Morecambe 1-2 Bournemouth

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley.
Morecambe boss Jim Bentley.
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Morecambe did themselves proud as they were knocked out of the EFL Cup by Premier League Bournemouth.

Jim Bentley’s side more than matched their top flight opponents from start to finish but Marc Wilson’s shot from distance early in the second period was enough to see the Cherries, and their £40 million worth of talent, into the third round.

Max Gradel had given the visitors an early lead only for Cole Stockton to level things up just before the quarter hour in a cup tie that was easy on the eye.

Former Stoke defender Wilson restored the visitors’ advantage shortly after the interval and despite The Shrimps pummeling the Bournemouth goal late on Eddie Howe’s side hung on for victory.

Morecambe started the game playing like a side who were top of the league, Stockton firing an early shot over the bar from distance after good work from Andy Fleming.
The Tranmere loanee then turned provider, nodding down for Tom Barkhuizen just inside the area with the winger bringing a save from Adam Federici with a stinging left-foot shot.

The visitors, showing 10 changes from their defeat to West Ham on Sunday, were in front on eight minutes though, Gradel finding room on the edge of the box after a Michael Rose slip before firing a low shot beyond Barry Roche and in off the post.

Howe’s side could have doubled their lead shortly after but Junior Stanislas could only shoot straight at Roche after finding room in behind.

It was The Shrimps who got the game’s next goal however, drawing level on 14 minutes.

Ryan Edwards flicked on Barkhuizen’s long throw with Stockton taking a touch before firing home on the turn from 10 yards.

The game continued to go from end-to-end with the next opening Bournemouth’s midway through the half, Lewis Grabban heading Simon Francis’ cross narrowly wide.

The Shrimps were then thankful to in-form stopper Roche for keeping the scores level on the half hour with a fine double save.

First the Irishman kept out Benik Afobe’s low shot before springing to his feet to block Gradel’s rebound.

Bournemouth should have gone in front in the final minute of a pulsating opening 45 but Grabban could only slice wide Francis’ cross.

There was more drama to come in stoppage time with a flowing move finding Barkhuizen on the right whose shot came crashing off the inside of the post.

The visitors dominated possession right from the first kick of the second half and were in front eight minutes after the interval.

Despite the Cherries controlling proceedings the goal came almost out of nothing as Wilson’s shot from 25 yards went through a crowd of players before beating Roche low to his left.

The goal didn’t kill Morecambe off though, far from it.

After Roche had denied Afobe, the striker capitalising on a poor Rose back pass, Federici had to scramble a poor ball back from Wilson off his own line in a crazy 60-second period.

Jack Dunn then came within a whisker of a leveller 20 minutes from time but saw his well-struck shot from just outside the area go narrowly wide.

Substitute then Lys Mousset drilled a shot just the wrong side of the post seven minutes from time for the visitors before The Shrimps nearly made it a memorable finale.

Kevin Ellison almost caught out Federici with a cross that threatened to creep under the crossbar with the Cherries stopper then holding onto a Paul Mullin header shortly after.

The drama came in stoppage time as Edwards twice came close, a header coming off the top of the bar before the defender extended Federici with a well-struck shot.

It wasn’t to be however as The Shrimps bowed out with their heads held high.

Morecambe: Roche, Wakefield, Edwards, Conlan, Fleming, Rose (capt), Barkhuizen, Dunn (Mullin 80), Molyneux (Ellison 73), Stockton (Turner 80). Subs not used: Nizic, McGowan, Kenyon, Hedley.

Bournemouth: Federici, Francis (capt), Ake, Wilson, Smith, Stanislas (Pugh 61), Cook, Gosling, Gradel (Hyndman 90), Grabban (Mousset 77), Afobe. Subs not used: Holmes, O'Kane, Buckley, Lee.

Referee: Peter Bankes


Attendance: 2,542 (293 away)