Morecambe produce fine home performance to ruin Southend's promotion party
Morecambe produced one of their best performances of the season to produce a 3-1 win over automatic promotion-chasing Southend, giving Stewart Drummond the perfect send off on his 622nd and final appearance for the club.
Jack Redshaw opened the scoring early on but Southend levelled soon after to make it 1-1 inside ten minutes.
However, second half goals from Aaron Wildig and Jamie Devitt meant the Shrimps came away with the spoils to earn a 11th-placed finish in the league, extending the Jim Bentley's side's winning run against the Shrimpers to ten games.
The plus 4,000 crowd were treated to a pulsating start to the game with the home side taking the lead after just four minutes, Jack Redshaw planting the ball home with a first-time shot after a centre from Aaron Wildig.
However, Southend were level just five minutes later, David Worrall beating Shaun Beeley on the left flank before squaring the ball to Jack Payne who hit his shot into the ground before it looped in past Andreas Arestidou, sending the masses of away supporters into raptures.
Southend responded well but Morecambe were still enjoying the better of the chances during the opening quarter, Devitt seeing a powerful strike blocked by Adam Barrett while Aaron Wildig curled an effort narrowly over from the edge of the box.
In response for United, Ryan Leonard struck from distance before Barry Corr had a close-range header well saved by Arestidou to keep the scores level going into the break.
The visitors, who needed a win to secure promotion, fired out of the blocks in the second half but it was the Shrimps who went in front on 54 minutes.
Against the run of play, it was Wildig who took advantage of a mix-up between Barrett and 'keeper and Daniel Bentley to score from a tight angle despite Ben Coker's best efforts on the line.
And it was almost three for the hosts just before the hour mark, but Kevin Ellison’s header after a cross from Shaun Beeley bounced off the top of the bar and went over.
Southend began to pile men forward as they became desperate for a result and it should have been all square with 25 minutes to play but, following a fine stop by Arestidou, substitute Kevan Hurst scuffed a clear-cut chance from inside the six yard box, allowing Laurence Wilson to clear off the line.
The Shrimps capitalised just a minute later, getting their third of the day as Devitt took a pass from Redshaw before firing past Bentley from 15 yards.
Stewart Drummond was then introduced to a standing ovation as the game entered the final quarter. Southend toiled in attack, but Barry Corr’s shot was the closest they came, Arestidou saving well with his legs to maintain the Shrimps' two-goal advantage, which they clung on to, helping produce a record points haul for the club under Jim Bentley.
Morecambe: Arestidou, Beeley, Hughes, Parrish, Wilson; Kenyon, Fleming (Drummond 68), Wildig; Devitt (Mullin 74), Redshaw (McGowan 83), Ellison. Subs not used: Stewart, Goodall, Amond, Bondswell.
Bookings: None. Red Cards: none.
Southend: Bentley, Leonard, Bolger, Barrett, Coker (Pigott 71), Atkinson (Hurst 59), Deegan (White 64), Timlin, Worrall, Payne, Corr. Subs not used: Smith, Weston, Cassidy, McLaughlin.
Bookings: Deegan. Red Cards: none.
GA Engineering Man of the Match: Stewart Drummond
Attendance: 4,108 (2,223).