Morecambe 1 Ipswich Town 1: Late goal denies Derek Adams a fairytale return as Shrimps manager

Derek Adams’ second spell as Morecambe boss began with a point after they looked set for all three at the Mazuma Stadium.

By Gavin Browne
Saturday, 26th February 2022, 5:01 pm
Updated Saturday, 26th February 2022, 5:02 pm

Forty-eight hours after replacing Stephen Robinson, the Scot saw his side withstand intense pressure before leading on the hour through Aaron Wildig’s header.

However, Wes Burns levelled on 87 minutes for an Ipswich team, who could have taken all three points but for an inspired performance from Shrimps’ keeper Trevor Carson.

Adams had kept faith with the starting XI beaten at Rotherham United in midweek, as well as retaining the same line-up on the bench.

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Aaron Wildig headed Morecambe into the lead

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Morecambe manager has that familiar feeling on being back in charge at the Mazum...

It was the visitors who had the better of the early possession and they perhaps should have taken the lead inside 10 minutes.

A cross was half-cleared to Sone Aluko, who picked out James Norwood but he fired well off target when he might have been expected to test Carson.

Rhys Bennett’s last-ditch challenge denied Aluko, six yards out, as the Shrimps tried to establish a foothold.

Aluko saw further efforts deflected and blocked before the visitors should have led with the half-hour looming.

Sam Morsy was allowed to advance to the edge of the area, and though his shot was pushed out by Carson, the rebound fell to Macauley Bonne who headed wide.

Bonne headed a Tareeq Bakinson cross off target with a clinical finish the only thing missing from Ipswich’s display.

Further incisive play from the visitors allowed Bakinson to run at the Morecambe defence but his shot from 18 yards was turned away by Carson.

In contrast, Morecambe’s first-half attacking play was limited to a Shane McLoughlin free-kick which drifted wide of Christian Walton’s upright.

Adams’ response was the introductions of Wildig and Adam Phillips, as well as a change from three at the back to 4-1-4-1.

Straight away, the Shrimps looked a yard quicker with Ipswich not having the time on the ball they had in the first half.

The hitherto quiet Cole Stockton curled an effort well off target from the edge of the area as Morecambe looked an altogether more effective outfit.

Just before the hour, Bonne allowed the ball to roll across him before seeing a shot beaten away by Carson.

That stop was rewarded moments later when Phillips did brilliantly to keep possession on the right-hand side before crossing for Wildig to head home his second of the season.

Back came the visitors as Janoi Donacien half-volleyed well off target before O’Connor, moved to right-back as a result of Morecambe’s half-time changes, bravely blocked another Bonne attempt.

Ipswich’s response was a triple change with Conor Chaplin, Kayden Jackson and Bersant Celina all called into action.

Celina brought more acrobatics from Carson, tipping away his fierce drive with quarter of an hour remaining.

Chaplin had an effort blocked by Rhys Bennett and Carson held Celina’s deflected free-kick before the visitors got themselves on terms.

A ball into the box found Burns, whose attempted backheel rebounded back to him, before he dug the ball out of his feet and steered a shot beyond Carson.

If the keeper was powerless on that occasion, he made a stunning stop moments later to keep out Donacien’s close-range effort.

He also pushed out another Celina shot and, after three minutes of added time, both teams were left to reflect on a point apiece.

Morecambe: Carson, Cooney (Wildig 46), O’Connor, Bennett, Bedeau, Leigh, Fane, Diagouraga, McLoughlin, Stockton, Ayunga (Phillips 46). Subs not used: Smith, Connolly, Obika, Gibson, Duffus.

Ipswich Town: Walton, Donacien, Edmundson, Woolfenden, Burns, Morsy, Bakinson, Thompson, Aluko (Celina 69), Norwood (Chaplin 69), Bonne (Jackson 69). Subs not used: Hladky, Pigott, Carroll, Burgess.

Referee: Matthew Donohue.

Attendance: 4,928.

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