Match Report: Morecambe 0-3 Exeter City
THE Shrimps suffered a sixth consecutive league defeat at the Globe Arena.
Exeter ran out 3-0 winner thanks to first-half goals from David Wheeler, Joel Grant and Lee Holmes as the Shrimps' miserable home form continued.
Shrimps’ boss Jim Bentley made one change from the side which drew at Colchester United seven days earlier with Lee Molyneux back in the starting XI, replacing the suspended Andy Fleming but the home side produced a shocking first half display and were made to pay
The problems started in the fourth minute when an unchallenged Holmes was allowed to run 30 yards at the Shrimps’ defence before finding Wheeler, who finished clinically.
Lloyd James was off target from 20 yards and a last-ditch tackle thwarted Reuben Reid as Bentley’s players could not come to terms with their opponents.
It was 2-0 on 16 minutes as Exeter were allowed to pass the ball around before Grant created a yard of space and beat Barry Roche to his right-hand side.
Morecambe’s chances were few and far between early on with Molyneux twice seeing shots deflected behind and City keeper Christy Pym keeping out efforts from Cole Stockton and Tom Barkhuizen.
Pym’s afternoon was to end moments later when he came off second best in a challenge with Kevin Ellison when competing for Molyneux’s through ball.
If City were affected by that, they didn’t show it and promptly went 3-0 up as Holmes was given all the time he needed to slot past Roche.
Michael Rose curled a free kick straight at City’s substitute keeper, Bobby Olejnik, while Reid lashed off target at the other end as the first half came to a blessed conclusion for the home side.
The second half was much improved from the home perspective with Jack Dunn, an early replacement for Ellison, a welcome addition with his willingness to run at defenders and cause problems.
Stockton had a shot blocked and fired over after turning a defender, while Olejnik was out quickly and bravely to get the better of Barkhuizen.
Dunn fired straight at the keeper from 20 yards and Stockton volleyed over from Rose’s corner as Bentley’s players showed some belated attacking threat.
Olejnik pushed Molyneux’s effort behind for a corner, which ended with Ryan Edwards’ shot cleared from a yard out by Pierce Sweeney.
James Jennings also found the side-netting before Alex Whitmore headed against the top of the bar in added time as the Shrimps were denied a consolation strike.
Morecambe: Roche, McGowan, Edwards, Whitmore, Jennings, Barkhuizen, Murphy, Rose, Molyneux (Massanka 77), Stockton, Ellison (Dunn 52).
Substitutes: Nizic, Wakefield, Winnard, Mullin, Conlan.
Exeter City: Pym (Olejnik 34), Sweeney, Moore-Taylor, Croll, Woodman, Wheeler, Taylor, James, Holmes, Reid (Simpson 73), Grant.
Substitutes: Watkins, Jay, Riley-Lowe, Ampadu, Stacey.
Referee: David Webb.