Morecambe FC’s first-half double does the damage

Tom Barkhuizen scored Morecambe's second goal
Tom Barkhuizen scored Morecambe's second goal

First-half goals from Ryan Edwards and Tom Barkhuizen at the Globe Arena saw Morecambe make it three wins in a week with a 2-0 defeat of Portsmouth.

Jim Bentley’s players recorded an impressive victory, even if keeper Barry Roche came to their rescue in the second 45 minutes.

Nevertheless, three more points and a first clean sheet of the season set Morecambe up nicely for Saturday’s trip to Yeovil Town.

Bentley had made two changes from the side which saw off Blackpool at the weekend.

In came Andrew Fleming and Kevin Ellison, replacing Alex Kenyon and Lee Molyneux respectively.

There wasn’t any undue effect on the team; quite the opposite as the Shrimps quickly got on the front foot.

Not allowing Portsmouth to settle when they had the ball, Bentley’s men married that hard work with some lovely passing football.

That fast start culminated in Edwards’ 10th minute opener after Cole Stockton’s effort had been deflected behind.

A ball from the left found Edwards, and when his header was returned to him, he made no mistake with a first-time finish.

Eleven minutes later and it was 2-0 as Barkhuizen collected the ball on halfway and ran at the retreating defence before firing past David Forde from 20 yards.

It was almost 3-0 nine minutes before the break as Barkhuizen sped past a defender, drew the keeper but could only dink the ball into the side netting.

A shellshocked visiting team offered little in the way of genuine threat in the first half with Carl Baker’s effort smothered by Roche the closest they came.

It was a different story after the break as they began to put pressure on the home goal.

When they did fashion a sight of goal however, they found Roche in inspired form.

An early save, turning Baker’s effort behind for a corner, was a sign of things to come.

His best stops came as the half progressed, though, as a pair of close-range saves thwarted Christian Burgess and Curtis Main.

Another low save kept out an effort from Main before Gary Roberts’ free kick was tipped over the bar.

Pressure duly soaked up, the Shrimps could have made 3-0 on 89 minutes.

A ball over the top set substitute Paul Mullin away but his effort was turned behind by Forde.

It mattered not though as the Shrimps played out an eventual six minutes of added time to claim an impressive three points.

Morecambe: Roche, Wakefield, Edwards, Whitmore, Conlan, Fleming, Rose, Barkhuizen (Kenyon 86), Dunn (Molyneux 60), Ellison, Stockton (Mullin 75). Subs: Nizic, McGowan, Turner.

Portsmouth: Forde, Talbot, Burgess, Barton, Stevens, Doyle, Rose (Hunt 85), Baker, Roberts, Bennett (Main 64), Smith (Lalkovic 64). Subs: O’Brien, Davies, Buxton, Linganzi.

Referee: Nigel Miller.

Attendance: 1,838.