on the right hand side of the box.
The Shrimps were made to pay when with time running out Harry Pickering swung over a right wing corner and as the ball bounced around the box Miller hooked the ball into the ground and over Roche from six yards out.
With Barnet, Forest Green and Grimsby all winning it was a goal that put more pressure on the Shrimps who now have three vital games ahead of them.
Crewe: Garrett, Ng, Ray, Nolan, Pickering, Ainley, Green, Wintle, Kirk (rep McKirdy 61), Bowery (rep Dagnall 81), Porter (rep Miller 67). Subs not used: Richards, Bakayogo, Lowery, Sterry.
Morecambe: Roche, Old, Kenyon, Lavelle, McGowan, Rose, Fleming, Conlan, Thompson (rep Wylde 15), McGurk (rep Ellison 72), Lang (rep Oliver 72). Subs not used: Nizic, Campbell, Muller, Wildig.