Morecambe’s late show brought just reward at Cheltenham

An Injury-time goal from Carlos Mendes-Gomes earned Morecambe three points in a thrilling start to the League Two season with a 2-1 victory at Cheltenham.
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The young midfielder scored in the 92nd minute as Derek Adams’ side came from a goal behind against last year’s beaten play-off semi-finalists to take the points.

The Shrimps boss said: “I think we created a lot of good openings and deserved the win. We got the tactics right and the players were great.”

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Adams made two changes to the side that started against Grimsby, with Sam Lavelle and Ben Pringle coming into the team in place of Jordan Slew and John O’Sullivan who dropped to the bench.

Carlos Mendes-Gomes scored the winnerCarlos Mendes-Gomes scored the winner
Carlos Mendes-Gomes scored the winner

Cheltenham began the game sharply and had an early chance with Will Boyle directing a header straight at Jake Turner and Finn Azaz curling an effort from the right-hand side just wide of the post.

Morecambe threatened themselves with a shot from Cole Stockton that was well blocked boy Charlie Raglan before the Shrimps went close to an opener.

Stephen Hendrie found space down the left and sent in a cross that was diverted by Conor Thomas towards his own goal, forcing Josh Griffiths to save desperately with his legs.

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The Shrimps were just beginning to get on top when the home side scored the opening goal of the game.

Thomas clipped in a cross-shot from the right-hand side that hit the post but rebounded perfectly for Alfie May, who made no mistake to score from six yards.

Morecambe provided a reaction with Stockton racing on to a long through ball only to see his attempted over the onrushing Griffiths fall the wrong side of he left-hand post.

Adams brought on Liam McAlinden for the injured Stockton at the break.

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And the former Cheltenham man was soon in the action drilling a low shot from an acute angle wide of the left-hand post before the Shrimps saw a penalty claim waved away after Mendes-Gomes was bundled over in the box.

Cheltenham hit back in the 54th minute with the Shrimps’ loanee keeper Jake Turner producing a superb flying save to tip away Will Boyle’s close-range header, with Lavelle producing a goal-saving block to deny May a second from the follow-up.

From there the Shrimps began to cause problems and were awarded a penalty in the 78th minute when Chris Clements bundled over Phillips with a reckless challenge from behind.

It was an easy decision for referee Carl Brook and Phillips brushed himself down before sending Griffiths the wrong way from the spot-kick.

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The game then swung from end to end with Cheltenham going close to a second when substitute Reuben Reid escaped his man on the right-hand side of the box, only to drag his shot from the angle wide.

Boyle blazed over from a great opening and Liam Sercombe fired a long-range effort just over but it was the Shrimps who ended the game on top.

McAlinden played a huge part by chasing down Hendrie’s long clearance to grab possession and tee up Mendes-Gomes for the coolest of finishes,

He dummied goalkeeper and defenders before smashing the ball home to clinch a confidence-boosting win against a side who many fancy to be among the best in the division this year.

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Cheltenham: Griffiths, Raglan, Tozer, Boyle, Hussey, Thomas, Clements (Blair 81), Sercombe, Azaz, May (Addai 75), Williams (Reid 86). Subs (not used): Bowry, Lloyd, Harris, Bonds.

Morecambe: Turner, Mellor, Lavelle, Knight-Percival, Davis, Hendrie, Diagouraga, Phillips (O’Sullivan 89), Pringle (Kenyon 83), Mendes-Gomes, Stockton (McAlinden 46). Subs (not used): Halstead, Cooney, Price, Slew.

Booked: Davis.

Referee: C Brook.