Morecambe slipped to a second straight home defeat as in-form Luton took all three points at the Globe Arena on Tuesday night.
Luke Wilkinson’s early header was cancelled out by Tom Barkhuizen’s close-range finish on 25 minutes but the lead lasted barely two minutes with Cameron McGeehan following in Paddy McCourt’s shot to score the Hatters’ second.
The Shrimps dominated long periods of the second half but couldn’t beat Mark Tyler with former Morecambe youngster Jonathan Smith’s fortunate goal making sure of the points late on as Jim Bentley’s side slipped out of the League 2 play-off places.
The visitors went in front on 13 minutes with a goal that was all too easy as Wilkinson rose unmarked to head home McCourt’s in-swinging corner from the left.
The Shrimps nearly hit straight back but Paul Mullin curled his shot from 20 yards narrowly wide after driving at the home defence in familiar fashion.
There was then some more poor defending from a corner, this time by Luton, as Alex Kenyon saw a free header helped over the bar by Tyler.
After increasingly finding their feet in the game the hosts were level on 25 minutes.
Neat play down the left involving Mullin and Aaron Wildig ended with the latter firing the ball across the face of goal with Barkhuizen quicker than the Luton defence to score at the far post.
The Shrimps were only level for two minutes however.
McCourt beat two men on the edge of the area with his shot only parried into the path of McGeehan who hammered home the rebound.
Luton were playing some neat football in the final third with the below-par Shrimps more of a threat on the break.
Barkhuizen went for a second on 41 minutes but his shot low and hard was too close to Tyler.
Misplaced passes were the order of the day for The Shrimps at the start of the second half as the visitors looked more likely to extend their lead, Mackail-Smith skying a shot from 12 yards when he should have done better.
Barkhuizen again came close for The Shrimps but his shot from 20 yards went narrowly wide as the hosts struggled to find any rhythm.
They were increasingly threatening the Luton goal though but found Tyler in good form.
In the same passage of play the Hatters stopper beat away Molyneux’s vicious shot from distance before keeping out Wildig’s effort from close range.
The chances kept coming with Andy Fleming seeing a shot from the edge of the area go just the wrong side of Tyler’s left-hand post.
But Morecambe didn’t make their period of dominance count with Smith sealing the win late on.
The midfielder, who started his career with The Shrimps, bundled his way through and saw a shot saved by Roche only for the ball to bounce back off Smith, against the post and across the goalline allowing him to tap in.
Morecambe: Roche, Beeley (capt), Parrish, Dugdale, Edwards (Devitt 73), Molyneux, Kenyon (Miller 80), Fleming, Wildig, Barkhuizen, Mullin (Ellison 46). Subs not used: O’Hara, McGowan, Goodall, Bailey.
Luton: Tyler, Cuthbert (Lawless 85), McNulty (capt), Wilkinson, Griffiths, Lee, Smith, McGeehan, McCourt (Doyle 78), McQuoid, Mackail-Smith (Marriott 90). Subs not used: Justham, Potts, Green, Guttridge.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson
Attendance: 1,388 (295 away)
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