Delighted Derek Adams says his Morecambe side are beginning to look up not down after a vital 2-0 win at Walsall moved the struggling Shrimpers four points clear of bottom-placed Stevenage.
Steven Old’s bullet header and Carlos Mendes-Gomes’ stoppage-time solo goal gave Adams a first away win and a first clean sheet since he took over in November.
Morecambe remain 23rd but are now just two points behind Macclesfield in 22nd, and with only one side to be relegated from Sky Bet League Two this season, Adams is optimistic.
“We are only sixth points off 18th now and I’ve always said if we can catch the teams above us we are going to make a few teams nervous,” said Adams.
“It was an important win tonight because three points is vital as everyone knows in this league. It can quickly move yourself in the right direction.
“It was an absolute stunning performance from us, the way we passed the ball and created chances from start to finish. Over the 90 minutes, we were far superior to Walsall on the night.
“Our performances away from home have been very good but we haven’t been able to pick up the points that we’ve probably deserved.
“Tonight we’ve picked up the points and we’ve deserved to win the match.”
Adams admitted on-loan keeper Christoffer Mafoumbi’s first-half penalty save was a key moment, the Congo international saving Wes McDonald’s spot-kick on just his second Shrimps appearance.
“It was vital because we were, at that stage, well on top,” added Adams. “That proved the story as Christoffer had no saves to make apart from the penalty.”
Dan Scarr hit a post for Walsall at 1-0 but boss Darrell Clarke was angry at McDonald – who was tripped by Toumani Diagouraga to win the spot-kick – for overruling designated taker Josh Gordon.
Clarke said: “What should have happened is that Josh Gordon should have taken the penalty. I’m not going to make a massive thing of it because I will deal with it in house.
“Wes has been magnificent for me since he’s been at the football club. He obviously felt confident and ready to take it but that’s not the way we work.
“I’m thoroughly disappointed that he chose to take it and even more disappointed that he’s missed – but he’s held his hands up in the changing room.
“He’s been our match-winner on numerous occasions and he will learn.”
On the overall display, he conceded: “It was a shocker. We can’t excuse that performance. After the penalty miss, we got very, very sloppy and conceded another goal from a set-piece.
“We have shot ourselves in the foot on numerous occasions this season and until we start cutting that out we will be nowhere near the top half of the table.”