Shrewsbury 1-3 Morecambe

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SAMMY McIlroy was delighted with his side’s second successive away win as the Shrimps shocked the Shrews for the second time this season.

McIlroy praised his side’s bravery after a strong rearguard action to hold on to the lead after being reduced to 10 men early in the second half when Jimmy Spencer was sent off for an off-the-ball incident.

From there Shrewsbury bombarded the Morecambe goal but a mixture of fine defending, good goalkeeping and poor finishing saw the Shrimps hold on to secure their third win in four games.

Said McIlroy: “I thought we were superb in the first half and could have scored more than the two we got.

“Our football was brilliant and to be disappointed to be only 2-0 up away at Shrewsbury was a sign of how well we played.

“When we scored the penalty just after the break I thought the game was won.

“But then it all turned and we went down to 10 men and they put us under a lot of pressure but we showed fantastic spirit.

“The whole back four put their heads and bodies where it hurt and the lads showed great commitment.

“It was a great win for us because we are now finally beginning to show what we are capable of.

“I’ve said from day one that this squad has quality. We have kicked on over the past couple of weeks and I hope we can keep doing that.’’

McIlroy kept faith with the side that beat Stockport on Bank Holiday Monday and the new-look line up continued to shine with the Shrimps taking the lead after just seven minutes.

The revitalised Chris Shuker broke clear down the right and saw his shot well saved by Chris Neal but the ball rebounded straight at home defender Dean Holden who somehow managed to put the ball into his own net.

The goal signalled the start of a game that would swing from end to end.

Shrewsbury looked sharp going forward themselves with Tom Bradshaw and new signing James Collins seeing shots blocked by some brave Morecambe defending.

But the Shrimps always looked threatening themselves and stunned the home fans for a second time just before the half hour when Spencer scored for the second successive game when he volleyed home the loose ball from six yards out after both Mark Duffy and Stewart Drummond had shots blocked.

Chris McCready had a great chance to make it 3-0 but headed wide from close range and he was almost made to pay when Bradshaw spun past the Morecambe defence to forge a clear opening only to be foiled by another superb save from Barry Roche.

The Shrimps continued their onslaught in the second half and they were awarded a penalty two minutes after the restart.

The excellent Duffy was brought down by Mat Sadler in the box and Laurence Wilson made no mistake from the spot.

Scuffle

At 3-0 up the Shrimps were coasting but the game changed dramatically when Spencer saw red for an off-the-ball scuffle with Holden.

With just 10 men Morecambe found themselves under the cosh and when the home side pulled one back on 67 minutes when Shane Cansdell-Sherriff scored with a shot that creeped over the line after hitting the underside of the crossbar .

The Shrews sensed a comeback but time and time again they were denied by some more brave defending with the bandaged Kieran Charnock epitomising the spirit to hold on to the lead.

Shrewsbury did create chances with Roche saving superbly from Steve Leslie, Collins missing an open goal from the rebound and Bradshaw firing over after a great piece of skill in the box.

But Morecambe held on to secure their fourth away win of the campaign with a determined display.

SHREWSBURY: Neal; Holden, Sharps (Raven 27), Cansdell-Sherriff, Sadler; Bradshaw, McIntyre (Harrold 59), Wright, McAllister; Ainsworth (Leslie 59), Collins. Subs not used: Robinson, Neal, Goldson, Smith.

MORECAMBE: Roche 8; Parrish 8, McCready 8, Charnock 9, Capaldi 8; Duffy 8 (Wainwright 79), Stanley 8 (Brown 79), Drummond 8, Wilson 8; Shuker 8 (Mullin 59), Spencer 8. Subs not used: Walker, Bentley, Fleming, Hendrie.

Sent off: Spencer.

Ref: M Brown (East Yorkshire)

Crowd: 4,605.

Star man: Kieran Charnock: A true defender who puts his head where it hurts and is looking to be a fine signing.