Accrington Stanley 2-1 Morecambe
Morecambe’s wait for a first Football League win over Accrington Stanley goes on after defeat at the Crown Ground on Friday night.
The Shrimps made a nightmare start on Halloween with Luke Joyce’s penalty and Shay McCartan’s deflected strike giving Stanley an early two-goal lead.
But the visitors were much improved in the second half, Paul Mullin’s header shortly after the break giving them a lifeline.
The Shrimps huffed and puffed without reward however as their League 2 winless run against their Lancashire rivals moved to 15 games.
The visitors were behind just five minutes in as the hosts took the lead from the penalty spot.
Alan Goodall was adjudged to have brought down John O’Sullivan as the on-loan Blackburn man man cut in from the right with Stanley skipper Joyce sending Scott Davies the wrong way from 12 yards.
The visitors’ horror start continued in the 11th minute as John Coleman’s side doubled their lead.
McCartan was allowed to drift in from the left and his right-footed shot from distance took a deflection to leave Davies stranded.
The on-loan Fleetwood ‘keeper had to be alert two minutes later to cling onto Lee Molyneux’s free-kick that was fired in at the near post.
For the Shrimps their best early move saw Andy Fleming fire a shot narrowly wide from 25 yards just after the quarter hour.
The visitors settled as the half went on but after last year’s 5-1 drubbing again had a mountain to climb.
Mullin, really fired up on his return to the starting line up, saw a shot easily held by Jesse Joronen while at the other end Davies was equal to O’Sullivan’s header on the half hour.
The Shrimps stopper was carrying on his fine form from his man of the match performance against Exeter and denied Accrington a third as he raced out to deny Andy Proctor one-on-one after the midfielder had beaten the Morecambe offside trap far too easily.
Bentley’s side continued to show a promise in the final third but weren’t creating clear openings.
At the other end Stanley were a constant menace. Andy Parrish over committed two minutes before the break allowing Sean Maguire to fire in a low drive that was helped round the post by Davies.
The Shrimps were first to go close after the break, Kevin Ellison bending a free-kick narrowly over from 25 yards before Alex Kenyon’s deflected effort was tipped over by Joronen.
The fine save came at a cost for the on-loan Fulham goalkeeper who was injured in the process, being replaced by Luke Simpson after a lengthy stoppage, and Simpson’s first act was to pick the ball out of his net six minutes into the second half.
The substitute stopper threatened to come for Shaun Beeley’s deep cross but was caught in no-man’s land with Mullin heading into the empty net.
It was a goal that sparked the Shrimps in to life as they had by far the better of things without testing the nervy Simpson.
It was Davies who was called into two fine saves, first diving to his right to deny Molyneux before tipping over Proctor’s header shortly after on 72 minutes.
Kenyon came within inches of levelling things up for the Shrimps seven minutes from time but saw his acrobatic effort whistle past the angle of post and bar.
As Morecambe pushed for a leveller however they became increasingly open at the back, Parrish and Beeley overplaying at the back as Marcus Carver pounced on a poor back pass but the substitute couldn’t finish from a narrow angle.
Davies then had to be alert to be beat away Maguire’s effort as Stanley closed in on another three points over the Shrimps.
Three lengthy injury stoppages meant seven minutes were added on at the end of the game but Bentley’s side couldn’t find a way through as Accrington continued their hold over Morecambe.
Accrington: Joronen (Simpson 50), Hunt, Aldred, Atkinson, Winnard, Procter, Joyce, O’Sullivan (Gray 77), Maguire, Molyneux, McCartan (Carver 65). Subs not used: Liddle, Windass, Hatfield, Mingoia.
Morecambe: Davies, Beeley, Parrish, Hughes (capt), Wilson, Goodall (Williams 85), Kenyon, Fleming, Amond (Sampson 74), Mullin (Barkhuizen 74), Ellison. Subs not used: Jones, Edwards, McGowan, McCready.
Booked: Hughes, Beeley, Wilson
Referee: Stephen Martin
Attendance: 1,710 (307 away)