Notts County 2-2 Morecambe

Morecambe saw a two-goal lead slip away as they ended 2015 with a draw at Notts County on Monday.

By Adam Lord
Monday, 28th December 2015, 5:00 pm
Notts County v Morecambe - Shrimps Live
Notts County v Morecambe - Shrimps Live

Goals from Shaun Miller and Kevin Ellison had put The Shrimps in command but Izale McLeod’s strike on the stroke of half-time ensured it was game on after the break.

The striker’s second shortly after the hour left the Magpies sensing victory but The Shrimps hung on for a point at Meadow Lane despite the hosts dominating the second half.

It was a helter skelter start as both sides went close early on.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Barry Roche had already kept out Elliott Hewitt’s cross-cum-shot with a strong right hand before three chances came in the space on 60 seconds five minutes in.

Roy Carroll kept out Miller’s header from a Tom Barkhuizen cross before from the resultant corner Ellison saw a deflected effort come back off the post with the former Manchester United goalkeeper beaten.

The Magpies went straight up the other end however and Roche was again called into action, producing a sharp low save as Jon Stead diverted a Hewitt cross goalwards.

Just as the game had drawn breath Morecambe went in front on eight minutes with a counter-attacking goal reminiscent of their fine early season form.

Jamie Devitt picked up the ball and played a defence-splitting pass that took the ball and Miller beyond Carroll with the striker making no mistake as he put the ball into the empty net.

The game continued to be wide open with the hosts a good final ball short of several good chances.

But Morecambe stood firm, riding their luck at times, and doubled their lead on 23 minutes.

Miller, brimming with confidence after his goal, danced past a couple of challenges before being brought down in the area.

The striker’s spot kick was saved low to his right by Carroll but Ellison reacted quickest to fire home the rebound.

The Shrimps were then content to sit in during a scrappy period of play.

Despite being wasteful in possession County got their big chance to get back into the game on 38 minutes but after breaking in behind far too easily McLeod’s tame effort was saved by Roche.

The Shrimps weren’t without chances of their own but Laurence Wilson, Miller and Barkhuizen couldn’t direct efforts goalwards towards the end of the half.

Then just as the opening 45 minutes seemed to be drifting to a close County changed the complexion of the game.

Graham Burke whipped in a vicious, in-swinging cross with McLeod on hand at the back post to chest the ball home.

The next goal was always going to be crucial and Stead came close to getting it early in the second half but Roche beat away his low shot from the edge of the area.

County were in the ascendancy and Roche was again called into action on 54 minutes, this time keeping out a well-struck effort from Burke.

The pressure continued to build with the leveller coming on 63 minutes.

Thierry Audel rose highest to meet a corner with his header goalwards being flicked home by McLeod from close range to complete the comeback.

Having come back from the brink County went in search of a winner, Roche beating away Stead’s first-time shot after a flowing move 20 minutes from time before Burke fired a shot into the side netting.

But the Magpies’ charge fizzled out with both sides forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

Notts County: Carroll (capt), Hewitt, Audel, Edwards, Milsom, Campbell, Smith, Aborah, Burke (Spencer 82), Stead, McLeod. Subs not used: Loach, Amevor, Murray, Thompson, Jenner, Atkinson.

Morecambe: Roche, Beeley, Edwards, Dugdale, Wilson, Murphy (capt), Fleming, Barkhuizen, Devitt (Goodall 90), Ellison (Wildig 52), Miller (Mullin 78). Subs not used: Thompson, Molyneux, Forrester, Parrish.

Booked: Dugdale, Miller

Referee: Rob Lewis.

Attendance: 4,956 (151 Morecambe)