Crewe Alexandra 5 Morecambe 0
New Morecambe boss Derek Adams will have a much clearer idea of the task he is facing after seeing his side crushed by Crewe at Gresty Road.
Adams had seen an improvement in the Shrimps’ performances in recent weeks.
But he would have been shocked by the ease with which Crewe controlled the game, scoring five and hitting the woodwork three times as Morecambe moved back to the bottom of League Two.
Morecambe were not helped by a straight red card for Sam Lavelle in the first half that saw them reduced to 10 men.
But even before then they were second best against a well drilled Crewe side managed by former Shrimps’ favourite Dave Artell.
Artell’s behaviour as he showed Lavelle the way to the dressing room left a lot to be desired.
Adams named the same side that drew 1-1 at Crawley.
But unfortunately for the new boss his side failed to produce a performance anywhere near as promising as the one seven days earlier.
After a pretty even opening Crewe took the lead on 23 minutes when Ryan Wintle lifted a lovely ball to the far post for Oliver Finney to get ahead of George Tanner to nod his first league goal for the club.
It was 2-0 on 31 minutes when Tom Lowery tried his luck from 25 yards out with a right-foot shot that took a wicked deflection off Luke Conlan to wrong-foot the helpless Halstead.
Matters got worse for the Shrimps when they were reduced to 10 men moments later when Lavelle was shown a straight red card for a tackle on Harry Pickering.
An uphill battle became a mountain to climb five minutes later when Crewe made it-3-0 as Charlie Kirk cut inside from the left and unleashed a rocket of a shot which seemed to take another deflection to steer the ball past Halstead.
In the final moments of the half it could have got worse for the Shrimps as Pickering and Lowery both hit the woodwork as the Alex dominated.
The home side made it 4-0 just before the hour when Wintle beat Halstead with a superb strike from 20 yards out.
Kirk hit the woodwork for the third time for the home side, before Finney wrapped it up late on with a right-foot finish from the edge of the area after a Crewe shot was deflected into his path to add salt to the Shrimps’ deep wounds.
Crewe: Jaaskelainen; Ng, Mbulu, Hunt, Pickering; Wintle, Lowery (Jones 61), Finney; Dale (Ainley 61), Porter (Anene 61), Kirk.
Subs not used: Richards, Johnson, Green, Powell.
Morecambe: Halstead; Sutton, Lavelle, Old, Tanner Brewitt; Kenyon (O’Sullivan 46), Wildig (Ellison 74), Conlan; Stockton, Alessandra (Cranston 46). Subs not used: Roche, Tutte, Leitch-Smith.
Referee: M Coy.