Shrimps fortunate in victory


Jim Bentley

A draw might have been the fairest outcome from Morecambe’s 2-1 win over Blackpool on Saturday, but that won’t matter to Jim Bentley. The Liverpudlian celebrated passionately with the home fans after the victory, which was won by Michael Rose’s late goal. Gary Bowyer appeared a more reserved figure, but it was clear from the outset that he had the support of the travelling faithful.

With passions running high, we saw a lively start with play unusually stretched for the opening exchanges. Rose’s free-kick was tipped onto the bar by Sam Slocombe and Morecambe often countered down the right via the impressive Tom Barkhuizen, who caused the occasional nervy moment for Andy Taylor.

Blackpool spent most of the first half on top, however. Andy Taylor’s cross bounced dangerously and nearly flew into the net as the Seasiders were given too much space in dangerous areas. After a mistake from Luke Conlan, Brad Potts made them pay on 23 minutes, his strike on the turn finding the bottom corner.

Bright Osayi-Samuel looked a threat down the left with his pace and power, though his end product could have been better at times. Morecambe’s players rarely had the chance to show an end product, seeming unable to get out of their own half. They lacked aggression in the defensive third.

As a result, Cole Stockton looked isolated while Jack Dunn made little impression. It came as a surprise therefore, when the latter got Morecambe’s leveller from a spot kick. It was a fortuitous equalizer for the Shrimps in more ways than one, the Jim McAlister foul on Barkhuizen appearing to have been outside the box, contrary to the referee’s verdict.

It was a quiet start to the second half, but Blackpool had their chances. The hardworking Kyle Vassell showed good movement and Potts looked tidy in midfield. Vassell combined with substitute Mark Cullen but the latter was denied by some good defending from Liam Wakefield.

Morecambe didn’t show enough quality in the opposing half, but that was until they got a winner in the 76th minute. Michael Rose was played through on goal and fired the ball past Sam Slocombe. The hosts were buoyed by the goal though and played with renewed energy after Rose’s strike.

Blackpool’s right side looked increasingly open in the latter stages, Alex Kenyon finding space to fire straight at Slocombe, before Cole Stockton was denied by the ex-Scunthorpe stopper. Potts caused the odd problem on the right side, Lee Molyneux not given enough protection at left-back. However, Potts suffered from a lack of movement in front of him and Blackpool looked out of energy in the closing stages.

Pool paid for a poor finish to the game and therefore threw away the three points, which had been well within their grasp, that would have seen them go top of the league. Their opponents celebrate back-to-back victories for the first time since October, picking up a fortuitous win, but a huge one nonetheless.