Morecambe 1-0 Fleetwood

Globe Arena.
Globe Arena.

Padraig Amond was the match winner as Morecambe picked up a first Football League victory over Fleetwood in a pulsating Boxing Day derby.

The Irishman’s glancing header 18 minutes in proved to be enough as the Shrimps moved level on points with their Lancashire rivals in League 2.

After Amond’s opener it was then a battling Shrimps display that saw them put to bed memories of two dismal defeats against the Cod Army last season.

In an even opening, both sides had sights of goal, but Alex Kenyon and Kevin Ellison for Morecambe and Fleetwood’s Gareth Evans could only fire wide.

The game’s first effort on target then brought the opening goal. Morecambe kept the pressure up after a corner and Robbie Threlfall whipped the ball in from the left to find Amond unmarked six yards out and the Irishman made no mistake with his header.

Fleetwood’s first real sight of goal came 24 minutes in but Charlie Taylor could only drive a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area under pressure from Kenyon.

The visitors then finished the half the stronger after Morecambe had shaded the opening half hour.

First Cod Army captain Mark Roberts could only head straight into Barry Roche’s gloves when found unmarked 12 yards out before the impressive David Ball jinked his way into the area on the right but shot over from a tight angle five minutes before the break.

The Shrimps gave warning of their attacking potential, Jack Redshaw stinging the gloves of former Morecambe stopper Scott Davies from distance on 43 minutes, but again it was still Fleetwood who looked the more likely to get the game’s next goal.

Graham Alexander’s side had two further openings on the stroke of half-time, Gareth Evans seeing a shot beaten away by Roche after running unchecked from half-way before top scorer Antoni Sarcevic dragged an effort wide when played in on the right side of the area.

The half-time whistle came at a good time for the Shrimps but the hosts had plenty to contend with after the break, Alexander introducing Danny Carr and Jon Parkin at half-time.

But it was referee Paul Tierney who was the busiest man on the field in the early stages of the second half as the derby clash threatened to heat up with both Redshaw and Kenyon unhappy with physical challenges.

The Fleetwood changes were making a difference however, Carr unlucky to see a cross go across the face of goal and not find a man after good work in the area 10 minutes after the break.

And it was the visitors who continued to probe in search of an equaliser before Morecambe had an excellent chance to settle the game 15 minutes from time.

Redshaw tricked his way past Conor McLaughlin down the right and squared for Ellison whose effort from 12 yards was well-saved by Davies.

Substitute Tony Diagne then had Davies scrambling with an effort from distance five minutes from time but the home supporters were kept on the edge of their seats until the death.

Captain Mark Hughes was in the right place at the right time to dramatically block Roberts’ effort on the line with time almost up as the Shrimps held on to give their fans a belated Christmas present.

Morecambe: Roche, Parrish, McCready, Hughes (capt), Threlfall, Kenyon, Drummond, Fleming, Amond (Diagne 74), Ellison (McGee 84), Redshaw (Mwasile 90). Subs not used: Arestidou, Williams, McGowan, Doyle.

Fleetwood: Davies, Murdoch (Crowther 80), Roberts, Evans (Carr 45), Hughes, McLaughlin, Cresswell, Blair (Parkin 45), Sarcevic, Taylor, Ball. Subs not used: Lucas, Goodall, Hogan, Tyson.

Booked: McLaughlin, Taylor.

Referee: Paul Tierney

Attendance: 3,008 (829 away)