A controversial goal from Bradford substitute Aaron McLean put Morecambe out of the Capital One Cup in a hard fought game at the Globe Arena.
McLean’s goal was the only difference between the two sides in a game where The Shrimps’ were dubiously denied taking The Bantams’ to extra time as McLean looked to have handled the ball over the line.
The first half began with Bradford having the upper hand in terms of possession and territory but failing to create any clear cut chances. Billy Clarke shot wide from outside the box in the 7th minute while a Laurence Wilson cross was scrambled away at the other end.
Jack Redshaw shot wide from an acute angle after beating his man and attempting to round the keeper on 12 minutes while Andrew Wight headed over from a corner ten minutes later as The Shrimps’ began to grow into the game.
With the game approaching the half hour mark, Bradford striker James Hanson cut inside and fired a shot at Barry Roche, who was able to parry it away for a corner and a Ryan Williams shot from outside the box was easily saved by Bradford goalkeeper Ben Williams.
At the other end a header from James Hanson looked to be on its way in but was cleared off the line by Morecambe captain Mark Hughes. Bradford continued to press and a cross from Mark Yeates was punched away by Barry Roche, springing a counter attack which eventually came to nothing for The Shrimps’ as the two sides went in for the break on level terms.
The second half began with the heaven’s opening as Bradford attacked the away end, a Hanson header from a corner was easily saved by Barry Roche before Redshaw beat a couple of men and put the ball into Ellison’s path, who shot over the bar from just outside the box.
Ellison headed just wide from an Andrew Wright cross on 56 minutes while the lively Devitt shot wide from outside the box a couple of minutes later.
The Morecambe fans sang ‘Bring me Sunshine’ as the rain continued to pour and their side nearly gave them reason to smile a couple of minutes later as a good passing play culminated in Devitt’s left footed shot being saved by Williams.
Both sides rang the changes and created half chances as the game wore on, Aaron McLean’s shot was easily saved down low by Barry Roche while Morecambe substitute Paul Mullin shot over the bar from just outside the box.
The deadlock was finally broken after 82 minutes when a neat ball put Mclean through on goal, the former Hull City striker eventually bundled the ball into the back of the net amidst furious Morecambe protests claiming that he had handled the ball.
The game then began to hot up in the final stages as both sides had players booked for impetuous challenges. Appeals for a Bradford penalty were ignored by the referee allowing Morecambe to break away and a Paul Mullin shot was pushed away by Williams as The Shrimps’ rallied.
The equaliser ultimately eluded them but The Shrimps’ were applauded from the field at full time after a game that will have both encouraged and frustrated manager Jim Bentley, as they held their own against higher league opposition.
Morecambe: Roche, Wright, Parrish, Hughes, Wilson, Devitt (Kenyon 85), Wright, Williams (Amond 61), Fleming, Ellison (Mullin 61), Redshaw.
Subs not used: Arestidou, Doyle, Kenyon, Drummond, Sampson.
Bradford City: Williams, Darby, Meredith, Dolan, Sheehan, Hanson, Clarke (Shariff 78), Yeates (McLean 69), Kennedy, Morais (Knott 69), McArdle.
Subs not used: Urwin, Davies, McBurnie, Pollard.