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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

21 August 2018 Venue Globe Arena Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews


21 August 2018

JIM Bentley has named his starting xi and substitutes bench for tonight’s SkyBet League 2 fixture versus Northampton Town.

Skipper Barry Roche remains in goal behind an unchanged back four from Saturday’s defeat to Stevenage.

Andrew Fleming and Aaron Wildig remain in central midfield with Liam Mandeville and Rhys Oates occupying the wings. Kevin Ellison is dropped to the bench.

Jason Oswell replaces Vadaine Oliver to partner A-Jay Leitch-Smith who playes in the hole behind the front man.

Mark Halstead, Alex Kenyon, Lamin Jagne, Carlos Mendes Gomes, Ben Hedley and Jordan Cranston join Kevin Ellison on the substitutes’ bench.


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Match Reports


21 August 2018

A-Jay Leitch-Smith’s first goal for the Shrimps gave his side their first win of the season on a night of drama at the Globe Arena.

The striker’s goal in first-half stoppage time put the Shrimps on the way to a well deserved three points until the game was blown wide open four minutes from time when Morecambe keeper Barry Roche was sent off and with all the subs used Alex Kenyon was deployed in goal for the final four minutes and then the six minutes of stoppage time.

Sensing what had seemed an unlikely equaliser, Northampton poured forward with Kenyon making fine saves to deny Morias and Daniel Powell to earn a superb win.

Jim Bentley made two changes to the Shrimps’ starting line-up from that beaten at Stevenage on Saturday with Rhys Oates and Jason Oswell in for Kevin Ellison and Vadaine Oliver.

The Shrimps started superbly with flowing football going forward and chances created regularly.

Leitch-Smith had one shot blocked on its way through to goal, while Fleming had a header tipped onto the bar superbly by David Cornell.

The keeper wasn’t done there as, in added time, he pushed away Oates’ shot and saw Oswell’s follow-up cleared from inside the six-yard box.

At the other end Northampton striker Kevin van Veen fired a number of efforts off target before midfielder Matt Crooks saw a low shot kept out by Roche before he sent another effort wastefully off target from close range.

Just as the first half looked to be ending goalless, the Shrimps’ goalscoring drought was ended in added time as Leitch-Smith expertly controlled Fleming’s long pass before firing past Cornell.

The second half started in the same vein with Leitch-Smith half-volleying over the bar and Cornell pushing away Oates’ shot.

An even better stop denied Leitch-Smith before Ellison saw a free-kick kept out by Cornell, who was single-handedly keeping his side in the game.

Those efforts were not replicated by his colleagues as, despite a slightly nervy period for the Shrimps, they had looked as comfortable as could be expected with a one-goal lead.

The Morecambe defence blocked shots from van Veen and Sam Foley but that was near as Northampton came despite using all three substitutes.

Then they were given that unexpected lifeline; having been cautioned for his part in some early second-half handbags, Roche’s red card saw the Shrimps reduced to 10.

With Morecambe’s defence dropping deeper, Kenyon did his part expertly but was grateful to see John-Joe O’Toole fire thankfully over.

Morecambe Roche, Mills, Yarney, Old, Conlan, Mandeville, Fleming, Wildig (Mendes Gomes 85), Oates (Ellison 66), Leitch-Smith, Oswell (Kenyon 74). Subs not used: Halstead, Jagne, Hedley, Cranston.

Northampton Town Cornell, Facey, Taylor, Barnett, Buchanan, Hoskins, Foley (O’Toole 84), Crooks, Bowditch (Powell 64), van Veen, Williams (Morias 64). Subs not used: Ward, Odoffin, Turnbull, Bridge.

Referee Mark Heywood.

Attendance 1,594.

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