Promotion hopefuls Forest Green snatch victory over Barrow in entertaining encounter

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Vanarama National League

Barrow 2-3 Forest Green Rovers

Bennett 33 Noble 6

Hannah 88 Doidge 64                    

                       Monthe 90+4

Forest Green won 3-2 against fellow promotion hopefuls Barrow in a very entertaining game at Holker Street today. The away side’s goals came from Liam Noble, Christian Doidge and Manny Monthe whilst Richie Bennett and Ross Hannah netted for Barrow.

The away side had a very good start to the game, and were in front just six minutes in. Captain Liam Noble hit an excellent free kick over the wall and into the top left-hand corner, wholeheartedly beating Barrow keeper Jonathan Flatt.

The game was played out mainly in midfield in the first half, with some rash challenges going in and there were little chances. Barrow’s first chance of the game didn’t come until the 30th minute. Akil Wright volleyed just wide after a brilliant cross from Danny Livesey.

Three minutes later, Barrow were back in the game. Richie Bennett headed home on the end of Harvey’s brilliant free kick to equalise for the home side.

Barrow could’ve taken the lead just before half time when Bennett made a promising run, but his 41st minute shot was badly timed and his effort went well wide of the mark. It was 1-1 at the break.

Ten minutes into the second half Forest Green came very close to taking the lead again. Charlie Cooper’s impressive corner was pushed out by Flatt and the ball fell to Liam Noble, whose long range shot forced the keeper into an excellent diving save to his right.

The away side did find themselves in front eight minutes later. Christian Doidge headed home on the end of Liam Noble’s free kick- a goal that was almost identical to Richie Bennett’s goal in the first half for the hosts.

Moussa Diarra and Akil Wright both came close for the hosts in the 67th and 69th minutes respectively, with both efforts going just over the bar.

Jonathan Flatt kept Barrow in with a chance ten minutes later, blocking Woolery’s shot after a great run from the winger.

In the 81st minute, substitute Andy Haworth almost made an instant impact for Paul Cox’s side. The former Bury man’s free kick was only kept out thanks to an outstanding diving save by Sam Russell to his left.

Barrow were awarded a penalty in the 85th minute after Moussa Diarra appeared to be brought down in the box. After some altercations between both sets of players, Ross Hannah eventually stepped up to the spot in the 88th minute. Whilst his penalty was saved by Russell to his left, the former Grimsby forward was able to score the rebound to quickly make amends.

The home side then looked to pile on the pressure on Mark Cooper’s men, desperate for a winner. After some excellent attacking play, Andy Haworth could only shoot straight at the keeper at the end of the move in the last minute of normal time.

Five minutes of added time were indicated, and Forest Green made good use of this- scoring the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Substitute Manny Monthe provided an excellent header on the end of Noble’s corner to beat Flatt and take home the three points for the promotion contenders.

The result means that Barrow move out of the play-off places into sixth on 49 points, and Forest Green are now one point off the top on 57 points. Up next for Barrow is Kidderminster Harriers at home in the third round of the FA Trophy, whilst Forest Green travel to Macclesfield in the same competition.

Barrow: Flatt 8, Beeley 7, Diarra 7, Livesey 6 (c), Anderton 7, Wright 8 (Haworth 80), Harvey 6, Rowe 6, Hughes 5 (Meikle 73), Turnbull 7 (Hannah 72), Bennett 7.

Booked: Livesey, Harvey, Rowe, Bennett and Hannah

Sub ratings: Haworth 8, Meikle n/a, Hannah 7

Subs not used: Panayiotou and Anderson

Forest Green Rovers: Russell 8, Bennett 7, Ellis 6, Pinnock 6, Wishart 6 (Marsh-Brown 90+1), Cooper 7 (Wedgbury 90+5), Noble 9 (c), Sinclair 7, Woolery 8, Gosling 7 (Monthe 66), Doidge 7.

