Morecambe record their first win of 2015 with victory over Mansfield Town
Morecambe produced one of their best first half performances to lay the platform for their first win of 2015.
The Shrimps began the game on top and took the lead through Paul Mullin’s close range effort on 17 minutes before Kevin Ellison fired in eight minutes later.
Mansflied responded with a Simon Heslop free kick soon after but, despite the visitors taking control in the second half, the hosts held out for a hard-earned three points.
Jim Bentley made two changes from Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Northampton with Kevin Ellison and Paul Mullin replacing Jack Redshaw and Padraig Amond.
The Shrimps began the game brightly and could have taken the lead after just 39 seconds but Lenny Pidgeley saved well from Mullin.
In what proved to be an end-to-end start to the game, Mullin fired wide soon after before Mark Hughes produced an excellent double block on the edge of the area to prevent Mansfield taking the lead.
The visitors grew into the game and had another chance on ten minutes but Andreas Arestidou was on hand to produce a fine save after a close range effort before Ryan Edwards did well to stop the follow up from Matt Rhead.
But it was Morecambe to took the lead through Paul Mullin on 17 minutes. After Alan Goodall forced a corner with a piledriver from long range, Mullin was on hand to tap in from well-worked set piece involving Lawrence Wilson.
A goal straight from the training ground to the delight of Jim Bentley.
The home side grew in confidence and started to take change of possession - it wasn’t long before the Shrimps doubled their lead.
Kevin Ellison made it 2-0 on 25 minutes, producing a fine first touch before cutting inside his marker and smashing the ball home, but Mansfield responded almost immediately - Simon Heslop reducing the arrears with a 25 yard free kick which fizzed to the left of Arestidou to make it 2-1.
The game settled down as the half hour mark approached with Morecambe enjoying the majority of possession going into half time as the chances dried up.
That left the score at 2-1 to the Shrimps at the break.
Mansfield made two changes at half time with Junior Brown and Joe Fitzpatrick replacing Matt Rhead and Lee Beevers - the visitors’ performance notably improved.
They produced the first real chance of the half on 54 minutes with Jamie McGuire shooting from range but Arestidou was well placed to tip it over the bar.
Despite Town’s dominance the Shrimps defence stood firm and chances for the men in yellow continued to be at a premium.
Jack Redshaw, Alex Kenyon and Padraig Amond came on to add some extra energy to the Shrimps line-up and it paid off as the hosts hung on for a crucial three points.
Morecambe v Mansfield
Morecambe: Arestidou; Parrish, Edwards, Hughes; Beeley, Fleming (Kenyon 67), Goodall, Wilson; Ellison, Mullin (Redshaw 67), Devitt. Subs: Jones, Kenyon, Redshaw, Sampson, Mcgowan, Doyle, Amond.
Mansfield: Pidgeley, Sutton, Tafazolli, Rhead (Brown 45), McGuire, Heslop, Lambe, Beevers (Fitzpatrick 45), Oliver, Elder, Raynes (Riley 72). Subs: Studer, Riley, Bingham, Thomas, Brown, Kee, Fitzpatrick.
Bookings: McGuire, Heslop
Red Cards: None
MotM: Shaun Beeley