Morecambe 3 Carlisle United 1: Goals in each half give the Shrimps another three points
Morecambe consolidated their League Two promotion challenge after posting a fourth victory in five games.
Goals from Aaron Wildig, Toumani Diagouraga and Cole Stockton gave them three points at the Mazuma Stadium, where they have only lost one of their last 14 matches.
It kept up the pressure on the top three with the sole disappointment being Aaron Hayden’s consolation for the visitors, which denied the Shrimps a first clean sheet in nine matches.
Having made five changes for the win against Crawley Town in midweek, Morecambe boss Derek Adams made the same number of alterations this afternoon.
Brad Lyons was ruled out with the knee injury he sustained against Crawley, while Mark Halstead, Ryan Cooney, Stephen Hendrie and Jordan Slew were all back on the bench.
It meant recalls for Diagouraga, Kyle Letheren, Kelvin Mellor, Liam Gibson and John O’Sullivan.
The start to the game was attritional rather than attractive from both sides with lots of long balls forward in the hope of regaining possession high up the pitch.
As a result, there were plenty of misplaced passes and niggly fouls as the game took a while to settle down.
Carlisle had the better of the early stages but were forced into an early change with Josh Kayode limping off moments after a challenge from Sam Lavelle, which saw the Shrimps’ skipper booked.
However, it was Morecambe who should have led just before the half-hour.
Carlos Mendes Gomes released O’Sullivan, one-on-one with keeper Paul Farman, who turned his shot onto the bar and behind.
Four minutes later, though, and the Shrimps were ahead as Wildig turned home Liam Gibson’s cross.
Moments later, they doubled their lead as Harry Davis headed O’Sullivan’s corner across goal and the unmarked Diagouraga netted.
Kayode’s replacement, Gime Toure, had Carlisle’s best first-half opportunity when the ball fell to him inside the Morecambe area but he was unable to make sufficient contact.
The second half opened with Farman denying Morecambe a third on 52 minutes when clawing away Yann Songo’o’s header but he was powerless a minute later.
Mendes Gomes played in Wildig behind the visitors’ defence, and as Farman advanced on the midfielder, he squared it for Stockton to tap home and make it 3-0.
It should have been four just past the hour when Gibson and Songo’o exchanged passes and the former fired off target when cutting the ball back to his team-mates was the better option.
Though the visitors had plenty of possession in the second half, they had struggled to convert it into chances.
They gave themselves a lifeline on 79 minutes, however, when Hayden headed Dean Furman’s corner into the roof of the net.
Five minutes later and the same player sent another header narrowly wide of the Morecambe goal.
Despite four minutes of added time, that was near as they came as Morecambe recorded another victory.
Morecambe: Letheren, Mellor, Davis, Lavelle, Gibson, Diagouraga, Songo’o, O’Sullivan, Wildig (Denny 90), Mendes Gomes (Slew 79), Stockton. Subs not used: Halstead, Hendrie, Pringle, McAlinden, Cooney.
Carlisle United: Farman, Tanner (Zanzala 46), Hayden, McDonald, Anderton, Mellish (Charters 70), Furman, Riley, Alessandra, Kayode (Toure 17), Patrick (Walker 77). Subs not used: Norman, Armer, Bennett.
Referee: Sam Allison.
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