MORECAMBE produced their worst display of the season to crash to a heavy defeat at Exeter.
The Shrimps shipped four goals and also lost goalkeeper Barry Roche to a nasty knee injury in the second minute of the game to cap a nightmare weekend for the team, who had an 11 hour journey on Friday.
After the excellent 0-0 draw with Luton in midweek Jim Bentley made two changes to his side with Kevin Ellison and Andy Fleming both recalled in place of the injured Aaron Wildig and Elliot Osborne who was dropped to the bench.
The game started badly with the Shrimps losing goalkeeper Barry Roche to an injury in only the second minute of the game when he was hurt in a collision with Exeter striker Reuben Reid.
Dan Nizic came on and went on to pick the ball out of the back of the net three times in a poor first half. He did well on 21 minutes to save from Reid after the home man had made the most of Steven Old’s slip but he could do nothing to stop Troy Brown’s shot at the far post after a left wing corner was flicked on.
Three minutes later the home side added a second as they took advantage of some poor Morecambe defending. The home side worked an opening down the right and the ball fell to Jayden Stockley who hammered home a right foot shot from an acute angle to beat Nizic to his right.
The Shrimps showed some spirit with Michael Brough and Adam Campbell firing efforts wide before Jim Bentley’s side pulled one back on 36 minutes after home keeper Christy Pym spilled Garry Thompson’s volley and Vadaine Oliver reacted sharply to slot home the rebound.
The comeback came to a crashing end in the sixth minute of first half injury time when Stockley, who has scored regularly against the Shrimps over the years, scored a fine second goal when he showed great skill to volley the ball past Nizic from the angle after a neat turn in the box.
It then went from bad to worse as the Grecians added a fourth just three minutes after the restart. Lund lost the ball in midfield and Exeter took advantage as they countered quickly with Stoickley teeing up Dean Moxey who slid the ball under Nizic.
Morecambe did look to reduce the deficit with Oliver drilling a low shot inches wide from the edge of the box and home keeper Pym saving sharply at his near post after a Michael Rose free kick was diverted goalwards.
But the home side looked constantly dangerous with Stockley, seeking his hat trick, heading straight at Nizic from a good opening and Reid firing into the keeper’s midrift after a fantastic piece of skill in the box. Nizic then saved superbly from Hiram Boateng.
Stiockley and Jake Taylor went close again for the home side in the final stages as the home side had to settle for four on a weekend to forget for the Shrimps
Exeter: Pym, Sweeney, James, Brown, Woodman, Moxey (rep Edwards 72) Tillson (rep Boateng 42), Croll, Taylor, Reid (rep Jay 86), Stockley. Subs not used: Hamon, Archibald-Henville, McAlinden, Wilson.
Morecambe: Roche (rep Nizic 3), Lund, Old, Muller, Brough, Fleming (rep Kenyon 68), Rose, Thompson (rep Lang 77), Campbell, Ellison, Oliver. Subs not used: McGowan, Lavelle, Osborne, Turner.
Ref: B Huxtable.