Graham Westley’s return to the North West ended in typically controversial fashion.

Kevin Ellison
Kevin Ellison
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Shrimps survive late ‘penalty’ drama

The former Preston boss was left fuming after his side were denied what looked to be a clear last minute penalty that would have given his team the chance to pick up a fourth successive win.

Stevenage sub Ronnie Deacon looked to have been brought down by Alan Goodall in the 90th minute but when the referee waved play on Westley was left thinking what might have been.

His anger was probably amplified after Morecambe were awarded a soft penalty of their own in the 16th minute of the game. Kevin Ellison went down under the challenge of Dean Wells and the referee pointed to the spot.

Unfortunately for Morecambe, last week’s two goal hero Jack Redshaw could only fire his effort against the crossbar as the ball bounced away to safety.

The Shrimps made a slow start to the game and were indebted to goalkeeper Scott Davies for two fantastic early saves.

Davies first denied Stevenage striker Adam Marriott who took advantage of Ryan Edwards’s mistake to run on goal one-on-one before the keeper produced a fantastic full length save to tip away a close range header from Darius Charles.

After a sluggish start Morecambe were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead with the penalty which Redshaw failed to convert.

The Shrimps then enjoyed their most threatening period of the game with Alan Goodall heading Jamie Devitt’s free-kick on to the roof of the net on 21 minutes and forcing Chris Day into a neat save.

Stevenage ended the first half on top with Charles denied an opener by Stewart Drummond’s goal line clearance.

The second half saw few chances. Drummond looked Morecambe’s biggest threat, forcing Day into a fine low save from a close range header and diverting another effort inches over from Laurence Wilson’s cross 20 minutes from time.

The Shrimps then survived a late penalty claim but no foul was given, much to Westley’s annoyance.

Morecambe: Davies, Parrish, Hughes, Edwards (Amond 69), Beeley, Drummond, Goodall, Wilson, Devitt (Sampson 87), Ellison, Redshaw (Mullin 62). Subs not used: Arestidou, Kenyon, McGowan, McCready.

Booked: Devitt, Mullin

Stevenage: Day, Henry, Charles, Wells, Okimo, Pett, Parrett, McAllister, Whelpdale (Zola 79), Lee (Conlon 62), Marriott (Deacon 70). Subs not used: Beasant S, Walton, Beardsley.

Booked: Henry, Charles.

Attendance: 1,530

Referee: Christopher Sarginson