Sky Bet League 2
Morecambe 2-3 Crawley Town
Rose 89 Yussuf 72Stockton 90+3 Collins 83
Morecambe had yet another home defeat today, as they were beaten 3-2 by Crawley Town. Adi Yussuf opened the scoring for the Red Devils instantly after coming off the bench in the 72nd minute, whilst James Collins backed him up ten minutes later. Michael Rose scored a free kick for the Shrimps in the 89th minute before Jimmy Smith scored in the first minute of added time for the away side before Cole Stockton got one back in the third minute of added time leading to a very tense and exciting finish.
Jim Bentley made two changes to the side that beat Cambridge United last week with Peter Murphy and Tom Barkhuizen coming into the starting line-up, whilst Paul Mullin kept his place in the team.
Unlike last week, Mullin played in his preferred position (striker) and he almost made an instant impact in the game as he came close five minutes in, having his shot blocked.
Five minutes later, the away side forced Roche into his first save of the game when Clifford had his shot parried away by the Morecambe keeper. This was closely followed by a good attacking move from the Red Devils, where they played quick free-flowing football- the end result however was a shot going wide by James Collins from close range.
Similarly Glenn Morris was forced into his first save of the game, when Michael Rose hit a threatening free-kick that was kept out with an impressive diving save.
Rose tested Morris again just moments later with a powerful long-range shot that was tipped over by the visiting keeper.
The former Rochdale midfielder was involved in the action yet again in the 30th minute when he played a cracking ball towards Mullin, who almost scored only for him to be stopped in his tracks by a defender.
Mullin attempted a lob just before half time, but it didn’t really trouble Morris and James Collins headed straight into the hands of Roche on the end of a corner. It was goalless at half time.
Five minutes into the second half Morecambe thought they were in front after captain Peter Murphy headed home, but it was adjudged to be offside by the linesman.
Murphy came close again four minutes later after a cracking run from Tom Barkhuizen but his header went wide.
Crawley began to get into the game following this, with Mark Connolly heading just over from a corner in the 57th minute and Andre Blackman having a powerful shot going over the bar ten minutes later.
In the 72nd minute, Crawley opened the scoring thanks to substitute Adi Yussuf. Djalo had a shot deflected, and the Mansfield loanee was there to slot home coolly from close range- making an instant impact after coming on as a substitute just moments before.
The goal was a big boost to the side from Sussex, as they looked to build on their lead. James Collins shot wide five minutes after the goal, and Clifford had a shot just over shortly afterwards.
Collins then doubled the Red Devils’ lead in the 84th minute, following a good run on the right hand side with the winger gifting the ball to the unmarked striker and the former Shrewsbury man buried it into the bottom corner.
Morecambe had a number of chances to get a goal back, with Stockton shooting straight at the keeper and Ellison curling the ball just over the bar impressively. They did get a goal back in the penultimate minute of normal time, when Michael Rose scored a great free kick which he placed in the bottom left hand corner.
Four minutes of added time was indicated by the fourth official, offering the Shrimps a glimmer of hope but this was diminished when Jimmy Smith slotted home easily for the away side after Luke Conlan failed to pick up the cross.
It wasn’t exactly over yet however, as Cole Stockton still had time to blast it on the volley into the top-left hand corner in the third minute of added time. With a minute left , Morecambe gained a free kick on the edge of the box to the right, with keeper Barry Roche making his way to the box. Rose shot straight at the keeper, who saved with his legs, and this proved to be the last kick of the game. Jim Bentley’s side did mount a fightback towards the end, but it was a case of too little too late.
The Shrimps face Notts County away from home next Saturday, and move down to seventh in the League 2 table.
Morecambe: Roche, Wakefield, Winnard, Edwards, Conlan, Murphy(c), Rose, Ellison, Dunn (Massanka 78), Barkhuizen, Mullin (Stockton 66).
Subs not used: Nizic, McGowan, Jennings, Kenyon
Crawley Town: Morris, Blackman, Connolly, McNerney, Young, Boldewijn (Bawling 90+4), Smith, Djalo, Banton (Yussuf 70), B Clifford (Davey 78), Collins.
Subs not used: Arthur, Mersin, Yorwerth, Tajbakhsh