Sky Bet League 2
Morecambe 1-2 Cheltenham Town
Murphy 6 Waters 70
Kenyon s/o Pell 71
Two quick goals in succession from Billy Waters and Harry Pell ensured Cheltenham came from behind to get a crucial win in what was a dramatic game at the Globe Arena today.
Despite being forced to make an early substitute, with Liam Wakefield coming off injured, Morecambe started the game well and they took the lead just six minutes in. The Cheltenham defence gifted the ball to Rhys Turner in a threatening position, and the former Oldham forward had a good shot saved by the keeper only for Peter Murphy to score the rebound- burying the ball in the bottom-right corner.
There were little chances in the first half although Morecambe did dominate. Paul Mullin headed over the bar just after Murphy’s goal and then he hit the ball straight at the keeper in the 20th minute.
A major turning point occurred in the game just before half time however. Alex Kenyon appeared to be brought down, but instead the referee sent Kenyon off rather than the Cheltenham player. Manager Jim Bentley, who had an excellent view of the incident, appeared to be absolutely fuming at the referee, and he was sent to the stands as a result.
Billy Waters shot just wide for the away side shortly before the fourth official indicated there were five minutes of added time. When the whistle blew for half time, the referee was met with loud boos and Morecambe weren’t in the best of positions despite being 1-0 up.
By the start of the second half, the Shrimps had already used their three subs- Liam Wakefield, Rhys Turner and Peter Murphy all coming off injured- and they were down to ten men so it looked as though it was going to be a challenging second half.
It was exactly that, as the Shrimps played deep and looked to sit on their lead. They were looking comfortable at the back, with Winnard and Edwards both defending well.
Billy Waters found himself through on goal for the away side in the 50th minute, but Winnard managed to stop him in his tracks with an excellent piece of defending.
Eight minutes later Robert Dickie forced Barry Roche into a good save following a good header from a corner.
Cheltenham continued to pile the pressure on the Shrimps, with Jack Munns’ shot going just wide after taking a deflection in the 70th minute. The away side were threatening from set pieces, and this worked to their advantage as Morecambe failed to defend the resultant corner (from Munns’ shot) sufficiently- with Billy Waters consequently slotting home from close range to get the Robins back in the game.
Morecambe’s defence appeared to be half-asleep at this moment in time, and as a result Gary Johnson’s side were in-front shortly after their first goal thanks to Harry Pell’s close range header from an excellent cross.
Despite having little to offer going forward, the home side upped the anti towards the end of the game. Aaron McGowan made a good run in the 81st minute, but his shot went wide of the goal.
Morecambe pushed men forward, and with little possession this meant that they looked more vulnerable at the back allowing the Robins more space.
Harry Pell almost made it three for Cheltenham, but his shot was tipped over by Roche in the 84th minute after taking a deflection.
Their final chance came when Koby Arthur found himself in acres of space, and Roche made a vital save in the 88th minute.
Morecambe move down to 19th as a result of the defeat, and face Mansfield Town away on Boxing Day next whilst Cheltenham move up to 23rd and will face Barnet at home next.
Morecambe: Roche, Wakefield (Fleming 5), Winnard, Edwards, McGowan, Rose, Murphy (Molyneux 45), Kenyon, Conlan, Turner (Massanka 31), Mullin.
Booked: Mullin, Sent off: Kenyon.
Subs not used: Nizic and Jordan.
Cheltenham Town: Griffiths, Downes(c), Parslow, O’Shaughnessy (Arthur 65), Dickie, Storer, Pell, Munns (Barthram 72), Cranston, Wright (Morgan-Smith 59), Waters.
Subs not used: Kitscha, Rowe, Bower and Thomas.