THE Shrimps’ season kicked off with defeat after two second half goals gave Grimsby victory at the Globe Arena.
The opening game of the season saw Jim Bentley hand out four debuts to newcomers Adam Buxton, John O’Sullivan, Lewis Alessandra and Shaun Miller as they looked to start the season in a positive way.
Unfortunately, in a game of few chances on the Lancashire coast, Grimsby took the spoils with two second half goals through Elliott Whitehouse and an injury time strike from Max Wright.
The visitors started brightly and Matt Green saw an early shot blocked before Morecambe hit back with Adam Buxton testing James McKeown with a free kick that the Grimsby keeper saved comfortably.
The game had started at a fast pace, with several free kicks for both sides, and the next went to the Mariners but Hewitt’s shot was caught by home keeper Barry Roche.
Morecambe created a chance on the half-hour but midfielder John O'Sullivan was flagged offside as he shot over the bar from close range.
At the other end, Hanson headed on from a corner and the ball broke for Ohman but his shot was blocked on the line for another corner. This time, the ball was headed on for Davis but he could only find the roof of the net.
As the half came to a close Alex Kenyon fired a shot off-target.
No changes were made before the restart and Green won a corner for Town three minutes in but the Mariners were unable to turn it into a chance in front of goal, as a handball appeal from Hewitt's cross was waved away.
Akheem Rose narrowly failed to divert a ball from Matt Green towards goal on 62 minutes after a good move by the Mariners, before Ludvig Ohman recovered well after his attempted clearance looked to have presented an opportunity for striker Shaun Miller.
A foul on Clifton gave Town a free kick on the right and this time, they made the breakthrough. Hessenthaler drilled the ball into the box and Ohman beat the offside trap to control it and find Whitehouse who finished from close range to mark his league debut with a goal.
Kevin Ellison and Andrew Tutte were then sent on in place of Kenyon and Alessandra with 15 minutes to go as Morecambe completed their substitutions.
The visitors were almost given a second goal when an attempted clearance by Roche spun up and fell towards Green but he was unable to react quickly enough and the ball went out for a corner.
Cole Stockton was denied a good penalty shout when he went down in the box and the sight of six minutes added time brought a wave of confidence.
Unfortunately, it was Grimsby who made the most of the added time as they added a second. With goalkeeper Roche joining the attack, the Mariners broke quickly and Max Wright ran through before sliding the ball into the empty net to make it 2-0 and seal the win.
Morecambe: Roche, Buxton, Old, Lavelle, Conlan, Kenyon (rep Tutte 75), Wildig, O’Sullivan, Oates (rep Stockton 69), Alessandra (rep Ellison 75), Miller. Subs not used: Halstead, Brewitt, Brownsword, Cranston.
Grimsby: McKeown, Hewitt, Öhman, Davis, Hendrie, Hessenthaler, Clifton, Whitehouse, Green (rep Pollock 90), Hanson (rep Ogbu 90), Rose (rep Wright 83).
Subs - Russell, Pollock, Ring, Cook, Wright, Ogbu, Vernam.
Referee: Darren Handley.