Morecambe 1 Forest Green Rovers 2: Visitors' late one-two floors the Shrimps

A-Jay Leitch-Smith had given Morecambe the leadA-Jay Leitch-Smith had given Morecambe the lead
A-Jay Leitch-Smith had given Morecambe the lead
Morecambe suffered their second home league defeat of the season as two late goals from Forest Green Rovers gave them victory at the Mazuma Stadium.

The Shrimps had led for more than an hour thanks to the returning A-Jay Leitch-Smith, only for Jake Young and Jamille Matt to hand the visitors victory.

Morecambe boss Derek Adams was forced into three changes from the side that drew with Mansfield Town in midweek.

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The injured duo of Ryan Cooney and Liam Gibson were missing, along with the self-isolating Cole Stockton.

It meant recalls for Kelvin Mellor and Stephen Hendrie, as well as a first league start of the season for Leitch-Smith.

The visitors had gone into the game on the back of a midweek defeat to Colchester United but began on the front foot.

Odin Bailey and Aaron Collins were both off target from 20 yards in the opening stages as they began brightly, playing some easy-on-the-eye football.

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That almost yielded a stunning team goal on 16 minutes when a move from back to front needed a last-ditch clearance from Yann Songo’o to keep the Shrimps on level terms.

Aaron Wildig had seen a shot deflected behind and Toumani Diagouraga was thwarted by Rovers keeper Luke McGee before the Shrimps took an 18th minute lead.

Forest Green failed to clear deep in their own half and the ball rebounded across goal for Leitch-Smith to finish emphatically.

Adams had tweaked the Shrimps’ tactics with Songo’o dropping into the centre of a back three alongside Sam Lavelle and Nat Knight-Percival.

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It paid off on the half-hour when another timely intervention thwarted Collins before play switched to the other end, where McGee pushed away Adam Phillips’ free-kick.

Both sides had decent chances to score again, Ebou Adams blazing over when well placed and Wildig narrowly off target from 20 yards.

Carl Winchester also had two efforts from distance for the visitors as the Shrimps preserved their advantage at the break.

Four minutes into the second half and the Shrimps almost doubled their advantage, only for the woodwork to deny Wildig.

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Young, a half-time substitute, curled an effort across the face of the Morecambe goal and wide as both sides rejigged their line-ups after the interval.

In Morecambe’s case, Liam McAlinden and Ben Pringle were both introduced around the hour mark, replacing Leitch-Smith and Phillips respectively.

After hitting the woodwork earlier in the half, Morecambe were thankful for it midway through when Bailey’s effort had Jake Turner beaten all ends up but struck the bar.

There was to be no let-off on 79 minutes, however, when Matt won an aerial challenge and headed down for Young to fire home the leveller.

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Four minutes later and the visitors’ comeback was completed as Matt headed home to secure the spoils.

Morecambe: Turner, Mellor, Knight-Percival, Lavelle, Hendrie, Diagouraga, Song’o, O’Sullivan, Wildig, Phillips (Pringle 62), Leitch-Smith (McAlinden 59). Subs not used: Halstead, Slew, Mendes-Gomes, Price.

Forest Green Rovers: McGee, Godwin-Malife, Stokes, Kitching, Richardson, Bailey, Winchester, Adams (Whitehouse 76), March (Young 46), Matt, Collins (Wagstaff 68). Subs not used: Thomas, Bernard, Evans, McCoulsky.

Referee: Michael Salisbury.