Relegation Favourites Beat Promotion Favourites Comprehensively

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Sky Bet League 2
Morecambe 2-0 Portsmouth
Edwards 10Barkhuizen 21

Early goals from Ryan Edwards and Tom Barkhuizen ensured that the bookies’ favourites to go down, Morecambe, beat the bookies favourites to go up, Portsmouth on a lovely summer’s evening.

The first ten minutes were fairly quiet, but Cole Stockton then had Morecambe’s first chance with a shot, outside the box, that was blocked in the tenth minute.

Moments later the Shrimps got their first corner of the game, which was defended badly by the away side and it fell to Ryan Edwards who was able to slot home from close range to put Jim Bentley’s side in front and score Morecambe’s first goal from defence in two seasons.

Portsmouth showed some signs of getting a goal back, with some attacking play but they weren’t brilliant in the final third. Former Morecambe player Carl Baker had a shout for a penalty turned down in the 21st minute and then Morecambe took full advantage of the counter-attack. Tom Barkhuizen made a cracking run forward, and he blasted the ball home into the top corner from the edge of the D to double the Shrimps’ lead and open his goal scoring account for the season.

Five minutes later Carl Baker came close for the away side, but his shot was blocked by Conlan, and Kyle Bennett also shot just wide in the 34th minute.

Ten minutes before half time, Tom Barkhuizen came close to getting his second of the night, as he did very well to get past Enda Stevens at left-back but then his lob over the keeper could only make the side-netting.

Paul Cook’s side looked to press for a goal back before half time, but the best they could do was through Kyle Bennett, who could only hit the ball over the bar four minutes from time.

In the second half, the Shrimps’ defence sat back and Portsmouth had a whole host of chances but they didn’t trouble Barry Roche in the Morecambe goal.

Carl Baker had a powerful shot saved by Barry Roche to his left in the 52nd minute, and fifteen minutes later Pompey had arguably their best chance of the game. Substitute Curtis Main (no relation to me by my knowledge by the way) got on the end of a great cross, and his diving header from close range was parried away by Roche, who had great reactions.

Six minutes later, Main emerged on the right-hand side but his shot was saved by the legs of Roche and centre-half Christian Burgess also had a close-range shot parried away by the veteran keeper.

One of Morecambe’s only notable chances of the half came in the 79th minute when Tom Barkhuizen made a threatening run on the right-hand side and then played an excellent long ball to Ellison in the box whose volley was blocked by a defender and went for a corner.

Three minutes later Lee Molyneux gave away a free kick in a threatening position, but Gareth Roberts’ impressive free-kick was met by the hands of Roche, who made an impressive diving save to his left to keep the ball out.

Jim Bentley’s side had an excellent chance to put the game to bed in the 89th minute when substitute Paul Mullin found himself one-on-one with the keeper as a result of some great counter-attacking play but his impressive shot was saved well by David Forde to his left.

There were five minutes of added time, and the Shrimps managed to keep a clean-sheet despite Carl Baker’s last minute attempt to get a consolation, which was saved again by the excellent Roche to his right.

Morecambe travel to Yeovil on Saturday in League 2 looking to extend their winning run to four games (in all competitions) before facing Premier League side Bournemouth in the EFL Cup on Wednesday at the Globe Arena.

Morecambe: Roche, Wakefield, Edwards, Whitmore, Conlan, Ellison, Rose(c), Fleming, Barkhuizen (Kenyon 86), Dunn (Molyneux 60), Stockton (Mullin 75).

Subs not used: Nizic, McGowan, Turner

Booked: Fleming, Molyneux, Stockton

Portsmouth: Forde, Talbot, Barton, Burgess, Stevens, Rose (Hunt 85), Doyle(c), Roberts, Baker, Bennett (Main 64), Smith (Lalkovic 64).

Subs not used: Davies, O’Brien, Buxton, Linganzi

Booked: Stevens, Doyle

Attendance: 1,838









Morecambe Keeper Rescues Point Against Portsmouth

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Morecambe 1-1 Portsmouth

Roche 90+4 Evans 40

Morecambe goalkeeper Barry Roche grabbed the headlines tonight as he headed home from a last minute corner to get a well-earned point for the Shrimps.

The Shrimps started very brightly, and had a free kick in a threatening position in the first minute. Kevin Ellison hit the ball over the bar, but it was looking positive for the home side.

Barry Roche had could’ve scored two goals today, and his first chance to score came in the 16th minute when he kicked the ball out of his hands and the wind helped the ball travel straight towards the Portsmouth goal, and Fulton was able to just keep it out.

Paul Cook’s side caught Morecambe on the break a number of times in the first half, but the Shrimps had been lucky up until the 40th minute when the away side took the lead. Gareth Evans made his way into the box and slotted home past Roche fairly easily from close range to put Pompey in front at the break.

In the second half Jim Bentley’s side created the better chances, although they weren’t excellent in the final third. For instance, Luke Conlan put a decent ball into the box in the 69th minute but Shaun Miller failed to control it whilst unmarked.

Jamie Devitt came very close in the 80th minute, when he cut inside the box and his curling shot went just over the bar.

Time was running out for Morecambe, and substitute Lee Molyneux put a good through ball into the box but it came to nothing in the 90th minute.

There was four minutes of added time and Molyneux played a major part at the end and he should scored the equaliser from close range but he was denied by a cracking save by Liverpool loanee Ryan Fulton.

Keeper Barry Roche came up for Morecambe’s only corner of the game, which occurred in the last minute of added time and was taken by Shaun Miller. The Irishman made a cracking run away from the defender and headed home to grab a point in remarkable fashion sending the crowd into raptures.

You could see what it meant to both the players and the fans, as celebrations continued for quite a while with the whole Morecambe team piling on top of Roche and the crowd chanting his name. Was a privilege to be there.

Morecambe: Roche, Beeley(c), Dugdale, Parrish, Conlan, Goodall, Fleming, Devitt (Molyneux 82), Ellison (Mullin 75), Barkhuizen, Miller.

Subs not used: O’Hara, Doyle, Edwards, Wilson

Booked: Beeley and Fleming

Portsmouth: Fulton, Davies, Webster, Clarke, Stevens, Close, Doyle, Evans, McNulty (McGurk 83), Naismith (Bennett 72), Smith (Roberts 72).

Subs not used: Burgess, Barton, Chaplin, Bass

Booked: Clarke

Attendance: 1,399

Morecambe Portsmouth
Shots 11 8
Shots on Target 5 2
Corners 1 7
Fouls 8 11
Possession 46% 54%