MORECAMBE boss Sammy McIlroy was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief after his side shocked League Two table-toppers Chesterfield to pick up their first win in 10 games on Saturday.
A superb strike from the Shrimps’ former Spireites midfielder Kevan Hurst and a well taken second half goal from Jimmy Spencer sealed Morecambe’s first away victory since early January as Morecambe produced one of the shock results of the day.
After a shocking performance at Macclesfield a few days earlier it was a much needed win as McIlroy readily admitted.
He said: “It was a fantastic performance. The boys were magnificent and it was a thoroughly deserved result.
“From one to 11 they were magnificent. Now we’ve just got to kick on from here.
“A clean sheet does everyone the world of good, especially coming to the top of the table and I’m so pleased for my boys.
“We should take heart from a performance like this and I will be very disappointed if we don’t because this was one of our stiffest tasks of late and we are going home with three points.
“If this doesn’t give us a boost I don’t know what will.”
McIlroy made a number of changes to the side that performed so poorly at Moss Road with Danny Carlton given his third debut for the Shrimps alongside Spencer in a new look frontline which worked extremely well with its movement causing the Chesterfield defence problems all afternoon.
But it was in midfield where Morecambe dominated with Stewart Drummond and Andy Fleming controlling the game and dominating an unusually ragged home side.
After a quiet opening Morecambe showed their intentions with Spencer seeing an effort blocked by Derek Niven and Drummond firing over the bar before Chesterfield worried the Morecambe defence with the always dangerous Jack Lester skipping past two challenges but shooting tamely at Barry Roche.
It was another former Chesterfield player who was to make his mark on the game however when the again impressive Hurst opened the scoring on 22 minutes.
The on loan Carlisle man scored his second Morecambe goal with a superb 25 yard drive which beat Tommy Lee low to his right from 25 yards.
Surprisingly Chesterfield failed to respond with a late Niven strike their only meaningful effort in the first half for the home side.
The Shrimps continued to provide a threat with Kieran Charnock unable to make the most of a free header at the far post with a header that was easily gathered by Lee.
But it wasn’t long before Morecambe doubled their lead just before the hour.
Kieran Djilali lost the ball and Morecambe worked it over from their right.
Hurst knocked it back into the danger area and as the Chesterfield defence dithered around a bouncing ball Spencer showed a great instinct by lifting the ball over Lee from around eight yards to extend the Shrimps’ lead.
It was the first time the Shrimps had had a two goal lead for some time and they did their utmost to hang on to it as Chesterfield struggled to produce a response.
Craig Davies did have the ball in the net after robbing Roche of possession but he was adjudged to have fouled the Morecambe keeper and was booked for his efforts.
Substitute Scott Boden, who scored a late equaliser for Chesterfield the last time these two sides met, produced two late efforts but the Shrimps went close to adding a third when Laurence Wilson was denied by Lee.
In the end the Morecambe defence kept its first clean sheet in 12 games as Chesterfield failed to score for the first time in their impressive new stadium and as McIlroy said, hopefully they can move forward and produce similar form at home this weekend against Southend.
Chesterfield: Lee, Holden, Robertson, Breckin, Talbot; Niven (rep Lowry 76), Morris, Djilali (Boden 59), Smalley; Davies, Lester (Whittaker 59): Subs not used: Redmond, Griffiths, Vidal, Bowery.
Booked: Holden, Davies.
Morecambe: Roche 7; Parrish 7, Charnock 7, McCready 7, Wilson 7; Hurst 7 (Wainwright 75), Drummond 8, Fleming 7, Hunter 7, Carlton 7 (Jevons 78), Spencer 7 (Hendrie 83). Subs not used: Walker (GK), Bentley, Brown, Cowperthwaite.
Booked: Wilson, Jevons.
Ref: B Malone (Wiltshire)
Star man: Stewart Drummond - Controlled the midfield in tandem with the improving Andy Fleming.