Bradford City 2 Morecambe 1: Goals in each half see the Shrimps beaten

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Morecambe slipped out of the League Two play-off spots following defeat against an improving Bradford City side on Tuesday night.

The Shrimps started well and took an early lead through John O’Sullivan but were undone by goals either side of the break from Anthony O’Connor and former Chorley loanee Charles Vernam as they dropped to eighth in the table.

The game started at a frantic pace with both sides creating early chances.

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Bradford had the first opening when Vernam was found free inside the box but the striker drilled his shot wide when he should have done better.

John O'Sullivan scored for MorecambeJohn O'Sullivan scored for Morecambe
John O'Sullivan scored for Morecambe

Three minutes later, it was the Shrimps’ turn to waste a golden opportunity.

Cole Stockton took the ball on the right-hand side and drilled in a low cross for Carlos Mendes-Gomes, only for the youngster to miss the target.

However, Morecambe went a goal ahead after only eight minutes as O’Sullivan curled in a cross from the right-hand side.

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The ball hung in the wind and dipped over home keeper Sam Hornby before ending up in the back of the Bantams’ net.

The home side looked to hit back with Vernam firing over before they levelled on 27 minutes with a well-worked goal.

Bradford created space down the right and the ball was pulled back for Anthony O’Connor, whose shot beat Kyle Letheren after taking a deflection off the unfortunate Kelvin Mellor.

The Shrimps ended the half on top with Aaron Wildig clipping an effort over from the edge of the area and Nathaniel Knight-Percival failing to take advantage of O’Sullivan’s neat lay-off.

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Morecambe carried that form into the second half but wasted two more good chances.

Mellor blazed wide from 12 yards and Mendes-Gomes failed to make the most of a one-on-one opportunity as he got the ball trapped between his feet when he looked sure to score.

The Shrimps were made to pay for those misses as Bradford took the lead with a fortunate goal of their own.

Vernam’s cross evaded everyone and ended up in the back of the net with Morecambe claiming strongly that the offside Gareth Evans got the final touch or did enough to put off Letheren.

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The home side should have extended their lead on 73 minutes when Vernam headed over from six yards before Niall Canavan almost turned in Paudie O’Connor’s header.

Although Morecambe dominated the final stages, they failed to break down Bradford’s stubborn defence with only a Brad Lyons volley threatening the home goal.

Bradford City: Hornby, A O’Connor, P O’Connor, Canavan, Wood, Sutton, Watt, Vernam (Stevens 85), Cooke, Evans (Crankshaw 83), Cook (Rowe 63). Subs not used: O’Donnell, Pritchard, Donaldson, Cousin-Dawson.

Morecambe: Letheren, Mellor (Cooney 73), Lavelle, Knight-Percival, Gibson (Hendrie 73), Diagouraga, Songo’o (Slew 82), O’Sullivan (McAlinden 78), Wildig (Lyons 73), Mendes-Gomes, Stockton. Subs not used: Halstead, Denny.

Referee: Alan Young.

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