Morecambe 1 Newport County AFC 3: Ten-man Shrimps are sunk by a familiar face
Kevin Ellison returned to haunt his former club as 10-man Morecambe suffered defeat at the Mazuma Stadium.
The veteran, released by the Shrimps at the end of last season, secured the visitors’ victory with their third goal 11 minutes from time.
It capped a difficult afternoon for the home side, who saw skipper Sam Lavelle concede an early penalty before being sent off with half-time approaching.
Morecambe boss Derek Adams had resisted the urge to make any changes to the side which drew at Forest Green Rovers in midweek.
Cole Stockton saw a shot blocked in the opening stages before the visitors claimed an eighth minute lead.
Lavelle was deemed to have handled Scot Bennett’s cross and Matty Dolan made no mistake from the spot, finishing emphatically past Kyle Letheren.
Twelve minutes later, however, and the Shrimps were level.
Liam Gibson played the ball inside to Yann Songo’o, and with the Newport defence backing off, he fired a 25-yard strike beyond keeper Nick Townsend.
Ironically, it came with Morecambe playing into a strong wind in the first 45 minutes, one which saw Newport also chance their arm from distance.
Dolan and Aaron Lewis were unable to emulate Songo’o, however, their efforts bouncing through to Letheren.
Dolan had another go with a 25-yard free-kick, held by Letheren at the second attempt, before Morecambe were reduced to 10 men.
Lavelle was judged to have hauled Padraig Amond to the ground when chasing Ryan Taylor’s flick-on, earning a straight red card.
With the numerical advantage, Newport sought a second goal before the break with Joss Labadie sending a first-time effort off target.
It duly arrived in the first of two added minutes when Josh Sheehan cut in from the left-hand side and Letheren was unable to keep out his strike.
The second half saw Newport largely content to keep the ball, though outright chances were at a premium for most of the period.
Morecambe too often surrendered possession with John O’Sullivan’s blocked shot the nearest they came in the opening stages.
That saw Adams shake up his side with a triple change past the hour, introducing Liam McAlinden, Ryan Cooney and Stephen Hendrie.
They responded as Harry Davis had an acrobatic effort tipped over and Cooney curled an effort straight at Townsend from distance.
At the other end, Labadie fired over before Ellison settled matters in the 79th minute, firing past Letheren before celebrating loudly in front of the Morecambe management team.
Both sides made further changes deep into the second half with another of Morecambe’s replacements, Alex Denny, seeing a shot spilled by Townsend, Lewis coming to his rescue with a timely clearance.
That was as near as they came with the visitors able to see out the rest of the game comfortably for three points.
Morecambe: Letheren, Mellor, Lavelle, Davis, Gibson (Cooney 65), Diagouraga (Denny 82), Songo’o, O’Sullivan (Hendrie 65), Wildig (Pringle 82), Mendes Gomes, Stockton (McAlinden 65). Subs not used: Halstead, Price.
Newport County AFC: Townsend, Farquharson (Longe-King 83), Dolan, Demetriou, Shephard, Labadie, Bennett (Ellison 69), Sheehan, Lewis, Amond (Maynard 69), Taylor (Telford 87). Subs not used: King, Hartigan, Scrimshaw.
Referee: Andy Haines.
Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 per month for the first two months. Try us today by clicking here