Morecambe 2 Bury 3: Shrimps fall short despite second-half fightback

Morecambe defender Steve Old had a mixed afternoon
Morecambe defender Steve Old had a mixed afternoon
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A second-half fightback proved in vain as Morecambe suffered their ninth defeat in 16 home league matches this season.

Jim Bentley’s players looked dead and buried when Jay O’Shea’s double and Danny Mayor’s strike saw them three goals down with an hour gone at the Globe Arena.

Two goals in five minutes from Richie Bennett and Steve Old gave the Shrimps hope of snatching an unlikely point but they fell short in the end.

Adding injury to insult, the Morecambe camp also lost Sam Lavelle and Andrew Tutte in the first half, taking their number of unavailable players into double figures.

Bentley had made two changes from Morecambe’s last game at Northampton Town a fortnight earlier.

Vadaine Oliver’s injury ruled him out with Rhys Oates on the bench, while Luke Conlan and deadline day loan signing Piero Mingoia both started.

Mingoia was Morecambe’s brightest light in a good opening quarter-hour from the Shrimps as Kevin Ellison failed to capitalise on two good crosses from the Accrington Stanley loanee.

However, it was Bury who opened the scoring on 17 minutes after Mark Halstead had initially made a fine save from Byron Moore.

Nevertheless, the striker was allowed to gather the loose ball near the corner flag and play the ball inside to Mayor.

With the Morecambe defence backing off, Mayor - who was the game’s outstanding performer - curled a shot past Halstead and into the net via the keeper’s left-hand post.

Halstead kept the deficit at one goal with saves from Nicky Maynard and Scott Wharton before Morecambe’s day lurched from the disappointing to the disastrous with half-time approaching.

Lavelle and Tutte both limped off within minutes of each other and it was the former’s replacement, Old, who giftwrapped the visitors’ second in the fourth minute of added time.

Without looking, he turned and played the ball back towards Halstead, only to find the lurking Maynard, who squared it for O’Shea to make it 2-0.

It looked to be game over just before the hour when excellent play from Mayor ended with him laying off the ball for O’Shea to hammer home his second of the afternoon.

That was until Morecambe set up what could have been a frantic final 20 minutes.

They pulled one back on 65 minutes when Nicky Adams was deemed to have tripped Bennett inside the area.

Jordan Cranston’s spot-kick was saved but the loose ball arrived at Bennett’s feet and he scored his second goal in as many games.

Five minutes later and it was 3-2 as Cranston’s cross was met by Old’s powerful header to put Morecambe right back in the game.

However, they were unable to fashion a clear sight of goal after that with Ellison’s acrobatic volley off target as near as they came.

It was the visitors who came closest to scoring again as Maynard flicked Adams’ cross narrowly wide before O’Shea saw a shot turned behind by Halstead as Bury played out time to claim three points.

Morecambe: Halstead, Mills, Sutton, Lavelle (Old 43), Conlan (Dalby 89), Kenyon, Mingoia, Tutte (Mendes Gomes 45), Cranston, Ellison, Bennett. Subs not used: Szczepaniak, Oates, McKay, Hedley.

Bury: Murphy, Aimson, Thompson, Wharton, Adams (Cooney 79), Mayor (O’Connell 83), Rossiter, O’Shea, McFadzean, Moore (Telford 90), Maynard. Subs not used: Maloney, Stokes, Omotayo, Danns.

Referee: Anthony Backhouse.

Attendance: 2,665.