Rotherham 0-1 Morecambe

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BOSS Sammy McIlroy praised his injury-hit side after their vital win at play-off chasing Rotherham on Saturday.

The Shrimps overcame a raft of injuries to record a much-needed seventh away win of the season to lift them up to 16th in the League 2 table and keep them eight points clear of the relegation zone.

McIlroy said: “I’m sure this was a result that busted a few coupons but it was a fantastic performance that the lads deserve great credit for.

“I thought we were in control for long periods of the game and I was disappointed that we weren’t in front at half time.

“I just asked the lads for more of the same in the second half but with a bit more of a clinical edge and they did that.

“We had the better chances and Jimmy Spencer’s goal was absolutely fantastic.’’

McIlroy hopes the win will lift the spirits of everyone around the club and help them focus on ending the season on a positive note.

He said: “Hopefully we can stop looking over our shoulders now and concentrate on our own form.

“We have picked up some great results away from home and it is baffling me why we can’t do it at the Globe so it would be nice to put that right between now and the end of the season.’’

Spencer’s seventh goal of the season with seven minutes to go was worthy of winning any game.

Taking the ball from Kevan Hurst on the left hand side of the box he curled a superb effort past Rotherham keeper Andy Warrington.

Debut

One of the changes made by McIlroy included handing defender Niall Cowperthwaite a debut.

The 19-year-old, who became the Shrimps’ youngest Football League player, was soon in the thick of the action clearing a Ryan Taylor effort off the line after just three minutes.

Two minutes later Nicky Law crossed into a packed box rather than shoot and Morecambe came back into the game after the early pressure.

Phil Jevons forced Andy Warrington into two good saves and Jimmy Spencer tested the Rotherham number one with a fine volley that was heading for the left-hand corner.

Garry Hunter then headed over from a Spencer cross as the Shrimps produced some threatening moments.

The Millers came back strongly towards the end of the half with Law forcing Roche into a good save and Adam Le Fondre failing to connect from close range when he looked certain to score.

The second half saw the Shrimps more than match the Millers and had the better of the chances with Jevons and Hurst both firing wide from distance and Spencer being denied a penalty when he looked to have been bundled to the ground.

Danny Carlton fired a shot into the side netting before the home side almost snatched an equaliser in the fourth minute of injury time when Johnny Mullins headed inches wide.

Rotherham: Warrington; Tonge, Mullins, Fenton, Newey; Marshall, Harrison (J Taylor 86), Bradley (Daley 57), Law; Le Fondre, R Taylor (Henderson 72). Subs not used: Ashworth, Brogan, Green, Annerson (GK).

Morecambe: Roche 7; Parrish 7, Haining 7, McCready 8, Cowperthwaite 7 (Wainwright 77); Hurst 7, Drummond 7, Hunter 7, Holdsworth 7, Jevons 7 (Carlton 68), Spencer 7. Subs: Anyon (GK), Wraighte, Bentley, Aley.

Booked: Jevons.

Referee: S Rushton.

Star man: Chris McCready - hardly put a foot wrong and defended superbly.

Attendance: 3661