Booked: Ellis, Noble, Cooper, Wishart

Subs ratings: Monthe 8, Marsh-Brown n/a, Wedgbury n/a

Subs not used: Carter and Robert

Attendance: 1,422

Shrimps and Cumbrians share points in entertaining derby

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Sky Bet League 2

Carlisle United 1-1 Morecambe

Wyke 74                    Wildig 7

Carlisle and Morecambe shared out the points in an entertaining clash at Brunton Park this afternoon. Aaron Wildig took the lead for the Shrimps with an impressive volley early on, whilst Charlie Wyke equalised for the home side midway through the second half. The Shrimps managed to hold on for a draw with ten men, defending well to bring a point back to the Lancashire coast.

Jim Bentley’s side made a great start to the game, and they found themselves in front just seven minutes in. The Shrimps showed great tenacity in their counter-attack following a free kick, with Molyneux playing a great through ball to Ellison who took on the full back on the left-hand side and put in a great ball to Aaron Wildig who was able to volley home into the bottom left corner to cap off a great team move and score his first goal of the season.

Morecambe looked to have doubled their lead just six minutes later when Peter Murphy slotted the ball home following a good ball from the right-hand side but he was adjudged to be offside by the linesman.

The Shrimps continued their dominance in the early moments of the game, coming close from two free kicks. In the sixteenth minute Lee Molyneux’s attempt went just over the bar and then three minutes later Michael Rose hit the post from his powerful free kick.

Carlisle’s first chance of the game came in the 25th minute, and Barry Roche showed some great reflexes to keep the ball out. Jason Kennedy’s header from a good ball was pushed away by the Morecambe keeper before Charlie Wyke’s follow up shot was pushed onto the crossbar by the Irishman.

The home side looked more likely to score in the latter stages of the half. Jason Kennedy had a shot blocked by Ryan Edwards in the 39th minute, before Lambe’s shot went wide moments later. Their best chance to score towards the end of the half came when debutant Gary Liddle had a shot blocked by Kenyon and it went out for a corner in the 41st minute. The Shrimps led 1-0 at the interval.

Carlisle changed their shape at half time bringing on Shaun Miller and Michael Raynes,  switching to a 3-5-2 formation.

Nine minutes into the second half, Charlie Wyke’s shot went just over the bar for the home side.

Jim Bentley’s side came closer to scoring shortly afterwards- with Peter Murphy shooting just over after some good work from Paul Mullin before Wildig forced Gillespie into a great save diving to his right.

Former Morecambe player Jamie Devitt had a shot going just wide following his free kick, which hit the wall in the 69th minute.

The game’s turning point came five minutes later when Morecambe were reduced to ten men. Dean Winnard was sent off for a second bookable offence after a poor challenge on Shaun Miller.

Carlisle equalised immediately after the sending off with Charlie Wyke heading home from the free kick.

The equaliser brought momentum amongst the home support, as their side piled the pressure on the Shrimps.

Morecambe did have a shout for a penalty though. It came in the 79th minute when Aaron McGowan got past the full back and he looked to have been brought down in the box, but the referee didn’t agree.

Michael Rose did come close for Bentley’s side as well in the 84th minute with a great run but his shot could only go over the bar.

Carlisle were desperate for a winner and had a series of chances in the final ten minutes of the game (including five minutes of stoppage time). Morecambe keeper Barry Roche showed great reflexes yet again to keep the Shrimps in the game. Charlie Wyke’s header was saved and the veteran managed to stop the rebound from Asamoah despite still being on the floor in the 87th minute.

Nicky Adams’ corner hit the crossbar in the 88th minute, and then Charlie Wyke’s shot went just wide at the far post in the first minute of added time.

Morecambe defended brilliantly, and luckily their hard work was rewarded despite Asamoah’s last minute shot which went just wide of the goal.

Both sides remain in the respective positions of 3rd and 17th in League 2. Up next for Carlisle United is Accrington Stanley away from home, whilst the Shrimps are away to Leyton Orient.

Carlisle United: Gillespie 7, McQueen 6 (S Miller 45), T Miller 6 (Raynes 45), Liddle 7, Gillesphey 6, Lambe 7 (Asamoah 79), Kennedy 6, Joyce 7, Adams 7, Devitt 7, Wyke 7.

