Morecambe Rose To The Occasion - Again.
Saturday 17th April 2017 1500 hrs
Colchester United and Morecambe have only ever played each other once before, when they shared a 2-2 draw in Essex last October. John McGreal`s side were ninth coming into Easter Monday`s game at the Globe Arena and still have at least vague ambitions of ending the season in the Play-Off positions. Morecambe - on the other hand- must be happy (given all the on-going nonsense which has plagued the club off the field this season) to have accrued enough points to keep them in League Two this time around.
The U`s had the first chance of the Bank Holiday game when, following a corner in the second minute, George Elokobi had an attempt brilliantly blocked by Alex Whitmore, who slid along the goal-line to keep the ball out. Down the other end, Kevin Ellison played-in Aaron Wildig with a clever pass after seven minutes but his shot was well saved by Sam Walker in the United goal. Ellison was again the provider after eleven minutes and when he crossed from the right, Aaron McGowan headed the ball down and Paul Mullin blasted it narrowly over the bar. With almost quarter of an hour played, there was controversy when Ellison put the ball in the net from a long throw only for the linesman to very belatedly put his flag up for off-side. But having soaked-up pressure from the Shrimps for most of the game so far, Colchester took the lead after 22 minutes when Richard Brindley scored direct from a free-kick with a powerful shot right into the top corner of the net from twenty yards out. There were a few half-chances to either side after the goal but the most notable incident occurred when Tarique Fosu-Henry dramatically threw himself to the ground in the Morecambe penalty area after 24 minutes and was rightly booked for an outrageous attempt to hoodwink the referee into awarding a spot-kick.
Having gone in nil-one down, Morecambe might have been expected to up the ante during the second half but, if anything, United played the better football at least initially and had the best of very few chances. Following a good move down their right after fifty minutes, Drey Wright`s effort was deflected over the bar. Seven minutes later, following an excellent Brindley run down the wing which led to a corner, Tom Eastman also managed to miss the target, again hitting the ball over the crossbar. From another corner after 70 minutes, Shrimps stopper Danijel Nizic dropped the ball but the cheat Fosu also managed to hit the ball over the Morecambe bar. It wasn`t entirely one-way traffic however and Alex Kenyon had a reasonable attempt after seventy-three minutes which only narrowly missed as the home team started to apply concerted pressure on the Colchester rearguard. This finally paid off with only three minutes still scheduled to play when Alex Wynter brought down substitute Antony Evans in the penalty area and Michael Rose coolly slipped the ball low into the corner of the goal from the penalty spot as Walker dived the other way. So the match ended the same as the previous encounter: in a draw which was probably a fair reflection on play today. The point consolidated Morecambe`s position in seventeenth spot; United dropped a place to tenth.
Morecambe: 12 Danijel Nizic; 6 Dean Winnard (Y); 4 Alex Kenyon (8 Peter Murphy 83 mins); 16 Alex Whitmore (Y); 3 Aaron McGowan; 17 Andy Fleming; 19 Michael Duckworth; 24 Michael Rose (C); 11 Kevin Ellison; 15 Aaron Wildig (21 Antony Evans 45 mins); 7 Paul Mullin.
Substitutes not used: 20 Nial Maher; 2 Liam Wakefield; 10 Lee Molyneux; 14 Luke Conlan; 18 Rhys Turner.
Colchester United: 1 Sam Walker; 18 Tom Eastman; 35 Cameron James; 15 George Elokobi; 2 Richard Brindley; 8 Doug Loft (Y) (14 Alex Wynter 76 mins); 23 Sean Murray; 11 Ben Dickenson; 7 Drey Wright (27 Rekeil Pyke 90 mins); 31 Tarique Fosu-Henry (Y) (32 Tommy O`Sullivan 82 mins); 9 Chris Porter.
Subs not used: 29 Dean Brill; 3 Matthew Briggs; 33 Lewis Kinsella; 44 David Wright.
Ref: Seb Stockbridge.