Blackpool 3-1 Morecambe
MORECAMBE suffered their first away defeat since the end of December as they went down to derby rivals Blackpool.
Antony Evans scored his first ever Football League goal but it proved to be a mere consolation after goals from Mark Cullen, Brad Potts and an unfortunate Ryan Edwards own goal.
Boss Jim Bentley made two changes to the side that drew at Portsmouth with Michael Duckworth and Peter Murphy coming into the side in place of the suspended Michael Rose and Rhys Turner.
Both sides started brightly but it was Blackpool who struck first.
With 14 minutes gone Potts produced a dangerous inswinging left foot cross which got the faintest deflection from the head of Mark Cullen to beat the stranded Barry Roche.
Potts then quickly went close himself, hitting a low shot at the visitors’ goal. Only a fine low save from Barry Roche prevented it from being two in as many minutes.
Again Potts was the architect as Pool continued to dominate. A one-two with scorer Cullen saw the midfielder drill the ball across the face of Roche’s goal, but there was no takers for Blackpool.
Daniel was next to force a save from the opposing goalkeeper after being threaded through by Cullen on the left, but the ball was parried away from danger.
The relentless Tangerine attack didn’t let up, with Potts again going close. With a storming run from midfield, then followed by a deft touch to beat his man, Potts ran through and struck just wide from a tight angle.
Morecambe had their best chance of the half with just under 10 minutes of the half to go. Dean Lyness got down to superbly save a Paul Mullin shot following a set-piece. Then, brilliant defending from Clark Robertson denied Alex Whitmore from levelling at the back post.
Eight minutes after the interval, The Seasiders doubled their lead with a controversial goal. After what looked to be a clear foul on Andy Fleming, Kelvin Mellor ran on goal on the counter attack and played in Potts who made it 2-0 with a cool finish.
Jordan Flores should have put the game to bed when he latched on to Peter Murphy's mistake but was denied by an excellent Barry Roche save.
Jim Bentley’s side began to attempt a comeback with 20 minutes left to play. Mullin went close at the near post after a whipping Rhys Turner cross, the touch was too light, however, and the ball just evaded veteran striker Kevin Ellison at the back.
Gary Bowyer changed his side to a 4-3-3 with Osayi-Samuel being introduced for Flores, as they tried to see out the game.
He almost immediately sent fellow substitute Armand Gnanduillet through on goal, but the big French striker fluffed his lines as the goalkeeper approached, and sliced it wide of the mark.
It wasn’t to matter, though, as the young winger created the third. Osayi-Samuel ran at his marker, and after a step-over or two later, saw his cross loop into the net via a massive deflection from Edwards.
Antony Evans pulled a goal back for the Shrimps in quick-fire fashion following a goal mouth scramble, meaning a nervy last stretch was in for Pool but the Shrimps could not find a way back in the game.
Blackpool: Lyness, Aimson, Aldred, Robertson, Mellor, Potts, Payne (rep Black 84), Flores (rep Bright-Samuel 67), Daniel, Cullen (rep Gnanduillet 73), Delfouneso, Subs not used: Boney, Nolan, Odelusi, Correia.
Morecambe: Roche, Wakefield (rep Turner 60), Edwards, Whitmore, Rose, Duckworth, Murphy, Fleming (rep McGowan 71) Molyneux, Wildig (rep Evans 78), Ellison, Mullin.
Subs not used: Nizic, Winnard, Conlan, Jordan.
Booked: Murphy, Roche.