Macclesfield 1, Morecambe 1: Shrimps edge closer to safety

Jim Bentley
Jim Bentley

Morecambe moved closer to League Two safety with a well earned point at bottom club Macclesfield.

A point was enough to keep the Shrimps nine points clear of the bottom two with five games to go as they denied Sol Campbell’s side the win they needed.

It was a game that will have left boss Jim Bentley with mixed emotions as the Shrimps were dominant for the first 30 minutes but failed to make the most of their early dominance to all the battling home side back into the games.

The Shrimps started the game at a great pace with Liam Mandeville close to scoring a superb individual goal in only the second minute.

Mandeville, back in the side after his match winning goal against Crawley last week, weaved his way past several Macclesfield defenders to get in on goal only to see his final shot deflected wide by Nathan Cameron’s last ditch tackle.

The pressure continued with Zak Mills forcing a good save from former Morecambe loanee Kieran O’Hara before the Shrimps’ defender opened his account for the club with the opening goal on 27 minutes.

Piero Mingoia delivered a pinpoint cross into the area for Steven Old to head back across goal for Mills to flick past O’Hara from eight yards out.

The lead lasted just five minutes however as the home side levelled with their test attack of any note. The Shrimps gave the ball away cheaply in the Macclesfield half and Michael Rose played in Ben Stephens down the left.

He flicked the ball on for Elliott Durrell and the wide man drilled a low shot past Barry Roche into the bottom right hand corner.

The goal changed the pattern of the game as Macclesfield began to enjoy the greater share of possession for the first time in the games.

They were almost rewarded on 39 minutes when Reece Cole curled a free kick over the Morecambe wall only to come back off the foot of the right hand post with Barry Roche beaten.

The home side started the second half on top with Stephens dragging an early shot wide and Durrell seeing an effort snuffed out by the excellent Old.

Morecambe hit back with Mills firing over from distance and substitute Richie Bennett sending a shot wide of the left hand post.

With time running out Macclesfield looked for the winner with James Pearson forcing Roche into a good tip over and Fiacre Kelleher heading the ball inches over from a corner.

As the home side pushed forwards the Shrimps created chances to win it with Old heading an Aaron Collins free kick inches wide before Kevin Ellison almost snatched the win at the death when he turned sharply in the box before volleying over from close range.

In the end both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils with the Shrimps clearly the more happy of the two sides at the end of the game.

Macclesfield: O’Hara, Kelleher, Cameron, Jules, Pearson, Fitzpatrick, Rose (rep Whittaker 69), Cole (rep Martis 89), Durrell, Wilson (rep Smith 64), Pearson. Subs not used: Idem, Marsh, Welch-Hayes, Evans.

Morecambe: Roche, Mills, Old, Lavelle, Conlan, Mingoia (rep Cranston 83), Fleming, Wildig (rep Kenyon 75), Ellison, Mandeville (rep Bennett 64), Collins. Subs not used: Halstead, Sutton, Oates, Brownsword.

Ref: L Probert. Att: 2,072.