Two goals either side of half-time for the hosts without reply proved the difference at the EnviroVent Stadium.
A first half penalty scored by Luke Armstrong as well as a George Thomson free kick proved the difference in North Yorkshire, with Derek Adams’ side reduced to 10 men following Farrend Rawson’s second half dismissal.
Inside the first two minutes, the Shrimps looked quick in getting the ball forward and Tom Bloxham sent an early cross toward the back post, but failed to pick out a red shirt and it rolled out for a goal kick.
The Shrewsbury Town loanee once more got the better of his man down the right-hand side nine minutes later, this time the cross was behind an onrushing JJ McKiernan and Town managed to clear their lines.
It was Harrogate’s first real chance of the game which led to their opener – the referee deemed a block by Rawson to have hit his arm, leading to a penalty, which Armstrong converted.
Looking for a response, Eli King sent an excellent ball over the top into the path of Michael Mellon, he latched onto it perfectly, but his resulting shot was blocked.
Three minutes before the half hour mark, Levi Sutton produced an ambitious effort from well out with Stuart Moore well off his line, though the Town man couldn’t find the target.
With two minutes of normal first half time to play, Armstrong produced two big chances to extend Town’s lead – his first, a header, sailed narrowly wide before he dragged a shot beyond the far post.
Similarly at the other end, Jacob Bedeau was presented with two chances, firstly the ball landed at his feet following a Rawson flick on, but he couldn’t find the angle – seconds later, a rocket from distance flew wide.
Half-time: Harrogate Town 1 Morecambe 0
Five minutes into the second half, James Daly was picked out at the back post from a cross, but he couldn’t keep the header down.
As the clock ticked over the hour mark, Bloxham struck on the volley, but Mark Oxley at full stretch had it covered as the ball flew wide of his left-hand post.
A game defining moment came just minutes later as, after a coming together just outside the Shrimps’ box, Rawson was sent off after receiving a second yellow card. The resulting free kick was curled home by Thomson to extend the Sulphurites’ lead.
Despite the score line, the Shrimps continued to push for a goal back, and Michael Mellon let strike from a considerable distance; the shot was fierce, but the direction lacking.
With around three minutes of normal time to play, Derek Adams’ men carved out one of their biggest chances of the game – a corner was played short to Adam Mayor, his rocket was on target and forced Oxley into a fine save.
Substitute Jordan Slew nearly pulled one back in the dying moments, but he could only strike across goal on the angle and wide.
Full-time: Harrogate Town 2 Morecambe 0
Harrogate Town: Oxley, Falkingham ©, Thomson, J Daly (Odoh, 88’), Folarin (Muldoon, 77’), Sims, O’Connor, McDonald, Sutton (Burrell, 80’), Foulds, Armstrong.
Subs not used: Thomas, Smith, M Daly, Gibson.
Goals: Armstrong (20’), Thomson (66’).
Bookings: Sutton, Falkingham, Oxley.
Red cards: None.
Morecambe: Moore, Love ©, Bedeau (Davenport, 64’), Rawson, Songo’o, Bloxham, King (Stokes, 77’), Mellon (Slew, 77’), McKiernan (Taylor, 36’), Mayor, Senior (Tutonda, 64’).
Subs not used: A Smith, C Smith.
Bookings: Rawson, Bedeau, Mayor, Love.
Red cards: Rawson.