Morecambe 1 Mansfield Town 1: Late leveller gives the Shrimps a deserved point

Morecambe goalscorer Alex Kenyon      Picture: Getty Images
Morecambe goalscorer Alex Kenyon Picture: Getty Images

Supersub Alex Kenyon earned a point for Morecambe just as they seemed set for a second home defeat in nine matches.

Having been introduced in the aftermath of Joe Riley’s 60th-minute opener, Kenyon’s close-range finish ensured a point apiece.

Morecambe boss Derek Adams had made two changes to the side beaten at Cheltenham Town a week earlier.

Ryan Cooney and John O’Sullivan were back in the starting XI with Christian Mbulu and Jordan Slew on the bench.

After a scrappy start, the Shrimps grew into the game with Cole Stockton and Aaron Wildig looking dangerous going forward.

For all that bright play though, the Shrimps struggled to create much in the way of genuine first-half chances with the final ball too often lacking.

Adam Phillips was thwarted by a heavy touch before bursting onto a Stockton lay-off and losing his footing at the final moment as keeper Bobby Olejnik advanced.

Stockton had a shot blocked as the Shrimps’ spell of dominance went unrewarded.

At the other end, the visitors had the best chance of the half when Kelland Watts’ header was kept out by the advancing Christoffer Mafoumbi.

Neal Bishop and Harry Charsley also had shots blocked as the first half ended level.

The second half began promisingly for the Shrimps but, again, they failed to test the keeper.

O’Sullivan, Stockton and Wildig all fired off target before Mansfield stepped up a gear with Mafoumbi pushing Mal Benning’s effort behind and Charsley placing a shot off target.

Ryan Sweeney came closer still with a shot cleared off the line before the deadlock was broken on the hour.

Krystian Pearce met Benning’s free-kick, and though Mafoumbi saved the initial header, he couldn’t hold onto the ball and Riley bundled it home.

Adams freshened up his team with Kenyon, Slew and Mbulu all introduced as the half progressed, switching to a back three in the process.

Kenyon had a half-volley held, while Stockton fired over and had yet another shot blocked as the Shrimps sought a leveller.

For all their endeavour, it was the visitors who should have scored again when Riley’s excellent cross was headed wide by Nicky Maynard.

He was punished in the 85th minute when, having been given a corner which they felt was a penalty for handball, Morecambe drew level.

Jordan Cranston sent in an excellent delivery from the right-hand side and Kenyon got ahead of his marker to find the net.

One point almost became three during the five minutes of added time as Slew should have scored, only to be thwarted by Olejnik.

The keeper used his foot to keep out Phillips’ attempt, seconds before a last-ditch clearance took the ball away from Steve Old to make it a point apiece.

Morecambe: Mafoumbi, Cooney, Old, Lavelle, Cranston, Diagouraga, Phillips, Mendes-Gomes (Mbulu 71), Wildig (Slew 71), O’Sullivan (Kenyon 61), Stockton. Subs not used: Halstead, Conlan, Bradbury.

Mansfield Town: Olejnik, Pearce, Sweeney, Watts, Riley (Clarke 82), Bishop, Charsley, Tomlinson, Benning, Maynard (Hamilton 76), Rose (Davies 90). Subs not used: Stone, Preston, Evans, Knowles.

Referee: Scott Oldham.

Attendance: 1,965.