Morecambe 1 Leyton Orient 0: Caretaker bosses collect three points

A-Jay Leitch-Smith gave Morecambe three points
A-Jay Leitch-Smith gave Morecambe three points

A-Jay Leitch-Smith’s second-half moment of magic handed Morecambe their first home win of the season.

Having come off the bench in the 72nd minute, he sent a curling effort into the top corner of Dean Brill’s goal two minutes later to give caretaker bosses Kevin Ellison and Barry Roche a winning start to their managerial careers.

Ellison and Roche had made four changes to the side beaten at Stevenage seven days earlier.

They both stepped down from the starting XI, Roche dropping to the bench with Mark Halstead starting in goal, while Ellison omitted himself from the squad of 18 altogether.

There were also recalls for Andrew Tutte, Aaron Wildig and Lewis Alessandra, while Alex Kenyon and Shaun Miller were also on the bench.

The Shrimps began well with Tutte seeing one effort deflected behind and another pushed over by Brill.

A goal was the only thing missing from Morecambe’s first-half performance as Dan Happe and Marvin Ekpiteta made vital tackles to deny Cole Stockton and Alessandra respectively.

At the other end, James Dayton fired well off target as the visitors were a clear second best in the opening 45 minutes.

That changed at the start of the second half as they began to see more of the ball, albeit without fashioning any real chances.

The closest they came in the early stages was when George Marsh’s cross-cum-shot narrowly cleared Halstead’s bar.

Stockton and Tom Brewitt fired off target from 20 yards before Leitch-Smith made the decisive intervention.

Patient play down the left-hand side saw the ball fed into Leitch-Smith, who turned before curling an unstoppable shot into Brill’s top left-hand corner.

That woke up the visitors as, five minutes later, Halstead was off his line quickly to block Happe’s shot and Josh Wright flicked a header wide.

The closest they came, however, was in the fourth of five added minutes when Wright bundled James Brophy’s cross towards goal, only for Halstead to push the ball behind.

Morecambe: Halstead, Tanner, Lavelle, Old, Conlan, Brewitt, Tutte (Cranston 64), O’Sullivan, Wildig (Kenyon 84), Alessandra, Stockton (Leitch-Smith 72). Subs not used: Roche, Buxton, Brownsword, Miller.

Leyton Orient: Brill, Ekpiteta (Gorman 60), Coulson, Happe, Widdowson, Wright, Marsh, Clay, Dayton (Wilkinson 60, Maguire-Drew 75), Harrold, Brophy. Subs not used: Sargeant, Dennis, Turley, Alabi.

Referee: Paul Marsden.

Attendance: 2,691.