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Match Reports

MORECAMBE 0-1 BARNET

28 April 2018

Morecambe failed to get the point they need to secure their Football League status as Barnet took the three points with the only goal of the game.

In a vital game the Shrimps failed to score for the third game in succession as their bid for safety will hang on the results of the final weekend of the season.

The only goal of the game came 10 minutes from the end as Alex Nicholls produced a rare moment of quality in a scrappy game to volley past Barry Roche from the edge of the area.

The result means the Shrimps need a point at Coventry City this time next week to be sure of beating the drop.

Jim Bentley named an unchanged starting XI and bench from that which drew against Cambridge United in midweek for a match in which the stakes were high for both sides.

Perhaps for that reason, the opening 45 minutes were scrappy with both sides struggling to play any fluent football.

Morecambe always looked comfortable in the opening period, dealing with the visitors’ long ball tactic while threatning on the attack on several occasions but all too often wasting their final ball.

One early counter-attack saw three Morecambe attackers facing two Barnet defenders, only for the final ball to be lacking.

That was also the case when Adam Campbell burst down the right-hand side but his ball across to Callum Lang was just behind the striker.

Alex Kenyon’s header was comfortably held by Barnet keeper Craig Ross with efforts on goal proving to be at a premium.

At the other end, Barnet full-back Richard Brindley fired a shot across the face of goal and wide, while Coulthirst had a deflected effort easily collected by Barry Roche.

They weren’t helped by an early change which saw Simeon Akinola stretchered off after prolonged treatment on the sidelines but Morecambe seemed pretty comfortable at the break.

That relative comfort disappeared in the second half as Barnet began to throw everything – including the proverbial kitchen sink – at Jim Bentley’s players.

Roche pushed away John Akinde’s shot, narrowed the angle to keep out Nicholls’ effort and made a more comfortable stop from Brindley’s free-kick.

Dan Sweeney also flicked a header over and Brindley sent another free-kick over the bar as Barnet desperately sought the goal they needed.

It duly arrived when Nicholls clinically fired beyond Roche – and should have been followed by a second moments later.

This time, Akinde got behind the defence but saw his shot kept out by the onrushing Roche. In contrast, Morecambe toiled going forward as they played just as many long balls in the second half as Barnet did in the first.

Consequently, chances were scarce with Ross doing well to keep out Lang’s attempt, while Kenyon and Michael Rose both had efforts off target.

Morecambe: Roche, McGowan, Lavelle, Old, Conlan, Kenyon, Rose, Campbell (Wylde 55), Lang, Ellison, McGurk (Oliver 73). Subs not used: Nizic, Fleming, Wildig, Lund, Muller.

Barnet: Ross, Brindley, Santos, Nelson (Watson 76), Tutonda, Akpa Akpro, Weston, Sweeney, Akinola (Nicholls 32), Akinde, Coulthirst (Taylor 70). Subs not used: Legge, Clough, Bover, Payne.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham.

Attendance: 2,073.


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