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

Cheltenham secure vital win at expense of unlucky Morecambe side

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.

Booked: Cranston.

Subs not used: Kitscha, Rowe, Bower and Thomas.

Attendance: 1,297