Match report: Morecambe 0 Luton Town 2

Cole Stockton was Morecambe's likeliest source of a goal
Cole Stockton was Morecambe's likeliest source of a goal
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It’s now seven straight home league defeats for Morecambe as promotion hopefuls Luton claimed three points at the Globe Arena.

Goals in each half from Danny Hylton and Isaac Vassell sealed the points for the visitors, who were full value for their victory.

The Shrimps ended the game with 10 men after Alex Whitmore collected his second red card of the season for a challenge on Olly Lee.

It was another decision from referee Ben Toner which aggravated the home camp, who felt they could have had two first-half penalties - but came away with nothing.

Shrimps boss Jim Bentley had made two changes from the side beaten in their FA Cup replay at Coventry City in midweek.

Back into the starting XI came Aaron McGowan and Peter Murphy, replacing Andy Fleming and Aaron Wildig.

It looked like Bentley had made 11 changes, however, as Morecambe were a distinct second best for much of the opening 45 minutes.

The visitors enjoyed long spells of dominance, looking particularly threatening down the flanks and using the pace of Vassell.

Hylton forced Roche to make an early save with his feet before Morecambe’s defence had to block subsequent efforts from Hylton and Alex Gilliead.

For all that early pressure, however, the Shrimps were left bemused at Mr Toner’s refusal to give a penalty when Murphy seemed to be hauled down by Alan Sheehan on the quarter-hour.

That was as good as it got for Bentley’s players in the opening half-hour and they found themselves behind on 26 minutes as Hylton curled home from 20 yards.

A low save prevented an identical outcome four minutes later before the Shrimps finally began to assert themselves.

Ryan Edwards shot a yard over from distance and Cole Stockton’s effort was well saved by Christian Walton before yet more refereeing controversy with half-time approaching.

This time, a cross from the left was heading towards Aaron McGowan, who seemed to be impeded; again, however, nothing was given.

Kevin Ellison and Stockton were off target after the break before Luton doubled their lead on the hour.

Roche failed to deal with James Justin’s cross-cum-shot, palming it onto the bar, and Vassell was quickest to the loose ball.

Vassell found the side netting moments later as Luton looked for a third while, in contrast, the Shrimps could no nothing more than huff and puff.

Paul Mullin, Rhys Turner and Ntumba Massanka all came off the bench to little or no effect before the Shrimps’ day took a turn for the worse late on.

Having flown into one challenge, Whitmore then launched himself into a 50-50 tackle with Olly Lee and, despite appearing to play the ball, was shown a straight red card

With time running out, Hylton made a similarly strong challenge on James Jennings but only picked up a yellow card; it was that sort of afternoon.

Morecambe: Roche, Winnard, Edwards, Whitmore, McGowan, Murphy (Turner 71), Rose, Molyneux, Jennings, Ellison (Mullin 71), Stockton (Massanka 82). Substitutes: Nizic, Wakefield, Conlan, Dunn.

Luton Town: Walton, Justin, Mullins, Rea, Sheehan, Lea, Gilliead (Gray 86), McGeehan, Mpanzu (Smith 82), Vassell (Marriott 80), Hylton. Substitutes: King, O’Donnell, Mackail-Smith, McQuoid.

Referee: Ben Toner.

Attendance: 1,502.