An emphatic display saw the 10-men Shrimps ease past Colchester United at the JobServe Community Stadium.
JJ McKiernan's hat-trick was the difference on a sunny afternoon in Essex despite James Connolly's 36th minute dismissal and United's 73rd minute consolation.
A bright start for the Shrimps saw Jordan Slew latch onto a fine through ball from Adam Mayor before striking the post on four minutes.
Colchester’s first chance came with nine minutes on the clock as Joe Taylor looked to meet a cross in the box with a volley, but he failed to make any contact on the ball.
Michael Mellon came within a whisker of opening the scoring on 13 minutes; Tom Bloxham’s cross was pounced upon by the Burnley loanee, but the resulting shot was dragged wide of the far post.
After a strong start, Derek Adams’ men reaped their rewards with the opening goal on 20 minutes. Mayor’s corner was met in the middle by McKiernan whose bullet header found the back of the net.
It was nearly a second for the Shrimps after Mayor latched onto an excellent ball forward, but his effort was just off target.
Moments later, up stepped Jordan Slew with a fierce strike from distance which Owen Goodman could only parry away before the defenders swept up the danger.
Against the run of play, United were presented with a rare opportunity as Taylor raced through one on one from the left, but Stuart Moore made a superb save at close range to keep the Shrimps ahead.
With 10 minutes of normal time to play in the first half, defender James Connolly was sent off.
In the second minute of five added on at the end of the first half, Noah Chilvers looked to equal proceedings before the break with a strike from the edge of the box, though the ball rolled harmlessly wide of Moore’s right-hand post.
Half-time: Colchester United 0 Morecambe 1
Moore was called into action five minutes into the second half after Taylor struck at goal, though it lacked the power to test the Shrimps’ number one.
Following his first half opener, McKiernan extended the Shrimps’ advantage on 53 minutes. Another Mayor corner caused pandemonium in the visitors box, United couldn’t clear and there was McKiernan to slot home.
Just eight minutes later, the Northern Irish U21 international completed his hat-trick in emphatic fashion. After a lung bursting run forward, McKiernan pulled the trigger from distance and saw the ball nestle into Goodman’s bottom-right corner.
With just over 20 minutes to play, a ball from the right was met in the mix by Ihionvien, but his glancing header was wide.
The home side pulled one back through McGeehan on 73 minutes after a cross into the mix wasn’t dealt with before the Colchester man headed home at point blank range.
In the first minute of second half added time, United were awarded a penalty. Up stepped Chivers who skied the ball over Moore’s bar.
Full-time: Colchester United 1 Morecambe 3
Colchester United: Goodman, Hall ©, Tovide (Hopper, 65’), Chilvers, McGeehan, Mitchell (Cooper, 65’), Egbo, Mingi (Ihionvien, 57’), Taylor, Kazeem (Bandeira, 82’), Fevrier.
Subs not used: Smith, Greenidge, Kennedy.
Goals: McGeehan (73’).
Red cards: None.
Morecambe: Moore, Love ©, Tutonda, Bedeau, Bloxham (Songo’o, 45’), Mellon (Walker, 72’), McKiernan (C Smith, 87’), Mayor (Davenport, 87’), Senior, Slew (Rawson, 45’), Connolly.
Subs not used: A Smith, Brown.
Goals: McKiernan (21’, 53’, 61’).
Bookings: Mayor, Tutonda, Love, Senior.
Red cards: Connolly.
Attendance: 3,350 (116).