RONNIE Moore’s unbeaten start as Hartlepool United has ended after a 2-0 defeat to Morecambe at Victoria Park.
A brace from Jack Redshaw, who scored in either half, sealed the win for Jim Bentley’s side as the gap to safety increased for struggling Pools.
Pools are now eight points off third bottom in Sky Bet League Two.
Moore was forced into making two changes to the side that picked up a point in the Boxing Day draw at Mansfield Town.
In came Brad Walker into central midfield for the suspended Michael Woods, who serves a one-match ban, while Scott Fenwick started alongside Joe Ironside in attack instead of the suspended Marlon Harewood.
Harewood was given a straight red card in the 1-1 draw at Mansfield and is serving a three-match ban.
It was a slow start to the match at a freezing cold Victoria Park, with the first attempt on goal not coming until the 10th minute.
Morecambe striker Paul Mullin picked the ball up 30-yards from goal before executing a well-controlled shot which Scott Flinders palmed into the air.
Pools had been sitting deep and inviting pressure but Michael Duckworth’s probing runs pushed them further up the pitch.
Scott Fenwick forced keeper Scott Davies in a save with a close range header following a deep Matthew Bates cross.
Moore’s side were enjoying their best spell when Jim Bentley’s Morecambe took the lead in the 22nd minute.
Referee Darren Drysdale played an advantage in the centre circle, the ball fell to Jack REDSHAW on the edge of the penalty area who curled home a fantastic strike from 20-yards.
Pools didn’t force Davies into another stop until the 38th minute, Walker’s 20-yard free-kick comfortably tipped over the crossbar.
Jonathan Franks then rashly shot high and wide in the 43rd minute after doing all the hard work to create the chance in the first place.
Half-Time: Pools 0 Morecambe 1
Pools showed far more attacking intent in the early stages of the second-half but failed to test Davies.
Neil Austin dragging a shot wide while Duckworth nodded wide under pressure at the back post following a deep Franks cross.
Duckworth was hooked a little over an hour, the right-back playing his second game in three days after a month out with a groin injury.
Sidney Schmeltz came on tasked with inspiring a Pools comeback and he showed plenty of purpose down the right-hand side.
Pools though were struggling to break down a stubbon Morecambe side who looked dangerous on the break.
Ryan Williams almost doubled their lead in the 71st minute, his whipped free-kick had to be punched over the crossbar by an alert Flinders.
The game was over in the 81st minute when REDSHAW netted his and Morecambe’s second of the match in the 81st minute.
Morecambe caught Moore’s side on the break and Redshaw combined with sub Kevin Ellison before tucking home the second.
It was another desperate performance from the home side.
Full-Time: Pools 0 Morecambe 2
Pools (4-4-2): Flinders (C), Austin, Bates, Jones, Holden, Duckworth (Schmeltz, 62), Walker, Featherstone, Franks, Fenwick (Compton, 74), Ironside.
Subs Not Used: Maxted, Nearney, Lanzoni, Hawkins, Green.
Booked: Fenwick (35), Holden (80), Jones (90)
Morecambe (3-5-2): Davies, Hughes(C), Edwards, Williams, Goodall, Wilson (Beeley, 63), McGowan, Parrish, McCready (Drummond, 71), Redshaw, Mullin (Ellison, 58).
Subs Not Used: Arestidou, Devitt, Kenyon, Amond.
Booked: Mullin (43), Ellison (90), Williams (90).
Goal: Redshaw (22, 81)
Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire)
Attendance: 4,108 (189 Morecambe)