Sub ratings: S Miller 7, Raynes 7, Asamoah 7

Booked: Joyce

Subs not used: Ellis, McKee, Crocombe (GK), Salkeld.

Morecambe: Roche 9, McGowan 9, Winnard 8, Edwards 8, Kenyon 8, Molyneux 8 (Wakefield 90+1), Rose 8, Murphy 7, Ellison 7, Wildig 8 (Conlan 79), Mullin 7 (Turner 59).

Sub ratings: Turner 6, Conlan n/a, Wakefield n/a

Booked: Winnard, Edwards, Kenyon, Murphy

Sent off: Winnard.

Subs not used: Nizic and Jordan

Attendance: 5,524 (410 away)


Ten men Shrimps outclass Notts County in foggy conditions

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Sky Bet League 2

Morecambe 4-1 Notts County
Molyneux 2        Forte 80
Mullin 27
Rose 31 pen
Ellison 90+1

Morecambe won very convincingly in tricky conditions against a struggling Notts County side at the Globe Arena today. Lee Molyneux took the lead early on for the Shrimps and he was backed up with goals from Paul Mullin, Michael Rose and Kevin Ellison. Jonathan Forte scored a consolation for the away side.

Notts County started the game with great attacking intent, but it wasn’t long till Morecambe hit them on the counter-attack. Just two minutes in, Lee Molyneux made a great run on the right-hand side and he took the lead for the Shrimps with a long-range effort that curled into the bottom-left corner.

Just moments later, the away side looked to get back into the game but Jonathan Stead’s header went straight into the hands of Roche.

Kevin Ellison prompted calls for a penalty in the 13th minute when his header on the end of a great ball by Molyneux appeared to touch the hand of Matt Tootle on its way out of play- the ref gave a corner.

Richard Duffy’s shot went just wide of the goal for the away side in the 25th minute, and then just two minutes later Morecambe doubled their lead. Ellison made a great run on the left hand side and added to this with a great ball in that was pushed away by Loach but it fell straight to Paul Mullin who buried the ball past the former Watford keeper.

The home side were awarded a penalty moments later as Richard Duffy brought down Mullin in the box. Michael Rose stepped up and took his penalty comfortably, smashing the ball into the top-left corner to extend Morecambe’s lead.

Jim Bentley’s side were dealt a blow just before half time, when Andy Fleming was sent off for a two-footed challenge. Notts County looked to capitalise on this straight away, but their shot was blocked by Edwards and it went over. The Shrimps led 3-0 at the break.

Morecambe set up defensively in the second half, playing with nine men behind the ball. Notts County had a number of chances as a result.

Adam Campbell had a shot blocked by Liam Wakefield following a great run cutting in from the left-hand side in the 54th minute.

Fifteen minutes later, Campbell was involved in the action again. His impressive volley from close range forced Roche into an excellent save diving to his right to keep the ball out.

Kevin Ellison had one of Morecambe’s only chances of the half in the 71st minute. The veteran forward found himself in plenty of space but his shot didn’t trouble Loach.

Aaron Collins came very close for Alan Smith’s side eight minutes later, shooting just wide of the goal after a good run cutting in from the left-hand side.

Notts County got a goal back just moments later. The ball was laid off to substitute Jonathan Forte in the box, and the former Oldham winger beat Roche comfortably with a good finish.

It was a tense end to the game, with the Magpies piling on the pressure. The closest they came to getting a second was through Jon Stead in the 89th minute. His shot from close range prompted an outstanding save by Barry Roche to his left-keeping Morecambe’s two-goal lead intact.

In the first minute of added time, the home side got the winning goal in a memorable fashion. Young debutant Luke Jordan, who came off the bench, made a cracking run forward beating the Notts County full back for pace and his shot was tipped onto the crossbar by Scott Loach before Ellison smashed the ball home. It was memorable because the youngest Shrimps player assisted the oldest player to win the game.

Jim Bentley’s side move up to 17th in the table whilst Notts County remain in 22nd. The Shrimps face Carlisle United away from home next Saturday whilst Notts County are up against Mansfield Town at home.

