Report: Stags 1-2 Shrimps
Jack Redshaw and Kevin Ellison bagged second half goals as Morecambe came from behind to earn a 2-1 win over Mansfield Town at One Call Stadium.
The Stags led at half-time through Ross Dyer, who latched onto Chris Clements through ball and fired beyond Barry Roche.
Nevertheless, Morecambe levelled shortly after the re-start when Redshaw tapped home from just a few yards, following some fine work by Stewart Drummond.
The Shrimps should have been reduced to 10 men when Roche fouled Junior Daniel inside the area, but bizarrely only received a yellow card for the offence.
Roche then saved Sam Clucas’ weak spot-kick, before Ellison headed home after some fine work by Redshaw, with only five minutes remaining.
After a quiet opening to the match, Mansfield created the first chance on 11 minutes.
An unmarked Sam Clucas picked up possession inside the area and after his cross appeared to hit Andy Parrish’s right arm, Ollie Palmer dragged a shot just wide.
Morecambe threatened a quick response and only a minute later, Marcus Marshall’s right-wing delivery narrowly evaded Kevin Ellison, who was lurking on the edge of the six-yard box.
The Stags’ first corner of the match came to nothing, whilst Ryan Williams hit a low 30-yard shot hopelessly wide at the opposite end.
On 17 minutes, Mansfield then produced a moment of magic to take an early lead.
Clements picked out an advancing Dyer with a well-measured through ball from the centre, and the striker placed a calm low drive beyond the dive of Barry Roche.
With the Stags now having a lead to protect, the visitors pushed for a response – and Ellison, in particular, proved to be a major threat.
The Shrimps’ veteran frontman had a close-range shot saved by Alan Marriott, before he was unfortunate to be flagged offside.
Morecambe then enjoyed two corners in quick succession after they capitalised on some slack defending by the hosts, but they were still unable to test Marriott.
Mansfield appeared brighter and sharper than the Shrimps, especially when they used the width, and won two corners of their own close to the half-hour mark.
Following Clements’ left-sided ball, John Dempster had a close-range header blocked at the expense of another corner, which eventually came to nothing.
On 35 minutes, Clements was again the provider – this time of a fine through ball to Clucas, who whistled a drive narrowly over the woodwork.
Mansfield dominated territorially up to the interval, and when Dyer caught a slight glimpse of goal from 35 yards, Shrimps’ skipper Mark Hughes was forced to make a timely block.
Morecambe made a double change ahead of the second half with Andrew Fleming and Redshaw thrown into the action, in favour of Williams and Marshall respectively.
The substitutions proved to be inspired as Redshaw grabbed a fortuitous leveller on 51 minutes.
Martin Riley’s intended clearance ricocheted off Stewart Drummond and right on the by-line, Drummond swung the ball across goal, which allowed Redshaw to tap home.
Just moments later, the Shrimps should have gone ahead when Padraig Amond latched onto a long through ball, but sliced an awful shot wide of the target.
Mansfield almost re-took the lead when Dyer slid a great pass to an unmarked Palmer inside the area, but Roche saved with his legs to keep the visitors level.
The Shrimps then spurned another opportunity as Robbie Threlfall’s in-swing corner reached Drummond, who stabbed the ball wide from eight yards.
With the game still firmly in the balance, Jim Bentley’s team continued to press forward and Clucas was forced to intercept and clear the danger, when Ellison stretched the Stags defence.
In another move, Marriott had to rush off his line and claim a long ball by Threlfall in mid-air, with Ellison lurking just a few yards away.
The Stags, in search of a first victory in Sky Bet League Two since September, introduced Jake Speight in favour of Palmer for the final 20 minutes.
And five minutes later, Paul Cox’s men were given a perfect chance to re-take the lead when Daniel was brought down inside the area by Roche, having beaten two men.
The referee showed no hesitancy in awarding a spot-kick, but bizarrely opted to show the Morecambe custodian a yellow card, as opposed to a red one - despite the fact he was the last man.
Roche then atoned for the foul by throwing himself low down to his left, where he clawed away Clucas’ weak spot-kick and kept the Shrimps on level terms.
The Stags continued to press forward and Mansfield were again denied by Roche on 82 minutes, who this time, made a full-stretch save to tip wide Clucas’ close-range drive.
But with just five minutes remaining, Morecambe went ahead.
Redshaw worked his way past Lee Beevers to cut in from the right flank and after Marriott was unable to catch his cross, Ellison’s looping header found the top corner.
It was utter heartbreak for the Stags, but the visitors had to see out the match with just 10 men, as Ellison picked up a knock during the goal.
On the brink of six minutes of added time, the hosts almost levelled as Speight spun away from his marker on the edge of the area and flashed a low shot just wide.
But it wasn’t to be for the Stags as Morecambe held on to record a valuable three points.
Attendance: 2,753 (102 away supporters).