Accrington Stanley 1 Morecambe 0
Stanley claimed their fifth home League Two win of the season to move within a point of the Shrimpers, as the 20 year-old midfielder cracked home from distance.
Ryan, the Republic of Ireland Under-21 starlet, latched onto Kallum Higginbotham's pass before crashing home into the bottom right-hand corner from distance after 57 minutes.
The hosts had the lion's share of the play in East Lancashire, as captain Paul Mullin was thwarted early by Morecambe keeper Barry Roche.
Roche was called into action again, brilliantly saving eventual goal-scorer Ryan's 27th minute free-kick. He also had to thwart lively midfielder Andy Proctor's shot just before the break.
Stanley kept up the pressure at the start of the second half, and it was just over ten minutes before they breached the visiting defence.
Higginbotham played in Ryan three minutes before the hour mark, and the former Shrewsbury man finally beat Roche from all of 25 yards.
Morecambe, who remain above of their county neighbours in mid-table, struggled to gain any kind of momentum at any stage through the 90 minutes.
Although Accrington have been wayward at home for all of 2008/9, they were never really pressurised here.
Sammy McIlroy will be disappointed that his troops had just one shot on target, although substitute striker Matthew Blinkhorn could have grabbed an undeserved point with three minutes left.
But the former Blackpool man flashed his header wide of the right-hand upright from Craig Stanley's cross.