Ellison wonder goal sinks Dale
KEVIN Ellison’s wonder goal helped Morecambe on their way to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Rochdale at the Globe Arena writes ADAM WOODHOUSE.
Chris McCready gave the Shrimps a first-half lead with a scrambled effort, before Ellison hit a 30-yard volley into the top corner to score his 12th goal of the season.
Andy Fleming completed the scoring with a well-placed finish, with the Shrimps moving to within eight points of the play-off places.
Jim Bentley made four changes to the side which lost 3-2 at Burton Albion on Tuesday night, with Andy Wright, Ryan Williams, Lewis Alessandra and Jack Redshaw all returning to the starting line-up.
Ellison, Robbie Threlfall and Jordan Burrow dropped to the bench, while Gary McDonald was absent from the Shrimps squad.
When the sides met at the Globe earlier in the season for the FA Cup first-round, Rochdale winger Bobby Grant was a constant threat to the Morecambe defence and that looked like it would continue after just three minutes.
The tricky winger cut inside from the right and hit a powerful, curling shot towards the Shrimps goal but fortunately for Barry Roche it went agonisingly wide of the post.
Keith Hill’s side did not have it all their own way in the early exchanges though, with Holroyd just failing to connect with a floated cross to the back post by Redshaw.
The Shrimps were not as wasteful with their next chance, however, as Williams’ well delivered corner flew straight onto the shin of McCready and flashed past Josh Lillis into the Rochdale goal.
The visitors failed to hit Morecambe with an immediate reply and the game became scrappy with both sides failing to string several passes together.
Will Haining – who made his 100th start for the club on Tuesday night against Burton – saw his speculative drive fly over the Rochdale bar, with the Shrimps struggling to make the ball stick up front.
That failure to keep possession in the Dale half saw the visitors take a foothold on the game and the Shrimps had Roche to thank for keeping them ahead after 21 minutes.
Striker Terry Gornell outmuscled McCready to put himself through on goal, but despite hitting a firm shot Roche was alert to save with his legs.
Despite that pressure, the home side should have doubled their lead just before the half-hour mark when Alessandra drifted a cross to the back post, but former Rochdale striker Redshaw failed to get enough contact on his header and it went harmlessly wide.
The visitors continued to enjoy more sustained spells of possession but struggled to break down the Shrimps defence, with McCready and Nick Fenton nullifying anything thrown at them as they took a narrow lead into the half-time break.
The second-half began with Rochdale again seeing more of the ball, but it was the Shrimps who looked more dangerous in front of goal and came close to a second through Alessandra.
On the counter-attack he glided past defender Phil Edwards to put himself through on goal, before curling a shot just two yards wide of the post.
The game then changed when Ellison – who today signed a new one-year contract with the Shrimps – replaced Holroyd ten minutes after the restart.
The winger needed just five minutes to score one of the goals of the season, as he watched the ball drop from high in the sky, before cleanly unleashing a ferocious 30-yard volley which flew into the top corner of the Rochdale goal.
With the majority of the Globe Arena still on their feet celebrating that goal, the Shrimps went further ahead after a slick passing move three minutes later.
Alessandra beat two men, before sliding Haining in down the right-hand side, with the Shrimps captain crossing low into the box, where Williams cleverly stepped over the ball for Fleming to run in and confidently side foot past Lillis into the bottom corner.
That goal knocked the stuffing out of the visitors, who could only muster a few long range efforts, which were comfortably saved by Roche.
The Shrimps nearly added a fourth, but Lillis did well to hold a powerful effort from the impressive Alessandra, as the Shrimps saw out a seventh home win of the season.
Morecambe: Roche; Haining, McCready (Doyle 90), Fenton, Wright; Drummond, Fleming (Burrow 77), Williams; Alessandra, Redshaw, Holroyd (Ellison 55).
Unused subs: Arestidou, Threlfall, Mwasile, Parkinson.
Rochdale: Lillis; Bennett, Cansdell-Sheriff, Edwards, Rose (McIntyre 66); Jones, Barry-Murphy (Thompson 66), Kennedy, Grant; Henderson, Gornell (Grimes 74).
Unused subs: Collis, Rafferty, Donnelly, Haworth.
Referee: C Boyeson