Accrington Stanley 2-2 Morecambe
Windass 21, 48 pen Miller 12 Barkhuizen 79
Accrington Stanley moved out of the automatic promotion places in League 2 on Saturday as they could only pick up a point against rivals Morecambe.
It was the away side who had the better start, with Aaron Wildig finding himself in plenty of space with the ball in the box. He could’ve had a shot, and would’ve almost certainly beaten the keeper, but he didn’t manage to control the ball well enough to have a shot.
However immediately after, the Shrimps did take the lead through Shaun Miller, who took the ball past a number of players before putting the ball on his left foot and coolly placing the ball in the top left hand corner to give Morecambe a deserved lead.
Following the goal, both sides had chances but not really any to note. In the 21st minute however, Accrington got themselves back into the game as hailstones began to fall. Son of Dean Windass, Josh, got on the end of a good ball on the right hand side outrunning Ryan Edwards and placing a shot into the bottom left hand corner, meaning that Morecambe’s lead only lasted ten minutes.
Following the goal, Morecambe’s heads dropped and Accrington advanced to dominate the remainder of the half with the majority of possession and chances. Josh Windass came close to taking the lead in the 30th minute with a good shot that was helped over the bar by Morecambe keeper Kieran O’Hara.
John Coleman’s side went on to have a series of corners, but most of them were dealt with by the Shrimps although Scott Brown came close in the 35th minute with a shot over the bar.
Morecambe had one of their only chances in the first half just ten minutes before half time. Aaron Wildig’s free kick into the box met the head of Ryan Edwards, only for his header to go straight into the hands of Neil Etheridge.
Tom Barkhuizen had the final chance of the half with a right-footed shot that could’ve tested Etheridge had he connected with the ball slightly better. The sides went in level at half time.
Accrington had an excellent start to the second half. In the second minute of the half, they had a free kick just outside the box. Josh Windass’ free kick was heading in, but luckily for Morecambe Alex Kenyon managed to prevent the ball from going in, deflecting the ball with his head as he jumped in the wall.
However just moments later the Shrimps found themselves in more trouble as the home side were awarded a penalty. Andy Parrish was alleged to have handled the ball in the box, and Josh Windass scored his second of the game with a coolly struck penalty and O’Hara guessing the wrong way.
Following the goal, Sean McConville and Josh Windass came close to extending the lead for the home side but their efforts went over the bar.
Tom Barkhuizen came close for Morecambe in the 70th minute, and this was followed by a series of Morecambe corners but they didn’t really trouble the Accrington defence.
Morecambe were beginning to get back into the game, and in the 79th minute they did just that. Top scorer Shaun Miller played a cracking lofted ball to second top scorer Tom Barkhuizen who got past Brad Halliday before beating Neil Etheridge with a shot from a very similar angle to that of Josh Windass’ equaliser in the first half.
The game began to get very end-to-end in the final ten minutes with both sides pushing for a goal. Lee Molyneux shot just over the bar in the 84th minute, before Accrington had a series of shots by which they should’ve got a winner.
Kieran O’Hara took a goal kick which went straight to an Accrington player. Before he knew it, he was one-on-one with danger man Josh Windass but luckily the winger shot just wide.
Just moments later Tarique Fosu had a shot that was cleared off the line by the feet of O’Hara before Shay McCartan had a shot on the rebound that was cleared off the line by Ryan Edwards.
By this point on, the game got very tense and either side could’ve clinched a winner. Substitute Jamie Devitt had a shot in the 90th minute which he curled past the defence but it beat the keeper and the goal, going just over the bar.
A draw seemed like a fair result, but John Coleman was not happy with his players following the game that he’d dubbed as ‘the biggest game Accrington had ever been involved in’.
As Bristol Rovers beat Yeovil, Rovers leapfrogged Stanley in the table and Accrington sit just below the Gas on goal difference in 4th. Morecambe remain in 19th, and are now mathematically safe from relegation.
Accrington Stanley: Etheridge, Halliday, Hughes, Davies, Pearson, Mingoia (McCartan 85), Brown (Procter 41), Conneely (c), McConville (Fosu 73), Windass, Kee.
Subs not used: Winnard, Little, Buxton, Mooney (GK)
Booked: Hughes and Pearson
Morecambe: O’Hara, Beeley (c), Edwards, Parrish, McGowan, Fleming, Kenyon (Oliver 64), Barkhuizen, Wildig (Molyneux 64), Ellison (Devitt 75), Miller.
Subs not used: Mullin, Goodall, Maher (GK), Doyle