MORECAMBE were left in a relegation dogfight after another disappointing defeat at the Globe Arena against Bradford on Saturday.
This was a game that largely epitomised the Shrimps’ rollercoaster system.
The football up to the final third was good at times but the quality of final ball was at times shocking and a Bradford defence that never looked entirely comfortable had an all too easy afternoon.
The fact Jon McLaughlin did not have a save of note to make in the 90 minutes summed up the frustrations of the home fans, that boiled over at the end when boss Sammy McIlroy made an immediate path for referee Nigel Miller who had a shocker.
Ironically the whole afternoon could have been so different if Kevan Hurst had taken advantage of a golden opportunity to open the scoring with less than 20 seconds on the clock.
Danny Carlton played in the winger and although he rounded McLaughlin his touch was too heavy and he could only find the side netting with is final effort.
Unfortunately that proved to be the highlight of the first half for Morecambe fans as Bradford looked the more likely to take the lead.
Joe Anyon put his mistake on Tuesday night behind him as he twice saved well from long range Michael Flynn efforts.
But he could do nothing to prevent the Bantams opening the scoring on 32 minutes when a Kieran Charnock clearance rebounded off Evans and perfectly into the path of James Hanson who headed past Anyon from six yards out.
Garry Hunter had a good chance to level the scores a minute later but he missed the target from close range with what proved to be a vital miss.
As the half came to a close Hunter produced a neat lay off for Carlton but the striker over ran the ball and the chance went begging again.
The second half saw the Shrimps struggle to provide a response and Anyon was the busier of the keepers with a superb flying save from Evans’s sweetly struck volley.
After 20 sterile minutes Morecambe finally produced some moments of threat.
Hurst curled an effort over from the edge of the box and Carlton fizzed a cross just wide of the right-hand post.
The first clear chance came eight minutes from time when Chris Shuker delivered a good cross into the box for Stewart Drummond but he could only direct his header straight at McLaughlin.
Bradford then had the chance to double their lead five minutes into added time when Kevin Ellison won a penalty after being brought down by Andy Parrish. Evans’s spot kick was superbly saved by Anyon.
Morecambe: Anyon 7, Parrish 6, McCready 7, Charnock 6, Wilson 5; Hunter 6 (Shuker 66), Drummond 5, Fleming 5, Hurst 5; Spencer 5 (Jevons 68), Carlton 5 (Brown 86). Subs not used: Walker, Wainwright, Capaldi, Holdsworth.
Bradford: McLaughlin 6; O’Brien 6, Oliver 6, Williams 6, Hunt 6; Flynn 7, Worthington 6, Evans 6, Speight 6; Dobie 6 (Ellison 64), Hanson 6. Subs not used: Saxton, Threlfall, Osborne, Adeyemi, Bullock, Syers.
Referee: N Miller.
Star man: Chris McCready – showed a lot of character and leadership qualities