Wonder Wanderers sink Shrimps

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley and his assistant Ken McKenna, right

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley and his assistant Ken McKenna, right

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Morecambe crashed to their fifth defeat in six games as Gareth Ainsworth’s Wycombe moved to the top of League Two.

Jim Bentley’s side suffered a second successive home defeat thanks to two wonder goals and a string of controversial refereeing decisions including a harsh sending off for the Shrimps’ star man Jamie Devitt early in the second half.

The visitors opened the scoring on 10 minutes. Midfielder Sam Wood collected the ball 40 yards from goal and let fly with a stunning, dipping volley that flew over the stranded Barry Roche for one of the goals of the season.

Ex-Preston North End striker Paul Hayes should have made it two a couple of minutes later but could only poke the ball into the side netting when in on the left side of the area.

The Shrimps hit back and were denied a clear penalty when Aaron Pierre brought down Kevin Ellison in the box with a foul that would have undoubtedly lead to a red card for the visitors’ defender.

To add insult to injury the Shrimps went 2-0 down a minute later.

Alfie Mawson’s header from a corner was blocked and Hayes made up for his earlier miss by stroking home the loose ball from close range.

Wycombe lost defender Pierre after a nasty collision with his own goalkeeper Matt Ingram and after a long stoppage he was forced to leave the field and the change in personnel clearly unsettled the Chairboys.

Morecambe took advantage and hit back three minutes into first half injury time when the excellent Devitt crossed from the left and Andy Fleming nipped in front of his marker to direct a flick header past Matt Ingram.

The Shrimps then piled on the pressure with Wycombe struggling to regain their shape but the comeback was halted by the sending off of Devitt six minutes into the second half for a tangle with Peter Murphy off the ball.

To their credit the Shrimps looked to go forward and Paul Mullin wasted a glorious chance by drilling the ball wide from the angle when he should have done better.

At the other end, Roche had to be alert at his near post to beat away Matt Kretschmar’s shot and the same player should have scored when put through on goal.

The visitors made the game safe with another glorious strike 18 minutes from time.

After a soft free-kick had been given against Alex Kenyon, Joe Jacobson let fly with a fierce 30-yard drive that was deflected past Roche.

Substitute Padraig Amond almost added a late consolation five minutes from time.

Morecambe: Roche, Beeley, Hughes, Parrish, Goodall, Devitt, Kenyon (rep McCready 78), Fleming, Ellison (rep Sampson 81), Redshaw (rep Amond 75), Mullin. Subs not used: Arestidou, Edwards, Williams, McGowan. Booked: Ellison Sent off: Devitt

Wycombe Wanderers: Ingram, Jombati, Pierre (rep Bloomfield 43), Mawson, Jacobson, Cowan-Hall (rep Holloway 88), Scowen, Kretschmar, Wood, Murphy, Hayes (rep Craig 78). Subs not used: Richardson, McClure, Walker. Booked: Scowen, Wood, Craig

Referee: Philip Gibbs

Attendance: 1,710