Morecambe face a potentially pivotal match in their bid to pull away from League Two’s relegation places this weekend.
The Shrimps, who sit third-bottom of the table and are only one point ahead of second-bottom Macclesfield Town, travel to Port Vale.
Their hosts sit 20th in the division, four points ahead of the Shrimps and with a new manager in former Macc and Shrewsbury Town boss John Askey.
Jim Bentley’s players go into the game looking for only their second victory in 14 league matches after losing against Bury last weekend.
A 3-2 defeat looks close on paper but Morecambe were three down after an hour with defensive errors gifting the Shakers two of their goals.
Despite scoring twice in five minutes to give themselves hope of a point, Bentley’s players fell short.
“It just fizzled out in the end,” the Morecambe boss said.
“There were a couple of bizarre decisions where the ball went in the box and he blew for a foul.
“These are the things that go against you when you’re at the bottom.
“We were beaten by the better side but we didn’t help ourselves at times.”
They also lost Sam Lavelle and Andrew Tutte to injuries but have received a rare piece of good news on that front this week.
Club captain Barry Roche has returned to full training after three-and-a-half months on the sidelines.
Having picked up a thigh injury in the draw at Newport County in late October, the keeper then underwent a wrist operation.
He said: “It was hard work because I’ve been out for so long but it was excellent to be back out there.
“It feels like it’s been a long, long time since I’ve been out there with the lads.”