Ellison brace earns first league win
KEVIN ELLISON scored twice as Morecambe picked up their first win of the season against Exeter at the Globe Arena writes ADAM WOODHOUSE.
The winger opened the scoring with a composed header 54 seconds into the second half before cementing the three points for the Shrimps nine minutes from time with a clever lob.
It was a much improved performance from Jim Bentley’s side following last weekend’s defeat at Portsmouth and a front three of Ellison, Marcus Marshall and Jack Sampson caused constant problems for an Exeter side who lost for the first time this season.
Boss Bentley made five changes to the side which lost 3-0 at Portsmouth with Chris McCready making a welcome return from injury.
Wingers Marshall and Ellison were also back in the Shrimps’ starting XI after recovering from hamstring injuries, while Barry Roche replaced Andreas Arestidou in the Morecambe goal.
With Andy Wright serving a one-match ban, summer signing Alex Kenyon made his first start for the club - as Stewart Drummond, Robbie Threlfall and Padraig Amond all dropped to the bench.
Before the game Bentley had called for a response from his players following the disappointing performance at Fratton Park but it was a slow start to proceedings at the Globe Arena.
A warning handed to debutant Marshall for a late challenge on Exeter left-back Craig Woodman was the most noteworthy event in a cagey opening 10 minutes.
The game did witness its first chance moments later however, with Exeter striker Sam Parkin heading against the back of McCready’s head from David Wheeler’s right-wing cross, despite Ryan Williams appearing to receive a hand in the face earlier in the move.
That sense of injustice spurred the Shrimps on and Sampson came close to diverting Andy Fleming’s speculative low drive towards goal, before the Morecambe no.9 saw a header cleared off the line twice in quick succession by the Grecians’ defence.
With the Globe Arena crowd now viewing a much more attacking encounter, Exeter striker John O’Flynn hit the outside of the Morecambe post from an acute angle.
The Republic of Ireland U21 international then escaped ahead of the Shrimps’ defence but his low shot was deflected narrowly wide of the post with Roche scrambling along his goal-line.
Those chances appeared to liven up both sets of players and Williams volleyed just over from the edge of the area, while Fleming curled a long range strike just a yard over Artur Krysiak’s goal.
As the first-half came to a close the visitors continued to look threatening in attack and the dangerous O’Flynn was presented with two chances to put his side ahead at the break.
First, he diverted a flick-on from his strike partner Parkin wide of the Morecambe goal when he should have done better, before a poor first touch took the Irishman away from goal - after a defence splitting through ball from Tommy Doherty - which allowed Mark Hughes to slide in and clear the danger as the half ended goalless.
If the opening stages of the first 45 had been cagey, they certainly weren’t after the break as the Shrimps came flying out of the traps for the second period.
With less than a minute played after the restart, Sampson delivered an inch perfect cross into the Exeter box which the unmarked Ellison headed firmly across Krysiak and into the back of the net to give Morecambe a 1-0 lead.
Buoyed by that opener the Shrimps’ front three continued to push forward and after a wild clearance by right-back Aaron Dawson the ball fell to Sampson but he could not sort his feet out quickly enough and Woodman nipped in to clear.
Despite that pressure it was the Grecians who came close to scoring the game’s next goal as the tricky Arron Davies worked space for himself before unleashing a powerful curling shot which Roche did well to palm around the post.
That opportunity was a rare one for Paul Tisdale’s side though and the Shrimps continued to look the dominant force with the Grecians struggling to deal with the aerial ability of Sampson.
With all the focus on the ex-Bolton frontman, the pacey Marshall stole in ahead of the visiting defence but Krysiak was down well to turn his cross behind the post, before Sampson headed the resulting corner over the crossbar.
Tisdale then made a double change for the visitors and one of those arrivals Alan Gow came within inches of finding himself through on goal but he just failed to connect with a through ball as the Morecambe defence briefly lost their concentration.
The Shrimps remained the more confident side however and Williams hit another dipping free-kick which flew agonisingly wide of the right post as the home side sensed a second goal.
Bentley’s side did not have to wait long to celebrate their third goal of the season however, as Sampson and Ellison combined once again.
The powerful striker was found 25 yards from goal by substitute Joe Mwasile but instead of attempting an ambitious shot on goal he produced an inch perfect ball over the Exeter defence which Ellison controlled with his chest before deftly lobbing over the advancing Krysiak.
With the home fans now in a celebratory mood, the visitors struggled to find a reply but did come close when O’Flynn forced a smart two-handed save from Roche.
The result nearly got better for the Shrimps and for star man Ellison late on but after he rounded goalkeeper Krysiak defender Danny Coles cleared off the line, as Morecambe had to settle for just the two.
Morecambe: Roche; Parrish, McCready, Hughes, Diagne; Kenyon, Fleming, Williams (Drummond 83); Marshall (Mwasile 73), Sampson (Amond 83), Ellison.
Subs unused: Arestidou, Threlfall, Doyle, McGee.
Exeter: Krysiak; Dawson, Bennett, Coles, Woodman; Wheeler (Reid 83), Oakley, Doherty (Keohane 64), Davies; O’Flynn, Parkin (Gow 64).
Subs unused: Pym, Moore-Taylor, Nichols, Grimes.
Referee: M Brown