Morecambe 0-2 Plymouth Argyle
Houghton 14 Matt 47
Ten-men Morecambe suffered their second defeat in a row on Friday afternoon, as they lost to a strong Plymouth side challenging for promotion.
The game started half an hour later than usual due to bad traffic on the motorway, and it was the away side, who had a 650 mile round trip, that had the better start to the game.
Plymouth had a number of chances in the first ten minutes of the game. Graham Carey shot just over the bar in the 2nd minute when he looked to have more time than he thought he had as he was in plenty of space, and Jamille Matt tested Kieran O’Hara with a shot that the keeper had to get down to and a big chance that went into the side netting.
Derek Adams’ side eventually took the lead in the fourteenth minute through Jordan Houghton, who drilled a good right-footed shot from just outside the box into the bottom left-hand corner.
Morecambe failed to settle into the game in the moments following the goal, with Plymouth having a good share of the possession and many Morecambe passes being intercepted. However they did have their first chance in the 19th minute when Tom Barkhuizen latched onto the end of a good long ball but his shot went straight into the hands of Luke McCormick as he didn’t connect with the ball well enough.
Midway through the first half the home side did manage to settle into the game with some good spells of play, and a particular focus on long balls forward. The Shrimps should’ve taken the lead in the 42nd minute, when Shaun Beeley took the ball forward and put in a good ball into the box but Lee Molyneux could only head wide at the far post.
Moments later Morecambe found themselves on the attack again in their quest for an equaliser before half time. Barkhuizen made a cracking run with the ball on the right hand side but he could only shoot wide after having only the keeper to beat.
The home side suffered a sucker punch just before half time as they found themselves down to ten men. Alex Kenyon was sent off for an alleged two-footed tackle on Carl McHugh, much to the disgust of many Morecambe fans and the player himself, who thought that he’d won the ball. Plymouth led 1-0 at the break.
Morecambe made two changes at the start of the second half with Kevin Ellison and Connor Oliver coming on for Lee Molyneux and Jamie Devitt. These substitutes didn’t have an early affect, as Plymouth doubled their lead two minutes into the second half. The away side hit the Shrimps on the counter attack, and a good ball along the ground met Fleetwood loanee Jamille Matt, who was able to slot home from close range.
Following the goal, there weren’t really any moments of significance for the next fifteen minutes however in the 66th minute the away side had a free kick in a very threatening position. Graham Carey managed to get the ball over the wall easily, but Kieran O’Hara made a cracking save to keep the goal-bound shot out.
Plymouth began to take their foot off the gas, so their chances soon dried up with Morecambe pressing for a goal. The Shrimps had their first corner of the game in the 72nd minute and Shaun Miller put a threatening ball into the box that met Chris Doyle at the far post, but he didn’t time it right and the ball caught his foot and McCormick was able to catch the ball in the air at ease.
Morecambe found themselves throwing men forward in the last ten minutes with both centre-halfs going forward at times, and Ryan Edwards came close in the 80th minute but his shot went just over the bar following a good run.
One of Morecambe’s last chances of the game fell to Kevin Ellison. In the 89th minute his shot coming in from the left nearly creeped in but Luke McCormick just managed to get a hand on it and tip it onto the crossbar.
Andy Fleming took the resultant corner and the corner met Chris Doyle at the far post again but his aerial volley wasn’t timed well enough and it went over the bar.
Ellison had another big chance in the 91st minute when he turned in the box and had a shot, which deflected off a Plymouth defender and hit the crossbar summing up Morecambe’s luck in the game.
Unfortunately for Jim Bentley’s side it was too little too late, as they created many chances (particularly towards the end) but didn’t manage to come up with the finishing product. They may have felt that they could’ve got a point from the game.
Morecambe remain in 18th on 40 points whereas Plymouth sit in 4th position, just outside of the automatic promotion places on goal difference.
Next up for the Shrimps is Barnet at home on Saturday 2nd April.
Morecambe: O’Hara, Beeley (c), Doyle, Edwards, Conlan, Fleming, Kenyon, Barkhuizen, Devitt (Ellison 46), Molyneux (Oliver 46), Miller (Stockton 76).
Unused subs: McGowan, Mullin, Goodall and Wildig.
Booked: Molyneux, Sent off: Kenyon
Plymouth Argyle: McCormick, Threlkeld, Nelson, Hartley, Sawyer, Jervis, Houghton, McHugh (Boateng 78), Carey (Wylde 70), Reid, Matt (Tanner 65)
Unused subs: Mellor, Simpson, Purrington, Dorel
Attendance: 2,081 (527 away)