Morecambe 1 Barrow AFC 0: First-half goal gives the Shrimps victory
Morecambe earned their first league victory in five matches with victory against 10-man Barrow.
Carlos Mendes-Gomes’ third goal of the season settled matters at the Mazuma Stadium as the home side was pushed all the way before eventually claiming three points.
Shrimps’ boss Derek Adams made four changes from the starting line-up which saw off Solihull Moors after extra time in the FA Cup last weekend.
Three of Saturday’s substitutes - Mark Halstead, Stephen Hendrie and John O’Sullivan - started along with Nat Knight-Percival as Morecambe reverted to three at the back.
From the corner, Adam Phillips’ cross was headed back across goal by Harry Davis and Knight-Percival fired over.
Scott Quigley shot wide for the visitors, who were grateful to Dixon for keeping them level on 11 minutes,
Phillips lost his man in running onto Stockton’s through ball but Dixon was out quickly to smother his shot before O’Sullivan’s close-range volley was blocked.
Barrow didn’t learn their lesson as Morecambe took the lead a minute later, Mendes-Gomes running onto Phillips’ long pass before rounding Dixon and slotting home.
If some of the Barrow players were livid at the assistant referee Graeme Fyvie for missing an apparent offside, they were furious at being reduced to 10 men on 15 minutes.
Last man Sam Hird was sent off for handball as Mendes-Gomes tried to run through on goal, though it did appear he was fouled in the process.
The game took a scrappier turn after that with both sides conceding a number of free-kicks and the Shrimps unable to capitalise on their numerical advantage.
Mellor headed wide and Quigley, who was a constant menace throughout, saw an effort deflected behind at the other end as half-time arrived with the Shrimps a goal ahead.
Both keepers were brought into action early in the second half with Dixon pushing Stockton’s effort behind and Halstead blocking Quigley’s close-range effort after he got the better of Knight-Percival.
That was the defender’s last real involvement as he was taken off shortly afterwards, replaced by A-Jay Leitch-Smith as the Shrimps switched to four at the back.
Having made a key intervention quarter of an hour into the first half, Mr Fyvie did the same after the break.
This time he upset both sides as Morecambe felt Quigley was offside when getting into the area and he wanted a penalty after going down under pressure from Sam Lavelle.
Neither decision was forthcoming, though Quigley again threatened the Shrimps with a 20-yard effort narrowly off target.
Leitch-Smith and Stockton booth failed to test Dixon as Morecambe sought a second goal to put daylight between them and the visitors.
Phillips had a header saved and Mendes-Gomes a shot blocked but one goal eventually proved enough for the Shrimps.
Morecambe: Halstead, Lavelle, Davis, Knight-Percival (Leitch-Smith 56), Mellor, Songo’o, Phillips, Hendrie (Cooney 72), O’Sullivan, Mendes-Gomes, Stockton (Diagouraga 86). Turner, Slew, Kenyon, Pringle.
Barrow AFC: Dixon, Barry, Hird, Platt, Brough, Kay (Wilson 19), C Taylor, J Taylor, Biggins (Angus 61), James (Reid 61), Quigley. Subs not used: Lillis, Brown, Gribbin.
Referee: Martin Coy.
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