Morecambe Ladies went down 1-0 at Stockport County in the Women’s Premier League Division Northern Division One on Sunday.
Despite the defeat, Nick Barrett’s side are all but assured of safety with Norton and Stockton Vixens needing a mathematical miracle to overhaul them.
The Shrimpettes have two games to play and are three points clear with a far superior goal difference and a game in hand on the North East side who just have a solitary game to play.
Sheffield United Community are already relegated having picked up just five points all season.
As for Sunday’s game, the hosts had the better of the early exchanges with stand-in ‘keeper Sammie Hindle quickly out to deny Jancyah Webb as she bared down on goal.
At the other end Hannah Paling brought a fine save from Leanne Ashton-Smith in the Stockport goal, her long shot was heading for the top corner with the keeper pushing the ball onto the post and reclaiming the rebound.
For Stockport Katherine Jones looked dangerous, bring a save from Hindle with a left-foot shot from the edge of the area.
With six goals between them last week for Morecambe, Megan Doherty and Emma Kay were seeing little of the ball up front.
Kay soon had to depart injured, replaced by Georgia Lupton, and the substitute was straight into the action with a low cross finding Doherty but her effort went wide of the near post.
After a scrappy opening period Lupton got on the end of Dannii Cross’s ball through and scored only to see her effort ruled out for offside early in the second period.
Morecambe were taking the game to the hosts but it was Stockport who went in front shortly after the hour mark.
Grace Campbell picked up a loose ball and seeing Chantelle Parry making a run, she sent the ball forward over the head of Jo Norris and Parry nipped in and lobbed the Morecambe ‘keeper to give the home side the lead.
Stockport then looked to hammer home their advantage with a shot going over and another rattling the post.
For Morecambe, Lupton fired over but there was little pattern in the scrappy play, as Stockport were ultimately comfortable in victory.
Morecambe Ladies next head to Chester-le-Street this Sunday, May 3, before finishing their season at Sheffield United on May 17.