Morecambe 1-1 Accrington Stanley

Morecambe FC.
Morecambe FC.

Morecambe’s search for a first Football League win over Accrington goes on after 10-man Stanley battled for a point in a game that had just about everything on Good Friday.

Kevin Ellison gave the Shrimps a 25th-minute lead at the Globe Arena but it was shortlived with Lloyd Jones’ 35-yard stunner levelling things up.

John Coleman’s side then went down to 10 men shortly before with interval with Terry Gornell shown a straight red card for a challenge on Laurence Wilson.

Wilson had the best chance to give the Shrimps a win over Stanley at the 16th attempt but blazed over a penalty 10 minutes into the second half after Matty Crooks had brought down Ellison.

The visitors made the brighter start with Shrimps indebted to captain Mark Hughes on five minutes.

Danny Ward’s punch was helped back into the area and with the Liverpool loanee on the ground Shay McCartan helped the ball goalwards with Hughes producing a fine clearance on the line.

Jack Redshaw had the Shrimps’ first effort on goal on 13 minutes but Morecambe Wembley winner Scott Davies was equal to his shot after a fine turn.

Jamie Devitt then fired a free-kick from 20 yards narrowly over as the hosts began to warm to their task.

But having started well the visitors were always a threat, particularly on the break, with one fine counter ending with Gornell crashing a shot from Josh Windass cross against the bar and over with Ward beaten.

Morecambe then had the game’s best chance less than 60 seconds later, Andy Fleming finding Devitt clean through on goal but the Irishman lifted the ball over the advancing Davies and the crossbar.

The miss was soon forgotten however as the Shrimps went in front on 25 minutes.

Devitt’s corner was headed goalwards by Ryan Edwards with Ellison on hand to flick a header home from in front of Davies.

The lead lasted just two minutes however with on-loan Liverpool man Jones firing a 35-yard stunner past his club mate Ward and into the top corner to level things up.

As the game livened up on the field it do so on the touchline as well with Stanley manager John Coleman and Shirmps goalkeeping coach Lee Jones sent to the stands as the dugouts nearly came to blows over a strong challenge on Devitt.

As attention turned back onto the field central defender Jones went close to an unlikely second but Ward was equal to his shot at the near post on 33 minutes.

The Shrimps then lost skipper Mark Hughes to injury and their new-look four at the back set-up was immediately exposed with Windass ghosting into the area and seeing a shot spilled by Ward with Shaun Beeley on hand to hack clear.

The came continued to twist and turn and moved in Morecambe’s favour five minutes before the break when Gornell saw red, referee Eddie Ilderton showing a straight red card for his wild lunge on Wilson.

The Shrimps looked to profit from their numerical advantage before the break, Redshaw coming closest to doing so with his shot after cutting in from the left deflected wide.

The second half started controversially. Five minutes after the break Morecambe felt they should have gone in front, robbing the ball from a quickly-taken Stanley free-kick with Devit going on to score, only for referee Ilderton to pull the play back to much confusion.

The Shrimps were given a golden chance to go in front on 55 minutes, Ilderton pointing to the spot as Matty Crooks challenged Ellison in the area.

Wilson stepped up but blazed over the bar and into the home fans as Morecambe’s poor record from the spot this season continued.

The Shrimps didn’t build any momentum and lived dangerously at the back, Windass profiting from a Goodall error 15 minutes from time before firing over from the edge of the area.

Stanley gained in confidence as the game entered the final stages as the hosts struggled to press for victory, with the visitors resolute and content to play on the counter.

Fleming’s shot from distance that went narrowly wide two minutes from time was as good as it got for the hosts as Morecambe’s poor home run continued.

Morecambe: Ward, Parrish, Hughes (capt (Goodall 36) Edwards, Beeley, Wildig (Amond 80), Fleming, Wilson, Devitt (Mullin 69), Redshaw, Ellison. Subs not used: Arestidou, Kenyon, Wright, McGowan.

Booked: Edwards

Accrington Stanley: Davies, Jones, Atkinson, Crooks, Mingoia, Joyce (capt), Barry (Maguire 46), Naismith (Buxton 67), Windass, McCartan (Conneely 74), Gornell. Subs not used: Warner, Hunt, Gilchrist, Bruna.

Booked: Crooks Sent Off: Gornell.

Referee: Eddie Ilderton

Attendance: 1,982 (255 away)