Port Vale 1 Morecambe 0: Snow joke as Shrimps suffer defeat
Morecambe went down to a second defeat in three games as they lost to Port Vale in a game disrupted by April snow showers.
Nathan Smith’s 34th minute goal was enough to earn Port Vale a sixth successive win as Morecambe failed to break the home side’s resolute defence.
The Shrimps started on the front foot but seemed to be affected by referee Antony Coggins’ decision to halt play in the 28th minute for snow to be cleared off the pitch.
The home side came back stronger after the 45-minute break and took advantage of their only real threat on the Shrimps’ goal all afternoon when the unmarked Smith headed home Tom Conlon’s free-kick 10 minutes before half-time.
Shrimps’ boss Derek Adams shuffled his pack after the midweek draw against Southend United with Nathaniel Knight-Percival, Brad Lyons, Yann Songo’o, Ryan Cooney and Liam Gibson all coming back into the side.
Harry Davis, Toumani Diagouraga, Kelvin Mellor and Stephen Hendrie dropped to the bench with Alex Kenyon omitted from the squad.
It was the Shrimps who started the better with Cole Stockton forcing Scott Brown into a good save in only the third minute.
Morecambe maintained that early pressure, Stockton failing to connect with an effort when well placed before a penalty claim was waved away when Lyons looked to have been bundled over.
After the break caused by the challenging conditions, Vale responded with Kurtis Guthrie coming on for Manny Oyaleke, who had picked up a yellow card and was lucky to avoid a second moments later for a foul.
It was Guthrie who had the first half-chance after the restart when his volley from the edge of the box was just wide of Kyle Letheren’s near post.
Vale’s then scored the only goal in the 35th minute when Smith was left free in the box to head past Letheren.
The Valiants continued to press and Devante Rodney forced a smart save out of Letheren before Morecambe came back, Leon Legge denying Carlos Mendes Gomes a shot on goal to preserve Vale’s half-time advantage.
Morecambe began the second half strongly with Stockton heading an Aaron Wildig cross wide, but although the Shrimps dominated possession, they struggled to break through a solid home defence with too many wayward final balls.
A second strong penalty claim was rejected when John O’Sullivan was brought down by Shaun Brisley, but despite continuing to press, they went down to a 13th league defeat of the campaign.
Port Vale: Brown, Brisley, Legge, Smith, Gibbons (Olagungu 90), Joyce (Amoo 72), Worrall, Oyaleke (Guthrie 28), Conlon, Rodney, Robinson (Taylor 46). Subs not used: Scott, Cullen, Hurst.
Morecambe: Letheren, Cooney (Hendrie 71), Lavelle, Knight-Percival (Price 82), Gibson, Lyons (McAlinden 61), Songo’o (Diagouraga 72), O’Sullivan, Wildig, Mendes-Gomes, Stockton. Subs not used: Mellor, Halstead, Davis.
Referee: Antony Coggins.
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