Morecambe: Roche, Wakefield, Winnard(c), Edwards, Conlan (Murphy 87), Rose, Fleming, Molyneux, Wildig (Kenyon 69), Ellison, Mullin (Jordan 77).

Booked: Wakefield and Molyneux

Sent off: Fleming

Sub not used: Nizic (GK)

Notts County: Loach, Tootle (Aborah 45), Hewitt, Duffy, Dickinson, Osborne (Forte 66), Thompson (Collins 76), O’Connor(c), Milsom, Campbell, Stead.

Booked: Hewitt and O’Connor.

Subs not used: Collin, Hollis, Richards, Audel.

Attendance: 1,315




Shrimps and Alex play out entertaining stalemate

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Sky Bet League 2

Morecambe 0-0 Crewe Alexandra

Morecambe and Crewe played out an entertaining goalless draw at the Globe Arena today. The Shrimps looked more likely to win the game, but a draw was a fair result in the end. They came closest when Lee Molyneux hit the crossbar in the 66th minute.

The game was very open throughout, with very end-to-end football. Charlie Kirk came very close for the home side nine minutes in, finding himself one-on-one with Roche in the six-yard box and miraculously Roche managed to make a great tackle to stop him from scoring.

Morecambe had a similar chance in the 26th minute. Kevin Ellison made a great run on the left-hand side and he played a great ball to Fleming who was clean through but he couldn’t control the ball well enough and Ben Garratt managed to keep the danger out.

Moments later the Shrimps were struggling defensively, with Roche off his line and the defence failing to clear the danger but fortunately for the home side the veteran keeper made a great save to his left from Jones’ powerful strike.

Jim Bentley’s side had a great chance just before the break, with Fleming making a good tackle in Crewe’s half and his shot was saved well by the keeper. The two sides went in at the break following a very even half.

In the second half the Shrimps had the better of the chances. Paul Mullin and Kevin Ellison both came close early in the second half with shots going straight at the keeper, whilst Mullin also set up a good move in the 51st minute but Wildig tried to hit it first time and his effort went well wide of the goal.

Crewe forced another great save out of Roche in the 62nd minute, with James Jones hitting a powerful shot that was tipped over by the Morecambe keeper.

Morecambe’s best chance of the game came in the 66th minute when Lee Molyneux found himself through on goal soon after coming on as a sub, and his shot hit the crossbar.

Shortly afterwards, Crewe full back Oliver Turton almost scored an own goal when the ball came off him and but it went just wide.

Kevin Ellison attempted an overhead kick in the 83rd minute on the end of a corner, going just wide, but it was his only real option.

The home side continued to pile the pressure on Crewe in the final moments of the game, but the away side nearly poached a goal at the end. James Jones had a free kick in added time that went just wide of the goal.

The result means that Morecambe remain in 19th position whilst Crewe are in 17th. Up next for the Shrimps is Notts County at home on Saturday whilst the Alex face Mansfield away from home.

Morecambe: Roche 8, McGowan 9 (Mullin 44), Winnard 6, Whitmore 9, Edwards 8, Conlan 8, Rose 8, Fleming 9, Murphy(c) 5 (Molyneux 65), Wildig 7 (Massanka 80), Ellison 8.

Sub ratings: Mullin 7, Molyneux 8, Massanka 6.

Subs not used: Nizic (GK), Wakefield, Jennings, Jordan.

Crewe Alexandra: Garratt 7, Turton 7, Davis 7, Guthrie 6, Bakayogo 8, Kiwomya 7, Jones 8, Bingham 7, Cooper 7, Dagnall 5, Kirk 6 (Ainley 81).

Sub rating: Ainley 6

Subs not used: Richards (GK), Ray, Nugent, Saunders, Hollands, Udoh.

Attendance: 1,722



United come from behind to beat Boro with two late goals

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Barclays Premier League

Manchester United 2-1 Middlesbrough

Martial 85                          Leadbitter 67

Pogba 86

Manchester United came from behind to beat Middlesbrough at Old Trafford on New Year’s Eve in the Premier League. Captain Grant Leadbitter put the underdogs in front in the 67th minute, before the home side scored two goals in the space of a minute from Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba to snatch a deserved victory.

