Morecambe 4-3 Doncaster Rovers
Sky Bet League One
The Mazuma Stadium
Sunday 2 January 2022
Attendance: 4,001 (392 away)
The Shrimps came from three goals down at half-time to pick up three huge points against fellow relegation candidates Doncaster Rovers on home soil.
First-half goals from Aidan Barlow, Dan Gardner and Joseph Olowu gave the South Yorkshire side a commanding lead at the break.
But two goals from Cole Stockton, one from Jonathan Obika and one from Toumani Diagouraga helped stage a dramatic comeback in front of 4,000 spectators at the Mazuma Stadium.
The visitors opened the scoring after eight minutes when a corner from Brandon Horton eventually made its way to Barlow at the far post, who managed fired home from close range.
Moments later Stephen Robinson’s men came close, a through Jonah Ayunga. A cross from the right by Ryan McLaughlin found its way into the box and there was Ayunga at the front post but could only head over from close range.
It was Ayunga again who had the next chance, a corner was swung into the box by Leeds United loanee Alfie McCalmont, and again, Ayunga could not direct his effort goal-wards.
On the 26th minute, the visitors doubled their lead.
A ball into the box from Horton found Gardner inside the box and his shot had too much power on it and managed to find a way through the hands of Kyle Letheren in the Shrimps goal.
Three minutes later, Gary McSheffrey’s men found the back of the net again. A cross into the box from the left found defender Olowu who nodded in from close range.
Half-time: Morecambe 0-3 Doncaster Rovers
The first chance of the second-half fell to the home side and in-turn saw the Shrimps finally get on the scoresheet.
A cross from the left-hand side was nodded down by Anthony O’Connor into the path of Stockton who found the back of the net to notch his 14th league goal of this Sky Bet League One campaign.
Stockton was inches away from finding the net again just after the hour mark. A free-kick by Shane McLoughlin found the striker just inside the penalty area, but his header was inches away from finding the bottom-left corner of Louis Jones’ goal.
On the 74th minute Stockton would eventually get his second of the game.
A terrific tackle in the middle of the park by Toumani Diagouraga he set McLoughlin through on goal before pulling the ball back for Stockton, who has the task of slotting the ball home past the beaten Jones.
Striker Obika was introduced 10 minutes from the break and that substitution proved to be the right one as he netted his first league goal for the club on the 83rd minute.
An effort from Greg Leigh was heading wide of the mark before Obika changed its final destination and guided the ball into the back of the net to complete the comeback.
With minutes of the game remaining, there was still enough time for more drama at the Mazuma Stadium, with Diagouraga netting one of the best goals you are likely to see this season.
McLoughlin’s corner was headed clear only to the edge of the box, before an unbelievable half-volley from Diagouraga nearly took the back of Jones’ net off and sparked wild celebrations in the home end.
Full-time: Morecambe 4-3 Doncaster Rovers
Morecambe: Letheren, McLaughlin, Leigh, O’Connor (C), Diagouraga, Stockton, Ayunga (Cooney 90’), McLoughlin, Gibson, Gnahoua (Obika 78’), McCalmont (Wildig 46’).
Subs not used: Andresson, Jones, Delaney, Cooney, Nicholson.
Goals: Stockton 52’, 74’, Obika 82’, Diagouraga 86’
Bookings: Ayunga 86’
Red cards: None
Doncaster Rovers: Jones, Knoyle, Olowu, Bogle (Dodoo 34’), Rowe (C), Smith, Barlow (Cukur 61’), Hiwula, Galbraith, Gardner (Ravenhill 46’), Horton.
Subs not used: Dahlberg, Williams, Hasani, Blythe.
Goals: Barlow 8’, Gardner 26’, Olowu 29’
Bookings: Hiwula 61’, Olowu 84'
Red cards: None