No Change At Accrington
Tuesday 6th March 2018 19.45hrs
Morecambe visited The Crown Ground in East Lancashire this evening to replay the fixture abandoned last December as the ground there became waterlogged. As is almost invariably the case, Stanley were winning at the time. This is because the Shrimps` record against their eastern Red Rose rivals is absolutely dire. They lost the reverse fixture at the Globe Arena last September. This meant that Stanley have now clocked-up thirteen wins out of twenty-one League Two games in all. Morecambe have won only three of these.
Ex-Shrimps leading scorer John Coleman`s men had reached the dizzying heights of second in the division prior to tonight`s contest. Jim Bentley`s team, by sharp contrast, were just two places above the relegation places.
In front of a disappointingly low crowd for a local derby of fewer than two thousand, the match started at a cracking pace and Stanley had the lion`s share of the play, not for the first time. After good interplay between Scott Brown and Billy Kee, Sean McConville forced a great save from Barry Roche after fifteen minutes, obliging Morecambe`s huge Irish goalkeeper to get down low to his left and turn a stinging shot away to safety with a firm hand. Two minutes later, Baz had to be on his toes again when he rushed out of his goal quickly to deny Kayden Jackson with his feet. At the other end, Morecambe had offered little. Shots from Aaron McGowan and Gregg Wylde both failed to test Stanley`s goalkeeper and a Dean Winnard header from a corner also missed the target after 22 minutes. Thirty-seven minutes had passed before Aaron Chapman in the home goal actually had a shot to deal with, this time from Adam McGurk who had failed to control the ball, which basically then rolled straight into his gloves. Two minutes later, Wylde hit the target with another shot after good approach play by Kevin Ellison and Luke Conlan but it was straight at the goalkeeper, who saved easily. It looked as if the visitors might hold-out until the break but in injury time, Winnard was adjudged to have fouled Jackson in the Shrimps` penalty area and Kee converted from the spot.
The first chance of the second period fell to Ellison, who sent a volley narrowly over the bar after 47 minutes. With fifty-five minutes on the clock, Jordan Clark and Kee combined to allow Brown another attempt on goal but a superb block from Winnard deflected the ball away for a corner. Roche was tested after an hour by ex-team mate Mark Hughes but was equal to his looping header from another corner kick. At the other end, just a minute later, Alex Kenyon`s header from yet another corner went tantalisingly right across the Accrington goal but missed the target by a whisper. Ten minutes later, Morecambe came the closest they had all night to an equaliser when Steven Old`s header was hacked off the line by the combined efforts of the Stanley defence. But Kee was the next to force Roche into action down the other end, provoking another good save from the big man after 74 minutes. Unusually, a few minutes later, the match was stopped by the referee because of an injury to one of his linesmen, who had to leave the field to be replaced by the Fourth Official. Jackson had an excellent chance to seal the victory for the hosts in the final minute but fired straight at Big Baz. There were six minutes of injury time because of an injury to Old after his blocked header and the time it took to replace the match official. Kee took the opportunity to shoot again during the first minute to be added-on but his shot was blocked. Up the other end, the visitors huffed and puffed in their search to retrieve something from the match - and failed. Again. You really do wonder if there is a mental block in Shrimps` players minds as far as their nearest geographical rival is concerned. They now have a double over Morecambe this season and found themselves just one point behind leaders Luton. With Forest Green drawing at Newport tonight, the Shrimps blew the opportunity to overtake them with a win. But `win`; `Morecambe` and `Accrington Stanley` are rarely words which feature in the same sentence in the Shrimps` favour - and tonight was no exception in a game which lacked much quality.
Accrington Stanley: 1 Aaron Chapman; 26 Callum Johnson; 3 Mark Hughes; 2 Jimmy Dunne; 4 Janoi Donacien; 28 Seamus Conneely (C); 8 Scott Brown (Y); 7 Jordan Clark; 11 Sean McConville; 10 Kayden Jackson (Y); 29 Billy Kee.
Subs not used: 16 Jonny Maxted; 5 Ben Richards-Everton; 6 Liam Nolan; 32 Harvey Rodgers; 12 Danny Williams; 17 Erico Sousa; 9 Offrande Zanzala.
Morecambe: 1 Barry Roche; 6 Dean Winnard; 2 Aaron McGowan; 5 Steven Old (Y); 15 Aaron Wildig (29 Callum Lang 57 mins); 24 Michael Rose (C)(Y); 4 Alex Kenyon (8 Andy Fleming 61 mins); 28 Adam McGurk (7 Garry Thompson 74 mins); 14 Luke Conlan; 21 Gregg Wylde 11 Kevin Ellison.
Subs not used: 12 Danijel Nizic; 16 Sam Lavelle; 10 Adam Campbell; 17 Mitchell Lund.