Middlesbrough started the game well and should’ve really taken the lead early on. Adama Traore made a good run on the right-hand side and got through the defence quite easily but could only shoot wide.

United dominated play for the vast majority of the first half but didn’t take their chances. Paul Pogba ambitiously attempted an overhead kick on the end of Valencia’s 14th minute cross, and the £89million midfielder failed to connect with it.

Whilst the ball was in Middlesbrough’s half for the vast majority of the game, the away side made good use of the ball when they had it in United’s half. Adama Traore got past Blind with ease and he beat De Gea with his cross,finding Friend, but the left-back’s shot was blocked by Antonio Valencia in the 18th minute.

United’s best chance of the half so far came from Marouane Fellaini. The Belgian midfielder headed onto the top netting after an immaculate cross from Anthony Martial on the left hand side in the 32nd minute.

Martial found himself in the action again six minutes later, trying his luck from long range- forcing Victor Valdes into a great save to his left.

Moments later, Valdes was at the centre of a controversy. Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed home from a good cross from the left to supposedly put Mourinho’s side in front, but then the goal was disallowed due to a foul on the Middlesbrough keeper. The former Barcelona man was booed by United fans for the rest of the game as he didn’t appear to be fouled, yet he was rolling around on the floor.

It was goalless at half time.

In the second half, Manchester United had many chances- and you could sense that a goal for the home side was imminent. Ibrahimovic found himself clean through on goal but had his shot blocked by Valdes in the 50th minute, whilst Pogba attempted another overhead soon after and Mkhitaryan had a massive chance going just wide but he was offside anyway.

Surprisingly however, it was the away side that took the lead following a lapse of concentration from the United defence. Alvaro Negredo laid the ball off to Grant Leadbitter, who made a good run on the right, and the Boro captain smashed the ball in the left-hand corner much to the surprise of De Gea, who had hardly anything to do all game.

Marcus Rashford was brought on by Mourinho in the 72nd minute, and he proved to be a very effective substitute. A minute after coming on, the 19 year old made a great run on the left hand side and his shot across goal went just wide.

United continued to pile the pressure on Boro, who by now had reverted to a 5-4-1 formation, and Martial found himself through on goal in the 81st minute with Valdes keeping the away side in front with a brilliant last-ditch save.

Four minutes later, United got what they deserved. Anthony Martial scored the equaliser for Mourinho’s side with a shot from close range going into the top right corner.

This drove some momentum amongst the home support, spurring the Red Devils to a winner just moments after their first goal. Paul Pogba headed home for United following a fantastic ball in from the right, sending the fans into jubilation.

Middlesbrough didn’t really ever look like scoring an equaliser- even with four minutes added. Their only attempt came from Adam Forshaw- and it was very ambitious being quite far out and consequently not troubling David De Gea at all.

United’s win mean that they remain unbeaten since October and sit in sixth position going into 2017. Up next for Mourinho’s side is West Ham away on Monday. Middlesbrough on the other hand now sit in 16th position, and face champions Leicester at home on Monday.

Manchester United: de Gea 7, Valencia 8, Bailly 7 , Smalling 6(c) (Rashford 72), Blind 5(Rojo 64), Mkhitaryan 8, Pogba 8, Herrera 7, Fellaini 7 (Mata 64), Ibrahmovic 7, Martial 9.

Booked: Blind

Sub ratings: Rojo 6, Mata 7, Rashford 8

Subs not used: Romero (GK), Jones, Rojo, Lingard.

Middlesbrough: Valdes 8, Chambers 7, Espinosa 7, Gibson 7,  Friend 6, Forshaw 8, de Roon 6, Leadbitter 7 (c) (Clayton 78), Downing 4 (Ramirez 63), Traore 8 (Fabio 82), Negredo 7.

Booked: Chambers

Sub ratings: Clayton 6, Ramirez 6, Fabio 6

Subs not used: Ayala, Rhodes, Guzan (GK), Stuani.

Attendance: 75,314