Richards strike is killer for Shrimps

Jamie Devitt netted for the Shrimps at Northampton on Saturday

Jamie Devitt netted for the Shrimps at Northampton on Saturday

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Northampton Town 2 Morecambe 1

Morecambe suffered their first defeat of 2015 as Northampton won their fifth successive game.

After five draws on the spin, the Shrimps suffered the worst possible start when they went a goal down after less than 30 seconds.

And even though they replied though Jamie Devitt just before the break they went down to a second-half strike from the prolific Marc Richards.

The Shrimps could not have had a worse start as they went behind after just 27 seconds.

Brendon Moloney was afforded too much space down the right. He sprinted into the area, where his cross was parried into the path of former Preston midfielder Joel Byrom, who hammered home.

Morecambe hit back and after some neat interplay on the edge of the area Laurence Wilson curled an effort just wide of the target.

Byrom almost picked up a second on 13 minutes, though his effort was more likely a cross looking for an unmarked Richards at the far post. But it nearly crept into the corner as Morecambe keeper Andreas Arestidou watched on.

John Joe O’Toole was next up as the home side continued to carve out chances.

A delightful nutmeg through ball from Ricky Holmes put in Lawson D’Ath down the right, and he cut back to O’Toole on the edge of the area. But the midfielder was leaning back and blazed his effort well over.

Holmes was next to waste a gilt-edged chance when he took advantage of a slip from Ryan Edwards to have a chance one-on-one against Arestidou but curled it over.

After a long period on the back foot the Shrimps produced a timely equaliser five minutes before half-time with their first serious attack.

The nippy Jack Redshaw sprung the offside trap and beat the Cobblers defence for pace.

He turned inside and caught Duke by surprise with a low effort at the near post. Duke managed to get a foot on it but the rebound found its way to Devitt, whose header clipped the post and nestled in the net.

Morecambe started the second half looking much the livelier with Kevin Ellison on for Andy Parrish.

Jason Taylor had to make a crucial interception in the box to deny Ellison a free shot at goal.

The pressure continued as Tozer blocked a goal-bound effort from Redshaw.

But much like Morecambe did to them, the hosts scored against the run of play on 54 minutes.

Evan Horwood drove into the box and his shot fell right at the feet of the lurking Richards at the back post, who calmly slotted it underneath Arestidou for his 16th goal of the season.

After that the game was end to end, with both sides showing tremendous pace on the break. Matt Duke made a terrific double save to keep the Cobblers ahead when he saved a stunning hooked volley from Ellison, and he then leapt to his feet to claw Redshaw’s follow-up header off the line.

But the Cobblers squandered an excellent opportunity to go 3-1 up in the 69th minute when Holmes was scythed down in the area by Mark Hughes. Referee Rob Lewis had no hesitation in pointing to the spot but Richards smacked the post with his penalty effort from 12 yards.

Arestidou may even 
have got the slightest of touches to knock it onto the woodwork.

The topsy-turvy encounter continued as the visitors were next to hit the post.

Alan Goodall let fly with a superb effort from nearly 25 yards but the shot crashed off the inside of the post and Morecambe ended the game on top but failed to get the goal they needed to take anything from the match.

Northampton Town: Duke, Moloney, Diamond (repTozer, 45), Collins, Horwood, O’Toole (Hackett, 80), Taylor, Byrom, D’Ath, Holmes (Newey, 88), Richards. Subs (not used): Snedker, Bodin, Carter, Toney.

Morecambe: Arestidou, Edwards, Hughes, Parrish (Ellison, 45), Beeley, WilsVon, Goodall, Fleming (Sampson, 88), Devitt, Redshaw, Amond (Mullin, 66). Subs (not used): Jones, Kenyon, Williams, McGowan.

Referee: Rob Lewis

Attendance: 4,307