Morecambe 1, Oldham Athletic 2: Errors are costly for Morecambe in loss to Latics
Derek Adams’s side failed to build on their weekend victory over Newport County and mistakes at both end of the pitch proved costly in a tight game.
The game started at a great pace and the first effort on goal came from Oldham winger Jonny Smith who latched onto a poor Luke Conlan clearance to create space in the penalty box and drill a low shot that forced a fine save from Mark Halstead low to his left hand side.
The Latjcs were then forced on the back foot with David Wheater producing a fine clearance to deny Mendes-Gomes a shot on goal before the visitors had a stoke of luck when a Conlan free kick from 30 yards on 24 minutes crashed against the top of the crossbar.
Azankpo then gave the visitors the lead on the half hour as he gratefully accepted a post Christmas gift from Mark Halstead. Filipe Morais tried his luck from range which Halstead saved easily only to push the ball straight onto the path of Azankpo who slotted the loose ball into the empty net from three yards out.
Chris McCann, who controlled much of the pace in the first half fired an effort well wide before the home side ended the half with a swift counter attack that ended with former Morecambe player Zak Mills making a vital last-gasp clearance to ensure Cole Stockton’s cross didn’t reach Kevin Ellison at the far post.
The home side were soon back in the game as they levelled within two minutes of the second half.
A long ball forward was superbly controlled by Leitch-Smith who then teed up Mendes-Gomes perfectly for the midfielder to slot the ball under Zeus De la Paz.
Stockton wasted a glorious chance to give the home side the lead on 68 minutes when he was gifted a free effort by Tom Hamer’s poor back pass but the striker blazed wildly over. Again Oldham hit back and Scott Wilson stuck the outside of the post after a great first touch gave him the chance to fire in a low shot from the edge of the area.
The Latics would not be denied for long however as they took the lead 15 minutes from time. A cross into the box ended with Smith seeing a shot blocked but the ball fell perfectly for Sylla who scored from six yards out.
Star man Smith almost made it 3-1 with a superb effort that hit the top of the Morecambe crossbar before the Shrimps staged a late rally that saw them have the ball in the back of the net four minutes from time only to see Alex Kenyon’s close range effort ruled out for offside.
Morecambe: Halstead, Tanner, Old, Kenyon, Conlan, Mendes-Gomes (rep Miller 80), Brewitt (rep Sutton 80), O’Sullivan, Leitch-Smith, Stockton, Ellison. Subs not used: Da Silva Mendes, Alessandra Wildig, Brownsword, Cranston.
Oldham: De La Paz, Mills, Wheater, Hamer, Iacovitti, Sylla, McCann, Morais (rep Wilson 68), Maouche, Smith, Azankpo (rep Egert 88). Subs not used: Woods, Face, Akpa Akpro, Emmerson.
Ref: A Backhouse.