Plymouth Earn Boost To Promotion Credentials

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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

Booked: Carey

Attendance: 2,081 (527 away)








Preston and QPR Share Spoils In Heated Encounter

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Preston North End 1-1 Queens Park Rangers

Doyle 90+2            Polter 5

A late goal from Cardiff loanee Eoin Doyle meant that Preston grabbed a deserved point after being on the brink of defeat on Saturday afternoon at Deepdale.

In a game between two sides sat next to each other in the Championship table, QPR had a dream start taking the lead within the first five minutes of the game. Sebastian Polter make a good run in the box, and headed home the corner at ease as no-one picked up his run.

Preston grew into the game shortly after the goal, with some notable chances. Adam Reach shot wide for the hosts, and Jordan Hugill had a shot that deflected off a defender and tested keeper Alex Smithies in the ten minutes following the goal.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side didn’t have many chances at all in the first half following their early goal, despite looking threatening in the final third. Their only chance of any significance came when Junior Hoilett had a shot well saved by Anders Lindegaard in the Preston goal in the 25th minute.

The home side dominated for most of the first half, but didn’t really have the finishing product when called upon. They did a few chances to equalise just before the break, but Daniel Johnson and Paul Gallagher both shot wide and Callum Robinson found himself offside twice. QPR went in leading 1-0 at the half-time break.

Early in the second half the home side continued to dominate possession, but there weren’t any chances of significance in the opening fifteen minutes.

In the 62nd minute however QPR came very close to scoring when Sebastian Polter’s shot from the left hand side across the face of the goal hit the post, and then Nedum Onuoha hit the ball over the bar.

Shortly afterwards Jordan Hugill had a half chance for Preston, when Calum Woods put a long ball into the box and the young forward attempted to meet it with an aerial volley but he didn’t time his jump well enough to connect with it.

A major turning point came in the 83rd minute of the game when Tjaronn Chery found himself one-on-one with Anders Lindegaard for the visitors. It looked almost certain that Chery would score, but the former Manchester United keeper managed to make himself big enough to keep out the danger allowing the defence to end the move by putting the ball out of play.

This instilled belief in Simon Grayson’s men that they could go out and get an equaliser, as they piled men forward. They got what they deserved in the second minute of added time, when Eoin Doyle netted an equaliser. Left-back Greg Cunningham had a cracking first touch, and this allowed him to take the ball into a good position and cross the ball into the path of substitute Doyle who headed home from close range to send the home fans wild.

There were still three minutes left of added time, and Preston came close to taking all three points. It was Doyle who connected with another good ball, but this time his header went straight into the hands of Alex Smithies.

Both sides may have felt that they could’ve got more out of the game with the chances that they both had, but a draw seemed a fair result in the end.

Preston North End: Lindegaard, Woods, Clarke(c), Wright, Cunningham, Pearson (Doyle 61), Gallagher, Johnson, Robinson (Welsh 79), Reach (Beckford 85), Hugill.

Subs not used: Kirkland, Vermijl, Kilkenny, Smith.

Booked: Clarke and Beckford

Queens Park Rangers: Smithies, Onuoha(c), Angella, Hill, Perch, Henry, Faurlin, Mackie (Luongo 78), Chery (Hall 89), Hoilett (El Khayati 90+3), Polter.

Subs not used: Ingham, Washington, Tozser, Petrasso.

Booked: Angella, Faurlin, Hoilett and Hall.

Attendance: 11,322




Z Clark Scores Four As Lancaster Thrash Ossett Albion

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Lancaster City 6-1 Ossett Albion

Z Clark 2, 61, 66, 82 Brunt 15
Akrigg 58
Langford 90

Lancaster won for the first time in nearly a month today with a big win against fellow play-off hopefuls Ossett Albion in a game full of goals, as the scoreline suggests.

Phil Brown’s side made an excellent start to the game, as Zach Clark found himself one-on-one with Brett Souter in the Ossett goal. His first shot was saved by the legs of the keeper, but he soon netted the rebound without much opposition from the Ossett defence.

Just minutes later the away side grew into the game and looked very impressive going forward, making some quick passes and playing some free-flowing football. They came very close to equalising in the 11th minute when young right-back Declan Dawson hit a powerful shot from around forty yards out, hitting the cross bar and bouncing out. It had all but beat Mike Hale in the Lancaster goal.

Four minutes after Dawson’s spectacular shot, Ossett got the equaliser they’d been looking0 for after Connor Brunt found space and slotted the ball past Mike Hale six yards out.

Zach Clark almost restored the lead of the home side but his 22nd minute shot went just wide. The remainder of the first half was very evenly matched with both sides having chances,  and consequently the two sides went in level at the break with it still all to play for in the second half.

City started the second half brightly, and had some early chances with Jacob Davis heading just over the bar following a Ryan Winder corner in the 52nd minute.

Five minutes later the home side took the lead for the second time of the day, after Billy Akrigg got past Ossett’s defence and rounded the keeper before slotting the ball into an open net.

Shortly afterwards City doubled their lead through striker Zach Clark, who shot from the left hand side just before going to ground.

The former Kendal man was looking hungry for goals, and got his hat trick in the 66th minute to extend the home side’s lead to three goals.

Clark wasn’t finished there though, as he found enough energy to score his fourth and Lancaster’s fifth of the game in the 82nd minute. Ossett struggled to contain the attacking threat that the striker posed for the majority of the game, and the body language of captain Danny South summed up Ossett’s day.

New signing Bobby Langford came on as a substitute and impressed in his first appearance for the Dolly Blues, scoring the final goal of the game in the 90th minute to give the City fans a good first impression.

Phil Brown’s side now sit in 9th, two points off the play-offs, and travel to Harrogate Railway next Saturday.

Lancaster City: Hale, Gregory, Marshall(c), Mercer (G Clark 44), Davis, Watson, Winder, Carney, Akrigg, Carlton (Langford 67), Z Clark (Shearwood 84).

Subs not used: Cummings and Rodgerson

Ossett Albion: Souter, Dawson, South (c), Nicholson,  Thompson, Sharry (Jones 69), Muller (Hardaker 59), Paylor, Matthews, Eyles (Bordman 74), Brunt.

Subs not used: Potter and Lyn

Booked: Dawson

Attendance: 222