Morecambe 1 Harrogate Town 0: Second-half goal sees Shrimps maintain home rule
Morecambe earned their fourth straight home win as Aaron Wildig’s second-half goal was enough to secure three points.
The midfielder’s fifth goal of the season settled matters at the Mazuma Stadium as Derek Adams’ players made it one defeat in their last nine at home.
Though one goal was enough for victory, Morecambe could have made life easier for themselves had Cole Stockton and Carlos Mendes-Gomes taken their chances after Wildig’s goal.
Adams made four changes to the side beaten at Newport County AFC seven days earlier.
Stephen Hendrie and Jordan Slew were both suspended with Nat Knight-Percival and Alex Kenyon back on the bench.
Back came Wildig and Stockton from injury, while Ryan Cooney and John O’Sullivan were also recalled.
Both sides began brightly with the visitors seeing George Thomson have a shot blocked with barely a minute gone.
At the other end, Cooney broke forward but was unable to repeat his two-goal haul against Manchester United’s U21s, curling an effort wide from 20 yards.
Wildig clipped a shot off target, as did Thomson for Harrogate, who also saw Connor Kirby hook an effort over the bar.
The best chance of the half came just past the quarter-hour when Stockton released Wildig, who returned the ball back to the striker but he could only shoot horribly wide.
Proceedings then took a scrappy turn with neither side able to capitalise upon their possession.
Brendan Kiernan was lively down the right for Harrogate, though an end product was lacking, as was the case with the Shrimps when they got into the final third.
However, it livened up again as half-time approached with Wildig placing another attempt off target and Kiernan seeing a shot blocked before the break.
Phillips had an early long-range effort held by Harrogate keeper James Belshaw early in the second period, while Stockton had a shot blocked as the Shrimps began well.
That start was rewarded on 57 minutes when Phillips sent over a terrific cross from the right-hand side and Wildig headed home at the back post.
It should have been boosted further just past the hour but Stockton spurned two great chances in the space of a minute.
The first came on 61 minutes when he turned his man and had a clear sight of goal, only to be thwarted by Belshaw.
Seconds later, he collected Josh Falkingham’s errant pass, ran through from halfway but saw his shot saved by Belshaw again.
That generosity almost haunted Morecambe midway through the half when Cooney lost possession and Jack Muldoon fired over from Ryan Fallowfield’s cross.
Kiernan fired over from 20 yards but Morecambe should have put the game to bed in the 85th minute.
Kirby’s error allowed Mendes-Gomes a free run on goal, only for Belshaw to keep out his first effort and his follow-up to be cleared off the line by Fallowfield.
Jake Lawlor saw a late header easily held by Mark Halstead but, despite four minutes of added time, Morecambe were able to claim the victory.
Morecambe: Halstead, Mellor, Lavelle, Davis, Cooney, Wildig, Songo’o, O’Sullivan, Mendes-Gomes, Phillips (Kenyon 83), Stockton. Subs not used: Turner, Knight-Percival, Diagouraga, Leitch-Smith, McAlinden, Gibson.
Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Lawlor, Hall, Burrell, Thomson, Falkingham, Kirby, Kiernan, Martin (Stead 80), Muldoon. Subs not used: Cracknell, Beck, Kerry, Miller, Lokko.
Referee: Ollie Yates.
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