Cambridge United were beaten 1-2 by Morecambe in their final home game of the 2018/19 season, despite a fine free kick from Tom Knowles late in the encounter.
Jevani Brown and Harrison Dunk stepped into the starting eleven as a pair of changes made to the side by Head Coach Colin Calderwood.
Hayden Coulson’s snap shot inside five minutes clipped the frame of Mark Halstead’s goal as the U’s looked to have started the brightest. That was until Aaron Collins directed Morecambe’s first corner of the game at close range, after Piero Mingoia’s delivery had rattled around the United 18 yard box.
The Shrimps perhaps should have doubled their advantage from their second corner too on 12 minutes, with poor defending from United leaving Steven Old unmarked at the back post who fired over on this occasion.
A tidy turn on the ball from Jevani Brown opened up the Morecambe defence before the forward slid a pass across the 18 yard box for Coulson, who had his low strike blocked from eight yards.
The U’s best chance to level before the break came when Brown was toppled over by Old inside the box, but the United saw his resulting attempt from the penalty spot tipped around the pot by Halstead.
Coulson flashed a shot fractions wide of the far post having beat full back Luke Conlan with a hurt of pace during first half stoppage time with the U’s trailing at the break.
Alex Jones replaced Hepburn-Murphy at half time and was quick to get involved in the action, flicking an in-swinging Harrison Dunk cross over the top with a header.
The U’s continued to push forward as the second half progressed with Brown and Coulson firing off mid-range efforts that looked to have the beating of Halstead but couldn’t pick out the target, and United failed to really test the Shrimps goalkeeper as the game approached the latter stages.
Dimitar Mitov, who had remained relatively quiet for the majority of the match, denied Jordan Cranston initially with a fine parry but was unable to stop the midfielder one on one with three minutes to play as United committed too many bodies forward in search of an equaliser.
U’s substitute Tom Knowles curled a superb free kick around the Morecambe wall from 25 yards out which finally bulged the Shrimps net into four minutes of injury time, and it proved too late to spark a United fightback.
Cambridge United: Mitov, Davies, Darling, John, Dunk (Knowles, 78 mins), Deegan, Lewis (Ibehre, 78 mins), Amoo, Coulson, Brown, Hepburn-Murphy (Jones, 45 mins)
Morecambe: Halstead, Conlan, Old, Fleming, Oliver (Bennett, 74 mins), Sutton, Lavelle, McKay (Kenyon, 74 mins), Mingoia, Cranston, Collins (Ellison, 87 mins)
Bookings: Lavelle, Cranston
Attendance: 4,083 (109)
Man of the Match: Hayden Coulson