Match Report: Morecambe 4-1 Notts County
THE Shrimps produced a superb performance to beat Notts County 4-1 at the Globe Arena.
The hosts were three-up before the break, Lee Molyneux curling home the opener inside two minutes before Paul Mullin's close-range strike and Michael Rose's contentious penalty gave Morecambe a healthy lead.
The Shrimps saw Andrew Fleming red-carded in first-half injury time for a lunge on Curtis Thompson and substitute Jonathan Forte pulled a goal back late on with a cool finish.
But, as the visitors pushed forward int he search for another goal late on, Kevin Ellison lashed home the home side's fourth after a stunning effort from young substitute Luke Jordan hit the woodwork and bounced back into his path.
Shrimps' boss Jim Bentley, watching the game from the stands after being handed a two game touchline ban, made three changes to the side with Liam Wakefield, Paul Mullin and Lee Molyneux allo returning.
The visitors started brightly with John Stead havng a sight at goal with less than a minute on the clock, benefiting from good Sam Osborne wing play before seeing his shot deflect behind for a corner.
It was the Shrimps who struck first however when with two minutes played Molyneux curled the ball into the bottom corner from 20 yards with a fine finish.
It was a frantic start and Molyneux could have doubled his tally on eight minutes when he wasn't picked up on the edge of the area at a corner. The ball was rolled to him in acres of space but he miscued his shot, sending it well wide with his first-time effort.
Molyneux showed his threat again moments later, forcing an excellent block by Duffy, before Kevin Ellison saw a header diverted just past the post by a Notts defender as the hosts appealed for handball.
Morecambe continued to pile on the pressure and Mullin forced Loach to save smartly from a curling effort.
The hosts doubled their lead shortly afterwards, however. After Loach blocked Ellison's cross-cum-shot at the near post Mullin had time to compose himself eight yards out before lashing the ball home.
Morecambe added a third on 30 minutes when the referee awarded Morecambe a penalty after Richard Duffy had slid in on Mullin. Michael Rose made no mistake from the spot, sending Loach the wrong way.
Morecambe were cruising towards half-time but gave themselves a problem shortly before the break when Fleming lunged in on Thompson and was shown a straight red card.
With the man advantage County started the second half on the front foot with Stanley Aborah wasting a good chance from a right wing corner and Adam Campbell seeing a shot deflected behind. The former Newcastle man then volleyed the ball low towards goal only to see his well-struck effort brilliantly saved by Barry Roche.
Aaron Collins lashed a shot just wide of the post before the visitors did breach the Morecambe defence with 10 minutes to go when Stead flicked the ball round the corner cleverly for Jonathan Forte, who stroked it into the far corner.
The Magpies piled on the pressure as time ticked away, Roche making a superb save to tip Stead's effort wide.
And, just after four added minutes were indicated, the hosts hit Notts with a sucker punch. Substitute Jordan produced a superb run on goal and struck the ball towards the top corner. Loach did brilliantly to tip the ball on to the bar but Ellison lashed it home on the follow up to cap a memorable afternoon.
Morecambe: Roche, Wakefield, Edwards, Winnard, Conlan (Murphy 87), Mullin (Jordan 78), Rose, Fleming, Molyneux, Wildig (Kenyon 69), Ellison.
Subs not used: Nizic,
Notts County: Loach, Tootle (Aborah 46), Hewitt, Duffy, Dickinson, Osbourne (Forte 66), Thompson (Collins 76), Connor, Milsom, Stead, Campbell.
Subs not used: Collin, Hollis, Richards, Audel.
Ref: C Boyeson