Shrimps suffer shoot out defeat
Morecambe 0-0 Carlisle [Carlisle win 4-3 on penalties]
MORECAMBE were knocked out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on penalties after their second round tie with Carlisle ended goalless at the Globe Arena.
Midfielder Andy Fleming missed the all-important spot-kick as his attempt cannoned off the crossbar and onto the goal-line, while Ryan Williams blazed over from 12 yards.
The visitors scored all four of their penalties, with Padraig Amond, Andy Wright and Robbie Threlfall the successful takers for Morecambe.
Both sides created some key openings in normal time but Andreas Arestidou saved well from both Matty Robson and Brad Potts, while Mark Gillespie denied Kevin Ellison with an acrobatic save.
The shoot-out defeat means the Shrimps’ have not reached the quarter-final of the competition since the 2008-09 season, while the club’s six-match unbeaten run in all competitions comes to an end.
Boss Jim Bentley made five changes from Saturday’s extraordinary 4-3 win against Chesterfield, with Fleming included in the starting XI for the first time since early September.
Other changes saw Arestidou, Threlfall, Joe McGee and winger Joe Mwasile all come in, while Barry Roche, Ellison, Williams and Jack Sampson were named amongst the substitutes.
With Threlfall taking up the left-back spot after returning from a three-match ban, Tony Diagne was deployed in an unfamiliar left-wing position for a game which began quietly at the Globe Arena.
The only chance in the opening 10 minutes fell to the visitors but forward David Amoo hit a shot high over the Morecambe crossbar after a corner was cleared into the former Preston North End man’s path.
As the Cumbrians tried to build on that chance, the Shrimps also began to get men forward and Bentley’s side came close to taking the lead after 16 minutes.
After Amond did well to hold up the ball, he found Wright whose clever low cross was just too quick for Mwasile and the youngster could only get minimal contact on the ball and his effort skewed narrowly wide of the near post.
Despite chances coming at a premium in the opening stages they soon began to flow and Carlisle midfielder James Berrett hit a driven shot which stung the hands of Arestidou, before a similar effort at the other end from McGee was deflected wide by the outstretched leg of Paul Thirlwell.
Those openings created optimism around the Globe Arena for another end-to-end encounter but with both sides taking this competition seriously it continued to be a cagey first half.
The Shrimps’ did threaten to break the deadlock just before the half-hour mark but after Amond collected Threlfall’s diagonal ball he shot high and wide of the near post after driving into the box.
The pacey Amoo was Carlisle’s danger man in the first 45 minutes but it was his strike partner Lewis Guy who should have scored the game’s first goal but he headed over when unmarked at the back post from Berrett’s powerful cross.
As the first-half came to an end the visitors looked the more likely side to go in ahead and they came close to doing that when they won a free-kick on the edge of the Morecambe penalty area.
Left-back Robson stepped up to take the set-piece but his powerful, curling effort was met by both hands of the flying Arestidou who did well to palm it away from danger and the half ended goalless.
Graham Kavanagh’s side continued to be the more creative side after the break and the Cumbrians twice came close to breaking the deadlock within seven minutes of the restart.
First, midfielder Potts was played through on goal by Amoo but with just Arestidou to beat he tried to round the ‘keeper and the Shrimps’ no.25 stuck out a hand to claim the ball off the teenager’s toes.
Carlisle’s second clear-cut chance also fell to England youth international Potts but this time he sliced a left-footed shot wide after more good wing play from Amoo.
With the Shrimps’ growing frustrated the game then witnessed two controversial incidents as both sides were fortunate to keep 10 men on the pitch.
Just after the hour mark Carlisle defender Sean O’Hanlon was shown just a yellow card despite appearing to stamp on Shrimps’ striker Amond, before Morecambe captain Mark Hughes cynically brought down Potts but was also handed only yellow.
Those distractions from a poor start to the second half by the Shrimps seemed to raise the home side’s game as Bentley’s men began to put some spells of possession together.
That improvement led to several goalscoring opportunities and Mwasile’s well-hit shot was blocked for a corner, before substitute Ellison flicked on Threlfall’s left-wing cross but after taking a deflection off Carlisle defender Thirlwell ‘keeper Gillespie acrobatically turned the effort over his own crossbar.
Wright headed the resulting corner high over the Carlisle ‘bar as the Shrimps’ continued to build pressure on the Cumbrians’ goal.
David Symington nearly caught Arestidou out with a high cross in a rare attack for the visitors but the Morecambe ‘keeper held on as the Shrimps’ created more openings of their own.
First, Amond hit a dipping half-volley from the edge of the area which Gillespie palmed aside, before the Carlisle shot-stopper caught a low drive from Ellison.
Saturday’s match-winner Amond then turned well in the box but his left-footed effort flew into the side netting as the Shrimps’ continued to push forward.
With penalties looming Carlisle also went on the attack in the final 10 minutes but with both defences standing firm several long-range efforts failed to seriously test either ‘keeper and the game went to the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
Morecambe [4-3-3]: Arestidou; Wright, Parrish, Hughes, Threlfall; McGee [Williams 73], Kenyon, Fleming; Mwasile [Sampson 81], Amond, Diagne [Ellison 63].
Subs not used: Roche, Doyle.
Carlisle [4-3-3]: Gillespie; McSweeney, Thirlwell, O’Hanlon, Robson; Berrett, Potts [Townsend 81], Noble; Eccleston [Gillies 84], Amoo, Guy [Symington 73].
Subs not used: Fleming, Brough.
Referee: D Webb
Attendance: 2297