Morecambe vs Mansfield Town
THE Shrimps slumped to a sixth successive defeat as their miserable March continued against Mansfield.
Danny Rose’s first-half brace, as well as a goal from Ben Whiteman, helped the Stage to the three points with Paul Mullin scoring the Shrimps' consolation.
Boss Jim Bentley made three changes from the Shrimps side beaten by Accrington Stanley in midweek. Injury ruled out Ryan Edwards, while Peter Murphy and Lee Molyneux were both on the bench as Luke Conlan, Andy Fleming and Mullin returned.
Mansfield's opener came after just four minutes when the Shrimps failed to deal with a free-kick from deep and Alex MacDonald played the ball back in for Danny Rose to volley home.
Two minutes later, however, and Mullin got the Shrimps on level terms by outmuscling Kyle Howkins in chasing Barry Roche’s clearance and finishing coolly.
It set the tone for an end-to-end opening 45 minutes where both sides took it in turn to attack. Michael Rose curled an effort narrowly over the Stags’ crossbar, while Aaron Wildig saw an effort deflected off target.
However, the greater attacking danger came at the other end with MacDonald and Shaq Coultihirst chancing their arm before two goals in six minutes put the visitors firmly in the ascendancy.
Danny Rose netted his second on 33 minutes, capitalising on a defensive error and firing in a shot which squirmed under Roche and just inside his right-hand upright. Moments later and it was 3-1 as Morecambe again lost possession, allowed Coulthirst to run in behind them and hold up the ball before squaring to Whiteman to fire home.
Needing a fast start to the second half, the Shrimps came out on the front foot with Wildig forcing a save from Jake Kean with only 13 seconds gone.
The better chances, though, continued to come at the other end with Roche denying Danny Rose and Coulthirst.
Mullin and Kevin Ellison both sent attempts well off target as the Shrimps battled but could not find a way past the visitors' defence.
Morecambe: Roche, Duckworth, Winnard, Whitmore, Conlan (Molyneux 74), Fleming (Evans 68), M Rose, Turner (Jordan 65), Wildig, Ellison, Mullin. Subs not used: Maher, Wakefield, McGowan, Murphy.
Mansfield Town: Kean, White, Bennett, Howkins, Benning, MacDonald (Potter 86), Byrom, Whiteman, Green (Baxendale 80), Coulthirst, D Rose (Arquin 76). Subs not used: Jensen, Taft, Hamilton, McGuire. Referee: Robert Jones.