Fleetwood 1-0 Morecambe

Morecambe's Kevin Ellison and Fleetwood's Rob Atkinson challenge for possession.
Morecambe's Kevin Ellison and Fleetwood's Rob Atkinson challenge for possession.
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Morecambe's poor recent away record continued as they slipped to defeat at local rivals Fleetwood on Boxing Day.

David Ball's well-directed header on 69 minutes was enough to bring Cod Army boss Graham Alexander his first win in charge and leave Jim Bentley's side six League 2 games on the road without a win.

In a game that perhaps wasn't the Christmas cracker many were hoping for, Ball's goal capped a much-improved second half from both sides as Fleetwood completed the double over The Shrimps.

The home side made all the early running, with top goalscorer Junior Brown flashing a shot across goal from the edge of the area inside the opening 30 seconds after he hadn't been picked up from a short corner.

On five minutes, some more poor Shrimps play, this time skipper Nick Fenton gave the ball away on half-way, allowed Steven Gillespie a run on goal, Barry Roche beating away his drive from 20 yards.

Having struggled to make any real mark in the game, the visitors forced Scott Davies into his first save with just over a quarter of the game gone, The Shrimps' Wembley 'keeper getting down low to his right to save a Kevin Ellison effort after the Morecambe man had battled to win the ball on the edge of the box.

Graham Alexander's side thought they should have had a penalty 10 minutes before the break, David Ball hitting the deck as he rounded Barry Roche, but referee David Webb pointed for a goal kick rather than the spot kick the home side were after.

Richard Brodie, the former Cod Army loan man who'd been the target of most of the home support's chanting, made his first meaningful impact on the field a minute after the break, dragging a shot wide from the edge of the area.

And the striker continued his second-half renaissance being brought down for a free-kick on the edge of area which saw Izak Reid sting the gloves of Davies as Bentley's side showed most of the attacking intent early in the second period.

The Shrimps were far from having it all their own way though, Alex Titchiner clipped the post with a header from a Shaun Beeley cross before Alex Marrow drove a shot over the bar from the edge of the area just before the hour mark.

On 67 minutes marauding Cod Army right back Beeley fired over the bar before his side took the lead two minutes later.

Ball rose highest in the area to flick Brown's left-wing cross beyond Roche and in to the far corner from 10 yards out.

Despite their promising opening to the half, The Shrimps never looked like forcing an eqauliser, with Brown going close to a second for the home side two minutes from time, but he could only direct Titchiner's cross high and wide on the stretch.

Fleetwood: Davies, Beeley, Atkinson (capt), Goodall, Howell, Nicholson (McGuire 25), Marrow, Milligan (Johnson 87), Brown, Ball, Gillespie (Titchiner 45). Subs not used: Maxwell, McNulty, McLaughlin, Allen.

Booked: Goodall, Atkinson.

Morecambe: Roche, Wright, Fenton (capt), McCready, Mustoe, Drummond, McDonald (Alessandra 82), Fleming, Ellison, Reid (Redshaw 72) Brodie. Subs not used: Arestidou, Threlfall, Haining, McGee, Doyle.

Booked: Fenton

Attendance: 3,477

Referee: David Webb