Match Report: Morecambe 2-1 AFC Wimbledon
THE Shrimps returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Wimbledon at the Globe Arena.
Jim Bentley's side claimed their their first victory in 11 games with two goals in four minutes in the second half.
Substitute Andy Fleming opened the scoring on 76 minutes before Jamie Devitt seemingly sealed the victory from the penalty spot 10 minutes from time after Ryan Sweeney had been sent off for pulling back Tom Barkhuizen.
But the Shrimps had to survive a late scare as, George Francomb scored on 90 minutes to set up a nervy finale. Barry Roche was forced to make a stunning save four minutes into injury time and Ade Azeez was guilty of missing a gilt edged chance to take a share of the spoils from the rebound.
Morecambe, who made just one change to the starting line up with Tom Barkhuizen coming in for the injured Aaron Wildig, made a bright start with Kevin Ellison coming the closest to breaking the deadlock early on as a right-foot volley went over the bar three minutes in.
Morecambe continued to look the more likely to open the scoring, Kelle Roos denying Barkhuizen in on goal after he’d been found by a Devitt pass on the quarter hour.
Wimbledon were growing into the game with Lyle Taylor’s cross evading everyone as it fizzed across the six-yard area.
Both sides cancelled each other out for large periods however, Shaun Beeley preventing Andy Barcham converting Francomb’s cross before Roos kept out Barkhuizen’s shot at the near post.
The visitors did have the ball in the net 10 minutes before the break but Rhys Murphy was in an offside position when he converted the rebound after Barry Roche had saved Taylor’s shot from distance.As half-time approached Murphy was allowed to play on when he perhaps should have been flagged for a second time, but the on-loan front man could only drag his shot wide when found by a fine Jake Reeves through ball.
It continued to be a cagey affair early in the second period, Barkhuizen failing to testing Roos with a header from a Shaun Beeley cross on 52 minutes.
At the other end Roche was then called on to deny first Barry Fuller and then Sean Rigg with a pair of sharp, low saves as the game continued to be level pegging.
It was The Shrimps who got their noses in front 14 minutes from time.
Shaun Miller’s mazy run into the box ended with his shot being blocked, the ball breaking to Fleming who finished well from 12 yards on his return from suspension.
The Dons nearly hit straight back but after outpacing Andy Parrish Taylor saw his shot from a tight angle come back off the post.
It was 2-0 for The Shrimps almost immediately from the penalty spot.
Barkhuizen rounded Roos and just as he was about to pull the trigger was pulled back by Sweeney, referee Geoff Eltringham having no hesitation in pointing to the spot and giving the Dons defender his marching orders. Devitt stepped up and made no mistake to double Morecambe’s advantage.
Ellison nearly made it three shortly after but Roos saved well ensuring Wimbledon had a chance of a finding a way back into the game.
Despite being a man light the Dons had their goal in the last minute of the 90, Paul Robinson nodding down for Francomb who kept his cool to fire low beyond Roche.
The game then entered five minutes of stoppage time and substitute Ade Azeez should have levelled things up but could only blaze over after Roche had saved well from Lyle Taylor as Morecambe hung on for a much-needed victory.
Morecambe: Roche, Beeley (capt), Edwards, Doyle (Parrish 70), Conlan, Goodall (Fleming 67), Kenyon, Barkhuizen, Devitt, Ellison, Miller (Mullin 82). Subs not used: O’Hara, McGowan, Molyneux, Wilson, Parrish
AFC Wimbledon: Roos, Fuller (capt), Robinson, Sweeney, Meades, Francomb, Reeves, Bulman, Barcham (Rigg 46), Taylor, Murphy (Azeez 75). Subs not used: Shea, Kennedy, Fitzpatrick, Gallagher, Kalambayi.
Booked: Meades, Reeves. Sent off: Sweeney.
Referee: Geoff Eltringham
Attendance: 1,477 (295 away)