Stevenage 4-3 Morecambe

Barry Roche saves a penalty.
Barry Roche saves a penalty.
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Morecambe conceded four goals for the third time in four games as Jim Bentley’s defensive headaches deepened.

The Shrimps’ boss was left with a lot to think about as his side conceded four, though he will know deep down that it could have been more with Barry Roche saving two penalties and Kevin Ellison producing a fine goal line clearance.

On the plus side the Shrimps scored another three goals themselves with Stevenage boss Teddy Sheringham admitting that if the game went on for five minutes more the Shrimps may have produced a memorable fightback.

Stevenage started well and put Morecambe under huge pressure with Fleetwood Town loanee Jamille Matt, making his first home start, teeing up Tom Pett inside the box.

His excellent left-footed strike was brilliantly tipped around the post by Morecambe keeper Barry Roche.

But from the subsequent flag kick Stevenage took the lead on seven minutes.

Michael Tonge’s corner from the right went to the far post and Dean Wells was on hand to smash the ball towards the top left corner from ten yards out.

Morecambe equalised with their first real attack on 13 minutes.

Kevin Ellison’s first shot was blocked but he lashed home the rebound from the edge of the box with a stunning right foot volley.

Morecambe’s comeback was short lived however. Stevenage won their first penalty on 19 minutes when Ben Kennedy was upended by Andy Parrish but the same Boro player’s spot kick was well saved by Roche.

The Shrimps’ keeper was beaten a minute later when Chris Whelpdale opened his account for the day, cutting inside before delivering a fantastic strike low into the bottom right corner, giving Roche no chance.

Stevenage dominated the rest of the half and were awarded another penalty on the stroke of half-time when Alan Goodall brought down Pett inside the box but Whelpdale’s effort was also blocked by the Morecambe keeper.

Whelpdale made amends for his spot-kick miss with another spectacular strike to make it 3-1 four minutes after half-time when once again he was allowed to cut inside from the right and execute a 
wonderful curling strike which flew past Roche and into the right side of the net from 25 yards.

On 61 minutes, Whelpdale completed his hat-trick.

Kennedy’s deep cross from the left should have been cleared by Laurence Wilson at the far post but he missed his kick and Whelpdale scored from close range to seal the match ball.

To their credit Morecambe battled to the death and scored two late goals.

On 82 minutes, the referee gave his third penalty of the match when former Shrimps’ skipper Mark Hughes fouled Ellison and substitute Paul Mullin made not mistake.

Ellison then scored a fine third in the 93rd minute with a superb volley after a neat lay off from Ryan Edwards but it was too little too late for the Shrimps.