Shrimps are party-poopers

Jamie Devitt (second left) celebrates after he scores the third
Jamie Devitt (second left) celebrates after he scores the third
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Morecambe 3 Southend United 1

The Shrimps spoiled Phil Brown’s promotion party with a fine victory at the Globe Arena.

A win for the former North End boss’s side would have secured automatic promotion but the Shrimps, inspired by a superb performance from Brown’s former keeper Andreas Arestidou, produced a fine display and deservedly took the points.

Agony for Phil Brown

Agony for Phil Brown

After spoiling Gareth Ainsworth’s party the week before at Wycombe the Shrimps started the game superbly and took the lead in the fifth minute with a well worked goal.

Jamie Devitt found Aaron Wildig down the right and his low cross was hammered home convincingly by top scorer Jack Redshaw at the far post

The lead lasted just four minutes however as the Shrimpers levelled through Jack Payne.

David Worrall was the creator with a great run and cross down the left before teeing up the striker who beat Arestidou to his right with a mis-hit shot from 12 yards out.

The game then swung from end to end with the home side coming closed to a second on 20 minutes when Redshaw found Wildig but the midfielder’s shot curled inches over Dan Bentley’s crossbar.

Southend started the second half the stronger with Michael Timlin firing straight at Arestidou from a good opening and Payne forcing the Morecambe keeper into neat block with a cross that was curling towards the top corner.

Their spell of dominance was ended by a second Shrimps goal.

Kevin Ellison’s quickly taken throw-in caught the visitors out and Wildig nipped in between Bentley and central defender Adam Barrett to poke the ball home from an acute angle three yards from goal to regain the lead.

Southend hit back with Payne denied by an excellent save from Arestidou and Kevan Hurst seeing a goal-bound shot cleared off the line by Laurence Wilson on 65 minutes. Seconds later the miss was compounded as the home side scored a superb third.

Redshaw threaded through the perfect pass for Jamie Devitt and his right-footed shot beat Bentley low to his right-hand side.

The Shrimps then brought on Stewart Drummond for his final appearance after announcing his retirement and he was soon in the middle of the action with a pinpoint cross for Ellison which the striker headed against the crossbar.

Southend then threw everything at the Morecambe goal with Arestidou saving sharply from Joe Pigott and Barry Corr as the Shrimps finished the season on a high.

Brown will now face another former North End boss Graham Westley and his Stevenage side in what will be an intriguing play-off semi-final.

Morecambe: Arestidou, Beeley, Hughes, Parrish, Wilson, Kenyon, Devitt (rep Mullin 74), Wildig, Fleming (rep Drummond 68), Redshaw (rep McGowan 83), Ellison. Subs not used: Stewart, Goodall, Bondswell, Amond.

Southend: Bentley, Leonard, Barrett, Bolger, Coker (rep Pigott 71), Worrall, Timlin, Deegan (White 64), Atkinson (rep Hurst 59), Corr, Payne. Subs not used: T Smith, Weston, Cassidy, McLaughlin.

Referee: A Haines.

Attendance: 4,108.