Morecambe 0 Tranmere Rovers 1: Ten-man Shrimps are left to pay the penalty

Morecambe suffered their first home defeat in 11 matches following a game where they missed a penalty and ended with 10 men.

By Gavin Browne
Saturday, 30th January 2021, 5:02 pm
Updated Saturday, 30th January 2021, 5:06 pm

Kaiyne Woolery’s second-half effort proved the difference on a day when the Shrimps saw Adam Phillips waste a first-half spot-kick and Yann Songo’o dismissed with half-time approaching.

Shrimps’ boss Derek Adams had made one change from the side which won at Exeter City in midweek with new signing Kyle Letheren starting in goal.

They could have led inside 90 seconds when a free-kick was half-cleared to John O’Sullivan.

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Yann Songo'o was sent off just before half-time

His shot was heading off target but the ball was collected by Toumani Diagouraga, who brought it under control but prodded wide.

O’Sullivan’s backheel towards Phillips was intercepted at the last minute before an offside flag denied the latter a carbon copy of his goal against Colchester United seven days earlier.

A gusty, swirling wind, allied to a less than pristine playing surface made the game a battle with niggly fouls and misplaced passes aplenty in the opening quarter.

Rovers had enjoyed some decent possession, prompted by Jay Spearing, but hadn’t created anything with it until just before the half-hour.

Then, a lovely move freed Otis Khan down the right-hand side and his cross was headed off target by James Vaughan.

With the wind behind him, Rovers’ Peter Clarke shot off target from 30 yards before the Shrimps spurned a golden chance with half-time seven minutes away.

Spearing was deemed to have blocked Cole Stockton’s shot with his arm, only for Phillips to blast his spot-kick way over the bar.

Vaughan sent another effort off target before the half ended with the Shrimps down to 10 men.

With Morecambe in possession, play was halted for an injury to Tranmere midfielder Paul Lewis and triggered a flare-up between both sets of players.

In the aftermath, Songo’o was dismissed for what appeared to be a case of foul and abusive language.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, it was the Shrimps who had the first chance of the second half when Stockton’s first-time effort sailed over.

However, the visitors began to get up a head of steam which stemmed from them denying the Shrimps a breakaway on the hour.

Lewis had three headers in the space of a couple of minutes, sending one off target and forcing Letheren into saves from the other two.

Khan sent another effort out of the ground and Woolery also headed over as the Shrimps were forced to dig deep.

They were unable to hold on as, with a little more than quarter of an hour remaining, yet another cross was sent in, this time by Danny Lloyd, and Woolery powered home a header.

Morecambe’s response was to withdraw Mendes Gomes, introducing Harry Davis and reverting to three at the back.

Nevertheless, it was the visitors who continued to press with Liam Feeney seeing a shot deflected behind and a number of corners come to nothing.

Despite the late introductions of Brad Lyons and Liam McAlinden, as well as three minutes of added time, the Shrimps came up short.

Morecambe: Letheren, Cooney, Knight-Percival, Lavelle (McAlinden 90), Hendrie, Diagouraga, Songo’o, O’Sullivan (Lyons 87), Phillips, Mendes Gomes (Davis 81), Stockton. Subs not used: Da Silva Mendes, Slew, Pringle, Gibson.

Tranmere Rovers: Davies, Khan, Monthe, Clarke, Macdonald, Lewis, Spearing, Kirby (Lloyd 46), Feeney, Vaughan, Woolery (Ridehalgh 89). Subs not used: Murphy, O’Connor, Morris, Jolley, Ray.

Referee: Paul Howard.

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