Accrington Stanley claimed the bragging rights over Morecambe again, beating their local rivals 2-1 at the Store First Stadium.
Captain Luke Joyce set Stanley on their way to victory with an early penalty and Shay McCartan’s 25-yard drive put the Reds in command after just 11 minutes.
Paul Mullin pulled a goal back for the Shrimps after half-time but it was not enough as John Coleman’s side held on for a vital three points.
It means that Stanley have won their last four games against the Shrimps and are now unbeaten in 16 league games against their closest rivals.
Coleman made one enforced change from last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Newport County – the injured Anthony Barry dropped out of the matchday squad to be replaced by McCartan in the starting line-up.
In the opening minutes, John O’Sullivan bamboozled former Stanley man Laurence Wilson, weaved his way into the box and drew a foul from Alan Goodall, leaving the referee with no option but to point to the spot.
Joyce took responsibility for the penalty and promptly sent Scott Davies the wrong way to put Stanley ahead with his third goal of the season.
Barely five minutes later, it was double delight as O’Sullivan’s pass found McCartan, who drove in a shot from range that flashed past Davies and into the bottom corner before the goalkeeper could move.
McCartan threatened a third following a slick Stanley move involving Nicky Hunt, O’Sullivan, Sean Maguire and Lee Molyneux but Alex Kenyon was in the right place to clear the danger.
Andy Procter then saw an effort blocked and the Shrimps immediately raced down the other end with Paul Mullin escaping the Reds rearguard but a superb last-ditch tackle from Tom Aldred denied the striker a shot at goal.
The sides traded opportunities as visiting skipper Mark Hughes blocked a Maguire shot before Mullin hit a long-range shot into the arms of Jesse Joronen.
Stanley could have extended their lead further when Maguire peeled off his marker at the back post to meet Molyneux’s cross but the header lacked conviction and Davies made light work of the catch.
A chance fell to Procter shortly after when he sprang the Morecambe offside trap and raced into a 50/50 with Davies but fortunately for the visiting goalkeeper the ball span out of play for a goal-kick before the midfielder could pounce for his first goal since returning to the club in August.
Jim Bentley’s side were coming into the match, Kenyon shot into Joronen’s chest from 30 yards before Aldred was on hand to clear a Mullin cross from inside the six-yard box with former Reds striker Padraig Amond waiting to capitalise on any mistake.
Maguire had the last attempt of the half, forcing Davies to tip a shot around the post with Stanley leading 2-0 at the interval.
The Shrimps came out revitalised for the second half with Kevin Ellison’s free-kick whistling wide and Joronen tipping over another effort from the Morecambe winger – it was a warning shot that the home side did not heed.
Joronen was taken from the field on a stretcher after injuring himself making the second save from Ellison and the first thing that his replacement, Luke Simpson, had to do was pick the ball out of the back of the net as Mullin headed home from close range to bring the visitors back into the game.
Momentum was with Stanley’s Lancashire rivals and they could have equalised when Amond headed over from a free-kick with Simpson in no man’s land.
Stanley managed to turn the tide and create pressure of their own with Morecambe grateful to Davies for keeping them in the game, turning Molyneux’s shot around the post and tipping a close-range Marcus Carver header over the bar.
Molyneux drove a shot over from range before Morecambe came within inches of an equalising goal.
Kenyon tried an acrobatic effort that flew just wide of the upright with Simpson reduced to a spectator.
John Coleman’s side could have wrapped up the three points as Carver raced onto underhit backpass from Shaun Beeley but his slide-rule finish rolled agonisingly across the face of goal with no player in a Red shirt there to turn the ball home.
Molyneux’s cute pass slipped Maguire in on goal but Davies came to Morecambe’s rescue again, pulling off a smart save low down to his left.
Following the injury to Joronen and a raft of substitutions, seven minutes were added on at the end of the second half but the Reds defended superbly to secure another hard-earned win over their rivals.
Stanley: Joronen (Simpson 50); Hunt, Aldred, Atkinson, Winnard; Joyce, Procter; O’Sullivan (Gray 77), McCartan (Carver 65), Molyneux; Maguire.
Subs not used: Liddle, Windass, Hatfield, Mingoia.
Attendance: 1,710 (307 away)