Shrimps suffer Boxing Day defeat
THE Shrimps suffered a second defeat of the season to derby rivals Fleetwood Town.
A second half goal from David Ball earned former North End legend Graham Alexander his first win as a Football league manager.
Ball struck with a looping header on 68 minutes to give Fleetwood a league double over a below par Shrimps who struggled to create any clear cut chances against Alexander’s side who won for the first time in six games.
The first half saw few chances.
Fleetwood started the brighter and in the first minute Junior Brown fizzed a low shot from the left hand side of the box just wide of the post.
Three minutes later Steven Gillespie gave Barry Roche his first test of the afternoon with a right foot shot from 25 yards that forced the Morecambe keeper into a decent parry.
The game then became something of a dour midfield battle with Morecambe threatening briefly with Kevin Ellison forcing Scott Davies into a neat save low to his right with a snapshot from inside the box on 26 minutes.
At the other end Gillespie failed to find the target when he was presented with a half chance from Jamie Milligan’s corner before the home side had a half shout for a penalty turned down on 36 minutes when Ball went down under Roche’s clumsy challenge but the referee waved the appeals away.
The Shrimps enjoyed their best period of the game at the start of the second half when Richard Brodie dragged a shot just wide of the right hand post and Izak Reid tested Davies with a free kick from the edge of the area.
Fleetwood then enjoyed a period on top with lively substitute Alex Titchiner heading inches wide before Ball produced the vital moment of quality with a header from Junior Brown’s pinpoint cross.
FLEETWOOD: Davies, Beeley, Artkinson, Goodall, Howell; Milligan (rep Johnson 88), Marrow, Nicholson (rep McGuire 25), Brown; Ball, Gillespie (rep Titchiner 45). SUBS: Maxwell, McLaughlin, McNulty, Allen.
BOOKED: Goodall, Atkinson.
MORECAMBE: Roche; Wright, Fenton, McCready, Mustoe; McDonald (rep Alessandra 82), Drummond, Fleming; Ellison, Brodie, Reid (rep Redshaw 72) SUBS: Arestidou, Threlfall, Haining, McGee, Doyle.
Ref: D Webb