Morecambe skipper strikes to see off Blackpool
MICHAEL Rose's second-half strike handed Morecambe all three points from a fiercely contested game at the Globe Arena.
The Shrimps’ skipper settled the match with 14 minutes remaining as Jim Bentley’s side claimed the spoils in the first league meeting between the two sides.
A Morecambe win had looked an unlikely outcome going into first-half added time after the Seasiders had dominated the opening 45 minutes.
Brad Potts had given Gary Bowyer’s side a deserved lead midway through the first half before Jack Dunn levelled matters with a penalty in the second of two added minutes as half-time approached.
Bentley only made one change from the team which won at Rotherham United in midweek as Dunn came in for Paul Mullin.
In contrast, Bowyer made half-a-dozen changes from their victory over Bolton Wanderers as they sought a third win in a week.
Despite that level of rotation, it was the visitors who bossed the opening period and they could have built an insurmountable advantage.
Their attacking players, especially Potts and Kyle Vassell, were a constant threat to the Shrimps’ backline.
Potts was twice denied within seconds by Morecambe keeper Barry Roche inside the opening two minutes.
Roche also kept out a Vassell header, while Tom Aldred and Kelvin Mellor both sent efforts off target from Blackpool corners.
The opening goal arrived on 23 minutes when Potts turned inside the area and saw his shot find the net despite Roche getting a hand to the ball.
In contrast, Morecambe’s attacks were more sporadic with Rose’s inswinging free kick tipped onto the bar by Blackpool keeper Sam Slocombe and Dunn firing over from 20 yards.
Then, just before the break, Tom Barkhuizen was tripped by Jim McAlister and Dunn sent Slocombe the wrong way from the spot.
A more even second half saw Pool twice come close to retaking the lead with efforts onto the roof of the net; the first a misplaced clearance from Alex Whitmore and the second Michael Cain’s free kick.
Slocombe held Alex Kenyon’s long-range effort before Morecambe landed the decisive blow.
They countered from a Blackpool corner, Barkhuizen leading the charge before laying the ball across for Rose to finish with a first-time shot.
Kenyon and Cole Stockton were both denied by Slocombe, while Potts twice fired off target and Pool substitute Mark Yeates also failed to test Roche from the corner of the area as the Shrimps held on and earned their first points of the season.