Match report: Morecambe 2 Coventry City 0

Morecambe's last home game before Christmas saw them give their fans an early present with three more points.

Saturday, 9th December 2017, 4:36 pm
Updated Saturday, 9th December 2017, 6:10 pm
Vadaine Oliver could have had a hat-trick

Goals in each half from Vadaine Oliver and Callum Lang secured the points for Jim Bentley’s players, whose first-half performance alone was worthy of victory.

Both sides also struck the woodwork but, although Coventry came into the game more after the break, a resolute Shrimps side held firm.

The home camp hadn’t had the ideal build-up with Bentley forced into the latest of changes to his line-up after Alex Kenyon suffered an injury during the pre-match warm-up.

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That meant a quick call-up for Garry Thompson, who had been one of four players left out after defeat at Shrewsbury Town seven days earlier.

It also ensured that Bentley’s planned back three became a more conventional back four with recalls for Aaron McGowan, Elliott Osborne, Michael Rose and Oliver.

Despite the inconvenience, Morecambe began brightly and could have led twice inside the opening 10 minutes.

Seven minutes had gone when Oliver headed down a cross for Thompson, who was beaten to the ball by City keeper Lee Burge.

It fell kindly for Oliver but his effort was headed off the line by visiting defender Rod McDonald.

Moments later and Burge - who starred against the Shrimps in last season’s FA Cup meeting at the Globe Arena - turned behind Thompson’s header.

The woodwork also came to City’s rescue midway through the half when Adam McGurk rattled Burge’s upright from 30 yards and Andy Fleming’s follow-up was cleared off the line.

In contrast, Coventry’s attacking threat was much more limited, though Shrimps keeper Barry Roche kept out efforts from Ben Stevenson and Duckens Nazon.

Oliver should have scored just after the half-hour but, having been sent through, his shot struck the onrushing Burge when he perhaps should have rounded the keeper.

He wasn’t to make the same mistake nine minutes before the break, finishing confidently from Rose’s free-kick.

Oliver also saw a header saved well by Burge with half-time approaching, after which the visitors refreshed their line-up with the introductions of Peter Vincenti and Devon Kelly-Evans.

Roche held shots from Jordan Willis and Marc McNulty before a Bentley substitution paid instant dividends midway through the half.

Seconds after coming on along with Adam Campbell, Lang controlled a pass expertly before beating a man and firing past Burge.

Lang also saw a shot blocked, while McNulty came closest for the visitors with a shot which cannoned back off Roche’s right-hand post.

There was still time for Campbell to place a shot narrowly wide and for Burge to tip over a Thompson effort as Bentley’s men claimed the spoils.

Morecambe: Roche, McGowan, Muller, Old, Brough, Fleming, Rose, Thompson, Osborne (Campbell 67), McGurk (Lang 67, Conlan 89), Oliver. Subs not used: Nizic, Lund, Hedley.

Coventry City: Burge, Grimmer, Willis, McDonald, Haynes, Stevenson, Doyle, Nazon (Vincenti 46), McNulty, Shipley (Kelly-Evans 46), Biamou (Beavon 77). Subs not used: O’Brien, Stokes, Davies, Bayliss.

Referee: Robert Lewis.

Attendance: 1,773.