Shrimps win first league game with Thompson brace

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Sky Bet League 2

Morecambe 2-1 Cheltenham Town

Thompson 55, 90+1  Eisa 43

A second-half brace from Wembley hero Garry Thompson meant that the Shrimps came from behind to beat Cheltenham Town 2-1. The visitors took the lead shortly before half time through Mohamed Eisa on his football league debut, but Thompson put the ball away at both far posts to secure the three points on his first game for the Shrimps since re-joining the club in the summer.

Both sides started the game well, having early chances. Morecambe had the first chance of the game four minutes in when Garry Thompson played in Andy Fleming whose shot went wide of the mark.

Cheltenham’s first chance of the game came four minutes later when debutant Jerell Sellars made a good run on the left-hand side but his cross was headed away and later cleared by Aaron Wildig.

In the 11th minute Morecambe thought they’d made a breakthrough. The hosts had some good play in the box, with Cheltenham’s defending being scrappy. Kevin Ellison put the ball away past Flatt but the goal was disallowed due to an alleged foul by Vadaine Oliver on the defender.

Morecambe debutant Oliver then had a chance of his own ten minutes later. The new signing from York City headed just over the bar on the end of Michael Rose’s free kick.

15 minutes later Cheltenham had a rare chance and it came through Sellars again. The former Aston Villa man took a great free kick that was on its way in but Morecambe keeper Barry Roche managed to keep it out.

Vadaine Oliver had a great game in his first competitive game for the Shrimps, winning everything in the air. He came very close to getting his first goal for Jim Bentley’s side five minutes before the break. His header on the end of Rose’s brilliant cross was tipped over the bar by visiting keeper Jonathan Flatt.

Shortly before the interval however, Cheltenham took the lead against the run of play. They got a controversial free kick on the left hand side and the ball in wasn’t defended by the Shrimps and Mohamed Eisa was able to slot home from close range to open his account on his Football League debut. The visitors led 1-0 at half time.

Eight minutes into the second half, Eisa almost doubled his side’s lead. The new signing from non-league side Greenwich Borough cut in on the left hand side without much opposition and his shot was saved by the legs of Barry Roche.

Morecambe got an equaliser just two minutes later however, and it was a brilliant team goal. Roche started the move with a poor pass to defender Alex Kenyon, but Kenyon managed to keep it in and play the ball to Fleming who played a great through ball to Wildig. Wildig was one-on-one with the keeper, and the 25-year-old gifted the ball to the unmarked Thompson on the right who put the ball past the keeper to score his 57th league goal for the Shrimps.

This lifted the home support, and there was now a real sense that the hosts could win the game. Oliver excited the Shrimps fans when he was one-on-one with Flatt three minutes after Thompson’s goal but his shot was saved by the keeper, who spent time on loan at Barrow last season.

Cheltenham got a free kick in a threatening position in the 61st minute, but the free kick was blocked by Kenyon and went out for a corner.

Morecambe later got a free kick of their own in a threatening position seven minutes later but Rose’s attempt went over the bar.

Chances were few and far between until the last ten minutes when it really livened up. Jim Bentley’s new captain Michael Rose had a powerful shot at goal go just wide of the mark in the 81st minute, and then three minutes later Cheltenham keeper Flatt was involved in a confusion between him and his defence meaning that Wildig was able to lob him but it was cleared away by defender Will Boyle.

The away side had a golden opportunity to get a winner two minutes from time but Boyle absolutely bottled it. The defender got the ball in front of an open net but still somehow managed to hit it over the bar.

It was Morecambe who got the winning goal, and deservedly so. Rose’s long range free kick was headed into the danger zone by Vadaine Oliver and Cheltenham defender Kyle Storer helped the ball on its way to Thompson who put the ball away from close range at the far post to secure the three points for the Shrimps in added time.

A great win for the Shrimps puts them in 6th whilst Cheltenham are 18th. Next up for Jim Bentley’s side is Championship side Barnsley in the Carabao Cup at Oakwell on Tuesday evening.

Morecambe: Roche, Lund, Kenyon, Winnard, Brough, Fleming, Rose (c), Thompson (Lavelle 90+3), Wildig (Campbell 86), Ellison (Turner 71), Oliver.

Booked: Roche, Winnard, Wildig

Subs not used: Nizic, McGowan, Conlan, Deakin

Cheltenham Town: Flatt, Grimes, Boyle, Storer (c), Cranston, Winchester, Atangana (Holman 90+3), Forster, Sellars, Wright, Eisa.

Booked: Atangana

Subs not used: O’Shaughnessy, Page, Bower, Lovett.

Attendance: 1,450

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