Shrimps shocked at Stanley
Morecambe’s woeful Football League record against Accrington Stanley continued as they were hammered by their Lancashire rivals at the Store First Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Shrimps are now 14 games without a win against James Beattie’s side and never looked like ending the run as they put in arguably their worst performance of the season.
A disastrous opening saw Jim Bentley’s side two down inside the opening 10 minutes thanks to Lee Molyneux’s early strike and Kal Naismith’s penalty.
Headed goals from corners for central defensive pair Tom Aldred and Dean Winnard then ended the rearranged game as a contest before Padraig Amond scored a consolation goal against his former club.
Lee Molyneux’s stoppage time strike completed the Shrimps’ misery however as their three-game unbeaten run came crashing to a halt.
Morecambe’s shocking start began with Molyneux giving the hosts the lead after just four minutes.
The visitors appealed for offside from a deflected through ball but it went away from its intended target and into the path of the winger who ran unchecked from deep to lift the ball over Barry Roche and in.
And things went from bad to worse 10 minutes in, Will Hatfield getting the wrong side of both Kevin Ellison and Robbie Threlfall in the box before being brought down, referee Nigel Miller having no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Naismith stepped up and confidently sent Roche the wrong way to double Stanley’s advantage and give the Football League’s comeback kings a mountain to climb.
It was nearly an even greater challenge two minutes later, Roche getting down well to save James Gray’s effort from distance low to his left.
Hatfield then got in behind Threlfall again on 23 minutes but couldn’t make proper contact on an in-swinging cross when he should have tested Roche.
After the disastrous opening quarter the remainder of the first half was scrappy, punctuated by the Shrimps squandering what possession they had.
In a rare sight of goal for either side, Naismith fired a shot from range wide that had Roche interested on the stroke of half time.
With boss Jim Bentley’s words ringing in their ears the Shrimps were much improved after the break and had a golden chance to pull a goal back five minutes into the second half.
Ellison’s hooked ball released Jack Redshaw but Marcus Bettinelli in the Stanley goal rushed out to block the striker’s effort.
Morecambe were in the ascendancy but the hosts were always a threat, Peter Murphy shooting wide at the near post after good work from Molyneux down the left on 54 minutes.
It was a warning the Shrimps didn’t take note of as Stanley all but ended the game as a contest four minutes later.
Murphy rose highest to meet Hatfield’s left-wing corner at the near post with his header crashing off the bar and falling to Winnard who had the simple task of nodding home from close range.
It turned into a rout on 65 minutes as Aldred headed home Molyneux’s corner as the Shrimps were once again far too easily beaten in the air from a set piece.
Things could have got even worse for the visitors as Stanley went in search of a fifth.
Molyneux saw a cross go through the hands of Roche and hit the crossbar before Ellison was lucky not to concede a penalty as he brought down Adam Buxton in the box, referee Miller waving away the Stanley protests on a bad night for the official.
The Shrimps’ consolation came six minutes from time with substitute Amond bundling home Ryan Williams’ corner at the near post.
Their misery wasn’t over however as Molyneux added a fifth in stoppage time, breaking forward after a Shrimps attack broke down before firing past Roche as Stanley picked up a much-needed three points in their battle to beat the drop.
Accrington Stanley: Bettinelli, Buxton, Aldred, Winnard, Wilson (Hunt 70), Naismith, Murphy (Windass 78), Joyce, Molyneux, Hatfield (Mingoia 78), Gray. Subs not used: Webber, Odejayi, Atkinson, Bowerman.
Morecambe: Roche, Wright, Threlfall, Hughes (capt), McCready, Kenyon, Williams, McGee (Sampson 45), Devitt (Marshall 67), Ellison (Amond 78), Redshaw. Subs not used: Arestidou, Diagne, Mwasile, Doyle.
Booked: Ellison, Threlfall
Referee: Nigel Miller