Morecambe 1 Wigan Athletic 2: Shrimps sunk by visitors' second-half substitute

Morecambe remained in the League One relegation zone after losing an absorbing contest against Wigan Athletic at the Mazuma Stadium.

By Gavin Browne
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 9:47 pm

A second-half goal from substitute Stephen Humphrys gave the visitors victory in a match where the woodwork was struck three times and a number of opportunities fashioned.

Cole Stockton had fired the Shrimps into an early lead before Will Keane restored parity in first-half added time.

Humphrys made the decisive intervention with 17 minutes remaining but Morecambe can take heart from their performance with another promotion hopeful, Wycombe Wanderers, in town on Saturday.

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The Shrimps named an unchanged starting XI from last weekend’s draw at AFC Wimbledon.

The only changes were on the bench with Adam Phillips and new signing Ousmane Fane replacing Ryan Delaney and Callum Jones, recalled by parent club Hull City.

Facing a Wigan team with only one away league defeat all season, the Shrimps tore into their visitors from the off.

Arthur Gnahoua shot off target from distance and Stockton’s touch was too heavy when attempting to control a ball forward.

He wasn’t so generous three minutes later, however, when giving Morecambe the lead.

Ryan McLaughlin’s cross reached Greg Leigh on the opposite flank, where he beat his man and drove the ball across goal.

The visitors’ attempted clearance only fell to Stockton, six yards out, and he made no mistake.

With Robinson’s players pressing their visitors and first to most second balls, they came close to doubling their lead on the quarter-hour.

Gnahoua’s free-kick was nodded back across goal but Anthony O’Connor couldn’t get over his attempted header and the ball looped over.

However, they were almost pegged back in bizarre fashion when Max Power’s inswinging corner nearly caught out keeper Trevor Carson.

Having scrambled across goal, he punched the ball onto his upright before the ball was hastily cleared.

If that stop was fortunate, there was nothing lucky just before the half-hour when a low, one-handed stop denied Callum Lang after he had beaten two men.

Leigh saw a deflected shot turned away by Wigan keeper Ben Amos before the Latics should have levelled three minutes before the break.

Lang held off Jacob Bedeau down the right-hand side and crossed for McClean, six yards out, who headed well over.

Again, there was to be no let-off when Wigan equalised in first-half stoppage time.

Power released Tendayi Darikwa and his ball across goal was controlled by Keane, who finished clinically.

To their credit, Morecambe didn’t let that affect them and started the second half in promising fashion.

Amos denied Stockton from a tight angle, though he was well beaten just before the hour when the striker’s 25-yard effort cannoned back off the post.

The woodwork then intervened at the other end, denying Wigan for a second time as Lang sent Power’s free-kick against the underside of the bar.

Having lost Leigh to injury, Robinson changed formation with Ryan Cooney brought on and a move to a back five.

However, within moments, Morecambe fell behind as Lang’s cross found Humphrys whose header hit a defender on its way past Carson.

Stockton saw a shot blocked as the Shrimps sought a way back into proceedings, introducing Phillips off the bench as time ticked away.

Humphrys had a late effort deflected behind but he had already played the decisive role as, despite six-and-a-half minutes’ added time, Morecambe were unable to find a way back.

Morecambe: Carson, McLaughlin, O’Connor, Bedeau, Leigh (Gibson 57), Wildig, McLoughlin (Phillips 79), Diagouraga, Gnahoua, Stockton, Ayunga (Cooney 69). Subs not used: Letheren, McDonald, McCalmont, Fane.

Wigan Athletic: Amos, Darikwa, Whatmough, Watts, Pearce (Edwards 62), Power, Naylor, Massey (Humphrys 62), Keane, McClean, Lang (Kerr 85). Subs not used: Jones, Shinnie, Bayliss, Aasgard.

Referee: Samuel Barrott.

Attendance: 5,359.

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