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Morecambe hit for six on a day to forget

Morecambe's Liam Mandeville battles for the ball at Gresty Road (photo: Mike Williamson)
Morecambe's Liam Mandeville battles for the ball at Gresty Road (photo: Mike Williamson)
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Crewe Alexandra 6 Morecambe 0

Morecambe suffered their heaviest ever opening-day defeat with a miserable performance at Gresty Road.

The shell-shocked Shrimps were largely a shambles and were hit for six by Dave Artell’s Crewe.

In truth it could have been worse as Crewe missed a host of first-half chances as Jim Bentley’s new look side, containing five debutants, struggled to find their shape.

There were huge gaps in midfield and Crewe took full advantage.

The misery started early and the Shrimps were a goal down after just six minutes when Charlie Kirk opened the scoring.

Jordan Bowery made a telling run to get down the right to cut back for Paul Green. His shot was blocked on the line, but the rebound fell to the waiting Kirk who smashed his effort into the roof of the net.

There was worse to come in the ninth minute when Alex Nicholls made it 2-0. Kirk turned provider with a cross from the left which found Alex Nicholls who glanced his header into the far corner.

Crewe continued to torment the Shrimps defence and should have added to their lead before the break.

Harry Pickering hit the side-netting when he ran on to Kirk’s clever lay-off and Paul Green teed up Bowery for a shot that was saved by Roche.

The Shrimps went close to pulling one back on 16 minutes when Rhys Oates headed Kevin Ellison’s cross inches wide with home keeper Dave Richards beaten.

Hopes of a comeback were soon dashed however as Crewe scored a third in the 63rd minute with a fine finish from Nicholls.

Green received the ball on the left, played a pass into the striker who popped his first touch into the air before expertly steering his shot into the top corner.

The 10 minutes that followed produced the Shimps’ best openings of the match with Vadaine Oliver hitting the post from 20 yards and seeing an effort denied by Richards.

The spell on top was all too brief however and Crewe went on to score three late goals.

The first came after 72 minutes when James Jones scored his first of the afternoon. He received the ball 20 yards out and with no pressure, let fly with a long-range shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Two minutes from time Crewe added a fifth with another soft goal when Chris Porter beat Jordan Cranston to a far- post cross to head past Roche.

The home side rubbed salt into Morecambe’s wounds by scoring a sixth in injury time when Jones was again given the freedom of Gresty Road to fire a long-range shot past Roche.

It was the worst possible way to end a day that Morecambe will want to forget.

Crewe: Richards, Ng, Ray (Hunt 28), Nolan, Pickering, Jones, Wintle, Green, Kirk (Ainley 75), Nicholls (Porter 75), Bowery. Subs (not used): Garratt, Raynes, Lowery, Reilly.

Morecambe: Roche, Mills, Old, Kenyon, Cranston, Tutte (Wildig 65), Fleming, Oates (Sinclair 75), Mandeville (Oswell 62), Ellison, Oliver. Subs (not used): Halstead, Conlan,Jagne, Brownsword.

Referee: A Young.

Attendance: 3,559.