Match Report: Morecambe 3-4 Bristol Rovers
Morecambe suffered a third successive home defeat in this seven goal thriller at the Globe Arena.
In a game that followed a similar pattern to others recently the Shrimps looked a threat going forward but defensive mistakes were costly as they conceded four goals for the second time this season.
There was little to suggest the goal spree in the beginning as both sides struggled to create openings.
The visitors did look the more lively and after a good move down the right Barry Roche was forced into a good save from Billy Bodin’s shot and Andy Fleming was on hand with a perfectly-timed challenge to deny Mansell a free shot on goal.
Jake Gosling then volleyed just wide for Rovers from 25 yards before at the other end a strong right hand from Lee Nichols denied Shaun Miller who was recalled to the Shrimps' starting line up
But it was The Pirates who were beginning to move the ball around nicely.
Roche produced a fine save low to his right to help Mansell’s shot onto the post before the midfielder got his goal moments later in the 28th minute.
Morecambe only half cleared a corner with Jake Gosling hitting the byline and pulling the ball back for Mansell to score on the stretch from 12 yards.
Rovers kept coming after opening the scoring, Gosling pulling a shot just wide from 20 yards.
Out of nothing The Shrimps were level on 43 minutes however.
Miller broke down the left channel with Nicholls inexplicably racing from his line allowing the former Crewe man to lift the ball over Wigan loanee and in from 20 yards.
Morecambe didn’t deserve to be level and they weren’t for long with Rovers going back in front two minutes into the second half.
Bodin breezed through The Shrimps midfield and fed Jermaine Easter free in the box with the striker’s shot saved by Roche before Bodin hammered home the rebound.
It was all too easy as the visitors made it three on 58 minutes with Taylor beating Dugdale to flick home Lee Jones’ drilled cross from the left.
But then for the second time in the game Morecambe scored from nowhere a minute later.
Dugdale’s long punt over the top released Barkhuizen in on goal and the in-form front made no mistake as he beat Nicholls to reduce the arrears to one.
It was the visitors who got the game’s next goal however, Rovers’ fourth coming from the spot 10 minutes from time.
Shaun Beeley was the man penalised for handball despite being only a couple of yards from Bodin’s cross.
Ellis Harrison stepped up and made no mistake, hammering the ball beyond Roche and into the roof of the net.
Morecambe soon had a penalty of their own three minutes from time however.
Miller went down under challenge from Mansell with Paul Mullin stepping up to second Nicholls the wrong way and set up a grandstand finale.
Kevin Ellison created a great opening for himself with a superb turn in the box but flashed his shot wide with the final chance of the game.
Morecambe: Roche, Parrish, Dugdale, Edwards, Beeley (capt), Goodall (Kenyon 71), Fleming, Molyneux (Ellison 71), Devitt (Mullin 80), Barkhuizen, Miller. Subs not used: Thompson, McGowan, Bailey, Ryan.
Bristol Rovers: Nicholls, J Clarke, Lockyer, McChrystal (capt), Brown, Gosling, Sinclair, Mansell, Bodin (Leadbitter 88), Taylor (O Clarke 82), Easter (Harrison 74). Subs not used: Mildenhall, Parkes, Lines, Montano.
Referee: Andrew Madley