A second successive home league defeat put a dent in Burton Albion's promotion aspirations as doughty fighters Morecambe ground out a second win in a row at the Pirelli Stadium thanks to second half goals from Kevin Ellison and Alex Kenyon. The two goals in as many minutes either side of the hour mark took the wind out of Albion's sails after a first half which Burton dominated but without getting the crucial opening goal.
After originally naming an unchanged side when the teamsheets were exchanged Gary Rowett was forced into a swap during the pre-match warm when John Mousinho had to be helped from the field by physio Nick Fenton and Lee Bell. Shane Cansdell-Sherriff, originally named as a substitute was thrust back into action after a bout of flu with Liam Slade promoted to the bench.
The first real opening came on five minutes with Morecambe keeper Barry Roche making a good save to keep things level. Lucas Akins advanced down the right and worked the ball across the edge of the box where Robbie Weir took a touch before drilling a low shot to Roche's right.
Morecambe came close when a jinking run by left back Joe Widdowson caused problems but a combination of Alex MacDonald and Jon McLaughlin at the near post snuffed out the danger.
MacDonald was then to be found delivering a low corner kick in from the left and Adam McGurk made a good run to the near post to flick a shot over the angle of post and bar.
Burton continued to press and MacDonald was just unable to gather in a low cross from Akins but on 28 minutes the midfielder almost added to his goal from last week when Weir picked him out with a right wing cross, MacDonald's header too close to Roche to cause him any real problems.
The goal Albion had been threatening really should have come their way on 34 minutes. MacDonald made a fool of the defender trying to shepherd the ball out and a low cross from the bye line picked out Blyth who took a touch before firing in a low shot that was blocked coming out for Akins who also fired at goal only to be denied by Andy Parrish on the line before McGurk fired over the bar.
After his rip-snorting free kick against Northampton last week another chance came his way on 40 minutes when Weir was felled by Kevin Ellison thirty yards out. This time his free kick was low and fast and with Roche at full stretch he pinged it just wide of the post.
It was the last meaningful action of a half that was lacking in terms of real quality and in need of a spark after the break.
Half time: Burton Albion 0-0 Morecambe
Ellison almost provided that much needed spark of quality with just thirty seconds of the second half elapsed. Letting fly from 30 yards his shot was arrowing towards the top corner before McLaughlin got across and palmed the ball away to safety.
Blyth was just inches away from connecting with a cross form MacDonald as Albion responded quickly. Rowett also responded quickly with an early substitution with just five minutes of the half gone, Adam McGurk going off to be replaced by Stuart Beavon.
The substitute was quickly involved escaping down the right and crossing low where Blyth scuffed his shot.
It proved to be a big chance to miss as Morecambe took a stranglehold on the game around the hour mark. There looked to be a foul on Phil Edwards in the build up to the opening goal on the Albion right and when the cross was not cut out effectively Padraig Amond surprisingly won the header at the back post to find an unmarked ELLISON in the middle, the experienced winger blasting home gleefully from ten yards.
Three minutes later and the visitors bagged a second. Ellison was again involved with a powerful header from Jamie Devitt's corner and when the ball was only partially cleared Alex KENYON was on hand to pounce and poke home from close range.
Albion quickly threw on Marcus Harness for Lucas Akins and with more than twenty minutes to go the Brewers had used up their full complement of substitutes with Dominic Knowles coming on as an extra attacker in place of Robbie Weir.
There was a subdued atmosphere around the Pirelli as a shell-shocked Brewers tried in vain to get a goal that would give them a foothold back in the game but instead it was Morecambe who almost grabbed a third with ten minutes to play, Ellison drilling a low shot towards the near post where a touch was required from McLoughlin to keep it at two.
MacDonald warmed the palms of Roche with a low driven shot, latching onto a pass from Harness.
Unfortunately from an Albion perspective Roche's second half had been relatively straightforward with Albion failing to seriously test the stopper and the afternoon was prolonged by five added minutes during which the Brewers still failed to get so much as a consolation and a first blank of the season at home in the league.