Shrimps suffer narrow defeat despite good performance

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Morecambe 1-2 Blackburn Rovers
Turner 38          Graham 10
Bennett 31

Morecambe suffered a narrow defeat to League 1 outfit Blackburn Rovers at the Globe Arena this evening. Danny Graham took the lead for the side, whose fans travelled in their numbers, before Elliott Bennett doubled the visitors’ lead. Rhys Turner gave the Shrimps some hope with a brilliant goal seven minutes later, but unfortunately for Bentley’s side they couldn’t get the equaliser that they deserved.

It was a quiet opening to the game, and the first real chance was converted by visitors Blackburn. Bradley Dack met a good ball and forced a reflex save from the Morecambe trialist keeper before the experienced Danny Graham put away the rebound in the tenth minute.

Tony Mowbray’s side excelled following the goal, looking brilliant on the ball. Danny Graham almost had his second immediately after his first goal – bringing about a good save from the trialist keeper to his left.

Chances were few and far between in the following 20 minutes or so, but Blackburn dominated possession and played fast paced football on the ground. They doubled their lead in the 31st minute when Elliott Bennett rose above the trialist defender and headed home from close range.

Bennett almost added another goal five minutes later. A great ball was played through to him on the left-hand side and his shot was pushed out by the trialist keeper.

Morecambe got back into the game just moments later, thanks to a stunning goal from Rhys Turner. Vadaine Oliver chested the ball to him and the forward hit the ball on the volley with power to beat David Raya Martin in the Blackburn goal.

Blackburn did have one chance just before the break, but the Shrimps’ trialist goalkeeper made another impressive save. Ben Gladwin’s shot took a deflection on its way to the goal and the keeper made a good save to his left to deny the winger. The visitors led 2-1 at half time.

Jim Bentley’s side started the second half really well. Captain Michael Rose started a really good move three minutes in, playing a great ball through to Thompson who laid off Lund on the right-hand side. The ball eventually got to Turner and his shot hit the crossbar on its way over.

The visitors weren’t without their chances in the second half either. They came very close in the 55th minute when Elliott Bennett linked up well with Bradley Dack, whose volley went into the side-netting.

Two minutes later Alex Kenyon brought about an outstanding move out of nowhere. He flicked the ball over a player and hit the ball just over the bar on the volley.

Morecambe’s trialist keeper made a number of saves during the game, and his best one arguably was in the 59th minute when Dack’s powerful shot towards the top corner was kept out by an outstanding diving save by the keeper.

Ten minutes later Michael Rose kick-started a promising move for the hosts, playing a great ball to Vadaine Oliver on the right-hand side. Unfortunately Oliver’s cross didn’t quite get to Thompson in the box.

Joe Nuttall came on as a substitute for Blackburn in the 74th minute, and the forward was really effective in his short time on the pitch. The 20-year-old headed wide just four minutes after coming on, and then moments later he was one-on-one with Morecambe’s keeper only for the trialist to win the battle and prevent a goal.

Blackburn’s final chance of the game came two minutes from the death. Elliott Bennett found the ball in space and the former Blackpool winger had a shot that went just wide of the mark.

Tony Mowbray’s side won the game 2-1, but Morecambe manager Jim Bentley should be proud of his side’s efforts.

Next up for the Shrimps is National League side AFC Fylde away from home (7:30pm start).

Morecambe: Trialist 9, Lund 7 (McGowan 82), Trialist 7 (Winnard 68), Trialist 7 (Brownsword 82), Brough 7 (Conlan 82), Rose 7, Kenyon 8 (Hedley 82), Campbell 7 (Wildig 68), Turner 8 (Deakin 68), Thompson 6 (Yawson 75), Oliver 7 (Ellison 75).

Sub ratings: McGowan n/a, Winnard 7, Brownsword n/a, Conlan n/a, Hedley n/a, Wildig 7, Deakin 7, Yawson 7, Ellison 6.

Subs not used: Maher and Jordan

Blackburn Rovers: Martin 7 (Steele 63), Caddis 7, Lenihan 7, Mulgrew 7, Williams 6, Whittingham 6 (Nuttall 74), Smallwood 7 (Tomlinson 74), Bennett 8, Dack 8 (Evans 63(Hardcastle 88)), Gladwin 7 (Ward 74), Graham 7 (Feeney 63).

Sub ratings: Steele 7, Nuttall 7, Tomlinson 6, Evans 6, Hardcastle n/a, Ward 6, Feeney 6.