Last minute goal sinks Shrimps
MORECAMBE conceded a last minute goal as SPL side Motherwell ran out 2-1 winners in an entertaining encounter at the Globe Arena writes ADAM WOODHOUSE.
Padraig Amond had cancelled out Henri Anier’s early strike but a 90th minute winner from trialist Jack Smith meant the Shrimps suffered a second home defeat in four days.
Andy Parrish returned to Jim Bentley’s starting line-up for the first time this pre-season, while Barry Roche, Tony Diagne, Stewart Drummond, Kevin Ellison and trialist Amond also started from the off.
It was a bright start to the game for the Shrimps and they came close to taking a three minute lead through Drummond.
The veteran midfielder connected firmly with an Andy Fleming free-kick but his powerful back-post header was palmed away by the strong hand of Motherwell goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen.
Bentley’s men continued to look dangerous in the final third and Fleming’s 30-yard low drive was pushed aside by Nielsen as the Shrimps sensed an opener.
As was the case against Middlesbrough on Wednesday however, the visitor’s broke the deadlock against the run of play.
With 17 minutes on the clock trialist Anier latched onto a defence splitting through ball from Iain Vigurs before rounding Roche and sliding the ball into an empty net.
That setback did not dampen home spirits though and Nielsen had to be at his best again minutes later to deny the Shrimps an instant equaliser.
Winger Ellison tapped the ball around Fraser Kerr and after meeting the ball on the other side of the defender he unleashed a ferocious left-footed shot which Nielsen acrobatically turned behind for a corner.
Despite the heroics of former Manchester City stopper Nielsen the home fans did not have to wait long to celebrate an equaliser.
After persistence by Marcus Marshall on the right, Amond prodded his low cross towards goal and courtesy of a deflection the impressive Nielsen was wrong-footed to level the scores.
With the Shrimps now on top Amond could and probably should have made it two just five minutes later but he headed over from close range after a flick on from a Morecambe corner.
The visitors – struggling to string any spells of possession together – then had a chance of their own to take the lead, but Anier, when through on goal, could only place his shot wide of the left post.
As the game became stretched Ellison saw his close range tap-in correctly ruled out for offside, before Nielsen clawed away a 25-yard curling effort from Fleming to leave the scores level at the break.
The Shrimps came out unchanged for the second-half and it was a slow start by both sides after an action-packed first 45 minutes.
With little happening in terms of goalscoring opportunities for the Shrimps, Mark Hughes attempted a 40-yard shot but it flew well wide of the Motherwell goal.
An intricate passing move between Diagne and Fleming then freed up space for the former Wrexham midfielder but his long range shot was deflected and easily held by Nielsen.
Substitute Ryan Williams then tested the Faroe Islands international with a dipping right-footed shot but the keeper again parried the effort wide.
As the half wore on the visitors grew in confidence and new signing Stephen McManus headed narrowly wide from a corner before Silva saw his shot hooked off the line after a clever cutback from Vigurs.
The Steelmen continued to push men forward and with virtually the last kick of the game they condemned the Shrimps to their second defeat of pre-season.
Trialist Smith found himself unmarked at the back post to head past Roche and despite Hughes’ acrobatic clearance the ball was deemed to have already crossed the line with Silva tapping into an empty net to make sure of the Motherwell victory.
Morecambe: Roche; Parrish (Williams 58), McCready (Doyle 67), Hughes, Diagne (Threlfall 80); Drummond, Wright (Denson 80), Fleming; Marshall (Carlton 78), Amond (Sampson 83), Ellison (Mwasile 78). Unused subs: Jones, Kenyon, McGee.
Motherwell: Nielsen; Kerr, Hutchinson, McManus, Francis-Angol; A Trialist (A N Other 45), Carswell, Lawson, Vigurs (Smith 85); Sutton, Anier (McCafferty 78). Unused subs: Stewart, Ferguson.
Referee: D Bond