Morecambe 2-0 Exeter

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Kevin Ellison scored both goals as Morecambe recorded their first League 2 win of the season against Exeter.

On his return from injury the front man headed in the opener 54 seconds into the second half before sealing the victory nine minutes from time, lifting the ball over the on-rushing Artur Krysiak after another excellent assist from the impressive Jack Sampson.

Ellison nearly had a hat-trick in stoppage time as Jim Bentley’s side inflicted a first defeat on the season on the Grecians.

Sam Parkin had the first opening for the visitors in a quiet start at the Globe Arena.

As the hosts protested to referee Mark Brown after Ryan Williams was caught with a flailing arm on halfway, Paul Tisdale’s side broke, Parkin failing to direct a back-post header goalwards after excellent work down the right from David Wheeler.

The Shrimps could, and perhaps should, have gone in front on 19 minutes, Sampson’s header from Ryan Williams’ corner appearing to cross the line before being scrambled clear. Wheeler then crashed a shot against the outside of Barry Roche’s left-hand post on 22 minutes before only a last-ditch Tony Diagne tackle denied John O’Flynn a clear shot on goal after the Shrimps had failed to deal with a long ball over the top.

In a first half of few chances, Andy Fleming then curled a shot over from distance on 37 minutes.

At the other end, O’Flynn headed a difficult diving chance wide from 10 yards after strike partner Parkin had flicked on five minutes before the break.

The game came to life less than a minute into the second half, Ellison finding himself completely unmarked 10 yards out as he headed home Sampson’s looping cross from the right to give the home side the lead.

What had been a physical clash threatened to boil over after the goal as Sampson and Shrimps skipper Mark Hughes both went down under heavy challenges from Matt Oakley and Parkin respectively only to see them go unpunished by referee Brown.

But there was still plenty of football to be played, Roche having to be alert to tip an Arron Davies effort round the post on the hour as he cut in from the left.

Three minutes later, great work from Fleming released Marcus Marshall in on the right side of the area, but Artur Krysiak rushed out quickly to smother the debutante’s effort before Sampson headed over the resultant corner.

Visiting skipper Danny Coles then had a great chance to equalise 18 minutes from time, but he could only head Craig Woodman’s free-kick wide from six yards under pressure.

Williams then came close to doubling the Shrimps lead with a now trademark free-kick that went inches wide of Krysiak’s left-hand post with the visiting ‘keeper beaten.

It was Ellison who made the points seemingly safe on 81 minutes, chesting down a chipped ball from Sampson before finishing well under pressure from Krysiak.

Roche denied the visitors a goal back two minutes later, saving well from O’Flynn after some good skill in the penalty area.

It was then fitting that the last action involved match-winner Ellison, the Shrimps number 11 inches from a hat-trick, rounding Krysiak in stoppage time only to see his effort cleared off the line.

It mattered not though as the Shrimps started a big week on a high and will hope to carry the momentum into their big Capital One Cup clash with Newcastle on Wednesday.

Morecambe: Roche, Parrish, McCready, Hughes (capt), Diagne, Kenyon, Williams (Drummond 82), Fleming, Ellison, Sampson (Amond 82), Marshall (Mwasile 73)). Subs not used: Arestidou, Threlfall, McGee, Doyle.

Exeter: Krysiak, Dawson, Bennett, Coles (capt), Woodman, Wheeler (Reid 82), Doherty (Keohane 64), Oakley, Davies, O’Flynn, Parkin (Gow 64). Subs not used: Pym, Moore-Taylor, Nichols, Grimes.

Referee: Mark Brown