Match Report: Morecambe 4-2 Barnet
SHAUN Miller scored twice as the Shrimps beat Barnet 4-2 at the Globe.
The striker took his tally to 14 for the season with two goals in the first eight minutes of an entertaining encounter.
He opened his account after just 54 seconds before doubling his tally eight minutes in.
The Shrimps’ top marksman then saw several chances for his hat-trick come and go, Alex Kenyon heading in Morecambe’s third on 48 minutes.
Michael Gash’s free-kick 20 minutes from time threatened to make the game interesting but Cole Stockton’s first Shrimps goal made sure of victory on 88 minutes with Gash’s second coming with time almost up.
Just a second victory in 14 games looks to have all but secured Morecambe’s League 2 status for another season.
The Shrimps were in front inside a minute, Miller latching onto Shaun Beeley’s ball over the top before beating the offside trap and chipping the ball over Stack to open the scoring.
Miller had his second from the penalty spot on eight minutes as the hosts raced out of the blocks.
The striker played in Barkhuizen who rounded Stack before being felled. The former Arsenal man was lucky to escape without even a yellow, Miller stepping up and making no mistake as he fired low to Stack’s right to extend Morecambe’s advantage.
Jim Bentley’s side then threatened to streak clear, Lee Molyneux seeing a low shot from distance saved before The Shrimps were denied what looked like a clear second penalty when a Kevin Ellison header hit an arm.
Martin Allen’s side were carrying a threat in an entertaining opening though.
A couple of half-chances came and went with Andy Yiadom guilty of missing the best opportunity 19 minutes in, dragging wide inside the area after a slick move when he should have tested the returning Barry Roche.
It was nearly three for The Shrimps on 28 minutes. Ryan Edwards released Miller with a long ball over the top and the striker’s touch was poor with a hat-trick seemingly waiting but he fed Molyneux who brought a sharp save from Stack.
Miller was then denied a clear hat-trick five minutes later. Having rounded Stack the striker appeared to have rolled in his third from a tight angle, only for the clearly offside Andy Fleming to hammer the ball in from close range meaning the goal was chalked off.
The Shrimps didn’t have to wait long to cement their lead though, their third goal coming three minutes after the interval.
The hosts worked a short corner on the right with Molyneux whipping the ball to the far post where the unmarked Kenyon headed home.
The killer goal becalmed what had been an eventful afternoon.
Miller was still searching for the match ball though but couldn’t beat Stack when in on goal just after the hour mark.
It was Barnet who got the game’s next goal however as they reduced the arrears to two 20 minutes from time.
Gash’s low drive from a well-worked free-kick on the edge of the area took a deflection off Fleming on its way past Roche.
Chances then began to flow at both ends, Miller seeing a shot from a Beeley cross saved by Stack before a long-range shot by Tom Champion was saved by the boot of Roche.
Barnet continued to threaten an interesting finale, Roche saving well from Matt Stevens eight minutes from time.
But Stockton made sure of victory two minutes from time, taking down a long diagonal from Jamie Devitt before hammering home beyond Stack.
There was still time for Gash to score his second with nearly the final kick of the game, the front man taking the ball down before firing home from 15 yards as the Shrimps’ defence switched off.
Morecambe: Roche, Beeley (capt), Edwards, Parrish, Conlan, Barkhuizen (Devitt 64), Kenyon, Fleming, Molyneux (Mullin 77), Miller (Stockton 84), Ellison. Subs not used: O’Hara, McGowan, Goodall, Oliver.
Barnet: Stack, Pearson (Gash 46), N’Gala, Sesay, Muggleton, Yiadom (capt), Togwell, Champion, Gambin (Stevens 73), Randall (Vilhete 46), Akinde. Subs not used: Stephens, Dembele, Nelson, Taylor.
Booked: Yiadom, Muggleton.
Referee: David Coote.
Attendance: 1,175 (96 away)