Morecambe 1-2 Cheltenham Town
THE Shrimps conceded two goals in a minute in the second half to lose a controversial clash against struggling Cheltenham.
It was a day where little went right for Jim Bentley's side who lost Liam Wakefield, Rhys Turner and Peter Murphy to injury in the first half, saw Alex Kenyon sent off and the manager sent to the stands on a day where there was very little Christmas cheer.
Without the suspended Kevin Ellison and Alex Whitmore and James Jennings, who could not play against his parent club, the Shrimps were so short of numbers that they could only name five subs on the bench.
When Wakefield was forced to leave the field in only the second minute holding his side the situation looked even worse.
But despite all that Morecambe got off to the perfect start with the opening goal of the game on six minutes.
A poor clearance from Daniel O’Shaughnessy gave Rhys Turner a free run on goal.and although his shot from the edge of the box was saved by Russell Griffiths the ball fell perfectly into the path of Peter Murphy who slotted the ball home from six yards out.
Paul Mullin then tested Griffiths again from distance before a poor game was given a spark when Morecambe midfielder Alex Kenyon was given a controversial red card after being fouled by Kyle Storer on 41 minutes. The decision happened right in front of Morecambe boss Jim Bentley was was so incensed that he was sent to the stands for his reaction.
When Storer's elbow connected with Murphy before the break the Shrimps' fury continued with the Morecambe skipper being forced to go to hospital and not coming out for the second half.
Against the 10 men the visitors forged their first opening of the game on 45 minutes when Harry Pell found Billy Waters who turned smartly in the box but curled his effort wide of the right hand post.
The second half saw the Robins dominate possession but struggled to get past a stubborn home defence until Waters reacted sharply to stab home the loose ball from six yards after the home side failed to clear a right win corner.
Seconds later Cheltenham added a second when Waters turned creator with a pinpoint cross from the right that gave Pell a free header to scored from close range.
Barry Roche produced a superb late save to tip over a close range Koby Arthur shot before Aaron McGowan produced a late effort with a shot that flew wide of the right hand post.
Morecambe: Roche, Wakefield (Fleming 4), Edwards, Winnard, Conlan, Rose, Kenyon, McGowan, Murphy (Molyneux 45) , Mullin, Turner (Massanka 31).
Subs not used: Nizic, Jordan,
Cheltenham: Griffiths, O’Shaughnessy (Arthur 64), Downes, Parslow, Dickie, Storer, Pell, Cranston, Munns (Barthram 72), Waters, Wright, Morgan-Smith 59).
Subs not used: Kitscha, Rowe, Bower, Thomas.
Ref: M Salisbury.