Morecambe fell to their first pre-season defeat against Middlesbrough at the Globe Arena on Tuesday night.
Marvin Emnes and Scott McDonald got the goals at the end of each half for the visitors who showed more quality in the final third to come away with the win.
After a bright start from both sides that yielded little in the way of chances, Andy Fleming nearly put the home side ahead in style with a quarter of the game gone, but saw a curling 25-yard effort tipped over the bar by Jason Leutwiler at full stretch.
It was then Ryan Williams’ turn to have a go from distance shortly after but his well struck shot was always rising and went comfortably over the bar.
Alex Kenyon then nearly scored at the wrong end on the half hour, turning a Mustapha Carayol centre narrowly wide of Andreas Arestidou’s right-hand post.
And the former Lancaster City skipper had a hand in the visitors taking the lead five minutes before the break.
Kenyon’s pass 30 yards from goal was pounced on by Grant Leadbitter who fed Emnes and the Dutchman brilliantly turned one defender on the edge of the area before rounding Arestidou to put Tomy Mowbray’s side in front.
The visitors nearly made it two after the restart, Arestidou getting down well low to his right to tip a Lukas Jutkiewicz effort round the post.
The former Everton youngster then should have put Boro ahead but couldn’t direct the ball home from close range after getting on the end of a left-wing cross at the back post.
The Championship continued to open up the Shrimps, Arestidou once again called into action on 56 minutes, tipping a drilled Andy Halliday effort from range round the post.
The home side weren’t without openings of their own, continuing to try and put passes together, but Danny Carlton could only blaze over when he found space on the right-side of the area on 66 minutes.
It was the visitors who always looked the more likely to get the game’s second goal and they got it four minutes from time. Adam Jackson’s header from a corner hit the underside of the bar and might have gone over the line but it didn’t matter as McDonald was on hand to nod home from a yard out.
Morecambe: Arestidou (Roche 68), Wright, Hughes (Doyle 72), McCready (Diagne 45), Threlfall, Kenyon (Drummond 55), Williams, Fleming (McGee 55), Carlton (Mwasile 72), Marshall (Ellison 61), Sampson (Amond 72). Subs: McGowan.
Middlesbrough: Leutwiler (Steele 45), Parnaby (Bennett 77), Halliday (Burgess 77), Williams (Jackson 86), Gibson, Whitehead (Dolan 77), Leadbitter (Reach 63), Varga (Brobbel 77), Jutkiewicz (McDonald 63), Emnes (Smallwood 63), Carayol (Ledesma 63).
Referee: Jeremy Simpson