Morecambe 1 Bradford City 2: Shrimps drop to the bottom of the EFL
Morecambe slumped to the bottom of the EFL as two second-half goals brought about their eighth defeat in 13 league matches.
Hope Akpan and Aramide Oteh did the damage for Bradford with Tom Brewitt’s stoppage-time strike proving nothing but consolation for the Shrimps.
Defeat, coupled with Stevenage’s win against Grimsby Town, leaves Jim Bentley’s players at the foot of League Two and in desperate need of a win.
Bentley had made one change from the side beaten by Port Vale a week earlier with Jordan Cranston’s suspension opening the door for Shaun Miller.
It was, however, an opportunity he failed to grab as his display was one of a player seemingly short of confidence.
Factor in injuries to A-Jay Leitch-Smith and Adam Buxton, as well as two goals caused by defensive errors, and it all added to a hugely disappointing afternoon.
Yet in the first half, Morecambe more than held their own in their respective individual battles.
However, when a home player was caught out of position, Bradford could smell blood and that should have seen them take the lead on 19 minutes.
The Shrimps lost the ball in midfield, allowing their visitors to break, but Clayton Donaldson somehow turned Zeki Ismael’s cross wide from close range.
Callum Cooke was also off target, while at the other end, Brewitt, Alex Kenyon and Lewis Alessandra failed to test the keeper from 20 yards.
Two minutes into the second half, however, and Bradford took the lead.
Buxton lost possession deep inside the Bantams’ half, and with the full-back stranded upfield, Dylan Connolly was able to sprint clear and hold off Kenyon.
Having made his way into the area, he found Akpan, whose shot went through the legs of the retreating Steve Old.
Oteh and Harry Pritchard had efforts off target, as did Brewitt and Kenyon, before Kevin Ellison finally had Morecambe’s first shot on target after 66 minutes.
They could have levelled three minutes later when Sam Lavelle met Alessandra’s corner, only for Anthony O’Connor to clear off the line and Ellison to head the loose ball against the bar.
O’Connor was denied at the other end by Barry Roche’s foot before Bradford doubled their lead on 78 minutes.
Old’s weak header away was seized upon by the visitors with the ball eventually worked out to Oteh, who fired across Roche and inside the keeper’s left-hand post.
It would have been easy for Morecambe’s heads to drop but they rallied again with Cole Stockton seeing a shot brilliantly tipped onto the post by keeper Richard O’Donnell before sending the rebound across goal and inches wide.
Miller also headed over from close range before Brewitt lashed home in the third of four added minutes but it was too little and far too late for the Shrimps.
Morecambe: Roche, Tanner, Lavelle, Old, Buxton (Wildig 72), O’Sullivan, Kenyon, Brewitt, Alessandra (Stockton 84), Leitch-Smith (Ellison 56), Miller. Subs not used: Halstead, Sutton, Howard, Brownsword.
Bradford City: O’Donnell, Henley, P O’Connor, A O’Connor, Wood, Akpan (Devine 77), Cooke, Pritchard, Connolly, Donaldson (Vaughan 77), Ismael (Oteh 62). Subs not used: Sykes-Kenworthy, McCartan, Anderson, Staunton.
Referee: Chris Sarginson.