Checkatrade Trophy Group C (North)
Morecambe 3-2 Bradford City
Mullin 54 Vuckic 52,83
Goals from Paul Mullin and Cole Stockton ensured Morecambe booked a place in the Checkatrade Trophy knockout stages today, with a 3-2 victory over League 1’s Bradford City.
Whilst the first half didn’t feature a great deal of chances, both sides had promising spells of play. The Shrimps had their first chance early on, with Lee Molyneux having a promising shot saved by Sattelmaier to his right six minutes in.
Just moments later, the away side found an opening but Marc McNulty scuppered his chance with the shot going over the bar.
The opening ten minutes was very end-to-end and Morecambe came close with Stockton getting past a defender as a result of good footwork and his through-ball almost met Jack Dunn but the ball was stopped in its path by the keeper.
James Meredith had Bradford’s best chance of the half in the 30th minute, when he was found in space but his shot was blocked by Aaron McGowan and the ball went out for a corner.
Other than the chances mentioned above, there weren’t really any talking points in the first half. Jack Dunn and Filipe Morais fired over the bar in the 36th and 43rd minutes for their respective sides. It was goalless at half time, and a first half to forget really.
Morecambe made two changes at half time, with Michael Rose and Paul Mullin replacing Lee Molyneux and Peter Murphy. Rose almost made an instant impact, getting a free kick in a threatening position four minutes in. The midfielder’s free kick was a good one, but it was blocked by the wall and went out for a corner.
Bradford took the lead three minutes later, after some poor defending from Jim Bentley’s side. Michael Rose failed to clear the ball away, and it was put on a plate for Haris Vuckic who hit the ball into the top corner from about five yards out to put the League 1 side in front.
Their lead didn’t last long at all though as substitute Paul Mullin got the Shrimps back into the game almost instantly. He beat the full back with ease, and placed the ball neatly in the bottom-right hand corner.
The goals provided a spark, and the game became a lot more exciting- Felipe Morais almost put the Bantams back in front with a shot going just over onto the side netting in the 60th minute.
Despite Morecambe looking weak at the back, Bradford did too. Both sides left a lot of space on the wings, and as a result Liam Wakefield was able to play a long ball to Jack Dunn on the left-hand side and he played an impressive ball to Stockton-who was able to slot the ball past the keeper to put the Shrimps in front in the 66th minute.
Stockton had his second of the night just two minutes later- the Tranmere loanee with good footwork again to turn and hit the ball with power. The ball came off the post and went in, and Bradford looked like they weren’t ever going to save this game.
Cole Stockton almost had his hat trick in the 70th minute, but he could only head over the bar.
In the 83rd minute, Bradford were back in with a chance as Newcastle United loanee Haris Vuckic scored an impressive free kick putting it in the top-left hand corner to score his second of the night.
The visitors attempted to put the pressure on for an equaliser towards the end of the game, but it wasn’t really enough to test Morecambe with striker Rhys Turner staying back to do a lot of the dirty work. Their only real chance towards the end came through James King, and the best he could do was hit the ball over the bar in the 86th minute.
Cole Stockton had his final chance to get his hat trick shortly afterwards, but all he could do was hit it straight into the hands of the keeper.
Morecambe deserved the win, and they finished the group stage in second place so continue to the knockout stages whilst Bradford also qualify having beaten Bury and Stoke City previously. Next up for the Shrimps is a trip to Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.
Morecambe: Nizic, McGowan, Wakefield, Whitmore, Edwards, Conlan, Murphy (c) (Rose 46), Fleming, Molyneux (Mullin 46), Dunn (Turner 77), Stockton.
Booked: Edwards and Fleming
Subs not used: Roche, Winnard, Wildig and Massanka.
Bradford City: Sattelmaier, Meredith (Wright 69), McArdle, Clarke (c), Windle, Hudson (Rabiega 76), Devine, King, Morais, McNulty, Vuckic.
Subs not used: Boateng, Webb-Foster and Cracknell