Match report: Morecambe 2 Macclesfield Town 1

Andy Fleming scored the winning goal for Morecambe
Andy Fleming scored the winning goal for Morecambe

Morecambe lifted the pressure on manager Jim Bentley as two second-half goals gave them victory over 10-man Macclesfield Town.

A-Jay Leitch-Smith and Andy Fleming scored the goals at the Globe Arena to give the Shrimps only their second win of the season.

Danny Whitaker’s deflected effort had brought the Silkmen on level terms after Leitch-Smith’s opener in a game where they were a man down for more than an hour.

That came when former Shrimp Michael Rose was shown a straight red card on 37 minutes for a wild lunge on Alex Kenyon.

His dismissal capped a difficult few minutes for Macc, who had seen Callum Evans stretchered off after lengthy treatment following a clash of heads with Fiacre Kelleher.

The Shrimps had made four changes from the team beaten at Crawley Town seven days earlier.

In came Kenyon, Sam Lavelle, Luke Conlan and Rhys Oates with Kevin Ellison and Joe Piggott relegated to the bench, while injury accounted for Jordan Cranston and Steve Old.

With it being such a potentially key match for both sides, it was no surprise that the game began somewhat nervily.

Oates saw a 20-yarder go straight at Macc keeper Kieran O’Hara, while at the other end, Rose’s 30-yarder was comfortably held by Barry Roche.

James Pearson fired over Roche’s goal and out of the ground before the Silkmen were forced into a change following the injury to Evans.

The visitors’ day went from bad to worse with Rose’s red card, and as much as the former Morecambe skipper complained about the decision, Kenyon was only able to last another seven minutes before being replaced.

O’Hara came to Macc’s rescue again moments before half-time in tipping away another Oates shot, while Pearson volleyed over from Whitaker’s corner.

Aaron Wildig had a shot blocked and Zak Mills fired across goal before Morecambe took the lead as Leitch-Smith scored from close range on 61 minutes.

The same player had another effort blocked before the visitors hauled themselves level on 71 minutes.

A long throw was only partially cleared and Whitaker raced onto the loose ball before firing home with the aid of a deflection.

O’Hara denied the Shrimps again with an excellent low save to thwart Leitch-Smith but he could not keep them out 13 minutes from time.

Another long throw was cleared by the Morecambe defence and a counter-attack with Fleming racing from just inside his own half to finish clinically.

That knocked the stuffing out of Macclesfield, who never looked like troubling the Shrimps after that as Jim Bentley’s players celebrated a more than welcome three points.

Morecambe: Roche, Mills, Yarney, Lavelle, Conlan, Kenyon (Tutte 44), Fleming, Mandeville, Wildig (Oliver 70), Oates (Ellison 76), Leitch-Smith. Subs not used: Halstead, Sinclair, Piggott, Hedley.

Macclesfield Town: O’Hara, Pearson, Kelleher, Grimes, Fitzpatrick, Rose, Whitaker, Evans (Maycock 37), Napa (Smith 66), Marsh (Vincenti 78), Blissett. Subs not used: Simpson, Lowe, Wilson, Arthur.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham.

Attendance: 1,622.