Jim Bentley’s Morecambe slipped to a third successive 1-0 defeat in a bruising and controversial encounter against Mansfield.
In a game that produced 11 bookings and one red card, Morecambe came out second best thanks to a wonder goal from Stags substitute Colin Daniel in the 43rd minute.
It was a defeat that left the Shrimps just five points away from the relegation zone with five games to play and in desperate need of a victory to ease their fears.
Things could have been so different if Jack Redshaw had made the most of a golden chance in the seventh minute.
Stags’ defender Martin Riley failed to control on the edge of his own area gifting Redshaw a free run on goal but he failed to find the target with only Alan Marriott to beat.
Redshaw played in Jamie Devitt seconds later and the wide man struck a powerful effort which bounced just a yard wide.
At this stage the Shrimps looked in control with Devitt again firing wide from the left and skipper Mark Hughes testing Marriott with a long-range free-kick.
Mansfield’s only attack of note came when Barry Roche had to get down well to deny Lee Stevenson who latched onto a Matt Rhead through-ball, before tempers started to flare as both Hughes and Alex Kenyon were caught by stray elbows and boots that went unpunished.
To add to Morecambe’s frustration they then gave away a soft free-kick 25 yards out and Daniel let fly with a stunning strike that flew into the top corner.
Morecambe hit back, with Devitt seeing a well-hit cross deflected narrowly wide and Kenyon heading just over.
The second half saw Mansfield happy to defend and hit on the break.
Darryl Westlake was inches away from converting a Rhead flick on at the back post after a driven Adam Murray free-kick and Daniel tried his luck again with another long-range free-kick that forced a strong save from the excellent Roche.
Morecambe only forged a half-chance when Kevin Ellison headed an Padraig Amond cross at full stretch, before Mansfield were denied a second when Rhead’s looping header was saved by Roche.
The Shrimps were then dealt a major blow as Fleming was shown a straight red after a challenge on Adam Murray.
Morecambe: Roche; Parrish (Beeley 70), Edwards, Hughes, Threlfall (Mustoe 88); Devitt, Fleming, Kenyon, Ellison; Sampson (Amond 71), Redshaw. Subs (not used): Arestidou, Diagne, Williams
Booked: Roche, Edwards, Ellison, Mustoe. Sent off: Fleming:
Mansfield: Marriott; Sutton, Riley, Tafazolli; Beevers (Daniel 4), McGuire, Murray, Stevenson, Westlake; Rhead, Palmer (Clucas 88).Subs (not used): Dempster, Briscoe, Speight, Clements, Meikle
Booked: Sutton, Murray, McGuire, Clucas, Rhead, Stevenson.
Referee: D Deadman