Morecambe 0 Cambridge United 5: Comprehensive home loss for the Shrimps

Morecambe had a day to forget as their first home league match of the season brought an emphatic defeat.

Saturday, 19th September 2020, 5:02 pm
Updated Saturday, 19th September 2020, 5:06 pm
Harry Davis came closest to scoring for the Shrimps

Three goals in nine first-half minutes did the damage with the Shrimps comfortably second best after a promising first 20 minutes or so.

Then, despite two half-time changes and a switch of formation, Derek Adams’ players continued to toil as the visitors added two further goals.

Adams had made two changes to the side which won the opening League Two game at Cheltenham Town.

Cole Stockton was out injured with Sam Lavelle on the bench as the Shrimps reverted to a back four.

Liam McAlinden was handed the central striker’s role in Stockton’s absence with Aaron Wildig continuing after his Carabao Cup winner against Oldham Athletic in midweek.

Both sides could have found the net in the opening quarter-hour at the Mazuma Stadium.

McAlinden had the first chance inside four minutes but could only drag his shot across goal and wide.

At the other end, Joe Ironside’s shot was blocked by Harry Davis and Paul Mullin sent an overhead effort wide.

It was the Shrimps who came closest to scoring in the opening stages when Davis met Ben Pringle’s corner, only for Cambridge keeper Dimitar Mitov to save at point-blank range.

Cambridge had looked dangerous going forward and that threat saw them take the lead with the half-hour looming.

A cross wasn’t cleared by the home defence and Wes Hoolahan gave Jake Turner no chance with a fierce effort from the edge of the area.

It was 2-0 moments later when Mullin curled a wonderful left-footed effort past Turner, the ball hitting the woodwork and then rebounding into the net off the unfortunate keeper.

Goal number three came eight minutes before half-time when, seconds after Adam May had shot wide from 30 yards, the same player fired past Turner from the edge of the box.

Adams shook things up at half-time, introducing Lavelle and John O’Sullivan, sacrificing full-backs Kelvin Mellor and Stephen Hendrie, and switching to three at the back in the process.

Nevertheless, it was the visitors who continued to dominate with Mullin twice off target before he scored the fourth on 55 minutes.

Hoolahan’s corner was headed against the underside of the bar by Ironside with Mullin netting the loose ball.

It should have been five four minutes later when the ball dropped to May but he shot straight at Turner.

However, Cambridge scored again on 65 minutes when Mullin was played through by Luke Hannant and he slotted the ball beyond Turner.

In contrast, Morecambe struggled to create much in the way of meaningful chances.

The closest they came with was 15 minutes left when O’Sullivan was brought down 25 yards out but Pringle’s free-kick comfortably cleared the bar.

Harvey Knibbs could have made it six for the visitors, only to chip over, but no further salt was required in the Shrimps’ already gaping wound.

Morecambe: Turner, Mellor (Lavelle 46), Knight-Percival, Davis, Hendrie (O’Sullivan 46), Diagouraga, Wildig, Phillips (Cooney 69), Pringle, Mendes-Gomes, McAlinden. Subs not used: Halstead, Slew, Kenyon, Price.

Cambridge United: Mitov, Knoyle (Davies 73), Cundy, Taylor, Dunk, Hoolahan, Digby, May, Hannant, Ironside (Knibbs 69), Mullin (Dallas 78). Subs not used: Burton, Iredale, Knowles.

Referee: Ben Speedie.