Morecambe v Exeter City - on the whistle report.
Exeter City returned to the south west with the three points after a less-then convincing display from the Shrimps on a windy afternoon at the Globe Arena.
The visitors opened the scoring after an own goal by Shaun Beeley on nine minutes. Scott Davies kept the Shrimps in the game with a string of fine saves while the solid Exeter defence kept the home side at bay. Then, as Morecambe went in search of an equaliser, the visitors grabbed a late second through Tom Nichols to end the game as a contest and secure the points.
Morecambe enjoyed the majority of possession in the opening minutes, applying some sustained pressure to the visiting defence but it was Exeter who look the lead against the run of play.
A floated cross from the right flank caused problems and Shaun Beeley was unfortunate as he diverted the ball past Scott Davies under pressure.
The goal gave Exeter some confidence and they began to enjoy more of the ball and would have doubled their lead on 15 minutes were it not for a superb double save from Davies in the Morecambe goal.
Davies, who picked up the Man of the Match award on his return to the club, came to the rescue once more of the half hour mark. After some slick build-up play cut the Shrimps defence open, the on-loan Fleetwood man produced a world class save to push a close range header, which looked destined for the top corner, away to safety.
Exeter’s pressing game was proving to be hard to break down, their energetic style forcing mistakes and making the hosts work hard to get away from their own half, starving the Shrimps’ front three of possession.
Jim Bentley looked to change the game with a half time sub as Tom McCready came on for Tom Barkhuizen and with Bentley’s words still ringing in their ears, the hosts began the second half brightly, testing Exeter’s resolve with some dangerous play on the flanks. But, the visitors stood firm and had a chance of their own cleared off the line by the hard-working Beeley.
Paul Mullin was introduced from the bench for Jack Sampson on 67 minutes and almost had an immediate impact, but his cross from the right was too strong for Ryan Williams.
Chances were at a premium for both sides as the game approached the final quarter, with Jack Redshaw having one of the hosts’ only efforts on target with a long range drive on 80 minutes.
Then, as the home side pushed men forward in search of an equalizing goal, the visitors sealed the points after Tom Nichols beat the offside trap and smashed in their second of the day with a matter of minutes left.
Morecambe team: Scott Davies; Shaun Beeley, Mark Hughes, Andy Parrish, Lawrence Wilson; Andy Wright (Amond 75), Andy Fleming, Ryan Williams; Tom Barkhuizen (McCready 45), Jack Sampson (Mullin 67), Jack Redshaw.
Subs: Andreas Arestidou, Alex Kenyon, Ryan Edwards, Paul Mullin, Aaron McGowan, Tom McCready, Padraig Amond.