Sky Bet League 2
Doncaster Rovers 1-1 Morecambe
Marquis 56 Murphy 24
Morecambe held League 2 leaders Doncaster Rovers to a draw in a very entertaining game at the Keepmoat Stadium yesterday. Peter Murphy took the lead for the Shrimps 24 minutes in, whilst John Marquis equalised for the hosts ten minutes into the second half and the visitors defended excellently to prevent the home side winning the game.
Both sides started the game well, but it was Doncaster who looked more likely to take the lead. John Marquis’ effort from close range went just over the bar eight minutes in, whilst moments later the home side had a great team move only for Tommy Rowe’s shot to be fired straight at Roche in the Morecambe goal.
Morecambe’s first real chance came in the fourteenth minute, and the ball found itself in the net only for it to be disallowed. Michael Rose’s free kick was goal-bound, but unfortunately the ball touched Peter Murphy on its way in and he was in an offside position.
Three minutes later, the hosts came very close- with Grant’s shot being cleared off the line by Edwards. Keeper Barry Roche charged out to tackle a Doncaster player and the ball fell to Richardson whilst the Shrimps defence did well to help Roche out on his line.
In the 24th minute, Morecambe took the lead. Lee Molyneux’s shot was blocked and Peter Murphy scored with a sublime effort soon after the resultant corner. His effort went into the top left hand corner, and was arguably his best ever Morecambe goal.
Doncaster had the majority of chances in the first half however. John Marquis had two great chances in the space of ten minutes- the first he headed over from close range in the 32nd minute and the second was well saved by Roche and the rebound was blocked by Alex Kenyon in the 43rd minute. The Shrimps led 1-0 at the break.
Darren Ferguson’s side started the second half very well, with veteran midfielder James Coppinger shooting wide two minutes into the half.
Barry Roche pulled off an impressive save after a deflection in the 54th minute to keep the Shrimps in front, but a lapse in concentration from the Morecambe defence meant that Doncaster equalised two minutes later through John Marquis. The 24 year old placed the ball into the bottom corner in a composed fashion on the end of a good ball from the left to get the league leaders back in the game.
Five minutes later, the home side had a strong shout for a penalty when Kevin Ellison appeared to block the ball with his hands, in the box. The referee ruled however that he was protecting himself- appearing as a gut instinct from the veteran.
Liam Mandeville headed over for Ferguson’s side in the 80th minute, and Morecambe’s only significant chance of the second half came when they got a free kick in a threatening position four minutes from the end of normal time. Michael Rose’s free kick hit the wall and Michael Duckworth’s first touch on his debut was an impressive one- a good ball to Turner whose shot was saved by Lawlor with ease.
John Marquis looked to play on another lapse in concentration from the Shrimps defence in the 88th minute, but his early shot went well wide of the goal.
There were six minutes of injury time to be played at the end of the half, and Doncaster continued to pile the pressure on the Shrimps. They failed to get a winner, thanks to a resilient Morecambe defence, and therefore the game finished in a draw.
The result means that Doncaster’s lead at the top of League 2 has been reduced to five points, which isn’t good news as Plymouth sit behind them in second with a game in hand. Ferguson’s side face Newport County away from home next on Friday. Morecambe remain in 17th, with three games in hand, and they play one of those games in hand on Tuesday away to Leyton Orient.
Doncaster Rovers: Lawlor 7, Blair 6, Baudry 8, Butler 8, Mason 8, Rowe 7, Houghton 7 (Middleton 90+2), Cinger 7, Grant 9, Williams 7 (Mandeville 66), Marquis 8.
Sub ratings: Mandeville 7 and Middleton n/a
Booked: Butler and Mason
Subs not used: Etheridge, Alcock, Wright, Keegan, Beestin.
Morecambe: Roche 8, Whitmore 8, Edwards 8, Kenyon 8, McGowan 8 (Duckworth 85), Murphy 8, Rose 9, Molyneux 8, Wildig 8 (Evans 72), Ellison 9, Mullin 7 (Turner 73)
Sub ratings: Evans 6, Turner 7, Duckworth n/a
Subs not used: Nizic, Wakefield, Jordan, Conlan.