Morecambe 2 Port Vale 1: Fast start sees the Shrimps earn three points

Morecambe claimed a welcome three points with a hard-fought win at the Globe Arena.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 9:54 pm
Steve Old headed Morecambe in front

First-half goals from Steve Old and Cole Stockton saw them well in charge at half-time in their quest to climb the League Two table.

James Gibbons pulled one back for a Port Vale side who had the better of the second half but could not get themselves on level terms.

Shrimps’ boss Derek Adams had made one change from the side that drew with Colchester United the weekend before.

George Tanner was restored at left-back, replacing Luke Conlan who dropped to the bench.

They had the ideal start when they opened the scoring on six minutes, Old glancing home Adam Phillips’ corner to see Morecambe open the scoring for the first time in a game under Adams.

If that was the ideal start, the Shrimps’ fans must have thought they were in dreamland six minutes later.

Ryan Cooney released Phillips down the right-hand side and his first-time cross was swept home by Stockton.

With a gusty wind at their backs in the first half, the Shrimps looked to increase their tally with shots from distance.

Stockton and Cooney both fired well off target, while a last-ditch interception prevented Carlos Mendes-Gomes from breaking through.

The youngster set up Phillips for another long-range effort deflected behind before Sam Lavelle could have made it 3-0, only to lack a decisive touch from Tanner’s free-kick.

The visitors, for their part, struggled to establish themselves as an attacking force in the first half.

Their only real attempt of note came when Nathan Smith’s header drifted well off target with half-time looming.

The Shrimps were forced into a change at the break with Phillips replaced by John O’Sullivan but, despite playing into the breeze, it was the home side who initially continued to look the better side.

Tanner’s curling shot was pushed behind by Scott Brown for a corner, from which the keeper reacted quickly to beat out Mendes-Gomes’ fierce effort.

At the other end, Mark Halstead was forced into his first save of the night just before the hour in clutching David Amoo’s header.

The same player dragged another effort off target and former Shrimps loanee Richie Bennett also fired over from distance.

Having made the decision to replace Tom Pope, the visitors gave themselves a lifeline when Gibbons curled a fine finish over Halstead to set up a nervy last 20 minutes for the home camp.

With the Shrimps struggling to retain possession, Vale came on strongly as the half progressed.

Halstead preserved their lead with a fine low save to keep out Amoo’s header as Adams freshened up his team with the introductions of Tom Brewitt and A-Jay Leitch-Smith.

Amoo again tried to find the net but sliced a shot horribly wide from 18 yards after some less than convincing defending from the hosts.

Five minutes’ added time were signalled just to add to the tension but the Shrimps were able to play out time and claim victory.

Morecambe: Halstead, Cooney, Lavelle, Old, Tanner, Phillips (O’Sullivan 46), Diagouraga, Kenyon, Mendes-Gomes, Stockton (Leitch-Smith 81), Slew (Brewitt 71). Subs not used: Da Silva Mendes, Conlan, Sutton.

Port Vale: Brown, Gibbons, Legge, Smith, Montano, Joyce, Burgess (Bennett 51), Conlon, Amoo, Pope (Cullen 64), Worrall. Subs not used: Maddison, Atkinson, Browne, Evans, Brisley.

Referee: Marc Edwards.

Attendance: 1,639.