Morecambe 1-4 Stevenage
Morecambe's wretched 2016 continued with defeat to fellow strugglers Stevenage at the Globe Arena on Saturday.
The Shrimps made a bright start with Cole Stockton giving them a deserved lead 20 minutes in.
But an Alan Goodall own goal and Dean Parrett’s first of the afternoon turned things in favour of the visitors at the end of the first period.
Parrett’s second of the day 20 minutes from time all but ended the game as a contest with Ben Kennnedy’s goal on 86 minutes completing a horrible week for under-pressure Morecambe boss Jim Bentley.
Showing seven changes from their 7-0 hammering at Cambridge The Shrimps made a positive start.
Kevin Ellison saw an early shot blocked before a brave defensive header from Fraser Franks hit the top of Jamie Jones’ crossbar on its way over.
Jones then had to produce a sharp save to deny Adam Dugdale after the big defender had got on the end of a Jamie Devitt corner.
The same source brought the opener on 20 minutes, Chris Doyle producing a fine diving header to send the ball goalwards with Stockton helping it beyond Jones and into the net.
It was an open game though and The Shrimps’ defensive frailties were exposed midway through the half, Barry Roche producing a fine double save to deny first Franks and then Luke Wilkinson as the hosts failed to deal with a corner.
The hosts were level in bizarre fashion eight minutes before the break. There was no Stevenage player near Goodall as Parrett’s corner came over but the veteran could only divert the ball beyond Roche and in.
The turnaround was complete as the game entered first-half stoppage time. Jones collected a Morecambe free-kick and released Greg Luer with a long kick down the left wing, the front man beating Shaun Beeley before pulling back for Parrett score on the stretch.
Stevenage nearly extended their advantage after 51 minutes but Luer blazed over from a tight angle at the end of another counter attack.
Openings were coming at both ends though, Tom Barkhuizen firing high and wide when he should have tested Jones from 15 yards.
The second half was a poor affair though as a scrappy game descended into end of season fare, Michael Tonge dragging a shot wide for the visitors from the edge of the area.
The next goal was always going to be crucial and it was Stevenage who got it 20 minutes from time.
Tom Pett’s initial shot was blocked with the ball breaking across the area where Parrett had time to take a touch and hammer home his second from 15 yards.
The Shrimps rarely threatened a comeback, Stockton coming closest on 83 minutes as Jones beat away his powerful shot from 20 yards.
The afternoon went bad to worse for the struggling hosts four minutes from time as they conceded their 89th goal of the season, Pett running half the length of the field before feeding Kennedy who fired low beyond Roche.
It all added up to another dreadful day in a nightmare season for Bentley and Morecambe who slipped to 21st in the League 2 table.
Morecambe: Roche, Beeley (capt) (McGowan 46), Dugdale, Doyle, Conlan (Molyneux 82), Goodall, Wildig (Oliver 76), Barkhuizen, Devitt, Ellison, Stockton. Subs not used: Maher, Kenyon, Edwards, Mullin.
Booked: Wildig, Devitt.
Stevenage: Jones, Henry (capt), Wilkinson, Wells, Franks, Pett, Tonge, Parrett (Gorman 81), Kennedy, Luer (Lee 62), O’Connor (Conlon 19). Subs not used: Day, Lee, Okimo, Johnson, Adams, Gorman.Referee: Oliver LangfordAttendance: 1,129 (92 away)