Cheltenham Town battled hard in the Lancashire rain but fell to a 2-1 defeat to Morecambe at the Mazuma Stadium.
Alfie May’s seventh league goal of the season wasn’t enough for the Robins to bring any points back to Gloucestershire.
The Robins started brightly, with Ryan Broom letting fly from 20-yards after being found in space by Sean Long. Broom’s right-footed effort had plenty of power behind it, but not enough direction to stay on target.
Quick feet from Adam Mayor saw him past Sean Long, and the winger’s low cross had to be parried away from goal by Luke Southwood before Liam Sercombe finished the job with a hefty clearance.
Morecambe would then take the lead in the 20th minute on the counterattack. Jensen Weir and Kieran Phillips combined to great effect, with a series of one-twos that saw Weir able to slide the ball past a helpless Southwood to put the hosts in front.
Southwood then kept Morecambe’s lead at just one goal by reacting well to a spectacular overhead kick by Phillips, diving to his right to claw the ball away from goal.
The Robins found an equaliser five minutes from half time. A Morecambe corner trickled towards the corner flag, and Southwood had followed the ball hoping it would go out for a goal-kick. With pressure from the hosts imminent, he laid the ball off for Will Ferry. The wing-back stood Liam Gibson up before darting past and playing a pass to Sercombe. Sercombe cleverly released May through on goal, who had beaten the offside trap and was left with the simple task of slotting past Connor Ripley.
The visitors took 90 seconds to retake their lead in the second half. Another counterattack had the Robins scrambling, and when Weir played the ball across the penalty area, Elliot Bonds failed to clear his lines leaving Phillips with an easy finish.
Phillips almost had his second of the match soon afterwards, striking from the edge of the area with his right foot. Southwood was at full stretch to deny him, and scrambled to his feet to force Mayor wide and prevent him from having a tap-in.
Broom forced a save at the near post from Ripley after leaving Liam Shaw on the ground with a turn of pace. A few minutes late and Broom had another opportunity, letting fly from 25 yards, but his shot just veered wide.
Five minutes from the final whistle, the Shrimps nearly found a third on another breakaway. This time Hunter’s shot was saved by Southwood, but Phillips had a good opportunity to convert from the rebound. Fortunately, a deflection off Taylor Perry had the ball trickle off the base of the post and out for a Morecambe corner.
Morecambe: Ripley (GK, ©), Gibson, Rawson, Delaney (Love 68’), Weir, Bedeau, Watts (Hunter 81’), Shaw, Cooney, Phillips (Gnahoua 90’), Mayor
Unused: Smith (GK), Connolly, O’Connor, Simeu
Cheltenham: Southwood (GK), Long ©, Taylor, Bradbury (Perry 60’), Jackson (Olayinka 86’), Ferry (Williams 79’), Bonds (Norton 60’), Sercombe, Broom, May, Nlundulu (Brown 60’)
Unused: MacDonald (GK), Barkers
Referee: M Woods
Attendance: 4677 (127 away)