Ten-men Morecambe slipped to a 2-0 defeat against Harrogate at the EnviroVent Stadium in League Two.
A first half penalty scored by Luke Armstrong as well as a George Thomson free kick proved the difference in North Yorkshire, with Derek Adams’ side reduced to 10 men following Farrend Rawson’s second half dismissal.
It was the Shrimps who carved out the first opportunity of note on eleven minutes.
Shrewsbury Town loanee Tom Bloxham got the better of his man down the right-hand, and the cross just evaded the onrushing JJ McKiernan and Town managed to clear their lines.
It was Harrogate’s first real chance of the game which led to their opener.
Thomson’s piledriver from the edge of the area was well saved to his right by Stuart Moore, but Sam Folarin’s effort on the rebound was judged to have been blocked by the arm of Farrend Rawson.
Luke Armstrong stepped up to stroke the penalty home in the 20th minute.
Then, Levi Sutton produced an ambitious effort from well out with Stuart Moore well out of his goal, before Armstrong missed two big chances to extend Town’s lead – his first, a header, sailed narrowly wide before he dragged a shot beyond the far post.
Similarly at the other end, Jacob Bedeau was presented with two chances, firstly the ball landed at his feet following a Rawson flick on, but he couldn’t find the angle – seconds later, a rocket from distance flew wide.
Five minutes into the second half, James Daly was picked out at the back post from a cross, but he couldn’t keep the header down.
As the clock ticked over the hour mark, Bloxham struck on the volley, but Mark Oxley at full stretch had it covered as the ball flew wide of his left-hand post.
A game defining moment came just minutes later as, after a coming together just outside the Shrimps’ box, Rawson was sent off after receiving a second yellow card. The resulting free kick was curled home expertly by Thomson to extend the Sulphurites’ lead.
Michael Mellon saw a 35 yard effort fly just wide as the Shrimps battled to get back into the contest, but in reality, Derek Adams’ men failed to produce a meaningful shot on target until a late Adam Mayor effort, that was well saved by Oxley.
Substitute Jordan Slew nearly pulled one back in the dying moments, but he could only strike across goal on the angle and wide.